Abraham "Abe" Benjamin Cunningham (born July 27, 1973) is an American musician, best known as the drummer of the alternative metal band Deftones.[2]

Abe Cunningham
Cunningham performing with Deftones in 2016
Cunningham performing with Deftones in 2016
Background information
Birth nameAbraham Benjamin Cunningham
Born (1973-07-27) July 27, 1973 (age 50)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Years active1988–present
Member ofDeftones
Formerly of

Early life


Abe Cunningham was born in Long Beach, California. When he was young, his family moved to Sacramento. He first started drumming in his early teens playing the drums for the band Phallucy in the early 90s. During this time, he also drummed for Deftones on the side, when the band was having problems landing a permanent and dedicated drummer. At the time when he started learning drums, he also learned how to play guitar, but growing up with a stepfather (Neil) who played the drums, he took a deeper passion with the drums. Abe's father, Sid, was also a musician and an early influence for Abe before his untimely passing. His influences include Stewart Copeland, Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell.



Cunningham is known for his frantic, pounding rhythms on such songs as "Knife Prty" and clever usage of tempo ("Mein"), while at the same time refusing to indulge in the double bass drum setup of many metal traditionalists. However, he does use a double bass pedal as part of his kit, as seen in various drum magazines. A BBC reviewer has praised his style for displaying "the assured expressiveness of a musician whose abilities stretch further than most metal-scene sticksmen".[3]

Other ventures


Cunningham has been a long time endorser of Tama Drums and Zildjian Cymbals, and for most of his career, has played the same setup. He has been featured in various ads for Tama and Zildjian. He is an endorser of Vater drumsticks, and at the 2017 NAMM Show revealed his new signature Vater drumsticks, the model is called "Cool Breeze" (which is Abe's nickname of sorts).

Personal life


Cunningham lives in Sacramento, California, with his family. He has two sons, Sidney and Daniel, with his ex-wife, Annalynn Seal. Annalynn made a guest appearance on "MX" singing along with Chino Moreno.

Cunningham playing the drums in 2007



With Deftones



  1. ^ Flowers, Dillion; Welliver, Mellisa (February 12, 2018). "Submerges 10 Year Anniversary Party". Submerge Magazine (259): 28.
  2. ^ Prato, Greg. "Biography: Deftones". Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  3. ^ Diver, Mike. "BBC - Music - Review of Deftones - Diamond Eyes".