Abe Cunningham

Abraham 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 47)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Years active1988–present
Associated acts

Life and careerEdit

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]

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. NAMM 2017 revealed his new signature Vater drumsticks, the model is called "Cool Breeze" (which is Abe's nickname of sorts).

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


Cunningham playing the drums in 2007.

Current tour kit (2009–present):Edit

  • Tama Starclassic Maple Drums & Zildjian Cymbals:
  • Drums – Sky Blue Sparkle Finish
    • 12x9" Tom
    • 10x8" Tom
    • 16x16" Floor Tom
    • 18x16" Floor Tom
    • 22x18" Bass Drum
    • 14x6" AC146 Signature Brass (main)
    • 13x7 TAMA Maple Starclassic Snare
  • Cymbals – Zildjian
    • 15" A Custom Mastersound Hi-Hats
    • 19" A Zildjian Heavy Crash
    • 8" K Zildjian or A Custom Splash
    • 21" K Zildjian Crash/Ride
    • 10" A Custom Splash
    • 22" A Custom Ping Ride
    • 9,5" FX Zil-Bel Large
    • 21" K Zildjian Crash/Ride
    • 19" K Zildjian China Boy or 20" FX Oriental China Trash
  • Electronics/other –
    • Roland SPD-SX
    • Synthesia Mandala pad
    • Synthesia Mandala pad
  • Drum headsRemo
    • Toms: (10", 12", 16", 18") Clear Ambassadors — top, Clear Ambassadors — bottom
    • Bass Drums: (22") PowerStroke 4 (w/Remo FalamSlam) – back, Standard Tama Head — front
    • Snare: (14") Coated Emperors — top, Clear Ambassadors — bottom
  • SticksVater
    • Abe Cunningham Cool Breeze Drumsticks


With DeftonesEdit


  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".

External linksEdit