Dez Cadena

Last updated

Dez Cadena
Misfits Dez Cadena 1.jpg
Cadena with Misfits in 2011
Background information
Born (1961-06-02) June 2, 1961 (age 61)
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres Punk rock, horror punk, hardcore punk
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar
Years active1980–present
Labels SST, Misfits

Dez Cadena (born June 2, 1961) is an American punk rock singer and guitarist. He was the third vocalist and later rhythm guitarist for hardcore punk band Black Flag from 1980 to 1983. Cadena played guitar with Misfits from 2001 to 2015, initially joining the band alongside Doyle, Jerry Only and Robo for their 25th Anniversary Tour and has served as the band's longest tenured guitarist. [1]


Early life

Born in Newark, New Jersey, [1] his father, Ozzie Cadena, was a well-known A&R man in the music industry, and the co-founder of iconic jazz label Savoy Records. [2]

At age thirteen, Cadena moved to Hermosa Beach, California. [1] While tending a yard sale at his father's house, Cadena met Ron Reyes and the two became friends. [1] Reyes introduced Cadena to the local punk scene and they both started watching the early incarnation of Black Flag when they were still going by the name Panic. [1] Soon Reyes replaced Keith Morris as vocalist of the band.


Early career

Cadena joined Black Flag in 1980, replacing singer Ron Reyes. [2] During the first year of touring with the band, his hoarse voice became a recognizable and often imitated style of singing in hardcore punk. Eventually, and due in part to straining his voice, Cadena decided he wanted to play guitar. [3] Henry Rollins joined as vocalist, and for a period, Cadena played rhythm guitar alongside founder Greg Ginn, [3] including on the seminal 1981 album Damaged .

Eventually, Cadena wanted to explore other forms of music so he left Black Flag and started DC3. [1]

Before, during and after his stint in Black Flag, Cadena was a member of Redd Kross, Twisted Roots, and Ella and the Blacks, a band which he co-founded. He also made a guest appearance on Hüsker Dü's 1984 double album, Zen Arcade .


During the mid-1990s, Cadena teamed up with George Hurley and Tom Troccoli to form Vida. [1] Originally VIDA was formed w/ former Saccharine Trust drummer, Tony Cicero. The original line-up recording of the Minutemen tune Reserved for 99' can be found on the cover compilation "Our Band Could Be Your Life". Their self-titled album was released by Blue Man from Uranus Records. The band has since dissolved. He also played with raucous Hermosa Beach bar band The Jim Mellon Quartet, as well as Steve Reed and Dave Markey in Carnage Asada. Cadena played guitar and sang lead vocals for the super-group Chop on their only single, which consisted of Blue Öyster Cult covers. The group also included Mike Watt, Dave Markey, Dave Peterson, and Dave Travis.

In around 1999, Cadena toured as part of ex-Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan's solo band to promote McKagan's latest album Beautiful Disease which was never actually released because of the merger between Universal and PolyGram, but promoted on tour.


Cadena performing with the Misfits in 2009 DezCadenaMisfits.jpg
Cadena performing with the Misfits in 2009

Cadena first played with Misfits on the band’s 25th anniversary tour in 2001, [1] initially joining the band alongside Doyle, Jerry Only and ROBO, following the departure of Michale Graves and Dr. Chud who had left the band to form the short-lived Graves. Only took over singing duties although Michale Graves filled in as a guest for a number of shows alongside future Blitzkrieg bandmate Marky Ramone. Robo returned to the band for the first time since the 1980s having played on the band's classic Earth A.D./Wolfsblood album alongside Jerry and Doyle. Cadena had also played with Robo in Black Flag in the early 1980s. This line-up featured one bonus track only on the Cuts From The Crypt compilation. They split up when Doyle left the band after a failed reunion with Glenn Danzig, later joining Danzig instead. Robo and Marky Ramone both handled drum duties for the band on this tour before Robo left once again.

In 2003, Only pieced together a line-up for the Project 1950 cover album which featured himself, Cadena and Marky Ramone. The band toured to support the album and released one single, once again a cover for "The Day The Earth Caught Fire" by Japan's Balzac. Cadena also played lead guitar for punk rock supergroup Osaka Popstar during this period, along with Jerry Only, Marky Ramone, John Cafiero and Ivan Julian. The band has released one album to date, Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk , in 2006. In 2005 and 2006, Cadena was also a member of the raucous Hermosa Beach bar band, The Jim Mellon Quartet.

Around 2006, Marky left Misfits and was replaced by Robo for the 30th Anniversary Tour. In 2007 Only announced that this line-up would release a new album. This was delayed due to the bands' relentless touring. Eventually in 2009 the band released a new single "Land of the Dead" before once again ejecting Robo from the band due to constant visa problems. Cadena was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists during this time. [4] [5]

The band then hired Murphy's Law drummer Eric Arce who had filled in for the band on various shows over the past ten years. The band was then in the studio to finally record their new album The Devil's Rain in 2011, with Cadena writing and singing a number of songs. The album was met with mixed reviews despite debuting at number 70 on the Billboard 200. The band toured worldwide in support of the album following its release.

Between Misfits tours, Cadena plays in the NY/NJ area as "Dez Cadena + The Broken Down Bitches". He is currently working on a solo record featuring guest musicians and friends.

Cadena also contributed vocals to the song "From The Shadows" from Recognise, the debut album from UK band JD & the FDCs, which was released in July 2012. [6] Former WWE Women's Champion Amy Dumas also appears on the track. A video, featuring Cadena, was released on March 4, 2013. [7]


On Monday June 22, 2015, Cadena announced he was no longer in Misfits. In August 2015, it was revealed he was battling cancer. [8]

On October 25, 2015, Cadena began performing with Jon Caspi & The First Gun on guitar and singing lead on a few songs during live performances. Together, Cadena and Jon Caspi & The First Gun recorded a song called "SUN" [9] which was digitally released on Brighton Bar Records in February 2016. The video for the song was released on April 19, 2016.

Cadena has also been performing with his band The Buzz Aldrin Trio, [10] playing a variety of material which has included covers of Black Flag, Television, Wire, and The Sex Pistols.

As of 2017, he has been performing and recording with Jon Caspi and the First Gun, as well as his outfit Mister Stratosphere.

In May 2019, Cadena performed with FLAG at the annual Punk Rock Bowling Festival in Las Vegas, playing alongside Descendents, The Specials, The Damned, Fear, The Undertones, The Adolescents, and The Stranglers.

Cadena continues to play and record with Jon Caspi and the First Gun, releasing three singles in 2019 (two Jon Caspi originals, "Never Change" and "Stuck On You", plus a cover of The Who classic "The Kids Are Alright"). In May 2020, the band released another single ("Drill a Whole") from their forthcoming album, "Live at 650".

In 2021, Cadena contributed lead guitar to a track called "Proof" by the horror punk band Lords of October, written by Uncle Salem, Lucifer Fulci, Aleister Kane, and October Phoenix for their concept album, "Cryptozoology". The lyric video also featuring Cadena was released on December 25, 2021 on and YouTube. [11]

In September and October of 2022, Jon Caspi and the First Gun had several releases on Fake Chapter Records featuring Dez, including a re-recording of "Raise 'Em High" with special guest Jesse Malin, a "live in the studio" album (The Studio 650 Sessions), and a more roots-rock oriented ep (Raise 'Em High and Other Delights).


Black Flag

Redd Kross




Carnage Asada


Osaka Popstar

Jon Caspi and the First Gun

Lords of October



Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Black Flag (band)</span> American hardcore punk band

Black Flag is an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, the band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of the first hardcore punk bands, as well as one of the pioneers of post-hardcore. After breaking up in 1986, Black Flag reunited in 2003 and again in 2013. The second reunion lasted well over a year, during which they released their first studio album in nearly three decades, What The... (2013). The band announced their third reunion in January 2019. Brandon Pertzborn was replaced by Isaias Gil on drums and Tyler Smith was replaced by Joseph Noval on bass.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Misfits (band)</span> American horror punk band

The Misfits are an American punk rock band often recognized as the pioneers of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery. The group was founded in 1977 in Lodi, New Jersey, by vocalist, songwriter and keyboardist Glenn Danzig, Danzig's first recruit to the Misfits was drummer Mr. Jim and bassist Diane DiPazza, however, DiPiazza never showed up. Mr. Jim was replaced by Manny Martinez shortly after. Jerry Only joined on bass guitar shortly after. Over the next six years, membership would change frequently with Danzig and Only remaining the two sole consistent members. During this time period, they released several EPs and singles, and with Only's brother Doyle as guitarist, the albums Walk Among Us (1982) and Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood (1983), both considered to have significance to the early-1980s hardcore punk movement. The band has gone through many lineup changes over the years, with bassist Jerry Only being the only constant member in the group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keith Morris</span> American singer

Keith Morris is an American singer and songwriter known for his role as frontman of the hardcore punk bands Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and Off!. Born and raised in Hermosa Beach, California, he formed Black Flag at the age of 21 with guitarist Greg Ginn and performed on the band's 1979 debut EP Nervous Breakdown. Shortly after leaving Black Flag in 1979, he formed the Circle Jerks with guitarist Greg Hetson; the band released seven albums between 1980 and 1995 and have broken up and reformed on numerous occasions. In 2009 Morris formed the supergroup Off! with guitarist Dimitri Coats, bassist Steven Shane McDonald, and drummer Mario Rubalcaba. Morris has also appeared as a guest vocalist on several albums by other artists.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robo (musician)</span> American drummer

Julio Roberto Valverde Valencia, better known by his stage name Robo, is a Colombian-American drummer. He came to prominence in the early 1980s with punk band Black Flag, and more recently has been a member of Misfits.

<i>Damaged</i> (Black Flag album) 1981 studio album by Black Flag

Damaged is the debut studio album by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag. It was released by SST Records on December 5, 1981.

<i>The First Four Years</i> 1983 compilation album by Black Flag

The First Four Years is a compilation album by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag. It was released in 1983 on SST Records. The compilation consists of all of the group's material released before Henry Rollins became the band's vocalist in 1981. It essentially collects the extended plays Nervous Breakdown (1979), Jealous Again (1980), Six Pack (1981), and the single "Louie Louie", with two tracks from various artists' compilation albums.

<i>Jealous Again</i> 1980 EP by Black Flag

Jealous Again is a 12" EP that was the second release by American hardcore punk band Black Flag and the third-ever release on SST Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Marky Ramone</span> American drummer

Marc Steven Bell is an American drummer. He began playing in hard rock bands in the New York City area, notably Dust and Estus. He was asked to drum for punk rock band Richard Hell and the Voidoids. He replaced drummer Tommy Ramone in the Ramones in 1978, and went by the stage name Marky Ramone from then on. He has also played drums for other punk rock and heavy metal bands, including his own band Marky Ramone and the Intruders. He continues to keep the Ramones legacy alive around the world with his band Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jerry Only</span> Musical artist

Gerald Caiafa Jr., better known by his stage name Jerry Only, is an American musician, best known as the bassist for the Misfits and later the vocalist as well. He is the only member to appear in every Misfits lineup.

<i>Project 1950</i> 2003 studio album by the Misfits

Project 1950 is the sixth studio album by the American horror punk band the Misfits, released in 2003. It consists of cover versions of rock and roll songs from the 1950s and 1960s and marks bassist Jerry Only's debut as the Misfits' lead singer. Except for Only, no members of the band from their previous album returned for Project 1950. The album cover artwork was done by Pennsylvania artist Tony Squindo. The liner notes include explanations from the band members about why they chose each particular song.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Day the Earth Caught Fire</span> 2002 single by the Misfits and Balzac

"Day the Earth Caught Fire" is a song by the Japanese horror punk band Balzac from their 1995 album The Last Men on Earth. In 2002 it was covered by the Misfits for a split single celebrating Balzac's signing to the newly formed Misfits Records, with Balzac covering a medley of the Misfits songs "The Haunting" and "Don't Open 'Til Doomsday" from the 1997 album American Psycho. Balzac also filmed a music video for their version. The international version of the single was titled "Day the Earth Caught Fire" and had the Misfits as track 1 and Balzac as track 2, while the Japanese release was titled "Don't Open 'Til Doomsday" and had the tracks in reverse order.

Osaka Popstar is a punk rock supergroup formed in 2006 by New Yorker John Cafiero. In 2006, Cafiero teamed up with several well known punk rock artists to create the anime based punk group, Osaka Popstar. They released their debut album/DVD on May 23, 2006. Their lyrics consist of topics such as characters in Japanese anime like Astroboy and Sailor Moon. The first single off the album was a cover of singer/songwriter Daniel Johnston, entitled "Wicked World."

<i>Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk</i> 2006 studio album by Osaka Popstar

Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk is the first, and so far only, album released by Osaka Popstar. The title references the fact that the band includes members of legendary punk bands such as The Misfits, Ramones, Black Flag and The Voidoids.

John Cafiero is an American punk rock musician and filmmaker. He is best known as the frontman for the punk supergroup Osaka Popstar, whose debut album was released the summer 2006. The full album lineup toured the UK in September 2006, followed by a tour of the United States and Canada with the legendary punk band The Misfits in Fiend Fest '06.

DC3 was an American rock and roll band formed by singer, songwriter and guitarist Dez Cadena in 1983 and active until 1988.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Misfits discography</span>

The discography of Misfits, a horror punk band formed in Lodi, New Jersey in 1977, consists of seven studio albums, three live albums, four compilation albums, four EPs, nineteen singles, one video album, five music videos, one box set, one demo, and one cancelled album.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ron Reyes</span> American singer

Ron Reyes is an American musician most noted as the second singer for the Los Angeles punk rock group Black Flag.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Land of the Dead (Misfits song)</span> 2009 single by the Misfits

"Land of the Dead" is a single by the horror punk band the Misfits, released October 27, 2009 through Misfits Records. It is the first release of new studio material from the band since the 2003 covers album Project 1950, and their first release of new, original material since 1999's Famous Monsters. It is also the only release by the band's 2005–2010 lineup of Jerry Only, Dez Cadena, and Robo.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Rettman, Tony (September 3, 2015). "Dez Cadena of Black Flag, Misfits, and More on the Fight for His Life". Vice Media . Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  2. 1 2 Azerrad, Michael (2002). Our Band Could Be Your Life. Back Bay Books. p. 24. ISBN   978-0-316-78753-6.
  3. 1 2 Azerrad, Michael (2002). Our Band Could Be Your Life. Back Bay Books. p. 28. ISBN   978-0-316-78753-6.
  4. Friends, Debbie and. "Boston's Own Debbie And Friends Among The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards Vox Populi Winners".
  5. "Independent Music Awards – 8th Annual IMA Judges". Archived from the original on April 12, 2009.
  6. "JD & the FDCs release details of new album and limited box set". June 11, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  7. "JD & the FDCs unveil 'From The Shadows' video". March 4, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  8. Grow, Kory (August 17, 2015). "Ex-Black Flag, Misfits Member Reveals Cancer Battle". Rolling Stone .
  9. "Brighton Bar Hosts NJ Fundraiser for Dez Cadena (Black Flag/Misfits/FLAG)". New Jersey Stage. April 19, 2016. Archived from the original on May 5, 2016.
  10. Sacher, Andrew (April 28, 2016). "Dez Cadena benefit happening in NJ this weekend with members of Murphy's Law, Underdog, more". Brooklyn Vegan .
  11. "PROOF! – Lords of October".
  12. "Dez Cadena Biography on" . Retrieved September 1, 2006.