|Born||May 31, 1977 (age 41)|
|Genres||Alternative rock, new prog, mathcore, post-hardcore|
|Associated acts||The Dillinger Escape Plan, Coheed and Cambria, Idiot Pilot, Return to Earth, The Armed|
Pennie began playing drums at the age of 13, and at age 16 decided to pursue music seriously. He grew up in Randolph, New Jersey and graduated from Randolph High School, and spent two years at Berklee College of Music where he received a diploma in Music Synthesis, which focuses on electronic music composition and manipulation.
Pennie has cited drummers Lars Ulrich and Stewart Copeland as his main early influences. In regard to his current playing, Sean Reinert is one of his biggest inspirations. He's also emphasized on several occasions that listening to and playing a diverse assortment of music has been an integral part in developing his style, noting such eclectic influences as 1970s jazz-rock fusion group Mahavishnu Orchestra, technical metal bands Meshuggah, Cynic, and electronic-influenced groups such as Nine Inch Nails and DJ Shadow.
While in high school he was playing in the local New Jersey based band, Prozak. The other 3 members of Prozak were 8–10 years Pennie's senior, and in order for Prozak to play the local bars and clubs, Pennie's father would accompany him to the various gigs. Chris played with Prozak from 1993 until he began attending Berklee School of Music in 1995. He recorded ten songs with Prozak during his time with the band but they were never commercially released.
Pennie also spent time with the pop-punk group Boxer. Formed in 1995 with another Berklee graduate, Jeremy McDowell, they became the first band to be signed to the now famous Vagrant Records. They released one album, The Hurt Process, in 1998, and broke up in late 1999. Pennie also recorded drums for his former tourmates in experimental metalcore group All Else Failed on their 2004 album This Never Happened. Pennie describes his band, The Dillinger Escape Plan, as being 'mathcore' where they start each song with no structure and an open palette.
He and guitarist Ben Weinman, along with now-departed singer Dimitri Minakakis and bass guitarist Adam Doll, formed Dillinger Escape Plan in March 1997. He and Ben Weinman wrote the majority of Dillinger's material and Pennie called Weinman his "musical soulmate". Pennie also took care of a lot of the electronic influence in the band's material in the studio as well as onstage, triggering effects and loops with footswitch pedals.
Chris became frustrated with The Dillinger Escape Plan, in particular with Ben Weinman. Pennie had previously turned down the Nine Inch Nails job because The Dillinger Escape Plan was 'his baby' but wasn't willing to turn down Coheed and Cambria because of his frustrations with Weinman and subsequently left Dillinger.
Chris began working in the studio with rock band Coheed and Cambria, because the drummer Josh Eppard had left the band. Due to contractual obligations, Pennie was not allowed to record for Coheed's 2007 album Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow. Instead, the band recruited Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins for the task. On June 28, 2007, Coheed and Cambria announced on their Myspace that Chris Pennie joined the band.
On November 2, 2011, Coheed and Cambria announced on their Facebook page that Pennie had left the band. Chris also announced he had parted ways with Coheed and Cambria, in order to focus on other projects such as Return to Earth and Fight Mannequins.
Pennie has lent his talent to the predominantly electronic band Idiot Pilot on their 2007 album Wolves. MTV reported: "the Dillinger Escape Plan's Chris Pennie appears on the album, augmenting several of Wolves' tracks with his drumming prowess. Anderson said the one-two punches of Hoppus, Robinson, Barker, and Pennie are bringing something new to Idiot Pilot's established sound."
Drums (Mapex Saturn Series in Black Cherry Sparkle finish):
- 20-inch × 22-inch bass drum
- 9-inch × 12-inch rack tom
- 16-inch × 16-inch floor tom
- 7-inch × 14-inch Mapex snare drum
- 14-inch HHX Groove hats
- 18-inch HHXplosion crash
- 19-inch HHXplosion crash
- 21-inch HH Raw Bell dry ride
- 19-inch Paragon Chinese
- Vater Xtreme Design 5B
Bass Pedals (Mapex):
- Mapex Falcon double bass pedal
With Dillinger Escape Plan
- 1997 The Dillinger Escape Plan
- 1998 Under the Running Board
- 1998 Split with Nora
- 1999 Split with Drowningman
- 1999 Calculating Infinity
- 2002 Irony Is A Dead Scene
- 2002 Black on Black: A Tribute To Black Flag – cover of "Damaged, Pt.s I & II"
- 2003 Cursed, Unshaven and Misbehavin': Live Infinity
- 2004 Bring You To Your Knees: A Tribute To Guns 'N Roses – cover of "My Michelle"
- 2004 Miss Machine
- 2005 We Reach The Music of the Melvins – cover of "Honeybucket"
- 2006 Plagiarism
With Coheed and Cambria
- 2008 Kerrang – Maiden Heaven (Iron Maiden tribute record) – "The Trooper"
- 2009 Neverender: Children of The Fence Edition
- 2010 Year of the Black Rainbow
With Return to Earth
- 2007 Captains of Industry
- 2010 Automata
- 1998: Boxer – The Hurt Process
- 2005: Getaway Car – "Getaway Car" Mass Appeal
- 2004: All Else Failed – This Never Happened
- 2007: Idiot Pilot – Wolves
- 2010: The Armed – "Common Enemies"
- 2010: New World Man – A Tribute to Rush
- 2011: The Armed – "Young & Beautiful"
- 2012: The Armed – "Spreading Joy"
- "Mapex Drums". Usa.mapexdrums.com. May 31, 1977. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved October 24, 2011.
- Staff. "Chris Pennie", Sick Drummer Magazine, August 30, 2006. Accessed September 21, 2015. "After graduating from Randolph High School in 1995, Chris attended Berklee College of music in Boston Massachusetts, where he majored in music synthesis."
- "Coheed and Cambria (Facebook)".
- Harris, Chris (September 18, 2006). "Idiot Pilot Work With Plus-44's Barker, Hoppus On 'Dark Pop' LP – Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- Dillinger Escape Plan official site
- Return to Earth official site
- Vagrant Records official Boxer site
- All Else Failed on MySpace
- Interview with Chris Pennie by Ferrante's Power Equipment – Picture source
- Interview with Chris Pennie by The Drum Report
- Interview with Chris Pennie by Empty Words
- Interview with Chris Pennie by Silent Scream (in Italian)
- Interview with Boxer by Lollipop Magazine
- Sibelius – Software used to create musical example
- Interview with DEP guitarist Ben Weinman
- Original 1993–1995 recordings with Decker, Holden, Pennie and Zuccolo
- The Armed video Trailer with Chris Pennie