Dez Cadena

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Dez Cadena
Cadena playing guitar and singing into a microphone
Cadena with Misfits in 2011
Background information
Birth name Dez Paul Cadena
Born (1961-06-02) June 2, 1961 (age 55)
Newark, New Jersey, United States
Genres Punk rock, horror punk, Hardcore punk
Occupation(s) Musician, singer, songwriter, guitarist
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1980–present
Labels SST, Misfits
Associated acts Misfits, The Gentlemen, Black Flag, Redd Kross, FLAG
Notable instruments
Gibson Flying V
Gibson Sonex
Gibson Les Paul
Schecter C-1 XXX
B.C. Rich Warlock

Dez Cadena (born Dez Paul Cadena; 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 the 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. He resides in Newark, New Jersey.


Born in Newark, New Jersey, 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.

Early career[edit]

Dez Cadena joined Black Flag in 1980, replacing singer Ron Reyes. 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. Henry Rollins joined as vocalist, and for a period, Cadena played rhythm guitar alongside founder Greg Ginn, including on the seminal 1981 album Damaged.

Cadena went on to play in DC3. 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, Dez teamed up with George Hurley and Tom Troccoli to form Vida. 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. Dez 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 first played with the The Misfits' on the 25th Anniversary tour in 2001, 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. Dez 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, Dez 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.

Around 2006 Marky left the 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.[1][2]

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 Dez 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.[3] Former WWE Women's Champion Amy Dumas also appears on the track. A video, featuring Cadena, was released on March 4, 2013.[4]


On Monday June 22, 2015, Cadena announced he was no longer in the Misfits. In August 2015 it was revealed he was battling Cancer. [5]

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" which was digitally released on Brighton Bar Records in February 2016. The video for the song was released on April 19, 2016. He is recovering well from the throat cancer and will join FLAG for their summer 2016 tour.[6]

Dez has also been performing with his band The Buzz Aldrin Trio,[7] playing a variety of material which has included covers of Black Flag, Television, Wire, and The Sex Pistols.


Black Flag[edit]

Redd Kross[edit]




Carnage Asada[edit]


Osaka Popstar[edit]

Jon Caspi and the First Gun[edit]

  • "SUN" single (2016)



  • Gibson Sonex (used on Damaged)
  • Gibson Flying V
  • Clear red B.C. Rich Warlock called "Lollipop"
  • Schecter C-1 XXX
  • Schecter C-1 Elite
  • A black Ibanez AR Artist called "Black Betty" (used after Damaged and on many recordings afterwards)
  • Black Gibson Les Paul Standard (with the Misfits)
  • Schecter Damien Solo Elite (back up/touring guitar with the Misfits)