Artist Details

Dez Cadena

Dez Cadena was the third in a line of four singers who fronted Black Flag. The son of renowned producer and A&R man Ozzie Cadena (who worked with a multitude of jazz artists from the 1940s through 1960s -- Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, etc.), Dez was first friends with the members of Black Flag before becoming a member himself. Despite having no previous experience singing, the band convinced Cadena to give it a try, and in 1980, he became the full-time replacement for the departed Ron Reyes. It was the Cadena-led version of Black Flag that would embark on the group's first tour outside of California, including East Coast dates that made fans out of the likes of Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins. Despite only appearing as Black Flag's vocalist on a pair of singles (1981's "Louie Louie" and "Six Pack" -- compiled on 1983's The First Four Years), it was Cadena's hoarse, screamed singing style that would soon become copied by countless hardcore bands who appeared in Black Flag's wake. With Cadena wanting to focus more on guitar playing than singing, he handed the mic over to Rollins in late 1981 and moved over to rhythm guitar, playing on the group's debut full-length, Damaged. The quintet version of Black Flag lasted for a year and a half, with Cadena's final performance with the band being in the garage of Suicidal Tendencies' Mike Muir during April 1983. By now, Cadena had grown his hair shoulder length and, fittingly, formed a more hard rock (namely, Black Sabbath) sounding group, DC3. A trio of studio releases followed -- 1985's This Is the Dream, plus 1986's You're Only as Blind as Your Mind Can Be and The Good Hex -- as well as a live compilation, 1989's Vida. The '90s saw Cadena, along with former Minutemen/fIREHOSE drummer George Hurley and bassist Bill Bowman, form a short-lived group named after DC3's final release. From 1999 through 2000, Cadena was the guitarist for former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan's band, Loaded, but no releases surfaced. The early 21st century saw Cadena reappear once more, this time with the Misfits on tour and on the albums Cuts from the Crypt (2001), which included a remake of Black Flag's "Rise Above," and Project 1950 (2003).
Greg Prato, Rovi