Chris Cannella — Deicide

photo by
Jason Cakebread

Check out this playlist of songs and artists talked about in this interview and listen while you read! Chris Cannella Interview Playlist

Ladies and Gents, I give you Chris Cannella, guitarist at Motherfucking DEICIDE!!!!!

So, how exciting is it to be the new guitarist in the legendary Deicide!?!?!

CC: I cannot honestly put it into words. I have never been this excited about anything except my wedding day and when my kids were born. This is truly amazing to be working with such great and talented guys we already have an amazing bond. 

I heard from a little birdie (Devin Grubb-”
Well everybody knows I’m a sexy beast! But not everybody knows I’m the greatest guitar Tech that ever lived! “), that you have a good luck token if you will, in your pocket.  Ralph Santolla’s pick.  What did that mean to you?

Ralph Santolla Memorial guitar pick

CC: During our first jam I brought one of Ralph’s (Santolla) memorial picks with me out of respect to him as he was a past member of Deicide and despite of everything I know if he were alive he would be the first person to tell me it would rule if I got to play with them since we are very similar people (Deicide) with similar tastes and sense of humor.  

How did you find out you got the position in Deicide?  Did you have to wait for a call or was it right then and there they told you? 

CC: I don’t want to get into the super long conversation on this as we have been talking about it for quite some time. In all honesty, the Deicide press statement is dead on. Once I started commuting to  Florida for Dean we had more time to hang out and really get the vibe going. It was after our first jam that we all knew this was a perfect match for everyone. I was blown away. A couple hours after the jam Glen called me and he and Steve said I was in and let’s get started. In fact, it was so fast I was on the phone with my wife and she was asking so when will you know if this is going to work and I got the call. Fast! Once the press release came out on Valentine’s day the response has been nothing less than amazing. so much support for them and myself. I expected a bit of backlash from fans but in all honesty, it was quite the opposite. 

Are you still holding down your spot at Dean Guitars? 

CC: Absolutely! Fortunately, I can do so much of my job remotely. Product management and supply chain is a lot online. Plus I have a great partner in crime there Eric Stewart. Actually the whole team there has been like family since I started Evan, Josh, Dan, Jesse the warehouse and Custom Shop; HELL they are all awesome. We all hang out. This is the ONLY place I have ever worked that is so supportive of my music career while still working for the brands (Dean/ Luna) Other companies frowned highly on me keeping my music career alive. Dean not only supports it but they are excited about it as well.  

photo by
Glen Leferman

I was reading a few forum posts with you for the topic; and saw this statement:  “He was with EVH/Fender/Jackson before ESP. Seems like he’s making his rounds of the major manufacturers.
Seems like a cool guy in the demo videos and very knowledgeable.
And it’s Chris Cannella, not Connella…..
Funny thing is this quote….
“I always say now, if I were to ever leave ESP for any reason… I wouldnít work for another electric guitar company.”
Whoops…. lol” 

What do you have to say to this ‘fan’? 

CC: During that time it was very frustrating for me. I have nothing bad to say about ESP or anyone I have worked with at FMIC (Jackson/ EVH). I learned so much from everyone its priceless. Fuck I even spent over 5 years working with Eddie Van Halen. I loved it but there were times for change and I had to take offers to try and learn more. They are all still great people but at the end of my time at ESP I wasn’t really a Los Angeles kind of person. I was getting burnt out and not playing music anymore. Autumn’s End broke up and I was doing some cool guest guitar stuff for great bands but I wasn’t playing and that is who I am. I truly thought I would leave the guitar business if we ever parted ways. When I left I took some time with my family and spent a lot of time while starting to talk with Evan (CEO of Armadillo/ Dean/ Luna/ DDrum) and he really showed me it was not only different but has the comradery and family vibe you can only get in a small private company while being one of the most iconic brands in history. Out of the gate, they liked the idea that I wanted to continue to play music while still holding down my day job (best day job ever!). Hence the term never say never.  

Most ____________ Songs List By Chris Cannella of Deicide

Most Sad song: 

CC: Green and Grey (New Model Army)

Most Romantic song: 

CC: Pictures of you (The Cure)

Most Angry song: 

CC: Angel of Death (Slayer)

Most Energetic song:

CC:  Good Lookin’ out (Sick of it All)

Name a song that has everything needed for a song to be great, i.e. lyrics and music are just right. 

CC: The Grand Conjuration (Opeth)

Did you love that song from day one? Or did it have to grow on you? 

CC: Instant love, the second it started. 

What is the Worst song you have ever heard in your life?

CC:  Impossible to answer. I say that so much when my daughter plays a lot of her pop stuff. Katy Perry Arianda Grande all complete trash. 

What is the Best song you have ever heard in your life?

CC:  Diary of a Madman (Ozzy Osborne)

Who has the best live show in Metal?  Why?

CC:  I’ve been to more shows than most could imagine. I have hundreds of mind-blowing memories. For live energy, while performing perfectly: Unearth and Darkest Hour, Stage Show: Slayer Intensity: Neurosis and Deicide. Musical perfection: Opeth

Who has the best live show Not in Metal? Why? 

CC: The Cure. They are so raw and show so much sonic range while being so analog. No tracks. No BS just play. Stomp boxes and Tube amps. 

Who is your all-time favorite band outside of Metal? 

CC: The Cure or Killing Joke

What show do you wish you could have been at, but you weren’t old enough or maybe not even born yet for? 

CC: Ozzy Diary of a Madman tour before Randy Rhoads passed. 

As a child, who did you worship musically, whom you have now shared a stage with since becoming a legend yourself?

CC: I would NEVER refer to myself as any form of legend. You actually have to accomplish something and make a mark that changes lives. I may be a legend to my wife and kids but outside of that, I’m just another squirrel trying to get a nut. But to answer the question, I have been able to perform opening for some of my favorite bands and even got to do some single song jams with some badasses BUT  playing with Deicide is the ultimate experience for me of loving their music then seeing them live in the earlier years, becoming friends to then being asked to be an official member of the band. 

What does the Deicide concert rider look like in terms of backstage requirements and amenities? 

CC: One thing about these guys is we are all very similar we don’t need anything fancy or rare champagne or even no brown M&Ms. It’s not like that. We need the gear to work and the sound to be good. We need to hear each other and we all need to hear Steve on drums because he is the bus driver of the songs. This is Death Metal. This ain’t no rock star bullshit. Death Metal this heavy cannot be fake. It’s genuine and if we are sitting on plush sofas drinking wine spritzers in Waterford crystal glasses, how the hell can we go on stage and mean what we play.  

What is the most essential item(s) that you take on the road with you? 

CC: I don’t take much with me. My Baphomet Pendant, Clean clothes bags of socks and underwear but I always have pictures of my family close by everywhere I go. 

What goes through your head as you get ready to go on stage before a show?  Are you nervous? 

CC: This will be my first run with Deicide but I can honestly say I’m never really nervous just anxious to get out there and hit the first chord. Now things are already different. The shows will be much much bigger and more is riding on me to be the best I can be. I am nervous now for sure but more anxious than ever being 1/4 of Deicide and preparing to drop jaws. 

What is your mental equivalent of a G-spot?  Who or what reaches it? 

CC: A perfect bent note with sweet sustain that can hang out for a bit before taking the run to the closure of the solo. That and grilling/ movie time at home. 

What is one thing you wanted as a kid but never got, that you would shell out some real dough to get today?

CC:  I am not what one would call wealthy. I am grateful I get to support my family through guitars and metal. That is the ultimate dream come true. BUT… if I ever get enough cash to splurge on one useless thing that would probably be a Black 71 Challenger with a 440 Hemi

I am also doing musicians and their tattoos/fans tattoos and would love to include any tattoos or you guy’s personal ink.  Let me know! 

CC: I am pretty covered but have a few unfinished pieces which I hope to finally complete in the next year or so. But I do have a killer Bob Tyrrell Tattoo which I adore. 
Ya know I don’t really do tattoo photos. To me, it’s not to be a fashion thing. I’m tattooed for me not for others if that makes sense. I’ll try and find some newer pics that are relevant. 

photo by

Glen Leferman

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