Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey
Band: The Dillinger Esape, Coheed and Cambria, Idiot Pilot
Genres: Rock, Metal, Alternative
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Chris Pennie has found significant success drumming for prominent rock outfits Coheed & Cambria and Dillinger Escape Plan.

Influenced by such drumming greats as Stewart Copeland and Lars Ulrich, Chris Pennie began playing the drums when he was thirteen. Then, in high school, Chris Pennie joined the local New Jersey rock band Prozak (the other three members were eight to ten years older than Chris). Chris Pennie gigged with Prozak from 1993 to 1995 and recorded ten songs with them, though they never found their way to a commercial release.

In 1995, Chris Pennie decided that it was time to explore the possibility of a music career seriously. He went to Berklee College of Music and earned a degree in Music Synthesis with a focus on electronic manipulation and composition. Chris Pennie also hooked up with pop-punk outfit Boxer with Jeremy McDowell. Boxer went on to become the first band signed to Vagrant Records. The band came out with one album, 1998’s Hurt Process, but broke up a mere year later.

1997 saw the founding of mathcore outfit The Dillinger Escape plane with Chris Pennie, guitarist Ben Weinman, vocalist Dimitri Minakakis, and bassist Adam Doll. Chris Pennie has described Ben Weinman as his “musical soulmate.” The two wrote most of Dillinger Escape Plan’s material. During his time with Dillinger, Chris Pennie also became well-versed in the practical applications of electronics in the studio and onstage through the use of footswitches. 

After drummer Josh Eppard left progressive rock band Coheed & Cambria, Chris Pennie stepped in. However, Chris Pennie was unable to record on their most recent album (Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow) because of contractual obligations. Resultantly, Coheed & Cambria briefly employed the talents of Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters. Chris did, however, officially join the band on June 28, 2007, and he has been touring with them ever since.

Additionally, Chris Pennie laid down drum tracks for bands like All Else Failed (2004’s This Never Happened) and Bellingham, Washington, electronic duo Idiot Pilot (2007’s Wolves). He can also be heard drumming for the hard rock band, Return to Earth.

Chris Pennie will be lending his drumming talents to charity at Texas Big Beat in Houston, Texas, on November 2, 2008.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1998 Under the Running Board The Dillinger Escape Plan
1999 Calculating Infinity The Dillinger Escape Plan
2000 Dillinger Escape Plan The Dillinger Escape Plan
2002 Black on Black: A Tribute to Black Flag [2002] Various Artists
2002 Irony Is a Dead Scene The Dillinger Escape Plan
2003 Underworld [Original Soundtrack] Original Soundtrack
2004 Guns N' Roses Tribute: Bring You to Your Knees Various Artists
2004 Miss Machine [Bonus DVD] Dillinger Escape Plan
2004 Miss Machine Dillinger Escape Plan
2004 This Never Happened All Else Failed
2006 Drum Nation, Vol. 3 Various Artists
2006 Miss Machine: The DVD The Dillinger Escape Plan
2007 Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. 2 [Deluxe Editi Coheed and Cambria
2007 Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. 2: No World for Tomorrow Coheed and Cambria
2007 Press Play, Vol. 1: The Back to School Sessions Various Artists
2007 Wolves Idiot Pilot
2010 New World Man: A Tribute to Rush Various Artists
2010 Year of the Black Rainbow Coheed & Cambria
2010 Automata Return to Earth
2012 The Very Best of the Boston Comedy Festival 2011 Various Artists


  • Chris's advice to young drummers: "Have fun, enjoy the journey that drums can take you on. Don't be afraid to step outside of what you know, to try, and ultimately learn something new."
  • Due to his young age at the time, Chris Pennie's father would accompany him to various gigs while he played with Boxer.
  • Chris has described The Dillinger Escape Plane as mathcore because of their tendency to begin each song devoid of any palette or structure.
  • Chris Pennie cites Sean Reinert of Cynic, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Meshuggah, DJ Shadow, and Nine Inch Nails as current drumming influences.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Mapex Saturn Series
Cymbals: Sabian
Hardware: Mapex 
Sticks: Vater

Pics & Clips