Brian Blueskye
Benny Cancino Jr. Credit: Brian Blueskye

The Cancino family is known for astounding drummers in several Coachella Valley bands. Benny Cancino Jr. has caught my attention on more than a few occasions due to his incredible technique. He currently plays with the Cult tribute band Aphrodisiac Jacket, as well as the Kyle Turney Band, Kelly Derrickson, and the Whizards. Cancino was kind enough to answer the Lucky 13; here are his answers.

What was the first concert you attended?

Oooh wow man! It has to be Mr. Moto! I’ve been surrounded by a magical, integral and musical family background since birth. My father and many of my uncles have had bands since the ’70s. My brother and I were about 7 and 9 years old when my dad started taking us to his shows here in the valley late ’80s, and we were like, “Holy Shit! This is CRAAAZY!” As a kid, everything is a big deal and exciting! On top of that, it’s your dad and family? Dude, I’m in! Fast-forward 10 years, and I saw my hero Ozzy Osbourne at OzzFest, and I cried tears; it was definitely a dream come true. I was born this way, man, I had no choice!

What was the first album you owned?

Mötley Crüe’s Dr. Feelgood and Metallica’s And Justice for All. I credit my cousin, Claudia Reyes, for giving me those cassette tapes; my world just exploded. It was heaviness overload from both records. To this day, I always crank those two.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Vinyl on deck is Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Lady Gaga’s Joanne, Bill Withers’ Still Bill, and always some Creedence Clearwater Revival in the house.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

I really respect and enjoy all genres and trends. I’m glad trends come and go. I’ll tell you this, though: I don’t get the Grateful Dead, R.E.M.—oh, and Smashing Pumpkins. It doesn’t mean I don’t respect these; I just can’t get in there.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Awwww shit—Queen (with bassist John Deacon), Mr. Moto (my dad’s Spanish rock band), Black Sabbath, The Beatles, Elvis and definitely Frank Zappa.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

I love ABBA, hip hop, Elton John, and … OK, the Bee Gees! There, I said it!

What’s your favorite music venue?

I’ve been blessed and lucky enough to play so many different shapes and sizes of venues. I’m pretty sure I’ve played every single House of Blues here in the states, amphitheaters nationwide, everything in L.A., and some handfuls of crazy European clubs. It never fails, though; my favorites are always small, tight clubs and hometown venues. 

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“The sparkle in your eyes, keeps me alive, and the sparkle in your eyes, keeps me alive, keeps me alive. The world, and the world turns around, the world and the world yeah, the world drags me down,” The Cult, “She Sells Sanctuary.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Ozzy Osbourne. From the beginning of his career in Sabbath, he’s worked with the best musicians. It just seems to me he’s made the most of his surroundings, and then in his solo career, it was the same thing. He was always working with bad-ass musicians. A lot of his songs are about real people, real life and personal shit.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

I’d ask Cheech and Chong, “Hey man, how’s my driving?”

What song would you like played at your funeral?

“Free as a Bird,” The Beatles; “La Bamba,” mariachi style; and “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll,” Ozzy Osbourne.

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Black Sabbath, Black Sabbath.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Imagine,” John Lennon; “All You Need is Love,” The Beatles; and “A Little Less Conversation,” Elvis.

Brian Blueskye

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Brian Blueskye moved to the Coachella Valley in 2005. He was the assistant editor and staff writer for the Coachella Valley Independent from 2013 to 2019. He is currently the...