Samson Pedroza: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric)

Genre: Metal | Hardcore

RIYL: System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Tool

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Audio clips

Canobliss: "Convicted Again"


Inception: San Diego, 1998

Ex-Band Members: Johan Maldonado, Vocals Jon Russo, Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) Chenzo Vidalez, Bass guitar Mike Russo, Drums

Influences: Discord, Twelve Twenty, Tainted Society, Metallica, System of a Down, Rage against the Machine, Tool, Godsmack, Megadeth, Slipknot, Disturbed


The classic lineup of metal band Canobliss included Musician's Institute (G.I.T.) graduate Samson Pedroza, UCSD grad Mike Russo, and Jon Russo, who also owned and operated Control Volume Studios in La Jolla.

Wicked Necessary was released in 1998, followed by Demon Angel in 2004. After a lineup shift, Liberation of Dissonance was released in 2007. They also appeared on the 2007 compilation from No Cover Magazine, Groupies Suck, and then released Psychothermia (2008) and Man is the Enemy (2010).

In summer 2010, Canobliss was named Unsigned Band of the Week at the website for High Times magazine. The following year, several members left to form Psychothermia (Johan Maldonado, Jon Russo, Mike Russo, and Chenzo Vidalez). “Psychothermia” is the title track of a 2008 Canobliss album.

“Samson Pedroza packed his bags in the middle of a tour and decided to leave the band,” recalls Canobliss drummer Mike Russo, who says he and three other members of the O.B.-based hard-rock band have been forced by their former guitarist to change their name. “Samson claimed that...since he was a founder, he still owned a portion of the name, despite no longer performing with the group. He took control of the band’s website, threatened copyright violations over our emblem and logo, and even filed a personal lawsuit.”

The foursome now called Psychothermia played their final show as Canobliss (minus Pedroza) March 24, 2012, at House of Blues. Samson Pedroza recruited new players to be in Canobliss, telling the Reader that the split came about due to “Melissa X McColloch’s passing in December of 2009 while we were in the middle of recording our 2010 release. She suffered from breast cancer and, as my significant other for eight years, she required my attention and time above and beyond the band’s needs. Instead of rescheduling some shows and pushing the album date a bit, band members committed us to none-paying shows where extensive travel was required, placing the band further in debt.”

“I am the original founding member, anyone that knows the band personally knows, I did 99% of the work from the get go, I acquired all the musicians to assemble the group, I wrote most of the early music and handle ALL of the business relations until Melissa became [ill] and have to this day maintained all my rights and ownership due to me under U.S. copyright and trademark laws.”


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