|Birth name||John Wolfgang Knoll|
February 19, 1965 |
Baltimore, Maryland, US
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal, Gothic rock, Blues rock|
|Instruments||Guitar, Vocals, Bass guitar, Keyboards|
John Christ (born John Wolfgang Knoll on February 19, 1965) is a musician best known as the original guitarist for the metal band Danzig. He has been known for his bluesy hard rock sound and frequent use of the pinch harmonic. Christ was ranked 63rd in Guitar World's list of 'The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists'.
Christ was born the youngest of five children, with four older sisters. Christ first started playing acoustic guitar when he was in grade school and began playing electric guitar at age 13. He had previously taken piano lessons. His first electric guitar was a Univox Les Paul copy. Christ grew up in Catonsville, Maryland and attended Catonsville High School. He later studied classical guitar at the Peabody Institute and attended Towson University studying Jazz, theory and composition.
Samhain and Danzig
In 1987, Christ dropped out of college and moved to New Jersey to join Glenn Danzig's band Samhain, which became the band Danzig later that same year. Upon his arrival in New Jersey, Christ would share an apartment with Samhain drummer London May, for whom Christ had performed his first band audition. Christ auditioned well but it wasn't until leaving countless guitar solos on Glenn Danzig's answering machine that he was finally invited to join the band. When May left the band Christ shared an apartment with new drummer Chuck Biscuits, where they came up with Christ's original stage name "John Von Christ", before it was shortened to avoid it clashing with bassist Eerie Von. Christ played guitar with Danzig from 1987 to July 1995, appearing on the albums Danzig, Lucifuge, How the Gods Kill and 4, and also the Thrall: Demonsweatlive EP. In 1990, Christ recorded guitar for the Samhain album Final Descent. Christ officially left Danzig on July 5, 1995 citing a breakdown in communication within the band as the reason behind his departure. During his time with Danzig, Christ's main guitar was a 1983 BC Rich Bich strung with custom D'Aquisto strings and fit with PRS pickups. The guitar was customised with the Danzig skull symbol, and is currently on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando.
In 1997, Christ was part of the short lived band Juice 13, which also included Randy Castillo, former drummer for Ozzy Osbourne. Christ's guitar work has been used by TV stations ABC and Nine Network. During his time with Nine Network he provided backing guitar for performances by artists including Tom Jones and Lou Rawls. In 1999, Christ released his debut solo album Flesh Caffeine. In 2004, Christ was involved in a serious crash and suffered injuries to his fretting hand. As a result of his injuries he underwent lengthy rehabilitation. On November 27, 2009, Christ returned to the live stage for the first time in ten years with a solo performance in Essex, Maryland.
- 1988 – Danzig
- 1990 – Lucifuge
- 1992 – Danzig III: How the Gods Kill
- 1993 – Thrall: Demonsweatlive
- 1994 – Danzig 4
- 2001 – Live on the Black Hand Side
- 2007 – The Lost Tracks of Danzig
- 1990 – Final Descent
- 1999 – Flesh Caffeine
- 1987 – Less Than Zero Soundtrack by Various Artists (Contributed the track "You and Me (Less than Zero)" with Glenn Danzig & the Power and Fury Orchestra)
- 1994 – Guitar Practicing Musicians 3 by Various Artists (Contributed the track "For Christ's Sake", also featuring Chuck Biscuits)
- 1996 – Guitars That Rule the World, Vol. 2: Smell the Fuzz: The Superstar Guitar Album by Various Artists (Contributed the track "One Song")
- 1999 – Black Glue by Mike Hartman
- 2001 – Metallic Assault: A Tribute to Metallica by Various Artists (Contributed the track "Enter Sandman", also featuring Robert Trujillo, Burton C. Bell and Tommy Aldridge)
- 2012 – Ex Lives by Every Time I Die (Contributed guitar on the track "Revival Mode")
- "Top Metal Guitarists". Ultimate Guitar. January 26, 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- "John Christ Directly from the "Christman's" Mouth". DANZIG Force promo package. 1990. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
- Alexander, Lorena (December 1992). "John Christ of DANZIG In-Your-Face". Guitar for the Practicing Musician. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
- "Speaking with Former Samhain & Danzig Guitarist, John Christ". TV Casualty. June 5, 1999. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Ash, Steve (November 19, 2009). "John Christ with Stash". 98 Rock Baltimore. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- Levitan, Corey (May 1994). "Danzig's "Mother" Ship Comes In". Circus. Retrieved 2010-08-07.
- Gilbert, Jeff (August 1994). "The Passion of Christ". Guitar World. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
- Stephanie Cabral and Katherine Turman. "John Christ". 440music. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- "20 Questions with John Christ". Metal Sludge. December 14, 1999. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
- Young, Jon (August 1994). "Danzig Knows the Power of the Dark Side". Musician. Retrieved 2011-02-09.
- "John Christ Danzig Guitar". Hard Rock Cafe. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- "Juice 13". Music Might. 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
- "John Christ Bio". Misfits Central. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- "Former DANZIG Guitarist JOHN CHRIST – "Back To Work"". Brave Words. January 7, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-08.
- "Original Danzig Guitarist Returns To Live Stage". Ultimate Guitar. December 1, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-08.