Chris Davis of The Ghost Inside Explains How American Muscle and Swedish Melody Influenced His Sound

Chris Davis of The Ghost Inside Explains How American Muscle and Swedish Melody Influenced His Sound

- By Ramon Gonzales

From Metallica to Killswitch Enagage, to Soilwork and At the Gates, the veteran guitarist guests on Defender of the Riff to detail how his unconventional musical discovery afforded a unique vantage point both as a player and a producer.

Photo by @josiahvandien 

Guesting with host Daniel DeKay, The Ghost Inside guitarist Chris Davis sat in for a live session of Defender of The Riff as an esteemed alumni of the series. Davis was one of the early guests in the series, back when the show was launched during the pandemic. 

The discussion kicked off with Davis and DeKay dissecting their mutual love for an inspiration and an icon in the almighty Metallica. Davis explained that his musical journey actually began behind the drums. He shared how his dad introduced him to Metallica's Black Album and from there, the course of his professional life would be set - citing Lars Ulrich as his "North Star". 

Davis went onto explain that while he loved drums, the only way he could truly explore his songwriting potential was to pick up the guitar. That ultimately led him to find inspiration in the right hand of James Hetfield. 

It was that combination of his background as a drummer, leading into his discovery of the guitar that has played a crucial role in his development in both The Ghost Inside and Texas In July. Defining his style as "percussive", the marriage of the two instruments afforded a unique skill set that stuck with Davis from the very beginning. 

Outside of his initial introduction to Metallica, Davis shared that his exposure to bands like Killswitch Engage, Unearth and As I Lay Dying really had a lasting impact on him as a guitarist. He explained how implementing melody with the heavier aspects of the songs was a balance he gravitated towards. 

Davis added to his list of influences by detailing how important Adam Dutkiewicz has been in his professional career. As both a songwriter and a producer, Davis explained how getting the Adam D seal of approval was an accomplishment for bands in his universe. He also shared how Adam's style of playing loaned itself to creating songs where there were guitar parts that functioned like vocal hooks - making heavy music catchy - an accomplishment few bands can claim. 

Working backwards, Davis discussed how he felt late to the party when it came to discovering the Swedish melodic sounds of bands Soilwork, In Flames and At the Gates. He shared how he felt like Slaughter of the Soul was a record ahead of its time and reveal that Stabbing the Drama a criminally underrated release that has never gotten its proper due. 

Detailing the progression of his musical discovery, Davis explained how that ability to work backwards really illuminated the progression of heavy music. Starting with thrash, exploring the 2000's wave of American metal, then digging into the Swedish scene and finally fully embracing his love of the breakdown - Davis was able to create a comprehensive foundation in defining his own style. 

Watch the full episode of Defender of the Riff with Daniel DeKay and guest Chris Davis of The Ghost Inside - HERE






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