John Christ, born John Wolfgang Knoll on February 9, 1965, is a musician best known as the original guitarist for the metal band Danzig. 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.
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 attended Towson University studying Jazz before dropping out and moving to New Jersey to join Glenn Danzig's band Samhain in 1987, 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 performed his first band audition. When May left the band he 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. After four albums and one EP, Christ officially left Danzig on July 5, 1995 citing a breakdown in communication within the band as the reason behind his departure.
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 10 years with a solo performance in Essex, Maryland.
During his time with Danzig, Christ's main guitar was a BC Rich Bich customised with the Danzig skull symbol. The guitar is currently on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Orlando. He has been known for his bluesy metal sound and frequent use of the pinch harmonic. Christ was ranked 63rd in Guitar World's list of The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.