Ben Christo

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Ben Christo is a British rock musician. Respected as a guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, lyricist and session musician, he is best known for his tenures with The Sisters of Mercy and Night By Night.

He was born in Bristol, England on 22/03/1980.

Christo started playing music at 7 years old, performing in a number of rock, metal and punk bands in his early to mid-teens. At 15, his school group won the South West of England’s regional battle of the bands, leading to his first T.V. appearance.

He first saw national success in the hardcore punk/metal/rock band he co-founded, called AKO, whose debut album received favourable reviews in Kerrang! and Metal Hammer. The band’s unique combination of punk, hardcore, nu-metal and melodic rock caught the attention of Tony Iommi’s management, who gave Christo one of Iommi’s old Laney amplifiers and arranged for the band to meet with renowned producer Bob Marlette (Alice Cooper, Shinedown, Rob Zombie), to discuss collaboration on their sophomore album. However, 911 [ßhyperlink required] severed trans-Atlantic links to such an extent that the plans were shelved indefinitely.

Releasing a further 2 well-received EPs, AKO toured in support of Alkaline Trio, AFI, Stiff Little Fingers, Avenged Sevenfold and Stonesour, amongst others, and were featured on Mike DaviesBBC Radio 1 show The Lock Up at Maida Vale Studios. The AKO song Tread Easy was used on BBC 2’s Football Diaries. The band’s final show was at the 2005 South by Southwest Festival in . Thereafter AKO split up and Christo moved to London.

In 2002, he was one of eight songwriters, alongside Johnny Kalsi, selected from thousands of members of PRS for Music for their The Song’s The Thing workshop, led by Boo Hewerdine.

In 2006, Christo joined The Sisters of Mercy, as lead guitarist and backing vocalist. He has toured extensively with the band, headlining festivals worldwide such as Sonisphere Festival, Fuji Rock, Nova Rock, Tuska Open Air Metal Festival, M'era Luna Festival, Greenfield Festival, Spirit of Burgas, Amphi and Soundwave.

Whilst (?) with the band, Christo has also played in support of Depeche Mode, Metallica, Faith No More, Marilyn Manson, and Limp Bizkit.

In 2008, Christo founded Night by Night, where he was the lead singer and guitarist for the band, as well as one of its primary song-writers and key lyricist. Their first EP, Just Tonight, was produced by Paul Tipler (Idlewild) and released in 2009. Later recruiting an additional lead singer and expanding to a 5-piece, Night by Night’s debut album, NxN, was released to critical acclaim in 2014.

Produced and mixed by Romesh Dodangoda (Motorhead, Funeral for a Friend) and John Mitchell (musician) and released on Sun Hill Production, the album was publicly applauded by Def Leppard, Kane Roberts, Harem Scarem and Firehouse and claimed 6th place in Fireworks Magazine’s Top 10 Albums of 2014, alongside Mr. Big and Night Ranger.

Classic Rock Magazine’s Geoff Barton gave the album 8/10 and made a point of commending both Christo’s lead playing (comparing him to Neal Schon) and lyrics. In addition to extensive touring across Sweden, Norway, Finland, Poland, Germany and Switzerland, Night by Night was selected as sole tour supports to both Europe and Y&T, and also appeared at Download Festival (2013) and Hard Rock Hell (2012 and 2015) festivals. In June 2015, the band announced that they would be on hiatus until further notice.

In 2011, Christo wrote and performed live for Lauren Harris’s band, Six Hour Sundown, when previous guitarist Richie Faulkner, who left to join Judas Priest, personally asked Ben to take his place.

In 2014, Christo composed and played guitar parts for Anzi Destruction’s Black Dog Bias.

From 2008 – 2016, Christo has featured as a live guitarist and backing vocalist with Richie Faulkner, Mike Tramp, Chris Dale, Doogie White, Stephen Gilchrist, Chris Catalyst, Jon Poole, Boysetsfire, Claytown Troupe and members of Uriah Heep, Breed 77, Rachel Stamp, Ben and Jason and Sikth.

As a studio session guitarist and vocalist, he has recorded with Greg Haver (Manic Street Preachers), Steve Lima (Corinne Bailey Rae) and Bob White of NFD. He also works as a lyricist for various artists at Play Soho, . 

Christo is working on a new project with Finnish producer Jaani Peuhu, set for release in 2017.

He is also promoter, musical director and performer at Shot Through the Heart, a monthly rock club night in .

Other work:

In 2004, Ben co-wrote and directed a comedy short, Sold Out, with University of Bristol graduate David R. Watson, with Ninian Doff (Kasabian, Royal Blood, Miike Snow, Chemical Brothers) as the D.O.P, Nick Gadd (Sherlock, TV Series) as starring role and John Heffernan in a cameo. The short won a Dazed national film award, selected by Rhys Ifans. In 2002, he appeared in a promo feature for Roadrunner Records.

Discography[edit]

AKO

  • 2000 EP: Fragments of Reason – Self-Release
  • 2001 Album: Find Yourself
  • 2002 EP: Tomorrow Night’s Regret - Naked Ambition
  • 2004 Single: The Last Goodbye - Naked Ambition

Christo, headlining the M’era Luna festival in Hildesheim, August 2016.

NIGHT BY NIGHT

  • 2008 EP: Just Tonight – Self-Release
  • 2009 EP: Can’t Walk Away – Self-Release
  • 2013 EP: Tune Out the Static – Sun Hill Production
  • 2014 Album: NxN - Sun Hill Production
  • 2014 Single: A Thousand Lies - Sun Hill Production

OTHER

  • 2014 Album: Anzi Destruction – Black Dog Bias

Endorsements[edit]

References[edit]