Chris Catalyst might not be a household name you recognize right away, yet his resume speaks for itself. From a long stint with Swedish arena rockers Ghost to supporting bands like Sisters of Mercy, Ugly Kid Joe, The Wildhearts, Mariachi El Bronx, and more, Catalyst's musical odyssey is one hell of a ride.
While recently talking about his current endeavors with Guitar World, Catalyst revealed how he ended up donning the Nameless Ghoul costume and playing guitar for Ghost. In his own words, it all came about through serendipity.
"It came through a friend. It was their producer Tom Dalgety who knew they needed a player. My life is so chock-full of serendipity… I wouldn't say good luck, but good fortune. I had just finished that tour with Ugly Kid Joe. I'd just bought a house with my girlfriend at the time, came back home and she said it was over. I didn't really have anywhere to go. I was living on the sofa in the Sisters rehearsal room, wondering what I would do next." Catalyst remembers.
"Just a few days later, I got the call saying there was a band looking for a player. I said yes before even asking which band it was. Then I got told it was Ghost – I'd heard the name and seen the pictures, so I knew it was going to be quite heavy. But after giving them another listen I knew they also had big tunes, hooks and choruses."
Catalyst auditioned for the band and sent over a video of himself playing. The boss liked what he saw and heard, and Catalyst became a Nameless Ghoul.
"He said there were two things I needed to be aware of," Catalyst adds. "First of all, it would be a lot of touring… which was brilliant for me! The other thing was ‘You're not going to have many guitar solos,' and I said ‘Even better!' Because I love rhythm. It's always been about chords and riffs for me."
"I love solos as much as the next fret wanker but the kind of ones I like aren't really wildly; they're more atmospheric or melodic. I like leads that take the listener to a different place rather than full-out shredding… which I can't do anyway! Then it was a lot of touring. We did the Maiden tour in the States – it was incredible and so much fun."
Catalyst's favorite song to play during his tenure with Ghost, was "Kaisarion."
"It's such a journey of a song," he said. "It's riffy but also has prog bits. I'm a big fan of Cardiacs, who would do proggish stuff but without the cloaks! Some of it reminded me of that, other parts felt more Iron Maiden."
"I think it's the first song Tobias wrote in a major key," Catalyst added. "People seem to default to writing in certain ways, and I tend to lean towards major keys myself, so that's probably why I enjoyed that song a lot. It's more of an effort for me to play sad songs because I'm not much of a sad person!"