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Colton Davis of Whispered Truth tells of how he became an Engl Artist


Hi Colton, welcome to Review Zoo


Please can you tell us a bit about the band you play Guitar in?

I play guitar in a five-piece metallic hardcore band called Whispered Truth based out of San Jose, California. I wrote and recorded our first EP at home last year, then met Ian, our vocalist, on Craigslist. We finished the EP and filled out the band with Patrick (of Cerce) on drums, Joe (of Artificial Dead) on bass, and Erik (of Dig The Grave) on guitar. Since then, we’ve put out another single and EP, and are currently hard at work on our next steps.

What got you into playing Guitar?

My dad always played guitar in the house when I was growing up. Lots of Tom Petty, Aerosmith, stuff like that. Although he tried to teach me, it never stuck until I took lessons from a local blues man when I was 12. He taught me basic chords and scales and sent me on my way. Despite having learned guitar, drums were my main instrument—I played in church and worked up to playing professionally until 2017, when I graduated college. At that point, every apartment I lived in seemed to get smaller than the last, so I gave up the drums and focused on guitar, simply because I had the space.

Can you remember the first riff you learnt?

Yes! I picked out the bass riff from the bridge of Green Day’s Holiday on my dad’s early ‘90s Telecaster. Never learned the rest of the song to this day.

Do you play any other instruments?

Aside from drums, I play a little bit of piano/keys, and I make electronic music for fun. Mostly hardware-based dark techno. I’m also heavily into home recording and constantly evolving in that regard. I like to be as autonomous as possible.

Which Guitars do you use?

I used a PRS SE Mark Holcomb 7-string for the first Whispered Truth EP and shows, but I bought a Jericho Elite 6 baritone from my friend Gabe (of Final Boss) and that quickly became my favorite guitar for Whispered Truth. It has a Fishman Fluence in the bridge and is PERFECT for me. It’s also incredibly light, which I love because I move around a lot on stage. My backup guitar is a Jericho Fusion 7 baritone with a Bare Knuckle in the bridge.

Which amps do you use?

I initially played a Mesa Mark V, but when we recorded our second EP ‘Completely Broken’, the guys at Working Title (shout out to Forrest) let me use their ENGL Savage 120. It was the last Savage 120 MKI ever built, and wow…it’s a special amp. It felt like the amp was made specifically for me, and despite having a whopping 38 knobs, buttons, and switches on the front (on the MKII at least), it’s impossible to get a bad tone out of it. The noise gate is practically magic as well. I can’t recommend the Savage enough. I fell in love with it in the studio, and my friend Connor from Vis Mystica introduced me to the ENGL guys at NAMM, and I’m very proud to say that I’m now an ENGL artist. I have my own Savage 120 MKII and I’m done buying amps (until I need another ENGL, which will be soon).

Which gauge strings do you use?

On my baritone 6, I use Ernie Ball Mammoth Slinky strings—a .012 to .062 six-string set, and I swap the g-string to a 0.36 instead of 0.34. I’ve been an Ernie Ball fan since I started playing extended-range guitars, but on my regular-sized guitars I use NXYL .010s.

Which gauge pick do you use?

I only use Dunlop Jazz III Max Grip picks. I’m all about the downstrokes and palm mutes, and these are the only picks I’ve tried that don’t slip or bend. I buy them by the handful at my local shop.

Your biggest inspirations and influences?

Chuck Schuldiner is my number one. When I first heard Death, I had a moment like “this is what I’ve been trying to write my whole life.” I’m not hugely into American-Swedish-style melodeath and I think Chuck was an enormous breath of fresh air in the way he approached melody. Otherwise, Adam Jones of Tool and Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah, as I have a boundless appreciation for headbangable polyrhythms.

What are you currently listening to?

Electric Wizard’s Dopethrone, Death’s Symbolic, and Ice Cube’s The Predator. A fair bit of DSBM too, but nobody can remember the names of those songs or artists, including me.

Who are your favorite all time bands?

Tool, Meshuggah, Death, Allan Holdsworth

Favorite albums of all time?

Tool - Lateralus

Jellyfish - Split Milk

Invisible - El Jardín de Los Presentes

Meshuggah - Nothing

Charly Garcia - Piano Bar

Allan Holdsworth - Metal Fatigue

Dance Gavin Dance - Downtown Battle Mountain

Guilty pleasure: Breaking Benjamin- We Are Not Alone

What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?

If I’m not playing guitar, I’m with my wife or working (I love my job). Otherwise, I’m playing Halo.

Any funny gig stories you can share?

I had bought my Mesa the day before the first ever Whispered Truth show and I was nervous about having everything dialed in and sounding good. After a disappointingly low-volume performance, I discovered that I had it set to 10 watts…needless to say our next gig was a lot louder.


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