10 questions for At The Drive-In’s Keeley Davis: “Invest in strap locks. They will save your life”

(Image credit: Erika Goldring/FilmMagic/Getty)

Keeley Davis may be a relatively fresh face in post-hardcore heroes At The Drive-In’s incendiary live shows, but the guitarist has a considerable pedigree with alt-rock combos Engine Down and Sparta, the latter of which also features ATDI drummer Tony Hajjar.

Davis came onboard for last year’s comeback album In•ter a•li•a, which is fuelling ATDI's upcoming crop of summer gigs, which includes a headline slot at 2000 Trees festival in July.

Ahead of the dates, we caught up with Keeley to hear about his first guitar, essential gear and why his long-lost 4x12 can never be replaced…

1. What was your first guitar and when did you get it?

“It was an all-black Charvel Jackson guitar, and I got it when I was 11 for Christmas.”

2. The building’s burning down - what one guitar do you save?

“My Rickenbacker 330. It’s been to hell and back with me.”

3. What's the one effects pedal you couldn't do without, and why?

My sh**ty 4x12 Marshall cabinet was the perfect amount of destroyed and lived. The aesthetic of that cabinet outweighed its sound

“Tuner. Pitch-perfect, my ass.”

4. Is there a guitar, or piece of gear, that you regret letting go?

“My shitty 4x12 Marshall cabinet that was stolen with all my gear in 2003. It was the perfect amount of destroyed and lived. The aesthetic of that cabinet outweighed its sound.”

5. And what's the next piece of gear you’d like to acquire?

“A 12-string Gretsch Streamliner. Ive been playing around with 12 strings more, and it makes anything sing with a bit more heart.”

6. What’s your favourite chord, and why?

“D chord in drop D tuning. One big ring out, and it’s a warm blanket.”

7. What’s the greatest guitar tone you’ve ever heard?

“Dave Sardy from Barkmarket. He makes a little amp tear your skin off.”

8. If you could have a guitar lesson from one guitarist, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

Marty McFly had some great moves, and what an attitude

“Marty McFly. He had some great moves, and what an attitude.”

9. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?

“In high school, I played my first house show with some bands I really looked up to. We played first, I butchered the headliner’s band name by accident, and they mocked me when they eventually played.”

10. What advice would you give your younger self about playing the guitar?

“Invest in strap locks. They will save your life.”

At The Drive-In play 2000 Trees festival on 12-14 July 2018 - tickets are available now.

Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.