Chris A. from MusicPix recently sat down to talk with John 5 during the ROTR Festival. Go to MusicPix to see live images from the Rob Zombie appearance
John 5 Interview – Rock on the Range
Without question, one of the more spectacular shows at this year’s Rock on the Range Festival was Saturday night’s Rob Zombie set. Ignorant of the sonic and visual extravaganza to follow, we had a few moments with Rob Zombies long time guitarist John 5. Check it out below…
Musicpix: Hi John, welcome to Columbus, Ohio and Rock on the Range, how are you?
J5: I’m well, I’m well, it’s beautiful weather, there are a bunch of great bands so I couldn’t be better!
Musicpix: You’ve been with Rob for how long now?
J5: Well you know I did an Ozzfest with Rob, it was just supposed to be a part time thing, just for six weeks, so I said “sure man, six weeks is better than nothing!” But it ended up to be five years! It’s really been the best time I’ve had being in a band. It’s been great.
Musicpix: What’s the difference between working for Rob and working for Manson?
J5: Well you know, being with Manson, it was fun and great but this is more like a band, more like playing with friends. I seriously wouldn’t play with anyone but Rob, I’m going to do this until he’s done.
Musicpix: The new Zombie record, “Hellbilly Deluxe 2” is a lot of fun with campy songs and Rob’s vintage horror-movie style lyrics! I can see Dick Dale jamming with you guys!
J5: Yeah, I love Dick Dale and really for us, it’s all about the music, we love exploring and being adventurous. That’s what it’s about because if you don’t broaden your horizon’s things can get boring pretty fast!
Musicpix: Let’s talk about your gear for just a few, what kind of rig are you totting around to gigs?
J5: I’m using the Marshall’s with JCM 900’s for heads and I’m using all Telecasters for guitars. I’ve always used Telecasters, I love Telecasters, I saw them when I was a kid on the TV show “Hee-Haw” and everyone on the show played Telecasters and I honestly didn’t know there other brands of guitars! I just love Telecasters.
Musicpix: Who are your main influences.
J5: It started off with that show “Hee-Haw” and then The Monkeys, Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, all the greats and I still love a lot of country music. I try to get involved and listen to a lot of different styles of music because I want to keep things fresh for myself.
Musicpix: How’s it feel to find yourself being written about in publications and recognized by guitar affeciandos as a very respected guitarist?
J5: It feels really good. That’s all I ever wanted, I didn’t want to be a big rock star, I wanted to be known for was a good guitar player and musician. That’s what it’s about for me. I have a new record out called “The Art of Malice”, it’s my fifth record. I think doing five records is an accomplishment, I do them because I love the guitar and love the music. I’m very excited that people enjoy my music.
Musicpix: When you’re not out with Rob are you doing any writing or playing on any side projects where you play anything other than metal?
J5: Well I just wrote about of songs with Lynyrd Skynyrd and I write and record with a bunch of different people as often as I can.
Musicpix: Has there been anyone you’ve played with where you say to yourself, “wow, I’m jamming with…”
J5: God, let’s see….The Scorpions, Paul Stanley, Meatloaf, Ron Wood, Fergie, I mean the list goes on and on. There are so many greats that I’ve been able to play with. It’s people that I never dreamed I’d play with. You know, as a kid you wonder what would happen in life but I never thought that this would happen.
Musicpix: So what do your parents think of your profession.
J5: They are really proud of me. I never drank or smoked growing up and since I didn’t they supported me and let me go play the clubs as long as I was up for school the next day. Yeah, my parents dig what I’m doing!