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Download talks to John 5

As John 5 waited in the Zombie dressing room before the Second Stage headline performance on Sunday night at the Download Festival he spoke to Download about the upcoming show, what he likes to do to relax and a variety of other things.

From Download: interviews/general/rob_zombie_interview

Guitarist John 5 talks to us in the Rob Zombie dressing room backstage at Download

What goes on the Rob Zombie dressing room before a gig?

It’s usually just us getting ready, getting our make up on and stuff. I usually just listen to music and we talk about the show – it’s so big, so we go through everything – the pyro cues and all that stuff. 
What do you to prepare as a guitarist?
I always warm up. I usually just have the guitar in my hands. If I’m not in the shower or sleeping, I’m usually playing guitar.

How long have you been playing?
Since I was 7 years old. I was always obsessive about it when I was little – my left hand grew larger than the right, because I would stretch all the time. Actually, I’ll show you – it’s really weird. [PUTS HANDS TOGETHER AND STRETCHES FINGERS – ONE DEFINITELY WIDER THAN THE OTHER].

Rob told us that this band line up formed at a benefit gig years ago – how did it come together?
We were doing a benefit git for the tsunami, and I knew all the White Zombie songs. Me and Rob just clicked, and I said “Hey, if you ever need a guitar player, I’m here for you.” He said “Well, I’ll let you know”. We did Ozzfest, and he said “Don’t get comfortable, it’s only 6 weeks.” Luckily, 6 weeks turned in to 6 years, and it’s been going great ever since.

What are you bringing to the Download stage tonight?
It’s going to be a massive, massive, massive show. We have everything – it’s gonna be one of our biggest shows ever. We’re doing it especially just for this show.

Have you played Donington before, John?
Yes, a tonne of times. I can remember when it was Monsters of Rock, and it’s a true honour to be part of it. I love it, it’s a true part of rock n roll history. This is one of the greatest rock festivals in the world.

What are you listening to right now [POINTS TO iPOD]?
I have everything. I was just listening to Slipknot, now I’m listening to Willie Nelson.

Do you enjoy any other genres outside of the spectrum of rock?
Oh yeah. Well, Willie Nelson’s right there. I love country music, of course. I love everything. That’s what I’m known for, just playing every weird style of music I can – I love it. [PLAYS A SWEET-ASS COUNTRY RIFF ON GUITAR].

I love watching a band with just four people and being blown away by a huge wall of sound. Do you ever take that power for granted?
I think about that sometimes. I have a guitar solo during the show, and I think wow, I’m the only person that all these people can hear right now. I don’t take it for granted.

What are you going to do between now and the gig?

I love to go see bands, but right now it’s crap weather. I usually get ready about an hour before the show.

And what about after the gig?
I think we’re going back to London, because we’ve got a long drive.

I can’t wait for tonight John – good luck.
It’s gonna be great – it’s gonna be a sight to see.

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