Check out this new interview with John 5 conducted by Wrestling with Pop Culture just before the start of the Twins of Evil tour.
John 5 shreds with Rob Zombie on the Twins of Evil tour by Jonathan Williams
Though he received his first big jolt of recognition when he became Marilyn Manson‘s guitarist in 1998, for the past seven years John 5‘s shredding skills have been utilized as part of Rob Zombie‘s band. So when Manson and Zombie take to the stage tonight at theDesert Uprising festival in Phoenix for the first night of the Twins of Evil tour, it will be especially exciting for 5 given his history with both bands. Having released his latest solo CD God Told Me To a few months ago, 5 also contributed some guitar work for Zombie’s recent remix albumMondo Sex Head. Before taking the stage for the Twins of Evil tour, 5 talks to Wrestling with Pop Culture about the tour, the next Zombie album and other upcoming projects.
Rob Zombie’s recent remix CD featured some of his older material remixed by several of today’s top DJs and electronic musicians. But you also contributed some guitar work to the album. Which songs did you work on?
That’s right. There’s a lot going on right now. The remix CD just came out, we just finished up the new Zombie record, we’re doing the The Lords of Salem movie and the Twins of Evil tour is starting. A couple of DJs got a hold of me and said, “Hey, would you mind putting this, that and the other thing on there?” And I said, “Absolutely. It’ll be fun.” And for Jonathan Davis’ J Devil remix I did a little work and it came out really great. I love that album. It was a lot of fun and it’s cool to hear the songs remixed that way. I did some stuff on “Thunder Kiss” and “Superbeast.”
You mentioned the new Rob Zombie record. What can you say about that at this point?
I’m not sure when it comes out, but I just listened to the whole record and it is an aggressive, in-your-face record. I’ve been a fan of White Zombie and Rob Zombie since long before I was in the band, and from a fan’s outlook when listening to this record I hear a lot of the live, raw aggressiveness of White Zombie. A lot of artists say, “This is our best record and blah blah blah blah blah,” but I really am super excited about this and I think people are really going to enjoy it. It’s still very early and Rob is definitely going to come up with something great for the title of the record. These are really great songs and people are going to dig it. I’m looking forward to playing these songs live.
This will be your first record since your former Marilyn Manson bandmate Ginger Fish joined Zombie’s band. How involved was he in the recording process?
I’ve known Ginger forever and when we go in to record, I bring guitars and some pedals and this and that. Ginger came to the studio, I swear to God, with a semi full of drums and mics. I thought he was moving in or something. It was crazy all the stuff he brought. I was like, “What is going on here? He’s just playing drums!” But he’s great and he did a phenomenal job. That’s another great thing about the record is that it’s so alive with his crazy energy.
It’s been a few years since you and Ginger played in the same band together. What has it been like playing with him again?
I always kept in touch with Ginger, so it’s been like jamming with an old friend. It worked before and it just seemed to fit perfect. I told Rob that Ginger would be perfect because I had played with him before, he’s loyal and he’s a great drummer. And it’s been working perfect. He’s been in the band for a little while, we’ve done a few tours with him and now we’ve done a record with him. It really is a perfect fit. Now we’re doing this tour together and it’s really going to be a lot of fun. It’s going to be a huge show and what better thing to do around Halloween time than go see Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie?
That’s a pairing a lot of people have been wanting to see since the late ’90s. But now with the added dynamic of yours and Ginger’s history with both bands just makes it that much more interesting.
It’s going to be exciting, to say the least. A lot of people are going to really enjoy it and it’s such a perfect time of year for it.
Both bands are known for putting on huge stage shows. Have the two bands been communicating about coordinating their shows or will there be a bit of one-upsmanship going on during the tour?
The only thing I’m sure of is Rob Zombie has always had such a massive show, but this tour is going to be even bigger. Our show is going to be so big and mammoth that people are going to be holding their heads and saying, “I can’t believe what I just saw.”
You also mentioned the The Lords of Salem movie. Are you involved with that in some way?
Yeah, I did the music score for the movie. It was a challenge to score a movie, especially a Rob Zombie movie. I used a lot of weird things to create the sounds like violin bows, banging on the guitar, quarters on the strings and all sorts of weird instruments. I’m really proud of how this music came out. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve done in a long time.
Was Zombie involved in the recording process at all?
Rob was actually directing, editing and talking to me about the score. We did a couple of pieces together and the guy’s a genius. I sit back and think about how he makes hit records and he does these movies, but for my birthday he painted me the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The guy can do everything. The painting is amazing, he does music, movies, but you know what? I can beat him at air hockey. That’s what I can beat him at. We played air hockey at the movie and I beat him, so I’ve got that going for me.
You also released a new solo album a few months ago, which is probably your most ambitious solo effort to date. For those who haven’t heard it, what would you like to say about that album?
I really can’t believe how well it’s doing. People enjoy when I put out this instrumental music because they never know what they’re going to get. They’re kind of like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. But with God Told Me To, there’s a DVD that goes with the record and Rob Zombie painted the cover. I’ve gotten a lot of love from that record and I appreciate that. And it really takes you on a journey, that’s for sure.