A really cool interview from the guys at Cryptic Rock, who speak to John on a variety of subjects, including his days in Marilyn Manson, starting out as a session player, the new album Careful With That Axe, and how to stay healthy on tour.
There’s also hints at some exciting projects coming in the near future, for which news will be posted here at john-5.com VERY SOON!
Meanwhile, to read excerpts of the interview, click >>>
Some of life’s unforeseen journeys are always the most spectacular. For Michigan born guitarist John 5, rock-n-roll music has been an undying passion since his youth spinning KISS and Van Halen records in his room. Moving out to Los Angeles, CA at the young age of seventeen, his undeniable talents landed him a variety of gigs until his biggest break in 1998 when he became guitarist for Marilyn Manson. Pursuing a solo career after his departure from Marilyn Manson in 2004, John 5 opened the eyes of many with his multi-genre bending guitar style on his solo album debut Vertigo. Now as guitarist of Rob Zombie for almost a decade, he continues to dazzle on the grand stage all while crafting his own blend of music for audiences to indulge amidst an established solo career. Recently we sat down with the passionate axman for an in-depth look at his formidable years as a guitarist, his time in Marilyn Manson, being apart of Rob Zombie, his new solo album Careful with that Axe, love for horror cinema, and much more.
CrypticRock.com – You have had quite an exciting professional music career, first playing with David Lee Roth, then spending a number as an intricate part of Marilyn Manson, and now part of Rob Zombie since 2006. What has the wave of success been like for you over the past two decades?
John 5 – Here is the honest to god answer and it is not the answer I give everybody. When I was a kid, we all dream of what we want and what we want to do, I can tell you honestly that I never even dreamt of being a rock star or anything like that. What I wanted to do, I just wanted to be a session guy; just play on records and live in California. That is all I really dreamt about because seeing the rock stars when I was a kid, there just seemed no way that was going to happen, so I really appreciate everyday that is going on and what I do for a living. I do not take it for granted at all because it is crazy what has happened. I am very happy with what is going on. That is why if life ended tomorrow I would think, “Wow, that was so awesome.”
CrypticRock.com – That is unbelievable and that is a good outlook to have. Taking each day as that it is a gift you realize that you cannot take this for granted as you are touring internationally with some of the biggest bands in the world, and also making your own music as well. That is truly amazing.
John 5 – I know, I am very happy and very lucky because I never even dreamt of this when I was a kid. It just kind of fell in my lap and it was great. I remember the first fling. I think Lita Ford asked me to go play; she needed a guitar player and she said we are going to open for KISS and I said OK(laughs). I was just a studio guy, so it all started to go on from there. It was incredible.
CrypticRock.com – Yes, it sounds incredible. Interestingly enough you actually tried out for Marilyn Manson two years prior to joining the band in 1998. Many would say you were part of the best line-up the band ever put together. What was that experience like over that six year period?
John 5 – It is funny cause that is true. I heard they were looking for a guitar player, and this was before they got Zim Zum, I heard they got rid of Daisy, so I called the studio in New Orleans. I was the kind of person that would go out and do crazy things that I probably would not do today, but I called the studio and said, “Hi, my name is John Lowery and I heard you may be looking for a guitar player.” They said, “We found somebody”, hung up the phone, and I thought, “Well, I guess they found somebody.” I loved the band and I was a big fan so when I got in I made sure, it is so funny because I’m telling you things I don’t usually tell people, but I made sure that all my live performances were next to perfect. I wanted to play perfectly because this is when YouTube and the internet was all starting to happen. All these performances were going on and every time I played a show I wanted it to be perfect. I took it extremely seriously when I was in Manson.
To read the interview in full, go to: crypticrock.com/interview-john-5-of-rob-zombie/