Sound Advice: John 5 and the Creatures with Static Tension

Thursday • Southgate House Revival (Sanctuary)

Mar 9, 2016 at 10:23 am

Guitarist John 5 has an impossibly extensive and diverse résumé, from David Lee Roth’s DLR Band, when he was just plain John Lowery, and Marilyn Manson, who gave him his numerical surname, to k.d. lang, who hired him as touring guitarist, and his current role as Rob Zombie’s shredder of choice.

That last position has kept J5 busy for more than a decade; most recently, he’s finished work on Zombie’s new album, as well as the score for Zombie’s new movie, 31, and he’s preparing to tour with him all this summer.

His breadth of experience has been the equivalent of John 5’s ongoing master’s program.

“I always love being a fly on the wall,” the guitarist says. “I really try to learn something new from people I’m listening to in conversations. I’m rubbing shoulders with all these big boys so you can hear what to do and what not to do. It’s life and you figure it out. Every single day, it’s a game — money, everything — and you’ll always be trying to figure it out.”

As if J5 wasn’t busy enough, he’s also maintained a consistent solo career, cranking out seven J5 albums since 2004. His latest project has an interesting twist; he’s releasing a new song and video every month this year, and at the end of 2016, he’ll release his eighth solo album.

“It’s going to be called Guitars, Tits and Monsters. I love that title,” he says. “All the songs will be on there, the remixes, all the videos and a documentary on how everything was put together.”

In what passes for downtime in John 5’s realm, the guitarist has assembled a band and is currently on the road for a solo jaunt before the coming Zombie onslaught. Although much of his work consists of blistering Metal, John 5’s solo explorations also contain elements of Folk, Blues and other assorted stylistic shifts; his latest song and video, “Behind the Nut Love” (a slowed-down version of the same song from 2005’s Songs for Sanity), features sounds and techniques reminiscent of The Hellecasters, Richard Thompson and Leo Kottke.

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