Rob Zombie's Guitarist John 5 Has a Motto: "More is More"
"I love Phoenix," Rob Zombie guitarist John 5 says excitedly. "Rob [Zombie] and the other guys in the band, they like the colder weather, but for some reason I love the really hot weather."
Rocket Science Inc. John 5 will give you five riffs in five seconds...
He pauses, then anxiously asks, "It should be really warm there still when I'm there in September, right?"
"Yeah, it doesn't really start cooling down until mid-or late October, honestly," I offer. "You should be good."
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John 5's used to heat. He's worked with pyrotechnics-heavy acts like Marilyn Manson, Lynyrd Skynrd, Slash, and more his entire career. He's created music for shows like Baywatch and worked on tracks for pop-stars like Avril Lavinge and FeFe Dobson, but since 2005 he's been spending most of his time in Rob Zombie's band, alongside drummer Ginger Fish and bassist Piggy.
Few guitarists shine as brightly as a band's frontman, but John Lowery, better known as John 5, sure as hell comes close. His virtuosic work on records like Educated Horses and his string of solo records, including the recent God Told Me To show off a guitarist with real skill. Think some of the meanest country licks you've ever heard, Flamenco fingerpicking, and blinding electric distortion. That's not even to mention his recent foray into film-scoring, the soundtrack to his boss's new flick, Lords of Salem.
John 5: It's gonna' be a great show. First show of the tour! So we're all really excited about it.
Up On The Sun: I know, everyone out here is as well. Everyone gets all energetic and pumped up for the first show. I went to Rock on the Range back in May, and you guys also put on a hell of a performance. Rob mentioned that you guys are mixing up the stage set up this tour, adding new graphics, props, and more. What can you tell fans about Desert Uprising? For you, what will be different?
Well, it's definitely gonna be different. There's something that's gonna' happen that I haven't seen yet. I've only heard about it. I'm really excited to see it. I hope I'm paying attention to the crowd and not to the stage because I want to see it happen. It's going to be great...I don't wanna give too much away, but you're definitely going to get your money's worth coming to see this show. And I understand there's two days, Friday and Saturday?
And you can buy tickets to either day or just one, right? How is our day doing I wonder?
I'm guessing Friday will sell out faster than second day. I heard the pit tickets for your day sold out in less than ten minutes.
It's incredible! What a lineup that's gonna be! Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Stone Sour, Buckcherry...Ridiculous! If I wasn't in one of the band's I'd be going to it. [Laughs].
For you, what's the major difference between working with Manson and Zombie?
Well, with working with Rob--and I'm not just saying this because I'm in the band--it's been the best working relationship I've ever been in. So professional and you know, everything he says we're gonna do we always do. It's like being in a band with your best friend but also you're in this huge band. I'm just not taking this for granted because it's such a great time in my life. Just imagine getting up on stage with all your great friends playing this awesome music in a big stage show and people screaming your name and throwing bras at you and stuff. It's a dream. It's incredible.
And with Marilyn Manson, it was you know, more of like, 'What's going to happen today? Are we going to do a show?' I loved my time in Marilyn Manson but it was more of a war zone up there and crazy. But I wouldn't have changed it for the world.
Rob is really excited about the new album he's been working on, as well as the new film. What's one thing you can tell fans about your work on each of those projects?
Well with the film, I've done film scores before. I used to do guitar work for Baywatch, and a couple other movies I did the music on--From Hell with Johnny Depp, for one. But I've never done the whole movie, so this is my first time scoring the whole movie. And it was great challenge. I wanted to do the absolute best that I could do and I'm very proud of the outcome. The movie is unbelievable. It's definitely going to mess with people's heads. It's a great movie and now seeing the final [cut], it's unbelievable and I'm so excited for people to see and hear the movie. It's really something else.
With the album...Oh, my God. It's so aggressive and it's so alive. The most important thing is the songs, and the songs are really amazing. Rob has some fantastic vocal work and I think people are going to really enjoy. Now, for me, being a fan of White Zombie before I was in Rob Zombie or anything, I'm hearing a lot of White Zombie in this album because of the raw, live, aggressive vibe of this album. And I think people are going to dig it.