JOHN 5: 'I Lost Some Very Close Friends To COVID'

November 14, 2021

John 5 has explained his decision to pull out of his previously announced U.S. tour as the support act for legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen. The trek, also featuring IMAGES OF EDEN and SUNLORD, was slated to kick off on November 16 in Atlanta, Georgia and conclude on December 18 in Houston, Texas.

In a new interview with "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie, John 5 said about the circumstances that contributed to his decision to scrap his touring plans for the remainder of 2021: "Well, what it was is — to be completely, a thousand percent honest, I lost some very close friends to COVID. And it was just going crazy and going rampant. And I was gonna be touring in these places where there's a lot of people. And I love to meet people — I love to say hello to people; I love to give people hugs. And I didn't wanna restrict people of that; I didn't wanna be, like, 'Oh, back up, buddy.' Because I wanna say hello to people as well. So I'm just gonna wait till the spring till everything hopefully calms down so I can get out there and do it right and feel comfortable about it.

"Touring is supposed to be something really fun; I love it more than anything," the former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist continued. "I never wanna look at it as a job or a stress. And that's why I chose just to wait a little bit longer. 'Cause everything's gonna be fine very soon. I mean, I'm no doctor or scientist — that's for sure — but I really believe that everything's gonna be okay next year… We have to keep that mentality, because if we don't have that mentality, it's gonna be really, really hard."

When John 5 first announced his withdrawal from the Yngwie tour last month, he said in a statement: "Due to unforeseen circumstances and out of an abundance of caution I am sad to announce that i will no longer be joining Yngwie on the upcoming US tour.

"The health concerns for artists and their crew that come with travelling extensively from city to city during this time have meant that myself and my team feel this is the best course of action to keep everybody on my tour team safe and well.

"I am certain that these Yngwie shows will be amazing, as they always are. I'm sorry i won't be there to share my new music with you all. I'll be back out on the road as soon as is safe and possible."

John 5 released his new solo album, "Sinner", on October 29 via Big Machine Records. The first single from the album, the epic "Qué Pasa", revolves around a distinctive vocal refrain. Originally built with a sample, John opted to have it reworked by Grammy-winning MEGADETH leader Dave Mustaine.

"Sinner" was produced and mixed by Barry Pointer at Riott House Studio in North Hollywood. Drums were engineered by ex-GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Gilby Clarke at Redrum Recording in Los Angeles. The LP also features a guest appearance by original KISS drummer Peter Criss on a cover of "Georgia On My Mind", a 1930s classic by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell that's become famous thanks to Ray Charles decades later.

John 5 has worked with a varied range of artists, performing as guitarist for some of the biggest headlining rock bands in the world such as ROB ZOMBIE and MARILYN MANSON, as well as playing session with Paul Stanley, Rod Stewart, LYNYRD SKYNYRD and more. Slash has called John 5 "one of the most mind-blowing guitarists around," and Rob Zombie has dubbed him "a fucking shredder." John 5 has released ten solo albums to date, as well as a remix album, and has written music for the likes of Avril Lavigne, GARBAGE, Ricky Martin and others.

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