JOHN 5 Says METALLICA's 'Master Of Puppets' Album Is 'Perfection': 'All The Songs Are So Well-Written And Well-Executed'

January 11, 2024

In a new interview with Radioactive MikeZ, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire", former ROB ZOMBIE and current MÖTLEY CRÜE guitarist John 5 was asked which METALLICA album he thinks is better, "Ride The Lightning" or "Master Of Puppets". He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I would pick 'Master Of Puppets', and here is why. Everybody has their opinion. Everybody has their opinion, but the production… I'm not saying the songs are any better than 'Ride The Lightning', or 'Ride The Lightning' songs are any better than 'Master' or anything like that, but the production on 'Master Of Puppets' is crazy great. And that just takes it over the edge. I mean, it's perfection. It sounds so amazing, even today… It's really a wonderful, wonderful record. And all those songs are just so well-written and so well-executed. But it's just that production. And then, if I'm gonna go a little further, the cover. Oh my god — the 'Master Of Puppets' cover is… I mean, that's a beautiful piece of art — it's gorgeous. And then the back cover is rad too. So, I don't know. Maybe it's just me, but I got 'Ride The Lightning' first, then I got 'Master Of Puppets'. Yeah, that's what I would have to say."

Asked to name his favorite METALLICA song, John 5 said: "I have to say… Boy, let's see. That's a really good one. And this is an odd choice, but I love '…And Justice For All'. Now the reason I love '…And Justice For All' — I was with METALLICA on the '…And Justice For All' tour for a lot of dates. I was just really good friends with those guys. And I would travel around with them, and we had a blast. And I remember I would jam '…And Justice For All', the intro, with Kirk [Hammett, METALLICA guitarist], and so it just has like a special fondness in my heart, '…And Justice For All'."

Radioactive MikeZ noted that it's "interesting" John 5 picked a song from the "…And Justice For All" album considering that it has been heavily criticized in the past three and a half decades for its famously botched production: no bass, thin guitars, and a drum tone that AllMusic writer Steve Huey once described as a "click." The guitarist concurred, saying: "Absolutely. But if it was up against '…And Justice' and 'Master', I would pick 'Master', just for the production. But with these albums, with the production, you look at the first two KISS records. I mean, the production wasn't great — they had no money — but I wouldn't want to hear those records with amazing production. I love how it's primitive. I love how it's like that. And I don't know if I'd wanna hear '…And Justice For All' with a different production either. It's like you don't wanna change classic Coke. You just want Coke to be like that. 'Well, we could improve it like this.' Well, I'm kind of used to it like this. That's how I remember it."

Back in 2017, John 5 released his cover version of the METALLICA classic "Enter Sandman".

John 5's band JOHN 5 AND THE CREATURES recently announced the first tour since he joined MÖTLEY CRÜE as the replacement for Mick Mars. The trek will kick off NAMM weekend in January 2024 with two special Southern California performances with special guest Jared James Nichols before continuing through early March.

For over 30 years, John 5 has been one of the most in-demand guitar players on the planet. As well as a songwriter/guitarist for hire, John 5 has shared the stage as axeman for ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON and JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford. He has also worked with an impressive array of names, from all walks of music, including Steve Perry, KD Lang, Rod Stewart, David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Tina Guo, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, Meat Loaf, Ricky Martin and Steven Adler.

John 5 has worked with a varied range of artists, performing as guitarist for some of the biggest headlining rock bands in the world. 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 seven solo albums to date, as well as a remix album.

In 2015, following a series of web shows to celebrate the release of his solo album "Careful With That Axe", John 5 decided to take his solo set on tour and formed THE CREATURES band to support his live shows. Initially joined by long-term friend Rodger Carter on drums, the band continues touring to this day, and now work as a unit on 5's solo albums, including "Season Of The Witch", the live album "It's Alive", "Invasion" and 2021's "Sinner".

In October 2022, it was revealed that John 5 would be joining MÖTLEY CRÜE as their guitarist following the announcement that Mick Mars would be retiring. John 5 spent several weeks on the road last year with MÖTLEY CRÜE as part of "The World Tour" with DEF LEPPARD.

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