ROB ZOMBIE Guitarist JOHN 5: 'Inspiration Is One Of The Most Important Things To Me'
January 6, 2016
Auriel Balistreri of JAM Magazine conducted an interview with former MARILYN MANSON and current ROB ZOMBIE guitarist John 5 (real name: John William Lowery) on November 19, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. You can now watch the chat in two parts below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how he found his stage image and how it has progressed:
John: "Well, when I was a kid, I loved Famous Monsters magazine, I loved KISS, and I loved Alice Cooper, you know, the Universal Monsters, and I just thought… When I'd see someone on stage, it was at a time where everything was really a big production, and I always thought, 'God, I think that's so cool to do something that has… that's a little 'wow' factor.' So I just always wanted to give people a great show. And it's fun for me. It's like a different personality going up on stage."
On the importance of branching out into other genres of music:
John: "For me, I think that is why… Branching out to other genres, I think it's why people put me apart from other guitar instrumentalists. And when I started doing this, I was, like, 'Well, there's already this guy. There's already that guy. There's already this guy.' And I love those guys, but I was, like, 'How am I gonna be a little bit different from everyone else?' And that's when I was, like, 'Well, I'll just be myself.' Because I love bluegrass, and I love western swing and I love the banjo and pedal steel and all that stuff, and I'll just incorporate that on guitar. And I think that's why people dig it — because it is pretty different. But I'll mix it with really heavy stuff, like SLAYER or SLIPKNOT type of music, and it seems to be working. So far, so good."
On where he draws inspiration from when he writes songs and what his favorite part about this process is:
John: "Well, writing songs, especially with the instrumental stuff, it's difficult. Like, I'll get inspiration from… It could be 'Hee Haw' or it could be a movie or something like that. So inspiration is one of the most important things to me, because you never know where you're gonna get it, you never know how it's going to hit you or strike you, but it's something I look for daily, and that's for sure. But when I see it, I grab it."
On which personal attributes are most important to being successful in the music industry:
John: "Well, I think there are so, so, so, so many things you have to be… to do this… you know, to keep going in the music business. Of course, you have to play well with others, you know, and you have to be smart with business and be good at your craft and be healthy. I think there's so many things you have to do to really keep going in this business. It's very imperative."
John 5's video for a new song called "Black Grass Plague" can be seen below. The clip was filmed last summer with John 5's buddies from THE CREATURES — drummer Rodger Carter and bassist Ian Ross — in North Hollywood, California. Directing and producing the video was Coffin Case founder Jonny Coffin, who previously worked with John 5 on the mini-series "Tales From The Crossroads" as well as the DVD for "God Told Me To" in 2012.