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John 5 is a guitarist that defies regular norms by mastering styles ranging from bluegrass to shred metal. Besides playing for Rob Zombie, he’s collaborated with David Lee Roth and Marilyn Manson and has released several well-received instrumental albums.
Most renowned guitarists are known through their effects and tones but not many are recognizable for their pure individual material. Add to this John 5’s ability to play in any situation, flowing effortlessly from bluegrass to industrial and metal and you’ve got one of the most versatile contemporary guitarists.
John 5, also known as John Lowery, started playing guitar after watching the “Hee Haw” show as a young child. He quickly became immersed in country and bluegrass while at the same time discovering the music of Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Kiss and The Monkeys. With support from his parents, John 5 played different gigs before moving to L.A. at age 17 to become a session guitarist.
It was there that he met Whitesnake’s Rudy Sarzo and befriended producer Bob Marlette who both introduced him to other musicians. From 1989 onwards, John 5 worked as a studio musician doing TV show soundtracks, movie soundtracks, commercials and infomercials. This lead to John 5 playing for Lita Ford and opening for long inspirational band, Kiss. In 1996, having missed the audition deadline for Marilyn Manson, John 5 teamed up with ex-Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford to form industrial metal band 2wo, which he played in for two years before finally joining MM as a replacement for Zim Zum.
Taking the moniker John 5, he embarked for the Mechanical Animals tour and also wrote on the next album, “Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death)”. In 2004, John 5 and MM parted ways and in 2005, while John 5 was working on radio rock band Loser he also began work with cult rock artist, Rob Zombie. John worked on the “Educated Horses” album, co-writing eight out of eleven tracks with Zombie and also did scores for his films “Tyrannosaurus Rex” and “The Lords of Salem”.
Regarding his part in Rob Zombie, John 5 has been known to admit that it is the best band he has ever been in with since he has a lot of freedom with songwriting and the experience is a lot of fun; “It’s the best band I’ve ever been in by far in my whole life. It’s so much fun, I can’t even begin to explain”, John 5 says.
Teaming up with an impressive array of artists throughout his career, John 5 has never limited himself to one style. He strongly believes in constantly broadening his musical horizons and acknowledges that different music styles all have something to offer. This particular view on music imprints/ lays… on the way he develops his solo music, being quite evident in his albums. He has released six successful instrumental albums so far and all are neat hybrids of country, progressive bluegrass, metal and hard rock – a genre he likes to call “blackgrass”. Among talented artists guesting on his records are Albert Lee, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Jim Root contributing to the already explosive energy that John 5’s dazzling technique exudes.
As a master of styles ranging from country to shred metal, John 5’s gear must live up to the extreme demands of his performance. Consequently, he has opted to use TC’s Flashback Delay and MojoMojo pedals to configure his fenomenal guitar sound which is always nothing short of an intense and enjoyable ride.
TonePrints by John 5
Videos with John 5
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