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Zoinks!: An Exclusive Interview With Guitarist JOHN 5

By Ruben Mosqueda, Contibutor
Monday, July 15, 2019 @ 1:33 PM


"I do this because I love it, I do it for the fans and I think, if I get a couple fans along the way, thatís whatís important to me. People enjoy it, so Iíll keep doing it."

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Live Photos By Junkman

JOHN 5 is currently on tour with ROB ZOMBIE who are co-headlining with MARYLIN MANSON on their second leg together, this time around calling it Twins of Evil: Hell Never Dies. KNAC.COM spoke with JOHN 5 on July 11th. The guitar virtuoso has played with the likes of K.D. LANG, ROB HALFORDís 2WO, DAVID LEE ROTH, MARYLIN MANSON, ROB ZOMBIE and heís got a pretty good solo career going, too. Heís got a new album, Invasion, due [digitally] on July 31st [his birthday] and will also be released as a limited edition boxset on September 1st. Once again JOHN 5 is backed by THE CREATURES on the new album. Enjoy.

KNAC.COM: You wrapped up your tour behind Invasion about three months ago. Whatís it like to tour and insert new material into the set, when the album isnít out? Itís risky, no?

JOHN 5: Well, you make a good point, but what I have tried to do when I hit the road before the album is out is I play the songs that I have released videos for, so the audience is familiar with the new songs.

KNAC.COM: In the current state of the music business, people donít seek new music if itís not immediately available, so itís a risk to tour behind a new album that isnít out. The diehards will snap it up or pre-order it for sure.

JOHN 5: I hear what youíre saying. Iím fine with the diehards buying the new album religiously, Iím sure there will be some new ones that will wait for the release or pre-order it. I see your point though, because the way the music business is, itís off to the next. I do this because I love it, I do it for the fans and I think, if I get a couple fans along the way, thatís whatís important to me. People enjoy it, so Iíll keep doing it. KNAC.COM: I caught your show in Portland by that point, it was the tailend of the tour and your were very sick, but didnít cancel. How did you get the energy to do that show?

JOHN 5: Oh, yeah! [laughs] I was so sick! [laughs] I saw the doctor when I got to Portland and I was advised to cancel the show, rest, get better and not risk being laid up and risk potentially missing shows toward the end of the tour. I donít know how I pulled that off I just got a second wind and a jolt of adrenaline and was able to get through that show.

KNAC.COM: You pulled off the Portland show without shortchanging the audience, but you stripped down your costume. Last year in Portland you called the show because you blew up the PA!

JOHN 5: [laughs] Yeah, well those sound guys didnít know what they were doing and we blew the PA out! [laughs] That was frustrating because we wound up cutting the show short and the fans came out on the losing end there. That is the only show of my career where I wasnít able to finish a show! [laughs] This time around, I was determined to play the show in Portland, sick and all and not stiff the fans.

KNAC.COM: Youíve just kicked off another tour with ROB ZOMBIE and youíve teamed up with MARYLIN MANSON. Sounds like this pairing is really working well.

JOHN 5: Itís like summer camp when these two bands get together! I canít tell you how much fun it is being out with these two bands. We started a couple of days ago [July 9th] and weíre out until August 18th.

KNAC.COM: Will there be more touring to promote Invasion later in the year? Youíre on the MEGA CRUISE this October, anything else planned at this point?

JOHN 5: Well, funny that you asked, itís not been announced yet, but I plan on doing a Midwest run and I also plan on getting to Australia. I love working, Iím always playing somewhere, Iím so lucky in that regard. Iíve got so much to be thankful for.

KNAC.COM: Has JOHN 5 ever been approached about doing a Ďguitar based tourí like in the vein of G3 or GENERATION AXE?

JOHN 5: Believe it or not I have not! Isnít that crazy?! [laughs] Yeah! Iíd love to do something like that!

KNAC.COM: Would you ever consider putting on a tour like that yourself?

JOHN 5: Oh, I havenít seriously thought about something like that, but Iím doing a show in L.A. with THE ARISTOCRATS on September 1st. Thatís a band that Iíd love to do an entire tour with. Theyíre a super cool band in my book.

KNAC.COM: I was looking at your official Instagram page and saw that PETER CRISS stopped by the show a couple nights ago and presented you with a Canadian gold PETER CRISS solo record plaque!

JOHN 5: Thatís right! Itís from 1978! Itís incredible dude! Itís a birthday gift. My birthday isnít until July 31st, but Peter thought heíd surprise me, and he did! [laughs] I always see Peter around my birthday, but this really blew my mind! He also gave me a ticket from 1975, I mean, Iím so honored and grateful. Itís crazy!

KNAC.COM: I saw there was just a KISS book, Hottest Brand In The Land that was just released, which features photos of all the KISS merch from over the years. I thought of your collection that I have seen on your Instagram.

JOHN 5: Well, funny you should mention the book, because they used some of my collection for that! So some of the merchandise that you see in the book is from my personal collection. Itís a great book!

KNAC.COM: With KISS winding down, how would you feel about KISS continuing without any original members? Do you think thereís value in something like that? Or how about the classic KISS line-up holograms?

JOHN 5: The hologram thing...I havenít seen it, so I canít really judge it. Iíve never seen a hologram of anyone. Now the KISS line-up without GENE [SIMMONS] and PAUL [STANLEY]? Letís see, people want to go out for a good time, they want to hear the songs, they want to see the show and itís produced by KISS? I donít know. Thatís a really tough question, I have no idea! I think Iíd have to see it for myself to give you an answer.

KNAC.COM: I spoke with you back in March, with VAN HALEN in a holding pattern, Roth looks to be getting a little restless starting up his podcast and working on EDM music. Has there been any progress on the album you cut with him?

JOHN 5: I havenít gotten anything on that record being released, all I can say is that time will tell...time will tell...

KNAC.COM: There was the Universal Studios fire and it wasnít until recently that it was disclosed what artists were casualties and lost master recordings. Do you have any idea if the 2WO original mix of Voyeurs was one of those lost? And was the Ďguitarí mix of that album also there?

JOHN 5: [pause] Thatís a good question! I wondered myself, but I think weíd have to ask ROB HALFORD about that, I donít know. I wonder if that was there? Good question.

KNAC.COM: Whatís the current status of a new ROB ZOMBIE record at this point in time?

JOHN 5: We should have an answer soon regarding a release date. Rob has finished up the movie [Three From Hell] which is due in September, so after he wraps up promotion for the film and releases the film the next on the agenda is releasing the record.

KNAC.COM: Last thing, what are some words that JOHN 5 lives by?

JOHN 5: Man, let me see here, determination, loyalty, I love guitar, I love music! Iím so focused on what I do, I love what I do and Iím going to continue doing it.

JOHN 5 Official Website: https://john-5.com/main/
JOHN 5 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/John5official/
JOHN 5 Twitter: https://twitter.com/john5guitarist

KNIGHT IN SATAN'S SERVICE Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/knightsinsatanservice/?hl=en
ROB ZOMBIE/MARYLIN MANSON dates: https://robzombie.com/tour-dates/


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