Few people in music are as busy as Rob Zombie guitarist John Lowery. A solid quarter century into his laudable career, the virtuoso fret wizard, better known as John 5, is once again headlining Rockstar Energy Drink’s Mayhem Festival. On Day 3, the crew rolled into Boise, Idaho, and the soft-spoken guitarist sat down with The Examiner to talk about the Mayhem tour, working on Rob Zombie’s new album, and much more.
John 5, who turns 42 later this month, was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. He admits that his initial dream had been to be a session player. His gift for writing songs and performing in the genre or style of most any artist have made him one of the most sought after talents in the industry. From writing music for Rod Stewart, Halestorm , Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Meat Loaf, to high-profile gigs with David Lee Roth and Marilyn Manson, to his current night job with the legendary Rob Zombie, John 5 is a man of immense and varied talents.
This year alone saw the release of Rob Zombie’s “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor” album, and John is currently working on recording his seventh solo album. Those are just the big ticket items everyone knows about. In any given year he’s bound to show up in some form or another on at least a half dozen albums as writer, performer, or both.
Three shows into the 2013 Mayhem Festival; Rob and John, along with bassist Piggy D, and drummer Ginger Fish, have already fine-tuned their performance. The quartet cut through a tight set of more than a dozen Zombie classic’s spanning the White Zombie era (“Thunder Kiss ’65″, “More Human Than Human”) through tracks from the new record, including the show opener, ”Teenage Nosferatu Pussy”, as well as “Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga“ and “Dead City Radio and the New Gods of Supertown”. They also tuned up their cover of Grand Funk Railroad‘s “We’re An American Band” and monster Zombie cuts like, “Superbeast”, “Living Dead Girl”, and the encore, “Dragula”.
During our interview with John 5, which you can watch below, the iconic guitarist talks about working with the likes of Paul Stanley, Halestorm, and Skynyrd, as well as what he has learned from Rob Zombie and other great musicians. He even tells us which non-metal band he’d add to the Mayhem tour.