John 5 on Van Halen's new record: "It's amazing!"

John 5 loves Van Halen's A Different Kind Of Truth. We have no idea what his friend on the left thinks. © Amy Harris/Corbis

On his upcoming album, God Told Me To, guitarist John 5 covers Michael Jackson's Beat It - and does a spot-on rendition of Eddie Van Halen's famous solo. "It's one of the most incredible leads ever," he admits. "For me to play it any other way would have been wrong somehow. A solo like that, you have to do it perfectly." (Want to hear how he does? Check it out below.)

As it turns out, John 5 has ties to Van Halen - he wrote and recorded with David Lee Roth in the late '90s - and on the subject of the band's new album, A Different Kind Of Truth, he's quick to sing its praises. "It's amazing!" he enthuses.

"I love the new Van Halen record," the guitarist says. "Let me rephrase that: I love, love, love the new Van Halen record. It's heavy. If you really sit down and listen to it, it's totally heavy. The band isn't playing it safe at all, and that's what's so great about it."

When the album's first song, Tattoo, was released, many folks were less than impressed. John 5, however, quickly chalked it up as a winner. "It's a wonderful song," he chips. "I remember everybody going, 'Ahhh, I don't know about this Tattoo.' But I'll tell you, by the second or third time I heard it, it was in my head. And that's the mark of any great song - it stays with you."

John 5's God Told Me To will be released on 8 May. MusicRadar will have more with him soon.

Joe Bosso

Joe is a freelance journalist who has, over the past few decades, interviewed hundreds of guitarists for Guitar WorldGuitar PlayerMusicRadar and Classic Rock. He is also a former editor of Guitar World, contributing writer for Guitar Aficionado and VP of A&R for Island Records. He’s an enthusiastic guitarist, but he’s nowhere near the likes of the people he interviews. Surprisingly, his skills are more suited to the drums. If you need a drummer for your Beatles tribute band, look him up.