MusicRadar interview: John 5

The new album, Requiem, thrills and amazes
The new album, Requiem, thrills and amazes

Armed with his signature Fender Telecaster, a face full of greasepaint, and a wholly individualistic approach to music and style, John 5 (formerly John Lowery) has, during the past few years, become one of the world's most popular guitarists.

His difficult to categorize blend of turbo-charged pickin'-and-a-grinnin' meets gonzo goth metal has evolved into something of a cottage industry on solo albums such as Vertigo, The Devil Knows My Name and his newest release, Requiem. As a sideman and writer, he's worked with a disparate batch of artists, from k.d. lang to Marilyn Manson, from Avril Lavinge to Rob Zombie. "I just hate being pigeonholed," John 5 admits. "Luckily for me, there's so much great music to get involved with, so if one thing starts to wear a little thin, I can just switch gears into something else."

John 5 is also an avid student and teacher. His instructional DVD, The Devil Knows My Name, is a top seller, and he's more than happy to dispense some tricks of the trade for MusicRadar readers as well. Want to learn how to combine sweeping with tapping? No problem. Want to dive into some killer licks? Done.

The genial guitarist recently spent some time with MusicRadar to talk about his new album, as well as his early days as a guitarist and the thought process necessary for a being a genre skipper.

Part one - Recording the new CD, the versatility of the Telecaster, playing with k.d. lang
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Part two - On working with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie; and what's better, country or rock?
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Part three - John 5 answers your questions
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By Joe Bosso


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