An Interview with John 5!
March 26, 2006
For those of you who read Rock N Roll Experience regularly, you probably know that John 5 has been a friend of Rock N Roll Experience for years now...we became acquainted with John during his tenure in Marilyn Manson, & over the years, we've said hello everytime he's came through town & this is actually the first time that I got to sit down & do an "official" interview with John.
I can't let this piece go without saying one thing really quickly...John let me do something that few rockstars really do...I got to touch & play with all of John's guitars that he has on the road with him & I think this piece really shows how nice John 5 really is!.
Rock N Roll Experience: How is it playing with Rob Zombie as opposed to Marilyn Manson?
John 5: Well, it's 2 different animals, of course, but I'd say, being with Rob, I've played with alot of different people & Rob is definitely the best time I have ever had & it's a pleasure to be doing this & making the record was..it was the best record, & we just had such a great time doing everything, we just love hanging out & stuff like that, which was different with Manson, because we didn't really hang out that much, but everybody in the band all hangs out together & we just really enjoy hanging out & playing & recording & working together.
Rock N Roll Experience: So are you married now?
John 5: Yeah, I got married March 12, so we just had our 1 year anniversary & it's been going great.
Rock N Roll Experience: Tell me what was going through your mind when you & Marilyn Manson got into a fight onstage at the Rock Am Ring Festival.
John 5: You know what..I really don't even remember that much about it, but it was...alot of it was basically kinda my fault because my sister just died & I was in Europe & I was like a real mess & he was just rockin' out like normal & hit me, or whatever happened..he kicked my guitar or something like that & that was about it, but it was really kinda my fault, because I just freaked out & I shouldn't have & it was pretty unprofessional of me.
Rock N Roll Experience: Is that kinda what led to you being fired from Marilyn Manson?
John 5: No, & I really wasn't fired...it was pretty much amicable, & we both just left on our own terms & stuff like that.
Rock N Roll Experience: So were you mad at Marilyn Manson when he told the media that you were fired, or let go?
John 5: Oh no, not at all, I mean I talk to Manson still & I loved when I was in the band & I still love the band alot...I think he is phenomenal & I really wish him all the best...I am very proud to have been a part of that & I just wish him nothing but the best, I really think he is incredible
Rock N Roll Experience: Can you tell me about the Paul Stanley solo record?
John 5: Well, it's weird, because I got a call from Paul & I've known KISS for ever & ever & ever & Paul said, "Hey, you wanna come & write some songs" & I said "sure". so he said to come up to the house & it was me, Paul & Desmond Child & so we just wrote a song & then he had me come in & play some songs in the studio & stuff like that & you know, we just had a great time...that was a very large chapter in my life, because I'm such a huge KISS fan & so it was a definite, major part of my life, so I was just so honored to be a part of it.
Rock N Roll Experience: How much did you actually play on the new Rob Zombie record?
John 5: Alot...I did probably 90% of the guitars & we just worked great together & me, Scott Humphrey & Zombie & we just had a blast, & I mean, it's like...I was honored to be a part of that too, because I've been a Zombie fan forever, ever since the beginning so I was really happy to be a part of the history. I played on every song & I co-wrote a bunch of the songs too with Scott & Rob, so it's great...a great collaboration.
Rock N Roll Experience: Tell me about the "Summertime Jam" you did at Ozzfest 2005. (the Summertime Jam was a mix of classic rock songs like "Funk 49" by James Gang & some Lynyrd Skynyrd stuff)
John 5: It was just a..we just went out there & basically..everbody on Ozzfest was so mad, & serious, & tough & everything & we just kind of went out there & had a great time & the crowd really caught onto it & we had a great show every show...I don't think we ever had a bad show & it was just a blast to do...everbody was into it & that was definitely the best Ozzfest I've ever done...it was 2nd stage so you're right up with the kids & everybody was going crazy, but when you're on the main stage it's weird, because it's all seats & no one can really mosh or go crazy or anything...it's crazy.
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you working on your 3rd solo record now?
John 5: Yeah...I'm working on that & that'll come out next year & that's something that I do just for the love of it..I love doing those solo records & hopefully I'll always get a chance to do them....it's very surprising that so many people have it & they sold so well, so I'm really happy & it's just a bunch of crazy guitar playing, but people really enjoy them.
Rock N Roll Experience: How's the 3rd one going to be different than the first 2 solo records?
John 5: The songs are really kind of long & it's...from "vertigo" to "songs for sanity", it's a little more intense than "vertigo" & now this new one's gonna be a little more intense than "songs for sanity", so each one I try to make as crazy as possible so I'm pretty excited about it
Rock N Roll Experience: Is Zombie changing the set list every night or is it pretty much the same every night?
John 5: We always change...we change it up & stuff like that, it's never the same with what Rob says, or what Rob does, so it's always something new, which is cool, because this is the part where they do this, or this is the part where they do that...but it's always different & you never know what's gonna happen, which is fun..it's really cool.
Rock N Roll Experience: What were you thinking when you stage dived the other night?
John 5: I love doing that stuff, but now I've gotta think about it, because if I get hurt then we all go home, so I need to just take it easy on that one
Rock N Roll Experience: Are you straightedge?
John 5: Yeah...totally...never had a drink, or drug, or nothing...never had a cigarette or anything like that.
Rock N Roll Experience: Is there any reason why?
John 5: Well...my family all drank & all smoked & stuff like that & I wasn't really into that stuff, so I kinda just stayed away from it
Rock N Roll Experience: Was it hard being a member of Marilyn Manson being straightedge?
John 5: I was a little alienated a bit because they all liked to have fun & stuff like that, but I was pretty much just playing my guitar all the time, so...
Rock N Roll Experience: But you got all of the groupies.
John 5: Yeah..that was fun...that was fun, but those days are over now ha ha
Rock N Roll Experience: How many guitars do you actually own?
John 5: A little over 100, I think like 112.