5 Cool Things About John 5: Plus, the Lowdown on His “Shred-fabulous” New Tune

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2012
       

A mysterious figure creeps centre stage – his face adorned with a striking contrast of black and white makeup and a wicked red grin resembling an iconic joker-like appearance. Behold the super busy shredder, John 5, whose fingers effortlessly glide across the fretboard of his signature gold Telecaster, sending audiences into a frenzy with his rapid-fire riffs.

Fans of John 5 will know him from his solo project, John 5 Creatures, but news has spread far and wide that he has now joined the ranks of Motley Crue, set to embark on a massive tour across Latin America and Europe.

Strung Out!

Beyond his wild stage presence, John 5’s virtuosity on the guitar is truly what sets him apart. His latest release, “Strung Out,” showcases his unmatched skills, playing both the guitar and bass with equal precision and passion.

In John 5’s own words, “This song is called “Strung Out” because I am so obsessed with playing guitar that when I don’t play and create new music for a while, I start to go a little insane.” This track is a perfect example of his technical prowess, with intricate two-hand tapping and melodic fretwork that will leave you in awe.

For guitar enthusiasts and music lovers alike, John 5’s brand of blazing yet melodic playing is always fresh, exciting, and sure to inspire.

He adds, “There’ll be more Creatures shows sometime in the near future, and I really look forward to playing this song live.” 

“Strung Out” credits: 

  • John 5 – Guitar & Bass
  • Alex Mercado – Drums
  • Engineered, Recorded, and Mixed – Barry Pointer 

John 5’s exceptional guitar skills have left audiences in awe, and with his background as a guitarist for Marilyn Manson, White Zombie, and many others, it’s no surprise that he’s now taking on the mantle of filling Mick Mars’ guitar spot in Motley Crue. “I’m honored to carry on Mick’s legacy and am looking forward to playing these songs,” says John 5.

Not only has John 5 crafted a highly recognizable and popular image, much like the legendary Kiss and Alice Cooper, but his complete stage performance is nothing short of electrifying. His wild riffing and lightning-fast tapping are just the tip of the iceberg of his musicianship.

Hailing from Grosse Pointe, MI, John 5’s is a versatile guitarist effortlessly transitioning between genres such as country, western swing, bluegrass, industrial, and more. With his spooky stage show, John 5 Creatures thrilled crowds, but it’s the surprisingly anti-metal aspects of his style that truly set him apart and make him a unique musician.

5 Fun Facts About J5

His Hands 

Did you know that John 5’s dedication to the guitar was so unwavering that it actually changed the shape of his body? From the moment he first picked up the instrument (at very young age) he practiced with relentless fervor, honing his skills day after day. This pursuit of excellence had a physical impact on him, as his left hand grew larger than his right due to the constant stretching it underwent. Talk about a testament to the power of hard work and passion!

Heeee Hawww! To Metal

John 5 is a true product of the ’70s, having grown up watching the iconic country variety show “Hee Haw” under his given name, John William Lowery. Fast forward to today, and he has seamlessly incorporated the style of legends like Buck Owens into his playing, infusing his live performances with intricate “chicken picking” licks.

But his musicianship extends far beyond just the guitar. He’s a true multi-instrumentalist, transitioning between instruments such as the bass, mandolin, banjo, Lap Steel, and keyboards, showcasing his creativity.

Offbeat Gigs 

John 5 is a true musical chameleon, able to effortlessly transition between genres and styles with ease. From covering Michael Jackson’s classic hit “Beat It” to collaborating with southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, he has a diverse musical palette that is unmatched. But it’s not just his musical prowess that sets John 5 apart. He’s got a unique sense of style, too. He’s a fan of groovy tunes from acts like The Monkees and even had a custom guitar built to resemble a lava lamp!

Early in his career, John 5 cut his teeth as a touring guitarist for hip-hop queens Salt-N-Pepa and honed his country skills while working with KD Lang. He even had a high school band called Vampirella, which was the spark that ignited his current look. With all of these influences and experiences under his belt, it’s no wonder that John 5 is a captivating musician.

Tele-Cool Guitar – Goldie Always Near

John 5’s guitar of choice is a Fender Telecaster, a unique choice in a world of metal-style axes like Explorers. But there’s one Telecaster that holds a special place in his heart: his custom-made Goldie. So precious is this instrument to John 5 that he treats it like a VIP on flights. He buys it a ticket so it can sit beside him, ensuring it arrives at each gig in pristine condition. Goldie is more than just a guitar to John 5; it’s a trusty companion and a symbol of his love and dedication to his craft.

Effects? Just a Pedal or Two, Please

John 5’s approach to guitar effects is simple and straightforward. He doesn’t rely on a complex array of pedals, instead relying on his hands and techniques to create a unique and dynamic sound. As he once told Guitar Player magazine, his pedalboard is so minimal that “even a child could use it.” His custom Telecaster, with its humbucker pickups at the bridge and neck, provides ample tone and versatility.

While he did experiment with more effects during his time with Marilyn Manson, he later chose to rely more on his guitar and skills to create a variety of sounds. He wanted to prove that his sound wasn’t just about effects and to demonstrate the full extent of his musical ability. Today, he only uses a wah-wah pedal and distortion pedal when necessary. John 5’s minimalistic approach to effects proves that true musicianship comes from the hands and technique, not the tools.

Discount Session Player

As a young man, John 5 made the move to California and quickly established himself as a sought-after session musician. By offering his services at a more affordable rate and the ability to work faster than his competition, he quickly landed gigs with some of the biggest names in the industry. He told CBS news, “I was doing Rick Springfield and Wilson Phillips and TV shows like ‘Baywatch,’ ‘Jay Leno Show,’ ‘Mortal Combat’ movie… I got a lot of work ’cause it doesn’t matter what you do in life, you always want to save a dollar, so I was doing it for cheaper than everyone else. And I knew people would go for that. I tried to do the best for them, and it really worked.”

The Guitar Legend Continues to Amaze

John 5 is a legendary shredder known for his striking stage presence and virtuosity on the guitar. He has joined Motley Crue and is set to embark on a massive tour across Latin America and Europe. John 5’s latest release, “Strung Out,” showcases his unmatched skills on both the guitar and bass and his passion for playing. He’s a true multi-instrumentalist and a musical chameleon, able to effortlessly transition between genres and styles with ease. With his spooky stage show, intricate riffs, and lightning-fast tapping, John 5 is a truly cool and unique musician who continues to inspire fans with his music.