MARCH 21st 2019


“Oh, my God! The Paris Theater, that was the only show in the history of my career, where I wasn’t able to finish my set because, the soundman, didn’t know what he was doing! We wound up blowing up the PA! Until that happened, we were ‘killing it,’ we were having a great show, it was toward the end of the tour, we were on fire and the guy just couldn’t get it together,” sighs guitarist John 5 of the mishap in Portland, Oregon on his 2018 tour.  Metal Titans spoke with John 5 on February 20th, when the opportunity presents itself, to speak with John 5, you take it. The guitar virtuoso has played with the likes of K.D. Lang, Rob Halford’s 2wo, David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie and he’s got a pretty good solo career, too. He’s got a new album, ‘Invasion' released later this year, once again he's backed by The Creatures. John5 and The Creatures are set to hit the road on February 26th for a late winter/spring tour of North America with special guest Jared James Nichols in tow.

Ruben Mosqueda

Metal Titans: You have a new album, ‘Invasion,' on the horizon. You launched the album with a cool animated video for “Zoinks.” The music video had me reliving my childhood, watching Saturday morning cartoons.

John 5: Oh, absolutely! It was inspired by Scooby-Doo, I worked with this great animator Brett Boggs, he’s just incredible! A genius, in my opinion. We came up with cool storyline, we had some great guests, Susan Olsen who you know from The Brady Bunch, Fred Coury from Cinderella, Nikki Sixx, it turned out great! There’s going to be a second part to it, which will be out on March 1st. You have to check out the new villain that’s featured in the new video.   

I will do some no animated videos, just to break things up, so it’s not all the same thing over and over. I have to tell you though, I really love the animation, it’s so cool and different from most the stuff out there at the moment.

Metal Titans: You’re bringing in a little variety to this tour by including Jared James Nichols, who brings on a Pat Travers vibe.

John 5: I wanted him to be on this tour. I’m so excited that he was available to do this tour.  I love, love great guitar playing and he’s just that, a great guitar player. I think he will certainly open people’s eyes to some cool blues power!

Metal Titans: Nikki Sixx recently jumped up on stage with you at your L.A. show, you’ve got other guests appearing throughout the tour. How surreal was it for you to look to your right and there is Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue?

John 5: It is just that surreal! I’m loving that! On this tour we’re going to have Corey Taylor [Slipknot, Stone Sour], Shavo [System of A Down], Fred Coury [Cinderella], Michael Anthony [Van Halen, Chickenfoot] my hero! [laughs] And that’s just for the Whisky [A Go-Go] show! I have a special guest that will be joining me for the first show, which will take place in Mesa, Arizona. He’s a great singer and I think this will be a huge surprise for people! I can’t say who it is but it will be so cool!

Metal Titans: John you’re a huge KISS collector, you have Knights In Satan's Service on Instagram where you post pieces of you collection daily. As a collector of music memorabilia myself, how crazed do you get about the care of certain items? It can become madening for me...

John 5: [laughs] Oh, you’re right! There’s all housed in something or behind glass, they’re all protected in one way or another. You have to do that, because it’s history, there’s certain things that are one of a kind or that are really rare! So it’s absolutely, history. Listen, this is a great, fun hobby to have, I work so hard, I work so hard, so it’s a nice hobby to have. I get calls from friends who know I’m a collector and they’ll say, “Hey, I just found this or that.” They know what I looking for, it’s just a really great outlet for me, if you will.
Metal Titans: I know you’ve done writing sessions with everyone from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Steve Perry to Sebastian Bach to Paul Stanley. Is there one or two that stand out for you?

John 5: Oh, for sure, I think co-writing with Steve Perry was wonderful, I’m glad he’s back. I also think the writing session with Paul Stanley was amazing, being a longtime KISS fan that was a dream come true! I also co-wrote with Nikki Sixx a few songs for the The Dirt soundtrack, that was really exciting! I can’t even begin to explain how exciting it is work with my friends and heroes! I’m still pinching myself! [laughs] It’s such an honor.

Metal Titans: You just mentioned you worked with Nikki [Sixx] on some new music for the soundtrack, if I recall they’re cutting 3-4 new songs. When you’re working with a band like Motley for instance, Mick [Mars] is a different style guitarist that you are, do you keep the riffs in the tradition of something that he’d do?

John 5: Mick is one of my favorite guitarists, I love, loved Motley Crue growing up. Not necessarily, I think it captured the Motley sound, because Nikki and I co-wrote the songs. We’d be sitting around, we had guitars in hand, we’d be watching t.v. or whatever and we’d come up with a riff and we’d build on it. We had all of these ideas and we compiled them and started putting songs together and we rocked them out! [laughs] Everybody just worked together, Mick, Tommy [Lee], Vince [Neil], Nikki and I, it was a great experience! It was such an honor for me to have been a part of that.

Metal Titans: How often do you write on an acoustic guitar? We know you’re a wiz, but most people know you for being plugged in and explosive.  

John 5: I always have an acoustic nearby, in fact I play acoustic a lot. [strums a guitar] I’m playing one right now actually! [laughs] I have about three [acoustic guitars] around the house.

Metal Titans: When we spoke last spring, you’d mentioned that you had an album in the can that you had recorded with David Lee Roth. You mentioned that it was in the vein of “Ice Cream Man,” and “Could This Be Magic.”  Is there much movement toward that album making the light of day?

John 5: [long pause] I think it will see the light of day, I’m banking on it, because it’s such a great record. I can’t say for sure, but I think Dave is working with Van Halen right now, which is wonderful. I’m happy for him, that’s one of my favorite bands! I think it will come out when Dave is ready to release it. I think you’ll love it, it’s a wonderful record! I’m so proud of the album.

Metal Titans: What’s you take on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody?’

John 5: Oh, God I loved it! I was such a huge Queen fan growing up. They’re a huge influence on me. What a wonderful film, I saw it twice! I love biopics and docs and if it’s a music related one? Forget about it! I’m all over it! [laughs] That’s my thing and I can watch one on just about any band. I think they did a phenomenal, phenomenal job on that movie.

Metal Titans: So if you were the subject of a biopic, who do you think would be a good John 5 on film?

John 5:  Who would be a good John 5 on film…[strums his guitar] wow! Let me see here...maybe, Julia Roberts?! [bursts into laughter] I think she’s great and I think she could really capture it for me! [laughs]

Metal Titans: You worked with K.D. Lang for a bit, what’s a cool story from your time with K.D. Lang?

John 5: Oh, there’s just...that band and that voice, is like something that I’ve never before or since! That was so magical, the music was out of this world, it was so dynamic and such an excellent experience. She was also so cool, which was the icing on the cake. She was just so rad to me. We would be standing on the street and we’d try to pick up girls! It was one of those let’s see who can pick up who, you know? Basically, who would score! [laughs] We’d do funny things like that, she was so fun to be around.

Metal Titans: Last thing, you also have a Rob Zombie album done, is there a time table on when we’ll likely see that?

John 5: I have no idea, but we just had a rehearsal yesterday. We’re all such great friends, when we get together we rehearse! [laughs] Even though I’m leaving on Monday to start my tour I just really love those guys. I can’t tell you how much fun it is get together with the guys, we laugh and we jam.  So, to answer your question, as of right now, there’s no release date, but I’m so excited for you guys to hear it!

Metal Titans: I assume you’ll have another killer medley for us on this run?

John 5: Oh, for sure! I love doing the medley, it’s just so much fun! Hold on to you cranium, it’s going to be great! [laughs]

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