Personalities | John 5 | Modern-Day Hero | Guitar Heroes

Guitar One magazine declared him a ‘modern-day master of the Telecaster’. In the 2007 Guitar World readers’ poll, his instrumental guitar tour de terror The Devil Knows My Name was named Best Shred Album of 2007.

Also in 2007, he graced the covers of Guitar Player and Guitarist magazines, while in 2008, he was featured on the cover of Guitar Edge magazine, which proclaimed him one of the ‘new guitar heroes’. Finally, it seems, guitarist John 5 is shedding the cloak of ‘underrated’ for some hard-earned and long-overdue time in the spotlight.

John 5 was born John Lowery in July 1971 in Grosse Point, Michigan. He started playing guitar at the age of seven, inspired by the US country television show ‘Hee Haw’. When he turned 18, John moved to California to pursue a career as a professional session guitarist. There, he met producer Bob Marlette and began working on a number of TV shows, commercials and film soundtracks.

After touring with Lita Ford and k.d. lang, and working on short-lived projects with drummer Randy Castillo and singer Rob Halford, John landed a gig with David Lee Roth’s DLR Band. Shortly thereafter, shock-rocker Marilyn Manson invited John for lunch and hired him on the spot, christening him with his current ‘John 5’ moniker. John 5 would play with Manson until April 2004, at which time – at the urging of the legendary Les Paul – he set out to record his first solo album, Vertigo (2004).

With Vertigo and his subsequent release, Songs For Sanity (2005), John 5 revealed to his primarily metal fan base a multifaceted approach to guitar that included heavy bluegrass and country influences. That unusual musical pedigree created an underground buzz in the guitar community. Since then, a permanent gig with metal superstar Rob Zombie garnered John 5 even greater mass appeal. In 2007, John released an album of instrumental guitar music called The Devil Knows My Name. Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson, it contains all the no-holds-barred shred essentials, but its injections of country and bluegrass phrasing, mixed with industrial and futuristic sounds, breaks the old mould and sets the twenty-first-century standard for instrumental guitar music. John 5 works on projects with various artists, including Rob Zombie, with whom he still tours. His seventh solo album, Careful With That Axe, was released in 2014.

Essential Recordings

Marilyn Manson: The Last Tour On Earth

Solo: Vertigo

Rob Zombie: Educated Horses

Solo: The Devil Knows My Name

Personalities | Eric Johnson | Instrumental Ideal | Guitar Heroes


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