ABOUT JOHN 5
When Guitar World convened their State of Guitar in 2021 all-star summit, JOHN 5 appeared on the magazine’s cover, right alongside Metallica’s Kirk Hammett and Tool’s Adam Jones. Without a doubt, his reputation as a guitar-slinging troubadour and top-notch shredder is well-earned, recognized by friends, peers, and collaborators like Slash, Paul Gilbert, and
Steve Vai over the years.
But the man whose passport reads “John William Lowery” is more than a postmodern guitar hero. An eclectic showman and horror-obsessed pop culture maverick, JOHN 5’s tastes and talent are as vast and diverse as his renowned collection of guitars and as robust as his expansive discography.
While his solo band and work with Zombie generally keep him otherwise engaged in recent years, he’s continuously called upon to cowrite, collaborate, and lay down leads for rock and pop music’s biggest names. It’s a huge list that includes Scorpions, Rod Stewart, Halestorm, and Alice Cooper.
John owes his love of the guitar to the long-running variety TV show Hee Haw, which he’d watch with his father at the young age of seven. KISS and Jimi Hendrix came after. His band Dirty Trixx won a Battle of the Bands in middle school. Vampirella came next, in high school, when he adopted his now-signature theatrical makeup look. At 18, he moved to Los Angeles to become a session player, performing with Lita Ford, Randy Castillo, K.D. Lang, 2wo (Two) with Rob Halford, David Lee Roth and Marilyn Manson, who gave him the “John 5” moniker.
After a chance encounter with the legendary Les Paul, John began work on his first-ever solo album, Vertigo in 2004, laying the groundwork for several records to come.
Rob Zombie recruited John initially to perform as a live guitarist only on the 2006 Ozzfest tour. But the chemistry between them proved so electric that they began work on 2006’s Educated Horses. As guitarist and co-writer, he appeared on all subsequent Rob Zombie albums and scored 2013’s The Lords of Salem. JOHN 5’s fifth record with Rob Zombie, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy, became the hard rock icon’s first No. 1 album. The debut single from L.A. RATS, “I’ve Been Everywhere
” saw John and Zombie paired with Nikki Sixx (Mötley Crüe) and Tommy Clueftos (Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie) and cracked Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Top 40.
Now comes SINNER, the sum total of all that’s come before, a perfect snapshot of where JOHN 5 has been and where he’s headed.