FlashWounds Interview: John 5 on His “John 5’s Creature Feature,” Live Pay-Per-View Event, and…Bedtime Rituals?
By FW Staff
Editor’s note: While reveling in fearsome fun that was Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare in Scottsdale, Arizona, we were lucky enough to grab John-5 for a few minutes before the mega-talent ~ who has become a frequent and very welcome guest on FlashWounds’ pages ~ headed onstage for the opening night concert (and you can be sure we’ll be bringing you full coverage of the musical madness that ensued…we’re just easing you into October…) that kicked off a weekend that only RZ ~ with a little help from his friends ~ could create…(and once again, stay tuned for the full report we gave you a sneak peek at here). Special thanks to Kristine Ashton-Magnuson, Nancy B. Sayle, and of course John himself for making the interview possible.
What do you do when you’re a guitarist who has worked and continues to work with some of the biggest names in rock/metal, a celebrated virtuoso spoken of in the same breath as Malmsteen, Satriani and Vai? When you’re also a respected solo artist and a tireless road junkie who enjoys shredding his way around the world?
What do you do?
“Every night before I go to sleep, no matter where I am in the world, I watch one of the Universal monster movies ~ Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, Creature From the Black Lagoon, those movies are so great and I have loved them since I was a kid. They are like a warm blanket to me.”
There you have it. This monster of rock (pun intended) winds down every night with a classic horror movie…well, that AND planning the first live performance of “John-5 and the Creatures.” John and the aforementioned creatures ~ drummer Rodger Carter and bassist Larry “Bones” Dennison ~ will be showcasing his solo material and supporting his latest release Careful with that Axe (check out our review here), via a live pay-per-view event on October 18 hosted by Chris Broderick of Megadeth and broadcast over 3 time zones (read our full article on the event here). Fans from all over the world will not only be entertained by one of the most accomplished guitarists of this generation, but they will also get to participate in a Q&A session with John and have the chance to win prizes like copies of Axe as well as an actual Axe, a signature John-5 Squire Telecaster signed by the man, the myth, the monster himself.
“I have the guys from ‘The Tonight Show’ putting it all together. A lot of the Jay Leno guys are working on this so I’m really just out promoting it so I can work on the songs with the band. It’s a pay-per-view thing so people from all over the world will be able to watch it. I just thought it would be a cool little thing to do.”
When you’re best known for playing other people’s material, such a unique event ~ the opportunity to play your own music live to the world ~ would and should have most artists chomping at the proverbial bit, but for John-5, what he does every night is more than just play Rob Zombie songs: “I love this stuff, just look at what we’re going to do tonight. There’s haunted mazes, we’re playing in front of all these people, I genuinely love getting up on stage and playing these songs every night.”
As the “Venomous Rat” tour comes to an end and the “Creatures” gig closes in, you’d think some down time might be next, but you’d be dead wrong. “We are headed to Mexico and then we will be working on the scoring Rob’s new film 31 and then we will be finishing up the new album.”
While there’s no release date set, John was eager to share his feelings about the album. “If I weren’t in the band, if I were just a fan, I would say this is my favorite Rob Zombie album. The songs are really hooky and I love hooky tunes. Rob’s got this growling tone to his voice reminiscent of “Creature of the Wheel;” it just sounds awesome, we’re really happy with how it’s coming along.”
So it would appear that whether John-5 is planning a world-wide telecast concert, scoring movies, touring the world with monsters or getting cozy with them before bed, he approaches all he does ~ horror-tinged or not ~ with the passion and drive that have helped cement his legacy in the pages and on the stages of rock.