Guitarist John 5 has a new instrumental album out now called ‘God Told Me To’ and is currently touring as part of Rob Zombie’s band. He has also been recently been working with Dave Lee Roth again. Read on…
1. What are you currently up to?
I’m currently on tour with Rob Zombie and Megadeth. After that we go into the studio to work on the next Zombie record. I’ll also be promoting my new instrumental CD “God told me To”.
2. Could you take us through the new album ‘God Told Me To’?
I told someone I was working on a new instrumental CD and they asked how it would different from the last few CDs. That’s when I stopped working on it and said to myself “I really need to make this one different”. I decide dot do half acoustic/half electric CD and also I wanted to have a making of DVD that comes with the CD. It’s worked out extremely well.
3. What made you decide to cover Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat It’?
That song was huge when I was a kid and I wanted to share with my audience. No matter where in the world you are people know that song. It’s a tribute to Michael Jackson and also a tribute to one of my favourite guitar players, Eddie Van Halen. The song has had a huge impact on my life and I wanted to do it justice.
4. It is rumoured that you are recording an acoustic record with David Lee Roth, how did this come about? The album features several of the “Skyscraper” era DLR band- is this likely to progress to a full album and tour?
Dave is a good friend of mine and he’ll call me up and ask me to come over to his house to work on some songs. If everything goes well we’ll go into the studio that night and track them. Over a few months of doing that we had a really nice collection of songs. I don’t know if they’ll ever see the light of day but the songs are amazing and I hope they do.
5. You write and record with a number of artists such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, bearing in mind your own musical style, how easy is it to adapt to other genres of rock music?
It is very easy for me because I’m a fan of music in general. It does’ t have to be rock music. It can be country music or western swing or anything like that. It’s easy for me to adapt to any writing situation.
6. What have been the live highlights so far and why?
We just had a phenomenal and incredible show last night in Maryland. I try to make every night a highlight for the fans that pay to come and see us.
7. You are currently working on the soundtrack for the upcoming Rob Zombie movie. How different is it to writing and recording a soundtrack as opposed to writing & recording an album? Do you need to see the finished film or do you prefer to work off the script and visualise the scenes?
It is very different from making a record, for sure. It can be challenging at times because there are so many different things. Sometimes there is no time or key signature for the piece of music. Sometimes it doesn’t make musical sense. I finished the movie score and I can’t wait for people to see it. I’m very happy with it.
8. Has the internet helped you get your music out there or has it in some ways hindered it by websites offering free downloads? Do you still rely heavily on CD sales as opposed to download?
It’s a double edge sword because people can steal your music so easily off the internet. But with Youtube it’s amazing to have people see you play guitar and what you do. That has been beneficial for me. But piracy is really ruining the music business
9. You have guested and played on many albums through the years. Which have been the stand outs for you?
I’m proud of everything I’ve done. I’m privileged to work with so many amazing artists. I sometimes sit back and say “wow I’m a part of one of my favourite musical artist’s history now.” It’s a great feeling to have worked with so many of my heroes and so many incredible musicians.
10. What do you enjoy doing in your time away from music?
I really love playing guitar all the time. It’s so comforting . I guess I’d compare it to a child with his favourite toy. It’s therapeutic to me. I like going to the movies and spending time with my family is important to me.
Anything else to add and a message for your fans…
I hope to inspire some of the upcoming musicians with my music. Never give up, because if you don’t do it, somebody else will.
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