John 5 talks about Solo Album and Rob Zombie’s “Lords of Salem”

John 5 has played guitar for many notable acts in variety of music genres. He is probably best known for his work with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. John 5 is set to release his 7th solo album titled “God Told Me To” in early May. Media Mikes was very fortunate to be able to talk with John 5 recently about his work on the new album as well as his work on the new Rob Zombie film “Lords of Salem”.

Adam Lawton: What can we expect from the new solo album “God Told Me To”?
John 5: What I wanted to do with this album was to make something a little different from my previous releases. I wanted to do a half electric and half acoustic album. I was really into doing some cool Spanish style acoustic songs. I also wanted to incorporate some rhythmic styles played on the body of the guitar. The idea was do something more than just your standard strumming techniques. I was really into that style of playing on the album. The other cool thing about this album is that it is going to come with a DVD as well. The DVD will have clips of me in the studio recording the songs as well as some footage from being on the road. It even will have its own horror host hosting the DVD. It’s really a cool CD/DVD package which is something I personally love. I am very excited for the album’s release.

AL: Are there any guest performers on the album?
J5: No. I did a lot of this while I was on the road or writing with other people. I didn’t really have a chance to do anything like that. I did everything on my own when I had some free time. Maybe for the next album I will do a bunch of guest appearance type things.

AL: Do you plan to make a guitar tablature book to accompany the CD?
J5: I don’t think so. I did put out a book recently titled “The Book of John” which shows a bunch of my techniques. I don’t think we will be doing that for this album because there is a lot of transposing which is a lot of work. We will have to see.

AL: What can you tell us about your work on “Lords of Salem”?
J5: I did the musical scoring for the film. I love challenges and scoring is definitely a challenge. You are dealing with music that sometimes does not have a time signature or even a certain key. You are also dealing with a variety of instruments and musical styles. It was so much fun. I actually just finished it and it turned out great. I am very proud of it. I saw some of the movie and it is going to blow people away.

AL: Did you provide all of the instrumentation on the score?
J5: I and Griffin Boyce did everything. It was just me and him. I did a lot of the stuff on guitar using an Ebow or a violin bow. It’s really cool.

AL: Do you see yourself doing more scoring in the future?
J5: I don’t know. I worked so hard on the project but it’s kind of just background music. There is a lot of work for that. I love Rob’s movies and I was very honored to be a part of the project. If Rob does another movie of course I will do it. I don’t know if I will venture off.

AL: How is it working with Rob in a band setting compared to a directorial setting?
J5: We have a great time just hanging out with each other. However when its business its business. He gives me clear ideas of what he wants and as long as that’s what I deliver we have no problems. I have always listened to talk about how certain people don’t listen to what he is saying. I have made sure to always listen. A lot of times when he is explaining something I will record the conversation and I will tell him that I am doing so. By doing that I will have exactly what he said and I will go from there. This has worked out amazingly for us. A lot of times you can forget what somebody says during conversation so this has really helped.

AL: Can you tell us about this summer’s tour?
J5: We are going to be touring this summer with Megadeth. I am really excited about this because they are a band I love. It’s great being on tour. It’s like heavy metal summer camp. There is nothing better to me than touring in the warm weather in the United States. I love it!

AL: What will the bands lineup be for the tour?
J5: It will be me on guitar, Piggy D on bass and then Ginger Fish from Marilyn Manson on drums. Ginger has a really great groove. I played with him for sometime in Marilyn Manson as well and we are really happy to have him on board.

AL: Do you have any other plans in the works?
J5: I wrote some music for the next Lynyrd Skynyrd album as well as for the next Rod Stewart album. We also will be starting the recording of a new Rob Zombie record in June after the tour ends.

AL: This will be the second time you have worked with Lynyrd Skynyrd. How did that all come about?
J5: I did 6 songs on the bands last album. I did “Storm”, “Gifted Hands”, “Skynyrd Nation”, “Floyd” and a bunch of other tracks.  I got involved with the band through my publisher who asked if I would be interested in writing some tunes. I love Skynyrd more than anything else in the world!  I am very educated in the bands catalog so writing with them was an honor and a treat.

For more information on John 5 be sure to check out his website at

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