Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Zombie Guitarist Adds a Little Country to Heavy Rock

(Just found this online--kinda dug it)

Courier & Press staff writer 464-7434 or bennettj@courierpress.com
Posted July 13, 2006 at midnight

It sounds funny coming from a guy who has played guitar with Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and David Lee Roth, but John 5 says he didn't want to be a rock star.

He wanted to be a session musician, the guy who plays guitar in the studio for solo artists. He has backed up people such as k.d. Lang, Meatloaf, Salt-N-Pepa and Paul Stanley, but he became a full-fledged member of Manson's band in 1998.

His workmanlike ambitions could be why he enjoys recording with Zombie more than with Manson - Manson sometimes went into the studio at 2 a.m.; Zombie records from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"I've never been happier than I have with Rob," said John 5, who is from Michigan and whose real name is John Lowery. "It seems like a family. Everybody sits around and jokes. We totally respect Rob. It's chemistry. We have a great time."

They're bringing that chemistry to Roberts Stadium on Tuesday. Expect to see Zombie's patented B-movie horror rock, right after an opening set from the reunited original lineup of rap-rock/thrash pioneers Anthrax, who are playing together for the first time since 1992.

Zombie's solo hits include "Dragula" and "Living Dead Girl." He became famous with White Zombie and songs such as "More Human Than Human" and "Thunderkiss '65."

"It's going to be one of those shows; you'll hear a bunch of songs you'll know," John 5 said.

John 5 - so named because he was the fifth member added to Manson's band - has done a pair of solo instrumental albums.

The longtime country music fan said he tried to incorporate hybrid picking, scales and fingering not normally found in rock music.

"I think that's why people got into them a little bit," he said. "With heavy rock instrumental albums, to a person who doesn't play guitar, it starts to sound the same. (The country influence) was something different. It was a surprise."

John 5 turned down a record deal with another band to join Zombie's outfit. His band Loser was signed with Island/Def Jam Records and even recorded an album, which is now in limbo.

But he was a Zombie fan, and they clicked when they played together onstage at Ozz-fest 2005.

John 5 played on eight of 10 tracks on Zombie's "Educated Horses" album.

"I know I made the right choice," he said.

"I don't think I'll ever get tired of playing these songs."