Guitar legend John 5 is taking instrumental guitar to new levels with his new “Invasion” album and tour.
John William Lowery, more widely known as “John 5,” has performed around the world with headlining bands such as Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie. He has also played sessions with Rod Stewart, Paul Stanley of KISS, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He has been playing guitar for Rob Zombie since 2005.
John 5 has been working on solo records since 2004. Currently he is touring for his solo project, “John 5 and the Creatures,” while debuting his new album, “Invasion.”
John 5 and the Creatures will be on the road starting February 20, performing for his ‘Invasion’ tour around the country. They will perform in Lubbock at Jake’s Backroom on March 1 at 7 p.m.
John 5 released a solo album, “Careful with that Axe,” in 2014. He decided to take his solo act on tour as “John 5 and the Creatures” in 2015. He needed a few band members and recruited Rodger Carter on drums and Ian Ross on bass.
“I went to MI (Musical Institute,) I said, ‘Give me the best bass player and drummer you got, and I kind of put it together,” John 5 told The Plainsman Press recently in an exclusive interview. “I said, ‘I don’t know what’s gonna happen guys. But let’s play these songs and see what happens, and people really enjoy it, and that makes me happy.”
John 5 is very passionate about the music he creates and performs. He says that his love of music started when he was a child watching television.
“Like the “Brady Bunch,” or anything that had music on it, “Hee Haw,” even “Happy Days” and things like that,” he explained.
He later became a fan of Van Halen and Jimmie Hendrix. John 5 says he is always looking for inspiration.
“I think it’s one of the most important things, to be inspired,” said John 5, “so it’s very, very important to me.”
The musician has been performing since the late 1980’s and has seen the music industry evolve in big ways. With the rise of the Internet and online streaming, getting a band or musician’s name and content out into the world is much easier than it was in the early 1990’s.
“Before, you needed to have these big corporate machines approving everything…” John 5 explained. “But nowadays, everything is done by yourself, and it’s wonderful. You can reach the whole world in a matter of seconds.”
John 5 makes and manages his own music videos, records, and his own tours. Because he is self sufficient, he doesn’t need a manager.
“It couldn’t be working out better for me,” he added.
In 1997, John 5 joined K.D. Lang in hosting the 1997 Fashion Music Awards. While he was on stage, he noticed the front row of his audience was comprised of Prince, Madonna, Peter Gabriel and their significant others watching him. This made John 5 feel like he was successful in his endeavors.
“I watched them my whole life, and now they’re watching me,” he said. “I really felt like I made it.”
John 5 has been very humble and kind to the people around him despite his fame and good fortune. The only things he says he would do differently through the years is a few business decisions. He said he feels that he has treated everybody in his personal life with respect.
Unlike some musicians, John 5 says that he loves touring life and everything that goes with it. He gets to wake up and play music, hang out with his friends, meet people, and sign autographs. He says that touring may be hard, but it also is enjoyable. He also gives himself plenty of time in between tours to stay home to manage his day-to-day responsibilities and personal interests.
“It (touring) is wonderful,” explained John 5. “I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
John 5 linked up with Rob Zombie in 2005 at the Camp Freddy benefit gig. He heard from a friend that Rob Zombie was going to be performing there.
“I was like, ‘Oh, I’d love to play with Rob Zombie, I’m a really big fan,” he continued. “We got to jam together at that benefit and got to talking. I told him what a big fan I was and how much I respected him.”
John 5 and Rob Zombie stayed in contact after the benefit. Rob Zombie wanted to do some shows with him, and John 5 made himself available.
“It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” he said.
He also released his “Crank it” music video on February 1. His “Invasion” album will be released this year in a series of music videos. John 5 music can be found “anywhere digital music is sold.”