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John 5 talks Australian Invasion

interview by Jordan Sibberas

Famous for his axe slinging with Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, chances are if you were alive in the late 90s and you are a metalhead, goth, emo, or alternative, then you’ve headbanged along to one of his riffs. Now, John 5 brings his instrumental show John 5 and the Creatures to Australia off the back of their latest album, Invasion.

Tickets can be purchased from:

John 5 and The Creatures April 2020 Tour Dates:

Thursday 16th April – MELBOURNE, The Prince

Friday 17th April – BRISBANE, The Zoo

Saturday 18th April – SYDNEY, The Manning Bar

Jordan Sibberas: How are you today?

John 5: Not bad!

JS: I imagine you’re excited for the upcoming Australian tour?

John 5: You know, I’ve been to Australia a few times. I went to Australia with K.D. Lang back in, er, I don’t know, ninety-six maybe? Then came two times with Manson and I think once with [Rob] Zombie. And now I’m super, super excited to come in with my own instrumental act, The Creatures. Australia is one of my favourite places in the world, so I’m really super excited.

Picture 1

JS: Nice! Any particular reason you love it over here so much?

John 5: Well, it’s a lot like California, where I live, it’s such a beautiful, beautiful place. I love the fun and I love the people and it’s just gorgeous over there. I’m very, very excited, and that isn’t just because I’m talking to you. I’ve said this many times, I just really enjoy it there very much. The only thing I don’t like is we’re so far away from you guys.

JS: How do you expect a visit with your solo project to differ to those past tours?

John 5: The music is going to be different, and the people are going to be different, it should be a completely different thing. And we’re so excited we’re trying to come in like four days earlier and we’re just going to run around all over the place. So we’re going to have some great shows, and we’re going to record the shows as well for a live record called Live Invasion. It should be really special!

JS: Very cool! For those of us who aren’t familiar, who will you be bringing out for The Creatures?

John 5: Ian Ross will be playing bass, and Logan Miles Nix is the drummer, and they’ve been part of the creatures for quite a little while now.

JS: Invasion, the new record by John 5 and the Creatures was recorded a while ago now, are you happy with how it turned out?

John 5: I’m so happy with how it turned out. I really was very, very picky and choosy, but I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I’m very particular but I couldn’t be happier actually. And that’s why we’re calling the live album Live Invasion because you know, I can do anything I want and I’m feeling very proud of this record. We thought, what a little fun thing to do if we played all these songs live all around the world and release the recordings of all the songs on the album, and that’s what we’re doing. Just imagine that, if KISS did that with Dressed to Kill, called Dressed to Kill live, or something, so cool! So that’s what I’m going to be doing.

JS: When you’re the “front” man of an instrumental group, how does switching a microphone out for a guitar change how you approach putting on a show?

John 5: Well, I’ll tell you, it is difficult. When I first started doing this and tried to explain it to promoters and stuff, they were like, “You mean there’s no vocals? It’s just gonna be you entertaining people?”. And yeah, that’s pretty much it. We’re just going to be playing! But there’s lots of differences. There’s such a wide array of music, you know, with the bluegrass, and all the heavy stuff, and all the different instruments. So it’s a really fun show. That’s what it is. It’s a really super fun show.

JS: Does it challenge you a lot to switch between, say, the bluegrass hybrid picking, and the heavier shredding styles when you try play all the different styles you record on your records?

John 5: No, not really because this record is so honest. It’s just who I am. That’s what I play when I sit on the couch. I just play this kind of music. I go from crazy sweeps to fingerpicking and double stops, to sliding arpeggios, so it’s a little bit of everything and that’s what keeps it exciting I think. And it keeps it fun for the crowd too. It’s such a strange change, but it works so well.

JS: Considering the breadth of music you’ve played across, you’ve been the voice of guitar to a lot of different people, so who do you see as the next “thing” in guitar?

John 5: What is so incredible is the internet, like Instagram. It’s just such a phenomenal tool because you can see all these great guitarists and it’s wonderful, if you’ve got the goods, the worlds will see it and you know, the world is your audience. So, you know, we’re all watching, and I really love to seek out new players from all over the world.

JS: Do you think that the limited format, time-wise, of social media guitarists, can harm the songwriting element?

John 5: I think we all tried to write the best song you can, like in my instrumental stuff, I really try to focus on the song I Am John 5, you know, hooky choruses. So you know, when the guys will bring their girlfriends or wives or something, and they’ll enjoy it too. You know, “Oh, I like the song, I Want It All, or, uh, I am John 5”. I like the things have got that funky chorus, and I try to write the best music I can, and then just put crazy guitar stuff in.

JS: Has that attitude been a product of working with Manson or Zombie, or have you always approached it like that?

John 5: No, I mean, I think everybody tries to write the greatest song, but I just do my best. But yeah, of course everything is experience, from Manson to Zombie, and anybody else that I’ve worked with, it’s all experience, and I tried to use that to the best of my ability with The Creatures as well.

JS: Thanks for your time, and see you in March!

Tickets can be purchased from:

 John 5 and The Creatures

Plus special Guest Jared James Nichols

Australian Tour April 2010

 JOHN 5 is one of the most influential guitarists of our generation. Best known for his time in Marilyn Manson and as the current guitarist for Rob Zombie, JOHN 5 has been a guitar player for some of the biggest headlining rock bands in the world as well as playing session with Paul Stanley, Rod Stewart, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more. Now JOHN 5 is heading to Australia, for his first ever solo shows here, to shred our nation to pieces thanks to Silverback Touring. Accompanying him is American blues-rock guitarist and singer JARED JAMES NICHOLS who is rated as one of the hottest players on the scene, also making his debut appearance in Australia.

JOHN 5 is undoubtably one of the most dominant shredders on the planet. His impressive resume of working with frontmen such as Manson, Zombie, as well as, Rob Halford and Dave Lee Roth, shows his impressive skills have not gone unnoticed, but it doesn’t do him justice to label JOHN 5 as a shredder – he’s a guitarist, a great guitarist – and there’s little he can’t put his hand to.

How does one define JOHN 5? Is he rock? Is it country? Is he heavy metal? What about emo, industrial or bluegrass? Truth is there is no one set genre to fit JOHN 5. In a world where music must be defined, JOHN 5 breaks every mould by continually changing and adapting his style. Although he is unmistakably JOHN 5 in his sound, he mixes around with the foundation with every new track he writes, every album he guests on and every time he picks up the guitar. His versatility can be heard on his brand new album “Invasion” which was released on 31 July.

You can’t teach the blues. It’s not something that can be codified in music books or learned on YouTube. It goes much deeper than that and it comes from the inside. It’s about the way the guitar strings are bent and the sound gets transmuted directly from a player’s soul. It’s simple at the end of the day. Either you’ve got it, or you don’t. JARED JAMES NICHOLS has definitely got it. The Wisconsin-born, Los Angeles-based singer, writer and guitarist’s channels blues grit and gusto through bombastic arena-size rock ‘n’ roll. It’s raw, raucous and righteously real.

JARED JAMES NICHOLS is best known for his high-energy performances and ‘pick-less’ electric guitar playing technique. He is rarely seen without playing his “signature” single-pickup Gibson Les Paul Custom P90 nick-named Old Glory. He fronts a power trio under his name, rooted in the early 1970s hard-rock vein of Cream and Mountain.

Get set for a night of pure guitar driven ecstasy where shred meets the blues and plenty of technical genius on display.

John 5 and The Creatures April 2020 Tour Dates:

Thursday 16th April – MELBOURNE, The Prince

Friday 17th April – BRISBANE, The Zoo

Saturday 18th April – SYDNEY, The Manning Bar


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