Guitar wizard John 5 has had quite a successful career, maintaining him as Rob Zombie’s guitarist for nearly two decades while releasing 10 solo albums. Despite his long collaboration with Bob Zombie, John 5 has earned a reputation for being able to play in a variety of styles and he often switches between genres on his own records.
In a new interview with Ultimate Guitar, John 5 says he always tries to push his own limits but doesn’t see much of what’s going on elsewhere in rock and metal music.
“It’s like an automobile; you will push the limits and try to do something better. Now we have a car that can drive itself and you can just sit there and have a car that can park itself and do all these other things. It’s a bit the same with the guitar, there are so many new techniques that obsess me and I love to learn. I’m so drawn to anything that’s inspirational or something like that. When I find this stuff, I’ll sit down and learn it, because that’s what makes me happy. It just stimulates my brain and excites me.
“I put something on my Instagram just a few days ago of a new little technique. I’m doing it for the same reason I think other people are doing it, it’s not to say ‘hey , look how cool” but to inspire somebody or to inspire a kid who’s the next world-changing Eddie Van Halen, ’cause they’re out there… But if everybody’s like, ‘eh, I’m good enough…’ No, there’s got to be a new epiphany there, there’s got to be a new changing of the guard, there’s being a new guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist, it’s gonna change everything. pray that it happens because we need it. We need it. What’s the latest new band that changes everything? There’s a few out there… there’s Greta Van Fleet and Ghost, and things like that. But think back then, there were millions of them. There were so many new bands filling the arenas all the time. So we really, true need. And that’s why I go on Instagram and I play, and I hope some kid takes it and is the next Eddie Van Halen, or the next Steve Vai or the next, Paul McCartney or something.
The interviewer also asks if there are any recent bands or guitar techniques that John 5 has enjoyed recently, to which he gives a no answer:
“All the time. I’m a YouTube scroller. I’m in Instagram. I scroll and look for people who make me say, ‘Whoa, this is great. This is very impressive. And then I’ll learn this and I’ll put it in my game.”
John 5 also spoke about the importance of how guitar instructors approach teaching each specific student and instilling a love of the genre in new players.
He released his latest album, Fisherman, in October 2021. The album was preceded by a more than a little confusing single “Que Pasa”, which features Dave Mustaine repeatedly shouting the titular Spanish phrase. The video is even more ridiculous and absolutely worth watching.