20 QUESTIONS WITH…
A few weeks ago we got this email: Hi. I hope all is well. Former Marilyn Manson guitarist John 5 is getting ready to come out with an instrumental cd and a new band in the near future. He has a ‘question and answer’ section on his website and someone asked if he would be interested in ever doing 20 Questions with Metal Sludge, and he would. So, we thought we would go ahead and email you to see if you were up for it?
Sure, sounded good to us! So we sent out 20 Questions to John 5, and while he sent them back promptly, he didn’t exactly answer all 20 Questions. That’s always a bummer since even if somebody doesn’t want to answer a question, there is always a way around it. Especially if you’re coming to us asking for questions! You can always find some answer to give us. Something is better than nothing. Anyway, here’s what we got back from John 5. Enjoy!
1. What are you currently up to? This is the only chance to promote whatever it is you?re doing.
I’m coming out with an instrumental CD August 31 called ‘Vertigo’ on Shrapnel Records. Also, later this year I will have a band out called ‘Loser’. It will be a band directed toward the MTV market-lots of great songs. From there it’s tour, tour, tour!
2. You were told by Marilyn Manson?s management that you were no longer in the band. So did you ever end up hearing from Manson at all and don?t you think he should have at least told you himself? And why do you think you got the boot from Manson?s band? Any idea?
3. Dude, how did you end up dating and being engaged to Aria Giovanni? Does she ever bring home friends for you guys to enjoy?
We first met at a Dita Von Teese performance. We talked a little and we just kept running into each other it seems like everywhere we went. So, it just kinda went from there.
Nope, she doesn’t bring anyone home. We have a great and very close relationship.
4. What hard rock/heavy metal band should give it up and call it a day?
If they’re out there making money and selling record, why hang it up.
5. Rate the following guitarists on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 being somebody who has no business picking up a guitar and 10 being a virtuoso.
C.C. DeVille =
Mick Mars =
Bruce Kulick =
Dimebag Darrell =
Zakk Wylde =
Steve Vai =
Ace Frehley =
Paul Gilbert =
Ted Nugent =
I don’t mean for this to sound like a ‘cop out’, but I believe some of the guitarist on the list didn’t set out to be virtuosos and just wanted to write great songs. Could you imagine a world without ‘Shout at the Devil’? I know I wouldn’t want to!
6. You?ve done session work with Wilson Phillips, Salt N Pepa and even toured with Lita Ford. Out of everybody you?ve worked with, who was the most difficult to make happy or the biggest pain in the ass? Tell us some stories, please.
None of them were really hard to work with but there was one funny situation. When I was working with Wilson Phillips. We were working on tracks and Carnie tripped over one of my guitar and she went right to the ground. It was really bright outside and she was coming into a dark room and her eyes hadn’t adjusted yet. That was the first time I met her.
7. It?s been said that Marilyn is pretty brutal with his band and used to verbally abuse and haze band members all the time. What?s the most stressful or insulting thing Manson ever did to you?
The most stressful was the very first time I was on stage with Marilyn at the MTV Video Awards and we played Dope Show. There was so much going on…I was very stressed out but it turned out great.
8. Give us a touring memory about the following cities:
Dallas = Home of Pantera, home of the Club House, late nights with Dime and Vinnie.
Boston = That is where Aerosmith opened Marilyn Manson! We were headlining a festival and we found out Aerosmith came by and wanted to try out so new music so they ended playing before us. So, I can say Aerosmith opened for us in their home town.
Chicago = Crowd ripping up the lawn at Ozzfest. Raining sod!
Detroit = My hometown-so it’s always family day.
Las Vegas = We always play Hard Rock Cafe or House of Blues…and I remember everything is always taken care of and we’re treated like kings
Phoenix = Ozzfest-when we play there it always seemed like it was 300 degrees and after the second song I felt like I played nine hours on stage. How does Slipknot do it with masks on?!
Tampa = Florida is one of my favorite places and we always use to stay in hotels along the beach. I would sleep with my window open. Doesn’t sound like a very fond memory but that’s what I like about Florida.
Atlanta = Acropolis Steakhouse-it’s where 50+ year old women get up at shake their moneymaker.
Tokyo = Tokyo is very strange because I always end up spending too much money and I end up getting lost. In Tokyo you can’t make out the street signs so I always get really really lost.
London = London is my savior from when we tour Europe and Japan. I’m always happy to get to London because people speak English again and people are so nice. I like going to the Marshall factory as well.
9. You have your name written in Chinese across your chest. Is that so when you?re shirtless in China people know who you are? What made that seem like a good idea to do?
Actually it’s from the Japanese Yakuza-the Japanese mafia. They have their name in the middle of their chest. All of the tattoo artists had their names in the middle of their chests as well.
10. The last of John 5:
Last CD you purchased = Buckethead Land-Island of Lost Minds
Last movie you saw = Fahrenheit 9/11
Last book you read = Chet Atkins-Me and My Guitars
Last concert you saw = Kiss/Poison
Last time you broke a string on stage = The last show we played. In Sweden-late December
Last item you purchased at Guitar Center = I really have my eye on a 1971 Fender Telecaster. DON’T GO BUY IT!
Last bootleg you purchased was = Kiss Alive in Japan 1977
Last rock star?s phone number you put into your cell phone = Wes Borland
Last strip club you visited = Crazy Girls
Last gift you purchased for Aria = Last big gift was her engagement ring. We got engaged in Paris on the last tour.
11. You auditioned for Ozzy at one point but didn’t get the gig. Was that when Joe Holmes got the gig with him and was there any specific reason you think you didn’t get it the slot?
I actually didn’t try out for Ozzy. They would always ask me to help out if Zakk wasn’t available and they wanted to audition bass players. I would just go down and help out Sharon and Ozzy. It was always something of that nature.
12. Did you ever get to hang out at Manson?s house and like watch TV or have a cook out or anything, or were you always kept at a distance?
Manson and I were actually very close. We hung out and watched movies and went to the movies. We were together a lot. It was actually great to be around him to watch him work. Sometimes I would watch him paint. Also, I’ve watched people write songs, but to watch him create a piece of art out of nothing was something I’ve never seen before.
13. You?re a hardcore Kiss fan. What do you think about Eric Singer wearing Peter?s makeup and Tommy Thayer wearing Ace?s? Would you do something like that if the offer came along?
I think Tommy and Eric are incredible musicians. They do their job perfectly. If Gene and Paul asked me to do it, I would probably beg and plead to be my own character. If they said it would have to be from the Kiss era, I would choose something that nobody wore. They came up with many ideas before settling on what they have now. For example, back in ’73 Paul Stanley was searching for makeup and came up with the "Bandit". I would probably choose that.
14. What rock star deserves a smack in the mouth and why?
15. Yes or no, has John 5 ever:
Wanted to join Warrant = no
Told Marilyn to ?fuck off? = no
Had David Lee Roth show you any videos of old Van Halen concerts = yes
Been bothered that your girlfriend is being photographed with a shoe in her vagina = I don’t think that’s true
Had somebody shit or piss in your suitcase = no
Regretted a tattoo = yes
Wanted to move back to Michigan = no
Met Prince = yes
Seen Metal Skool = yes
Feared that you?re going to hell = yes
16. What do you remember about working with David Lee Roth and the period that you were in his band?
When I joined DLR I was playing with Rob Halford. When I was reheasiing with Halford we would start at 12pm. But Dave wanted me first so I would be "fresh" so he wanted me to record at 6am. So I would record from 6-11am and then rehearse with Halford at 12pm.
17. What do you remember about the following years:
1983 = Worshiping Van Halen and playing the clubs
1986 = Worshiping Metallica, playing gigs, and losing my virginity
1990 = Living in California, playing sessions, playing in a band with Rudy Sarzo, doing everything I could do to stay alive and living my dream
1993 = Making more money and having a great time in California
1996 = Touring the world with KD Lang
1998 = Joining Marilyn Manson
2001 = Touring with Manson, living the dream
2003 = Lots of deaths in the family, a lot of good things-great new album, great tour,
18. What?s the most bizarre thing you?ve ever seen on tour with any band? Something that really stands out.
The last time we played a festival once with Manson. The crowd completely went wild and stormed the stage and a riot broke out. The aftermath was incredible. It awesome to see the power and the strength of 100,000 people.
19. You worked with Marilyn Manson, KD Lang, David Lee Roth, Rob Halford, and Paul Stanley. Uh?do you look to work with artists that are either gay or supposedly bisexual?
20. Time for Metal Sludge?s Word Association. We mention a name and you give us your thoughts.
Avril Lavigne = Superstar
Lita Ford = #1 Heavy Metal Woman
Twiggy Ramirez = Incredible Songwriter/Musician
Ozzy Osbourne = The King
Jason Becker = Awesome guitarist
Rudy Sarzo = My savior
Eddie Van Halen = Master of the instruments
Courtney Love = All around entertainer with movies and music
Disturbed = One of my favorites
David Lee Roth = The Man
Well there you go. For more info on John, you can visit www.John-5.com.