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John 5

A respected and inventive guitar player with an eclectic visual style rooted in horror-pop culture, John 5 (born John William Lowery) started his career as a session player before making a name for himself as the axe man for hard rock heavyweights like David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson, and Rob Zombie. In 2004 he launched a solo career with the release of Vertigo, one of several innovative instrumental albums (Devil Knows My Name [2007], God Told Me Too [2012], Sinner [2021]) that showcased his virtuosic guitar slinging. In addition to his own work, Lowery has written for and collaborated with a slew of diverse artists including Avril Lavigne, Rob Halford, Garbage, Meat Loaf, Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Slash, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan and picking up a guitar at the tender age of seven, John Lowery was given the nickname John 5 the day he joined Marilyn Manson's band. A versatile session guitarist known for his speed as well as his keen goth fashion sense, after moving to L.A. at 18 he scored high-profile gigs touring with Lita Ford and k.d. lang based on his work scoring soundtracks and commercials with producer Bob Marlette. Studio work continued, as he contributed to ex-Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford's industrial metal group Two and ex-Van Halen singer David Lee Roth's The DLR Band album. Initially rejected in his first audition to play guitar with Manson, John was asked to join Manson on the Rock Is Dead tour, following guitarist Zim Zum's departure. Two albums were completed with Manson, Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) and The Golden Age of Grotesque, before John 5 left to pursue a solo career. His debut record, Vertigo, was released in 2004, and that year he founded Loser, a more radio-friendly band, with vocalist Joe Grah of Jibe. His second album, Songs for Sanity, followed in 2005, just as he paired up with White Zombie's Rob Zombie for Ozzfest. John contributed to the majority of songs on Zombie's 2006 release, Educated Horses, and decided to disband Loser to tour with Zombie for the next year. His third outing, Devil Knows My Name, gained recognition from a guitarworld's reader's poll, awarding him with Best Shred Album of the Year. With albums by Rob Zombie, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Filter in the works, June of 2008 marked his fourth release, Requiem, which was promoted with a West Coast tour of the Guitar Center retail music chain. After recording Hellbilly Deluxe 2 with Zombie, Lowery returned to writing instrumentals, and The Art of Malice followed in May of 2010. He returned in 2012 with God Told Me So, which featured both acoustic and electric songs, as well as a cover of the Michael Jackson hit "Beat It," and in 2014 he issued Careful with That Axe, his seventh solo long-player. Two years later he rejoined the Zombie band for The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser, with a new solo instrumental effort, Season of Witch, appearing in 2017. Following the release of the 2018 concert LP It's Alive and an appearance on ex-Journey vocalist Steve Perry's Traces LP, Lowery issued Invasion, which he followed up with another live outing, Live Invasion. 2021 proved to be another busy year with the arrival of Rob Zombie's The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy and the solo effort Sinner.
© Jason Lymangrover & James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Discography

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