released May 11th, 2010
from the album - The Nightmare Unravels
from all music
Born in Grosse Pointe, MI, 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 (imagine Brandon Lee in The Crow), after moving to L.A. at 18 years old he scored high-profile gigs touring with Lita Ford and k.d. lang from 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/showboat 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 a 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 solo 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 solo outing, Devil Knows My Name, gained recognition from a guitarworld.com 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 the release of his fourth solo album, Requiem, which was promoted with a West Coast tour of the Guitar Center retail music chain.
Ghoulish makeup aside, John Lowery, aka John 5, is the type of guitar player who really doesn’t need gimmicks. No doubt about it, the boy can play. Coming off his record with Rob Zombie, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, he returned to the studio with Chris Baseford to make his Requiem follow-up and his fifth solo release, The Art of Malice. Like his last outing, the album is a showy clinic that demonstrates his speed and versatility on his signature Telecasters (his favorite being a custom 1964), and it would be nearly impossible to find someone faster. His picking is so rapid that it sounds like he has a plectrum glued on a drill-bit. But while he excels at lightning-fast scales and sweeps, he is still reaching to find his own voice. That said, he perfectly emulates the style of past guitar heroes, at times even outdoing them at their own game technically. "Ya Dig?” is a tribute to Van Halen, named for something Diamond Dave would say while John 5 was in the DLR ranks (and featuring Eat ‘Em and Smile bassist Billy Sheehan thumping away); “Portrayed as Unremorseful” apes Jimmy Page with a snip of Zep's “Heartbreaker” solo played over chords from “Rock and Roll"; and “Fractured Mirror” is a cover of a song by the man who inspired him to pick up a guitar and paint his face, Ace Frehley. Along with the blistering rockers, the acoustic “The Last Page Turned,” the slide-based “Can I Live Again,” and the incredible chicken pickin’ of “J.W.” demonstrate his versatility nicely. Most guitarists will be too impressed by the specifics of his playing to notice that The Art of Malice is worn territory.
1 The Nighmare Unravels John 5 4:54
2 The Art of Malice John 5 1:46
3 All Will or Spite John 5 4:03
4 J.W. John 5 3:10
5 Ya Dig? John 5 3:52
6 Can I Live Again John 5 4:02
7 Portrayed as Unremorseful John 5 3:29
8 Steel Guitar Rag John 5 2:59
9 Wayne County Killer John 5 3:42
10 Fractured Mirror Frehley 5:09
11 The S-Lot John 5 4:13
12 The Last Page Turned John 5 3:35