JOHN5 Reflects on His Touring Routine, and Shares Excitement Towards Upcoming North American Sinner Tour 2022: “As Long As I Have A Guitar In My Hands, I’m Happy!”
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John5 is one of the hardest working musicians on the planet, and to prove it, he will be heading out on his Spring/Summer 2022 Sinner North American Tour before a Rob Zombie tour this summer. Johns‘ tour starts in California on April 19th and takes him through June, ending in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Supporting many of his shows along the way will his Rob Zombie touring partner Piggy aka Count D, with his solo band, The Haxans. With dates already selling out, fans need to get their ticket quickly.
Tickets and Meet and Greet packages can be purchased here.
John 5‘s guitar abilities are unsurpassed to most guitarists with the perfect combination of brilliant technique and style. A visionary player that can sculpt sound and bend minds in equal measure. He is a true innovator and virtuoso on the guitar. His playing style stretches the boundaries of rock, country, progressive, and blues, sometimes all in the same song. Together with Logan Miles Nix on drums and Ian Ross on bass of The Creatures, John and his band explore every sonic highway possible. Combining his insane style of playing with some off-the-wall macabre theatrics will make for an incredible show. The common thread running through all of the songs, whether on his CDs on performing live, is the passion and emotion applied to them, delivering them with heart and soul.
Correspondent Robert Cavuoto had an in-depth conversation with John5 about his upcoming tour, the preparation that goes into it, his secret to surviving any tour, and some surprise KISS members who may be appearing with him on stage! Check out their conversation, and remember that for more interviews and other daily content, make sure to follow Sonic Perspectives on Facebook, Flipboard and Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified about new interviews and contents we publish on a daily basis.
Tickets to your shows are selling fast and furious; two shows have already sold out. Congratulations!
It’s really wonderful; I’m super happy and super pumped to get back on the road! I’m telling you I can’t wait!
I spoke with Count D of The Haxans last week, and he is also excited about the tour; he said it was a lot of work to coordinate schedules. How did it all come about; did the planets and stars have to align to do this?
Yeah, we will be out with The Haxans! People really need a great night out. We were heading out on the road, and I said, “Hey man, why don’t you come out with us?” From there, we put it all together, and it just happened. I’m happy that it is going to go on. People are really going to love Piggy D and Ash Costello’s performance. It will be a great night out.
Photo by Robert Cavuoto
I’ll be at the Sellersville Pennsylvania show on May 8th to see both of you perform!
There are only six or seven tickets left for that show.
Do you have any plans to jam together at the end of your set?
I hope so! We should think of a song and put one together.
I would like to see that.
Me too [laughing]!
You were supposed to go on tour with Yngwie Malmsteen this past winter. Can you share details of that decision not to go out on that tour?
It was Corina crazy! Yngwie is my hero. At the time, it was so bad; it was insane. I felt terrible because I love him so much. I feel bad because I was so looking forward to the tour. It was a terrible time of year. People were going through a lot.
Was there any discussion in rescheduling a tour with him because it would be a tremendous double bill?
It was a tremendous double bill! I hope he is not too salty with me. Hopefully, we can do it again as I felt terrible.
Photo by Robert Cavuoto
I saw you last August at the Sherman Theater in Pennsylvania during the hurricane. Will you be changing things up for this tour?
Oh yeah, that show was crazy! It was insane. I remember it because the weather was so bad. I couldn’t believe the number of people who showed up. I loved that show. Every tour I’m on, we change the song and all that stuff.
Any new theatrics?
There will be all sorts of cool new stuff. We are recording for a new live record, so we will be recording in Sellersville.
That’s awesome; I thought you were only recorded at the Iridium in New York and a show in California?
We are going to do it all over the country because now we have the technology. Before, we thought to record just in San Francisco and New York, but we can do it all over the place, and I’m super happy about that.
I have seen you play multiple times live; there is a magical way that you bond with your guitar on stage. Can you tell me about that magic?
It’s funny you say that as I thought about it the other day. My guitar was my first toy. I still get to play with my toy at my age. It’s funny to think of it that way as there is a huge bond. Just imagine if the first toy you loved growing up you could still play with, and it wouldn’t be weird to play with it in front of a group of people. And to have them be accepting it of it [laughing]! So, there is a bond there, and it’s wonderful. It’s hard to explain because it’s the meaning of life doing what you love, and it’s definitely what I love.
Going back to the recording question, you previously mentioned that Peter Criss was going to be joining you at one of the New York shows. Is there a chance that Ace Frehley will be joining you as he has a show in New York on June 11th, same as you?
I don’t know about Ace. Peter will probably come up to the New York show at the Iridium. I don’t know exactly what we are going to do, perhaps just jam. I love Ace, and hopefully, we can get together to do some picking because we always have a great time doing that.
Photo by Robert Cavuoto
Any time you get to play with a member of KISS is incredible.
Absolutely [laughing]. It’s incredible; they are our heroes!
What aspects of touring do you like, and what don’t you like?
That’s a great question. I love touring in the summertime, going to the record stores, being in great weather, and seeing the crowds. Also, things that sound so simple like going to catering to eat, going into the hotel, or getting into a freshly made bed. It’s one of my favorite past times. The thing I don’t like about touring is the travel. The flying the long drives. They say in the business that they don’t pay you to play; they pay you to travel!
You have played the theaters as a solo artist and the arenas with Rob Zombie. Tell me about the dichotomy of the two settings?
I have played clubs, arenas, and theaters. It doesn’t matter. I’m happy as long as I have a guitar in my hands! I don’t care where I’m playing. I love being on stage and playing in front of people, and it gives me so much happiness. I get that from the people.
What about the intimacy of playing in clubs compared to areas?
I could be looking at 500, 5,000, or 30,000 people, and it doesn’t matter to me. I know it sounds crazy. Of course, everyone loves playing huge shows, but as long as I have a guitar in my hands, I’m happy.
Is there a lot of choreographing when you play areas with Rob Zombie? Stand here, don’t stand there, etc.?
I don’t know if I would be called choreographing; it’s like you stand don’t stand here, don’t stand there because you will get blown up [laughing]!
Whether with your solo band, The Creature, Rob Zombie, or Marylin Manson, what is the secret to surviving a tour?
It is not very Rock & Roll to say this, but you have to be healthy and stay healthy. You have to eat right. Your body is the most important thing up there. You have to take care of yourself; when you don’t feel good, it comes out in your playing.
Photo by Robert Cavuoto
How have you avoided the pitfalls of alcohol or drugs on the road as I think it comes from boredom?
My family drank and smoked, and I came from a very nice neighborhood with a great upbringing. I knew I didn’t want to do that as it was scary. At a very young age, I didn’t see its benefit. I was right because I don’t know one person who is still doing it from back in the day. You have to take care of yourself. Every day you are doing a show or traveling. Everybody knows when they come back from a vacation or do a little traveling, they get home, and they are spent. Imagine that times 100.
I heard how devastated you were about Taylor Hawkin’s death; were you friends?
He was a friend, and we did shows together; it really hit me hard because he was such an incredible musician. He was such a great human and person. It really made me sad. People loved him.
I’m sorry for your loss.
Do you remember your first tour?
I remember it vividly. I was in a band called Red Square Black with Randy Castillo, and we opened up for Testament. I was so excited to be on a real tour with a tour bus. We had a blast and one of the greatest times I’ll never forget. It was a month-long tour.
What became of the Red Square Black?
I think I started playing with K.D. Lang and went on tour. Everything started to happen for me around that time.
How long does it take you to get up to speed for a Rob Zombie tour? You have a tour with him this summer.
I prepare at home. I always go into band rehearsals prepared to do the show. It doesn’t matter with Rob or The Creatures; I’m always very prepared. When we are getting ready for a two, it probably takes about two weeks for pre-production. We do it in a big production rehearsal room and rehearse for about six hours a day for five days a week because of screens, production, and lunch. It’s fun because you are hanging out with your friends.
You use a different guitar for almost every song at your solo shows. How many guitars do you take out with you?
I take about 12 different guitars. Some have different tuning while others light up. I like to give people a show and make it exciting. People want to see the different guitars; I know I loved that when I was a kid.