Guitarist John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON) recently spoke with WSOU 89.5 FM — the South Orange, New Jersey-based college radio station of Seton Hall University — about "Invasion", the forthcoming new album by his solo band JOHN 5 AND THE CREATURES. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On juggling his solo career with his work as a sideman:
John: "It's a lot of work, but it's what I enjoy, so I don't really look at it as work — but it does take up a lot of time. I have to get up at, like, 7 a.m., and go to bed at, like, 1 o'clock just to get everything done. But it really is a pleasure, and I'm just so happy to be doing what I'm doing... What takes up a large part of my day is [that] I play guitar so much. I just play, play, play, play, play, because that's what I love to do. I'm always working on something new, something there. Hopefully I'll be inspired by something, but I'm always working, I'm always playing, I always have a guitar in my hand. I was just playing before [this interview]. I love it, and I couldn't be happier in life — I really couldn't be."
On the music video for his new song "Zoinks!":
John: "The guy that animated it, his name is Brett Boggs, and he does, like, 'Frozen' and 'Wreck-It Ralph' and all these big movies for Disney. He wanted to do my video, and I was like, 'Okay, great — from 'Frozen' to 'Zoinks!'... People will come up to me, and they'll say, 'Hey, I do this,' or, 'Hey, I do that.' I love talking to people, and I'll listen to what they have to say, and if they have ideas or something like that, I'll put you to work. He came to me and said, 'I'm an animator,' and I was like, 'I've always wanted to do a video like this.' He was like, 'Great — I'd love to give it a shot.' We've become fast friends, and it's wonderful. I've done that with a lot of people that have just come up to me."
On incorporating humor into his music and videos:
John: "It's entertainment, and as long as it's entertaining, that's what it's all about. It's about fun and entertainment. If you enjoy it and if you like it, that's all I really wanted to do."
John: "I think it's a really large spectrum of different styles of music. There's bluegrass on it; there's all sorts of crazy rock; and there's even some DJ-type stuff on there. But it's all just good music, I think. I really think it's a lot of fun. How it's been with me, it doesn't really matter what kind of music it is as long as it's good and catchy and I enjoy it. That's why I know all these different styles of music, just because it's fun. Whatever is good, I like it."
On whether he thinks growing up in Detroit helped to make his tastes so broad:
John: "Absolutely. Everything comes from your youth, and growing up listening to things. That definitely had a huge influence on me... I was such a sponge with music. I remember ALICE COOPER was so big, and KISS was so big there, and it really stayed with me my whole life."
On drawing influence from classic horror movies:
John: "I found them when I was growing up, when I was really, really, really little. I loved that stuff... I saw a picture, or something happened, and I was just really driven to that — I was like, 'Whoa, this is amazing.' I really had a great time with it. It's all influence. Once you see something, it could change your life, so I'm always looking for inspiration, always looking for things like that. Look for it yourself, because it could change your life completely like it did mine. There's always signs out there. It's just something that hits you, and some of those things change your life forever. I always keep my eye open for anything like that. I always keep my eye open — always, always looking and hoping [that] something will strike me the right way. Inspiration is a really hard thing to describe, but it's something that triggers your brain, like the first time I heard a certain guitar player that I loved or the first time that I saw a monster or the first time that I saw anything that really was an epiphany for me. It just stays with you your whole life. It's so hard to explain, but it's magic. That's the only way you can really describe inspiration or influence."
JOHN 5 AND THE CREATURES — comprised of John 5, bassist Ian Ross and drummer Logan Miles Nix — will release "Invasion" this summer. Just like 2017's "Season Of The Witch", the album — produced and mixed by Barry Pointer — will be entirely released via a series of music videos.
JOHN 5 AND THE CREATURES will kick off their North American "Invasion" tour on February 26 in Mesa, Arizona. Select dates — specifically, the shows in Mesa; Hollywood, California; Anaheim, California; and Sacramento, California — will feature very special, high-caliber mystery guests to be announced very soon. The tour will feature support from blues-rock guitarist Jared James Nichols.