by Jezahell Van Horn
Photos by: Jezahell, David Necro, and courtesy of VQPR.
“The Devil Knows My Name “Is the title of John 5’s third solo release due out in stores April 3rd 2007. As stated before John 5’s intention for this album was to make an Epic album with friends that consisted of shredding, country, western swing, and violin. I previewed the album prior to our interview and I have to agree not only did he do all those things but he made his best album yet. With a darker edge and songs about serial killers this album delivers proof that John 5 is not only versatile but has earned the title “The Greatest Guitar Player Of THIS Generation “
Jezahell: I notice that the new album has some darker elements to it than the previous ones. Can you tell me a little bit about what your inspiration was when you wrote it?
John 5: Well, with the record I just wanted to do something instead of just throwing the songs on there. I wanted everything to have a meaning. All the titles are references to serial killers. Like “27 Needles” is a reference to Albert Fish who had 27 needles shoved into his groin and when they x-rayed him, he still had the needles in there. Then “Plainfield” is for Ed Gein because he lived in Plainfield, Wisconsin. And July 31 (The Last Stand) is the last murder that Son of Sam committed and it’s also my birthday.
Jez: Right On! (Laughs)
J5: So everything has a meaning. You know, “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Young Thing” are both covers, so those are their own titles, but everything has its own meaning for the record. The title, [is because] I’ve had so much success in the music industry, but my personal life has just been so crazy. You know it just kind of feels like you made a deal with the Devil because you have so many amazing things happen for you, but you have so many terrible tragedies on the other side. So, that’s why the album is called [The Devil Knows My Name.]
Jez: Very cool. So, if you had to choose a favorite track on the album, what would it be?
J5: I’d probably pick the “Werewolf of Westeria.” It’s a track with Jim Root on there. It’s done all live and it’s just really crazy, crazy, crazy. It just came out really good. I really enjoy listening to that, it’s a lot of fun.
Jez: Yeah, it’s pretty raw. I enjoyed it myself. So, I saw you perform with Rob Zombie at the Concord Pavillion on October 1st , and thank you again for the tickets!
J5: Of course!
Jez: (laughs) You had such an amazing chemistry with the band. Did that in anyway influence you to use Piggy D. and Tommy Clufetos on the new album?
J5: Yeah, I love those guys. Piggy did all the art for the album too and when people see that, the art of the record is really amazing because it goes out like an Ouija Board and the CD itself is the oracle for the Ouija Board of the CD. So the artwork of the album really has so much to it like with the song titles and the music itself.
J5: There’s so much behind this record. We really put a lot of work into it. Piggy played on “Welcome to the Jungle” and Tommy played on a ton of songs. They’re both great players so I wanted to use them to their abilities.
Jez: Most definitely. I read that you grew up watching the “Hee-Haw” show. Who were some of the artist that inspired you to play guitar?
J5: I loved “Hee-Haw” because- I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the show-
Jez: Oh yeah. I totally used to watch it. (laughs)
J5: Yeah, it’s totally ridiculous.
Jez: It is. It is.
J5: It’s just crazy, crazy jokes and girls with big boobs. So I was this little kid-
Jez: (laughs) Like, “WOW!”
J5: It was just amazing-
Jez: And country western music, you can’t go wrong!
J5: Yeah. Then I saw this little kid who had to be my age, six years old or something like that and he was playing banjo and he was just ripping it up. And that’s what made me really want to do it and I did because I was like, “Wow this little kid is so good already,” so I just started playing guitar at age seven because he inspired me so much.
Jez: That’s so rad, that’s awesome.
J5: Yeah, and that’s probably why I like big boobs too.
J5: So, it’s “Hee-Haw” that tainted my adulthood.
Jez: Paved your way. (laughs)
J5: Yeah, that damn “Hee-Haw.”
Jez: Oh, that’s great! So, you’ve worked with so many different artists. Is there anyone you hope to work with in the future that you haven’t yet?
J5: Well, I have worked with so many different people. It’s always a pleasure to work with different artists. I usually like working with people I listen to. I just finished up with Lynard Skynyrd in Nashville. I wrote a couple of songs with them. So it’s a real true pleasure to work with these artists that I listen to. So, I don’t know, not really. I just have worked with pretty much everybody I’ve always wanted to work with.
-It’s really cool, you know? It’s just a pleasure to have worked with so many great artists.
Jez: Very cool. So do you plan to play any shows or tour for this album at all?
J5: I do, only after I’m finished with [Rob] Zombie. And I don’t know when that is going to be because we’re going to be making another record and doing more tours, but when that’s all done I’m definitely going to do my own tour. And I don’t want to do clinics or something small because I think the public deserves something more than that. I want to go up and really give them a show. So, when I have the time, I’m really going to go out there and do it and make a big production out of it and do it up right.
Jez: Cool. This one is just kind of whatever, but what’s you favorite horror movie?
J5: You know, I’d have to say my favorite movie, in general is “The Exorcist.” I just love it because it’s so well done- every time I watch it I see something new, or learn something new, and it’s just so well done. I’m going to have to say that one. It’s just amazing.
Jez: Very cool. It’s one of my favorites too, so I’d have to agree (laughs.)
Well it was awesome talking to you again.
J5: Yeah, thank you so much.
© 2007 Crypt Magazine. All Rights Reserved.