John 5 on the Future of Rock Music: “There Has to Be a New Changing of the Guard”
Guitar wizard John 5 has had a pretty successful career, holding it down as Rob Zombie‘s guitarist for nearly two decades while also releasing 10 solo albums. Despite his long tenure with Bob Zombie, John 5 has earned a reputation for being able to play in a variety of styles and he often hops between genres on his own records.
In a new interview with Ultimate Guitar, John 5 says that he is always trying to push his own limits but doesn’t see much of that happening elsewhere in rock and metal music.
“It’s just like an automobile; you will push the limits and try to make something better. Now we have a car that can drive itself and you could just sit there have a car that could park itself and do all these other things. It’s kind of the same thing with guitar playing, there’s so many new techniques that are out there that I am obsessed with, and I love to learn. I am just so attracted to anything that is inspiring or anything like that. When I find that stuff, I’ll sit down, and I will learn it, because that’s what makes me happy. It just stimulates my brain and gets me excited.
“I put something on my Instagram just a couple days ago, of a new little technique. I do that for the same reason I think other people do, it’s to not to say, ‘hey, look at how cool this is’ but to hopefully inspire somebody or to inspire some kid who is the next Eddie Van Halen that will change the world, because they’re out there… But if everybody just goes, ‘eh, I’m good enough…’ No, there has to be a new epiphany out there, there has to be a new changing of the guard, there has to be a new guitar player, bass player, drummer, singer, that will change everything. I pray that happens because we need it. We need it. What is the last new band out there that is just changing everything? There are a couple out there… there’s Greta Van Fleet and Ghost, and things like that. But think about back in the day, there were zillions of them. There were so many new bands that were filling arenas all the time. So we just really, really need it. And that’s why I get on Instagram and play, and hopefully some kid will pick it up and be the next Eddie Van Halen, or the next Steve Vai or the next, Paul McCartney or something like that.”
The interviewer also asks if there are any recent bands or guitar techniques that John 5 has been enjoying recently, to which he gives a non-answer:
“All the time. I am a YouTube scroller. I’m into Instagram. I scroll and I search for people that make me go, ‘Whoa, that’s great. That’s very impressive.’ And then I will learn that and put that into my playing.”
John 5 also spoke about the importance of how guitar instructors approach teaching teaching to each specific student and instilling the love of the genre in new players.
He released his last album, Sinner, in October 2021. The album was preceded by more-than-a-little confusing single “Que Pasa,” which features Dave Mustaine yelling the titular Spanish phrase repeatedly. The video is even more ridiculous and is absolutely worth watching.