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John William Lowery (born July 31, 1971 in Grosse Pointemarker, Michiganmarker), better known by his stage name John 5, is an Americanmarker guitarist. His stage name was bestowed on him in 1998 when he joined rock group Marilyn Manson as their guitarist, taking over from Zim Zum. He is currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie.

He is also a solo artist having recorded four guitar albums: Vertigo (2004), Songs For Sanity (2005), The Devil Knows My Name (2007) and Requiem (2008), as well as a remix album, Remixploitation (2009). He also works as a staff writer for Chrysalis Records, working with artists such as Avril Lavigne, Garbage, Meat Loaf, FeFe Dobson and has been writing and recording with southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd for their upcoming release, which was originally scheduled for early 2009.


Early life

Lowery first started playing guitar at the age of seven after watching Buck Owens and Roy Clark's television show Hee Haw with his dad. His parents supported his playing as long as it never interfered with his education. They also accompanied him at the adult bars he would play during the evening.

Music career

(1987-1995) Early career

Lowery started his career as a session guitarist having moved to Los Angelesmarker from Michigan at the age of 17. His first band in L.A. was Alligator Soup, which led to an important meeting with Rudy Sarzo from Whitesnake, that would give him his first real bit of exposure.

This also saw him meeting producer Bob Marlette, who has worked with, among others, Tracy Chapman, Rob Halford and Black Sabbath.

Lowery began working on numerous projects with Marlette including TV show soundtracks, movie soundtracks including Speed 2: Cruise Control, and commercials and infomercials.

This in turn saw Lowery being picked to play with Lita Ford, opening up for Kiss. He started another long time friendship with the various Kiss members, including a close friendship with Paul Stanley which in 2006 he repaid by guesting on Stanley's Live to Win album.

Lowery's next role saw him working with Randy Castillo, in a short-lived project called Red Square Black. They produced a self titled EP, but the band disbanded when Lowery was picked from 2000 guitarists to play with K.D. Lang on tour.

(1996-1998) 2wo (Two)

In 1996 Lowery went for his first audition with Marilyn Manson but narrowly missed out (he was late to the auditions) and the guitarist role at that time was taken by Mike (Timothy) Linton, who became known as Zim Zum.

Instead, Lowery teamed up with ex-Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, along with Sid Riggs (drums) and James Wooley (bass), to work on an industrial metal inspired album, under the band name of 2wo (Two). The subsequent album (Voyeurs) was remixed by Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and was released on Reznor's Nothing Records label, under the parent company, Interscope Records (Universal). The album itself was not a commercial hit but did produce one video, made by gay porn director Chi Chi Larue for the first single "I'm a Pig". It featured some s&m scenes and so was not widely broadcast but was not banned as has been previously rumoured.

The band embarked on a world tour, and were part of the Ozzfest line-up but the tour was pulled and 2wo disbanded.

(1998-2003) David Lee Roth

Lowery 's next piece of work came when he played on David Lee Roth's (ex-Van Halen) solo project album: The DLR Band. "When I was little my dream was to play with David Lee Roth. One day I was sitting at my friend's house and... I wonder[ed] what... Roth is doing now. I'm gonna call up his manager and see if he needs any songs."-John 5

Lowery was already a fan of the band and was familiar with the playing style. He submitted six tracks he had written to Roth's management. Finding they suited, Lowery submitted further tracks to Roth's management. Eventually Roth and Lowery met and recorded The DLR Band album in two weeks. "I remember before we started he said, 'If you can't do it in two takes, you can't do it.'"

In 2003, whilst still in Marilyn Manson, Lowery was invited by Roth to write with him again and on the 2003 album Diamond Dave wrote the track "Thug Pop".

(1998-2004) Marilyn Manson

After the recording of Mechanical Animals, Marilyn Manson was again looking for a guitarist to replace Zim Zum who had been dismissed from the band during the recording process. Again John went to try out for the band. Following a tour with Rob Halford in Europe, John received a call from Manson's manager asking if he would like to meet Manson for lunch. At the meeting Manson asked John to join the band. Taking the moniker, John 5, he signed on for the Mechanical Animals tour and to work on the next album. Lowery's first live performance for Marilyn Manson came on the MTV Video Music Awards.

During the opening bars of the "The Beautiful People" at the 2003 Rock Am Ringmarker festival Manson was prancing across the stage when he hit Lowery's guitar and chest with his boot. Lowery was outraged and threw his guitar while screaming at Manson, which led to much speculation. According to Lowery, the Grotesk Burlesk tour had been a high-pressure endeavour, and just weeks before he had suffered losses of very close family members. Lowery later commented on his behavior, calling it unprofessional and stating that there is no bad blood between himself and Manson.

In 2004 Lowery and Manson parted company. Confusion was rife as certain press reported that he had been dumped unceremoniously from the band, but in reality the two came to a mutual agreement that they wanted to go their separate ways.“What actually happened was, at the end of the tour, we were just on different roads. It was completely amicable. He just wanted to write with other members of the band, and I wanted to do other things."

While working with Manson, Lowery has stated he didn't do drugs, and he doesn't drink.

(2005-2006) Loser

In 2005 Lowery formed the band Loser. Recruiting vocalist Joe Grah, Charles Lee on bass and Glendon Crain on drums, they began working on their debut album Just Like You. The band was also partly co-founded by friend and producer Bob Marlette. Vocalist Joe Grah already had a significant amount of success in his home state of Texas, with the band Jibe. Marlette recommended Grah to Lowery and so Lowery hopped on a plane to Texas to see the band play. Grah flew back to LA and was hired on the spot.

The name Loser came about as an affirmation to Lowery's past:“I was from Grosse Pointe, Michigan, which is kind of an upper-class area, and I was always that rock kid," John explained. "I started playing guitar at age 7. I always had a rock shirt on, and I had that tattoo early on. I looked like a loser because everyone around me was wearing Polo and Brooks Brothers. But now if you go into a club wearing Polo, you're called a loser. So I think everyone can relate to that name, and the album title, Just Like You, sums it up."

The band had initial success not long after signing with Island Records, when the track "Disposable Sunshine" became part of the Fantastic Four soundtrack.

During this time, during the recording of the soundtrack, Crain briefly left the band and was replaced by drummer Elias Andra, a friend of Lee's. Andra had some success himself with the band Psycho Plague, his own creation, an industrial metal band, which toured as a headline act, with Linkin Park as an opening act at the time. However, Andra soon left after promotional shots had been taken, and Crain returned.

At the same time Lowery was also working for Rob Zombie and a working conflict occurred. As Zombie was also touring, Lowery tried to find a live replacement for him whilst Loser were touring on conflicting dates. However, even with promo material for the debut album out and a release date in the bag, Island Record didn't like the idea of Loser without John and so dropped the band from the label.

"Being the founding member of Loser, my decision to leave was not an easy one", said John 5 in a press release. "I've been juggling two careers both with Loser and Rob Zombie for over one year now. I found it impossible to be in two places at once."

The album has been put on the backburner and no word on a release date has ever been issued. The official Loser Myspace page has tracks available for download (working on November 23, 2007).

(2005-present) Rob Zombie

While Lowery was working on radio rock band Loser, he also began to work with cult rock artist and movie director, Rob Zombie. Meeting at the Camp Freddy benefit gig, John and Zombie hit off immediately and Rob asked John to play for him for Ozzfest 2005."I'm totally ecstatic about having the opportunity to play with Rob on Ozzfest! He has been one of my favourite artists for the longest time. I had the opportunity to play with him a few weeks back, and never thought that I would have the chance to share the stage with him playing the Zombie songs we all know and love!"

It was reported that Zombie was looking to quit the music industry to concentrate on his movie career until he began to work with John 5.

“Camp Freddy asked me to do this benefit, just to play one song, at the Arrowhead Pond (in Anaheimmarker, Californiamarker) for this tsunami relief thing. And John was there, and we played one song, 'Thunderkiss,' and it kicked ass and he's a supercool guy and I was like, 'this is perfect.' John said, 'Do you need a guitar player for Ozzfest?' I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'I wanna do it,' I said, 'Perfect, done.'" -Rob Zombie on John 5

Lowery worked on Rob Zombie's 2006 album Educated Horses, writing eight out of eleven tracks. When he left Loser, Lowery took up the role of Rob Zombie guitarist as a permanent gig. “Rob is the best I have worked with. He is great. We have a great time on stage together. It has been the single greatest experience I have had working with someone, hands down.

Lowery is also working on the musical score for Rob Zombie's sixth feature-length film, Tyrannosaurus Rex.John is also the guitarist on Rob's newest album, Hellbilly Deluxe 2 which will be released sometime in 2010.

(2004-present) Solo career

Starting in 2004 with Vertigo, Lowery has gone on to record a total of five instrumental records. His works have had many guest players on them. For example Songs For Sanity saw Albert Lee guesting, and other records have seen guest spots from Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Jim Root. In 2009, John released a remix album, Remixploitation. Lowery has also released an instructional DVD entitled The Devil Knows My Name (2007). In July 2009, on his twitter page, John 5 announced that he is now six tracks into the next solo album. On October 2, 2009, he played with Slash at a tribute to the Mirage Hotelmarker in Las Vegasmarker.



Current Guitars:Lowery's current setup after signing an endorsment deal with Fender, for recording and performing solo and with Rob Zombie. Lowery's first signature guitar with Fender which features an unusual three on-a-side headstock two for behind the nut bends. other features include an Enforcer humbucker pick up in the bridge position, a Twisted Tele single coil pickup in the neck position, separate volume controls, a three way toggle switch and is available in a black polyurethane finish with a chrome pickguard. The J5 Triple Telcaster is based around the 1970s Telecaster Deluxe design and features three Enforcer "Wide Range" humbucker pickups with chrome covers, three way switch, master tone and volume, a vintage tremolo bridge, a chrome pickguard and a Stratocaster style headstock. The J5 Bigsby is a similar to the original J5 Telecaster, but is fitted with a Bigsby vibrato system, Seymour Duncan pickup in the bridge position, master tone and volume, and a three way blade in the regular Telecaster position. Lowery's first signature acoustic guitar. The guitar is fitted with a Fender/Fishman Classic 4T pickup which features an active preamp with electric tuner, volume, bass, mid and treble control. As all of John's signature guitar it is finished in gloss black and fitted with a chrome pick guard.
  • Fender J5 Telecaster Prototype
A prototype of Lowery first signature Telecaster, does not feature the three on-a-side headstock and was originally outfitted with a Fender Custom Shop Twisted Tele pickup in the neck position, and DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker in the bridge position It was later modified with a pair of DiMarzio D Activator humbuckers.
  • Squier J5 Telecaster Guitar
Introduced in 2009, this is the new cheaper model from John 5 and Fender of his telecaster signature model.

  • Fender 53 Black Guard Telecaster
  • Fender 55 White Guard Telecaster
  • Fender Custom Shop "Flat Head - Grey finish
  • Fender Custom Shop "Flat Head - Yellow - "CW Fleming"
  • Fender Custom Shop "Sub Sonic" - Black with mirror pickgaurd
  • Fender Tele Floyd Rose tremolo - Black without pickgaurd
  • Gibson Les Paul - Honey Burst

Retired Guitars:Guitars used by John during his time with Marilyn Manson with his previous endorsement deal with Ibanez.

  • Ibanez AX Custom - Gold sparkle finish with Hip-Shot D-tuners
  • Ibanez AX Custom - Silver sparkle finish with Hip-Shot D-tuners
  • Ibanez AX Custom - Extreme ocean blue finish with Hip-Shot D-tuners
  • Ibanez AX Custom - Black finish with Hip-SHot D-tuners
  • Ibanez AX 7-521 - 7-string model with black finish
  • Ibanez Iceman
  • Ibanez RG Custom - With piezo system


Rob Zombie Effects:
  • Samsontech GIJ John 5 Signature Pedal
John's signature effect pedal is designed around the Samsontech G1 effect pedal and features a 32-bit processing and 96 kHz sampling as well as a built-in drum machine. The pedal comes with 40 signature sounds from John and 40 that the user can define with 54 effects types and 8 modules.

  • Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble
  • Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor
  • Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive

  • Dunlop 95Q Wah Pedal
  • Samson UT Wireless Transmitter
  • Samson UR-5D Wireless Receiver

Marilyn Manson Effects:During his time with Manson, John kept his effect pedals in drawers behind the stage after Manson smashed his pedal board at a concert.

  • Boss CH1 Super Chorus
  • Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive
  • Dunlop Original CryBaby Wah Pedal
  • Guyatone PS-3 Phase Shifter

  • Ibanez CF7 Chorus/Flanger
  • Ibanez DE7 Delay Echo
  • Ibanez LF7 Lo-Fi Filter
  • Ibanez SM7 Smash Box Distortion Effects pedal

Other Effects:

  • Aphex Model 1403 Guitar XCITER
  • Aphex Model 1404 Punch Factory
  • Boss NS-2 Noise Pedal
  • Black Cat Bass Octave Fuzz
  • Boss DD-5 Digital Delay
  • Coffin Case Blood Drive BDFX-1
  • Digitech Whammy
  • Dunlop MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive
  • Dunlop MXR M-134 Stereo Chorus
  • Dunlop MXR Smart Gate pedal
  • Dunlop MXR M-102 Dyna Comp*
  • Dunlop MXR EVH Phase 90
  • Electro Harmonix Bass Micro Synthesizer

  • Furman PL8 Power Conditioner
  • Guyatone Wah-Rocker WR3
  • Guyatone VT-X Vintage Tremolo
  • Hot Hand Motion-Controlled Effects
  • Ibanez Tube Screamer TS9
  • Ibanez Tube Screamer TS808
  • Ibanez PH7 Phaser
  • Klark Teknik Direct Box
  • Line 6 DL-4 Delay Modeler
  • Marshall 1970's Fuzz
  • Marshall Mode Four Foot Switch
  • Moog Big Briar Moogerfooger
  • Morley A/B Boxes


Rob Zombie Amplifiers:

Marilyn Manson Amplifiers:


  • GHS Strings John 5 Commemorative Set Boomers
John's signature roundwound nickel-plated guitar strings, also comes with 6 playing cards with John 5 portraits, when flipped over, each card can be arranged to form a John 5 ouija board.
  • DiMarzio YJM-cables Yngwie Malmsteen signature cables
  • DiMarzio D Activator Pickups John uses both the neck and bridge models. Which J5 Telecaster(s) they are installed in is unknown but the prototype very well may be one of them.
john 5 signature cables from dimarzio.


Albums DVD
  • 2004: God is Closed Vol. 1 (bonus disc for Japanese release of Vertigo)
  • 2007: The Devil Knows My Name (instructional DVD)
  • 2008: IMV Behind the Player (instructional DVD)
  • 2008: IMV Behind the Player (instructional DVD) with Tommy Clufetos. John 5 makes an appearance on Tommy Clufetos' drum instructional DVD for IMV

  • Just Like You (2006)


Marilyn Manson:


  • God is in the TV (1999)
  • Guns, God and Government (2002)
  • Doppelherz The Golden Age of Grotesque Limited Edition DVD (2003)

Rob Zombie:

  • Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzfest 10th Anniversary

David Lee Roth:
  • The David Lee Roth Band (1998)
  • Thug Pop from Diamond Dave album (2003)

  • Voyeurs (1998)

Paul Stanley:


  • Dirty Trixx - 1983 - Guitarist, playing Van Halen covers in a Michigan bar
  • Raven Payne - 1987 - Guitarist, at 16 years old
  • John Wetton (of Asia) - John's first paid professional session. "It's one of the hardest I've ever done" states John 5.
  • Robin Zander (Cheap Trick singer) Guitarist, recorded demos
  • Pepperland - Guitarist, ghost player
  • Wilson Phillips - Guitarist, ghost player
  • Salt-N-Pepa - Live Performances including the Jay Leno Show
  • Rick Springfield - Guitarist, The Day After Yesterday, Tracks 4 and 14
  • Ozzy Osbourne - John 5 auditioned, unsuccessfully, for an open bass spot.
  • Night Ranger - Guitarist, ghost player
  • Red Square Black - 1994 - 'Square' EP, Lead Guitar
  • Lita Ford - 1994-95 - Guitarist, ghost player
  • Ryan Downe - 1996 - Guitar on track 'Japan' of The Hypocrite Album, plus guitar effects
  • froSTed - 1996 - - Guitarist
  • Leah Andreone - Former Girlfriend, Veiled, Guitar (1996), I Feel The Earth Move, Guitar (1997), Alchemy, Lap Steel Guitar/Guitar (1998), co-wrote ten tracks
  • K.D. Lang - Guitarist
World Tour 1996, 1997. Onstage 'Live in Sydney' VHS Tape
  • Various Artists, Speed 2: Cruise Control - 1997 - Guitar and Bass for Soundtrack
  • 2wo - 1998 - Voyeurs album, guitar and bass.
  • David Lee Roth - 1998 - Guitarist on DLR Band album
  • Marilyn Manson - 1998–2004 - Guitarist, where he got the nickname "John 5" . Manson has claimed the name derives from Lowerys first name with the number 5 noting there was a time he considered naming himself and his bandmates with numbers. This continued the departure from the "pin-up + serial killer" naming scheme.
  • Garbage - 2003 - Additional guitar on "Never Be Free" b-side, possibly co-written by him as well
  • Loser — 2005–2006 - Guitarist and founder member of Loser. The band had a song ("Disposable Sunshine") on the Fantastic Four soundtrack and had recorded their debut album Just Like You, but due to conflicting schedules with Rob Zombie, John left the band and Island Records
  • Rob Zombie - 2005 – present - Guitarist, Ozzfest 2005 and albums Educated Horses, Zombie Live & Hellbilly Deluxe 2
  • Meat Loaf - 2006 - Guitarist, song recorded and co-wrote with Nikki Sixx. From Bat out Of Hell III - The Monster's Loose.
  • Paul Stanley – Co-writer and guitarist on "Where Angels Dare", a track from the album Live to Win.
  • Saliva - 2007 - Guitarist, on the song "Black Sheep" from the album Blood Stained Love Story.
  • Static-X - First guitar solo on Cannibal.


  3. Sebastian Bach To Write/Record Album with John 5

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