Rob Zombie axman John 5 is big on adverbs and superlatives. The former Marilyn Manson and David Lee Roth guitarist is ready to hit the road to promote his eighth solo instrumental album, Careful with that Axe. And, let’s just put it this way, he couldn’t anticipate it any more.
“I’m very, very, very excited about my tour,” he says. “This is the first time ever that I’ve done anything like this. I’ve put out instrumental albums—a lot of them. The most frequently asked question is, ‘Are you going to go out on tour with this one?’
“I’ve always been so unbelievably busy, but I have a little downtime from Zombie. He’s going to be making a film. So I said to myself, ‘I’m going to go out and play some shows.’ I am very, very excited.”
The sixth John 5 and the Creatures date is a stop at Pub Rock in Scottsdale on Saturday, February 14. At his shows, John 5, born John Lowery, is going to play a cross-section of songs from the handful of records.
“The crowd will get a little of everything,” he says. “I’m just really super excited for it—like counting down the days excited. It’s something so new, different and exciting.”
Careful with that Axe was recorded vastly different than his other works. He laid down the tracks with a band, making it a “very, very, very live-sounding record.”
“The performances were really good in my mind,” he says. “I thought, ‘This would sound really cool live.’ That’s why I had the idea together to do this. I’m very honest with myself. This is crazy, crazy instrumental music. There’s no singer, obviously, so there’s going to be a select crowd of people. I hope the crowd enjoys it, but I’m going to have a good time.”
He’s rehearsed about a month for the jaunt because it’s “very, very, very complicated” music, which is why he’s been dubbed a “guitarist’s guitarist.”
After his U.S. run, John 5 will fall back into the Rob Zombie fold. Zombie’s band has a live album set to be released and it’s finishing up a studio record. When Zombie is working on the film “31,” John 5 will create soundtrack.
“I have a lot of things coming out,” he says.
Back to his shows, John 5’s gigs will reflects the performances he saw growing up in the Detroit area—Yngwie Malmsteen, Vinnie Moore, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, all of whom he calls his friends.
“I know, right?” he says when asked about how surreal those friendships are. “It’s great to be able to do that. It is. I don’t take it for granted, either. I’m very happy and very lucky to have done what I have done in my career.”
John 5 and the Creatures w/With Our Arms to the Sun, Pub Rock Live, 8005 E. Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale, 480.945.4985, pubrocklive.com, Saturday, February 14, 8 p.m., $15-$20.