John 5 Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, & All The Other Bands He’s Been In

John William Lowery, better known by his stage name John 5, has etched his mark in the rock and metal landscape with his versatile guitar skills and onstage energy. From his beginnings as a session guitarist to becoming a prominent figure in iconic bands, John 5’s career has been defined by both his technical prowess and his ability to adapt to a variety of musical styles. In a significant move, the accomplished musician recently joined Mötley Crüe, ready to embark on their global touring endeavors and contribute to the band’s storied legacy.

Prior to his current role in Mötley Crüe, John 5 has demonstrated his capacity as a dynamic musician, collaborating with a slew of artists across genres. His journey includes significant tenure as the lead guitarist for Marilyn Manson, where he was pivotal to their sound in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The guitarist’s career has been a testament to his skill, earning respect and acclaim in the industry, from being David Lee Roth’s solo band member to his time with the industrial rock outfit Marilyn Manson and beyond.

John 5’s contributions to music extend beyond these popular acts. His diverse range and collaborative spirit have seen him playing with artists as varied as Rob Zombie and Lynyrd Skynyrd. His musicianship is characterized by an impressive blend of technical acuity and creative expression, which has made him a sought-after guitarist in the recording studio as well. With the official announcement of his induction into Mötley Crüe, John 5 is set to bring this wealth of experience to the table, promising to add a fresh, yet reverent, dynamic to the band’s sound as they move forward.

John 5 Motley Crue, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, & All The Other Bands He's Been In

Early Life and Musical Beginnings

John 5 has become a renowned guitarist, noted for his versatility and presence in multiple influential bands. His early life set the stage for a celebrated career, shaped by an early fascination with the guitar, formal musical training, and the vibrant Los Angeles music scene.

Initial Exposure to Guitar

John William Lowery, better known as John 5, felt an irresistible pull towards the guitar early in his life, setting him on a path to become a virtuoso guitarist. The initial allure of the guitar became a lifelong pursuit after witnessing its power and versatility during a television performance that captivated his imagination. This formative experience led him to explore various musical styles, drawing influences from a diverse range of artists, including Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Jimi Hendrix, and Yngwie Malmsteen, as well as elements of country music, all of which would later inform his eclectic and dynamic playing style.

Formative Musical Lessons

From fascination to formal instruction, John 5 committed to refining his skills on the guitar. He took guitar lessons, rigorously honing his technical ability and musical understanding, which would later contribute to his adaptable skill set across genres. These lessons laid the technical foundation necessary for his future career.

Early Life and Musical Beginnings, young john 5 guitarist 90s

Influence of L.A.’s Music Scene

As John 5 navigated the Los Angeles music scene in the 90s, he became a part of the fabric of the city’s rock legacy through his involvement with various acts. He joined k.d. lang as a touring guitarist, showcasing his versatility across different genres and gaining valuable experience on the road.

This period also saw John 5 contributing his guitar skills to the likes of Lita Ford and even briefly becoming a member of the rock band Red Square Black. His work with these acts not only expanded his musical repertoire but also solidified his reputation as a formidable and adaptable guitarist, capable of crossing genre boundaries with ease. This adaptability and exposure to different musical styles in LA’s dynamic scene laid the foundation for his eclectic approach to guitar playing and composition in the years to follow.

John 5’s Bands & Collaborations

John 5 is highly regarded for his versatility and extensive collaborations in the music industry. His career spans across multiple bands and artists, highlighting his prowess as a guitarist and his ability to adapt to different styles and genres.


The collaboration between John 5 and Rob Halford in the band 2wo marked a pivotal moment in John’s career, as it allowed him to explore the darker and more aggressive realms of industrial metal. The album Voyeurs, produced by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, provided a platform for John 5 to infuse his intricate guitar work into the industrial soundscape, further demonstrating his ability to adapt to different musical styles. The project, although short-lived, proved to be an important stepping stone that led to his later success with other high-profile acts, cementing his status as a versatile and sought-after guitarist in the industry.

Marilyn Manson

In 1998, John 5 replaced Zim Zum as the lead guitarist for Marilyn Manson. He contributed to four studio albums starting with the critical and commercial success Mechanical Animals (1998), followed by Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) (2000), The Golden Age of Grotesque (2003), and Eat Me, Drink Me (2007). His time with Manson was marked by a mix of aggressive and melodic styles, deepening his standing in the rock and metal community.

Mötley Crüe

Recently in 2023, the rock world buzzed with excitement as Mötley Crüe unveiled a seismic lineup change, appointing the virtuosic John 5 as their new guitarist. This strategic move came after founding member Mick Mars decided to step back from touring, leaving colossal shoes to fill. John 5, known for his eclectic blend of genre-spanning prowess, emerged as the successor, a decision that Mick Mars himself deemed a “wise choice.”

The transition was not just a passing of the torch but a signal of fresh creativity within the band’s ranks. Nikki Sixx, Mötley Crüe’s bassist, has been reportedly crafting “great new material,” hinting at a reinvigorated future for the Crüe with John 5’s dynamic influence. Fans got their first taste of this new era as the band revealed their first batch of shows with John 5, marking the beginning of what promises to be a thrilling chapter in the Mötley Crüe saga.

Rob Zombie

John 5 has had an enduring collaboration with Rob Zombie, with whom he started working in 2005. He has been a regular contributor to Rob Zombie’s sonic palette, beginning with the album Educated Horses (2006). Together, they have created a blend of industrial metal and shock rock that complements Zombie’s theatrical style. John 5’s work with Zombie remains a cornerstone of his career.

The Creatures

The Creatures is John 5’s own solo project where he explores a diverse range of music, spanning across genres. He showcases not only his technical proficiency but also his creative composition skills. The Creatures release studio albums, with Season of the Witch (2017) being a prominent example, and often tour, providing John 5 with a platform to present his personal artistic vision.

Career Highlights

Career Highlights, John 5 Motley Crue

John 5’s career spans over two decades, featuring significant contributions to several bands and a robust solo career. His work includes iconic hits, extensive tours, and successful solo projects.

Iconic Songs and Albums

Notable Tours

  • Marilyn Manson:

    John 5 toured extensively with Marilyn Manson in the late 1990s, contributing to the band’s live performances.

  • Mötley Crüe:

    • World Tour: Participated in a world tour with the iconic glam-metal band following Mick Mars’ departure from touring.

Solo Endeavors

  • Solo Albums:

    As a solo artist, John 5 has released multiple albums showcasing his guitar skills and musical versatility.

  • Touring:

    He has carried out multiple tours to promote his solo work, gaining recognition for his individual talent outside the bands he’s been a part of.

Legacy and Impact

John 5’s journey through the music landscape has been marked by a series of influential collaborations and memorable performances, setting a high bar for technical excellence and creative guitar work.

His ability to transcend genre boundaries and infuse his playing with a palpable sense of passion and innovation has not only inspired fellow guitarists but has also left a lasting imprint on the rock and metal genres. As a musician who has consistently pushed the envelope, John 5’s legacy is one of both exceptional artistry and a deep commitment to the evolution of modern music.

Influence on Guitarists

John 5’s innovative approach, combining speed, accuracy, and a flair for the theatrical, has made him a standout performer and a source of inspiration for countless aspiring musicians. His masterful integration of various techniques, such as fingerpicking, use of a killswitch, tapping, and slide guitar, across multiple genres, challenges the conventional notions of genre-specific playing.

By seamlessly melding the twang of country with the intensity of metal and the rhythm of flamenco, John 5 has encouraged guitarists to think outside the box and push their creative boundaries. His eclectic style serves as a testament to the guitar’s versatility and as an invitation for players to experiment and develop their own unique sound.

Contributions to Music and Culture

Beyond his technical prowess on the guitar, John 5 has contributed to the songwriting and creative direction of the bands he’s worked with, leaving an indelible mark on their discographies. His work with Marilyn Manson during the late 90s and early 2000s, for example, brought a fresh perspective to the band’s sound, contributing to some of their most successful albums.

As a member of Rob Zombie’s band, John 5’s distinctive playing style became a staple of their sonic identity, further entrenching him in the fabric of modern metal music. His recent role with Mötley Crüe not only reflects his status as a revered guitarist but also highlights his adaptability and the respect he commands among his peers, as he steps into the shoes of the legendary Mick Mars to carry the band’s legacy forward.

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