Joel Stroetzel


Born John William Lowery on July 31st, 1971 in Gross Pointe, Michigan; John 5 started playing guitar at the age of seven, inspired by musicians on the show Hee Haw. Backed with support from his parents, John 5 played at bars in his early teens, eventually moving to Los Angeles at age 17 to work as a session guitarist. This led to a meeting with Whitesnake guitarist Rudy Sarzo, which in turn led to a spot as Lita Ford’s guitarist while opening for Kiss, which in turn led to John 5’s friendship with Paul Stanley.

For a six year period, John 5 experienced a busy schedule, playing for 2wo, Rob Halford, David Lee Roth, and most notably, Marilyn Manson. In 1998, John 5 joined Manson’s lineup as a permanent guitarist, gaining his famous nickname and first performing with the band on the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards. John 5 saw his debut on the album Mechanical Animals, followed by Holy Wood, and Golden Age of Grotesque. He split ways with Marilyn Manson in 2004 due to creative differences, following speculations of bad blood between the guitarist and singer, following an incident at the 2003 Rock Am Ring.

Following his departure from Marilyn Manson, John 5 continued to work with various bands, including the short lived Loser, as well as a series of solo albums, starting with 2004’s Vertigo. After meeting Rob Zombie at a benefit gig featuring Camp Freddy, John 5 joined on as his permanent lead guitarist, starting with the Ozzfest 2005 tour and beginning with the 2006 album Educated Horses. John 5 became an integral part of Zombie’s live show, playing an improvised guitar solo during performances of Thunderkiss ’65. His involvement has also had a strong influence on the band’s music, drawing heavily from southern rock styles to create a “retro” sound, and also caused Rob Zombie to reconsider putting his music career to a halt to focus on his growing career in film.

In 2010, Rob Zombie released Hellbilly Deluxe II, his second album with John 5. That same year, John 5 released his fifth album, The Art of Malice. The year saw John 5 being featured on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s album Gods and Guns, touring in support of his album, in addition to touring with Rob Zombie on the third annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, as well as a co-headlining tour with Alice Cooper, supported on the second leg by Murderdolls.

Throughout his extensive career, John 5 has been regarded as one of the most respected, consulted and sought out guitarists of the heavy metal community. He continues to play with Rob Zombie, work as a staff writer for Chrysalis records, and maintain his versatility as a guitarist. He is also known for his use of Fender Telecasters.