The 10 albums that changed my life : John 5 - Knotfest
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The 10 albums that changed my life : John 5

Posted by Ramon Gonzales in Culture on February 25, 2022

The veteran guitarist details his early education in rock music spectacle that made him one of the genre’s most respected contributors.

Among the very best in the game, accomplished guitarist and songwriter John 5 unveiled his Sinner album late last year to critical acclaim. In addition to his vast body of work as a creative companion with the likes of Rob Zombie, John’s solo catalog further asserts just how much of a lifer he is.

The album’s singles in “Land Of The Misfit Toys” and the Dave Mustaine-featured “Que Pasa” proved effective tracks that not only showcased John’s deft skill, but his prowess and rock heavy songwriter. Crafting, fun, dynamic, vibrant rock music is no easy feat, yet John manages to do so in tandem with other artists and under his own solo banner so consistently.

Set to embark on the Sinner Tour this spring. John’s live show is as much of a spectacle as the kind of shred he showcases in his songs. Complete with big guitars and lots of ’em, the veteran of the stage has the kind of presence that is nothing short of commanding – a John 5 concert is equal parts party and masterclass.

Ahead of the run his spring that will see John 5 and the Creatures supporting Fozzy on some dates and feature The Haxans, the death-esque rock duo featuring New Years Day frontwoman Ash Costello and fellow Rob Zombie collaborator Piggy D on most, John gave Knotfest a glimpse into the kind of education he got early that set him on his creative path.

Tasked with condensing a lifetime of rock music allegiance into just ten albums, John 5 kept his explanations brief while managing to be very explicit when it came to revealing the kind of music that not only moved him, but stuck with him for good.

These are the ten albums that changed guitarist John 5’s life.


Metallica – Master of Puppets

John 5 – I just heard nothing like it before. The production, the songwriting, how aggressive and how precise it was. Incredible songwriting. 


Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare

John 5 – This album really changed my life and how I looked at guitar instrumental music. It was so well done. It really is a masterpiece.


Yngwie Malmsteen – Rising Force

John 5 – This album… it really changed the way I play guitar. I went crazy for this record. I went crazy for this style of playing and I still love it so much today. 


Megadeth – So Far, So Good… So What!

John 5 – I love this album. Saw this tour as many times as I could. I just love the songs and it really had an effect on my life. 


Van Halen – Fair Warning

John 5 – It’s hard to pick Van Halen records because they’re so great but this one… I remember learning everything on the record and I still love to put it on as much as I can today.


KISS – Dressed To Kill

John 5 – One of my favorite KISS records. I just think it is pure perfection.


Nine Inch Nails – Broken

John 5 – This was another epiphany for me. Completely changed my life and completely altered not only how I looked at music but also how i wrote music. 


White Zombie – Astro-Creep 2000 Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head

John 5 – The production, the guitar sound, the vocal sound, the songwriting… it’s just an incredible album that I love cranking and I luckily get to play live.


Van Halen – One

John 5 – The first Van Halen album changed my whole life how I play guitar. It taught me everything and i still find myself learning from it today.


KISS – Love Gun

John 5 – This is the record that got me into music. I’ll have to put it at my number one. I was seven years old when i discovered it and it changed everything for me.


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