For almost 30 years, John 5 has been one of the most in-demand guitar players on the planet. As well as a guitarist for hire, 5 has shared the stage as axe-man for Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson and Rob Halford. He has also worked with an impressive array of names, from all walks of music, including KD Lang, Rod Stewart, Dave Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, Tina Guo and Steven Adler.
To call John 5 a shredder does not do him justice. There’s little he can’t put his hand to.
John 5 was born John William Lowery, on July 31st 1970, in Gross Pointe Michigan. His love of guitar began at age seven, when he began watching the Hee Haw series with his father. “I watched the guitar playing and knew that was what I wanted to do. My friends wanted to be astronauts and such but all I wanted to do was play and play and play”. Other notable influences included KISS and Jimi Hendrix.
One of the ultimate ’80s guitar shredders, Marty Friedman first made his name with the speed-burning virtuoso outfit Cacophony, but landed his most widely renowned gig as the lead guitarist of Megadeth during the thrash legends’ greatest period of popularity. Friedman was born in 1962 and grew up in the Baltimore area; he began playing guitar at age 15 in a band called Deuce, shortly before his family moved to Hawaii. While in Hawaii, Friedman hooked up with a local band (which changed names and personnel fairly often) and recorded with them on three different albums. Friedman studied guitar in earnest, going so far as to explore ethnic music (particularly Asian and Middle Eastern) in search of new, exotic scales to incorporate into his lead playing. He initially connected with the shred-guitar label Shrapnel in 1981, but it wasn’t until 1987 that he, along with friend Jason Becker, made an impact on the larger guitar community. The twin-guitar heroics of their debut album as Cacophony, Speed Metal Symphony, made an instant splash, and both took the opportunity to record the solo albums they’d been working on individually prior to the genesis of Cacophony.