Former Marilyn Manson guitarist John5 has told Mtv.com that during the group's last tour, the band's frontman spoke just once to him about something other than business. "It was on my birthday, and he turned to me and said, 'Happy birthday, [faggot]' ? then walked away," said the guitarist, who received a call from Manson's manager on March 30 letting him know that his services were no longer needed.
While the two artists never became drinking buddies, Manson took full advantage of his ex-bandmate's playing and composing talents; John5 is credited with co-writing 13 of the 15 songs on 2003's The Golden Age Of Grotesque, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart. Still, John5 wasn't completely surprised when Manson's manager called last week and told him he was out of the band.
With regards to why he was kicked out, the guitarist said, "I don't know... I was nothing but nice to him," he continued. "I never screwed up onstage ? well not really badly ? and I did everything I could to get along with him. Maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the fact that I don't drink or do drugs, and he's not like that at all. Maybe he held that against me. I don't know. He never said."
According to John5, communication between him and Manson ground to a halt in January, and when Manson started writing new songs for a best-of album and didn't ask for John5's input.
"He wanted to work with his new bassist, Tim Skold, which is cool with me," John5 said. "I had a great run with Marilyn Manson. It was a lot of fun and it was a really great experience, but I've got a lot of other stuff going on. I'm busier now than I was on tour."
Since last year, John5 has spent many hours writing songs for various artists including Lisa Marie Presley and Avril Lavigne. He hooked up with Lavigne toward the end of sessions for her new album, Under My Skin, although none of his songs are on the LP. "We did a bunch of songs, and that was a lot of fun, but none of them made her record since I arrived at the 11th hour, and the album was almost done."
In addition to writing for others, John5 is forming a new band and has recorded a 12-song instrumental album, Vertigo, due this fall. He decided to record a solo album after a recent jam with 88-year-old blues-guitar legend Les Paul. "After we played, he said to me, 'You have got to do an instrumental album,' " John5 said. "To me, that was the greatest compliment in the world. The guy's a legend, and for him to say that is amazing."