Into The Pit: John 5

The number of musicians who can say they've worked with Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Rob Halford and David Lee Roth can likely be counted on one hand. That impressive pedigree becomes magnified when such a rare musician is extremely accomplished in his own right as one of the world's most talented, yet still somewhat under-the-radar guitarists.

Which makes even more remarkable the fact that after seven instrumental albums, John William Lowery -- better known as John 5 -- is about to embark on his first solo tour. Only 12 dates have been announced thus far (with more to come), and half of them are in the Lone Star State, including Wed. Feb. 18 at Red 7 in Austin and Tues. Feb. 24 at 210 Kapone's in downtown San Antonio.

The 43-year-old is touring as John 5 and The Creatures in support of his latest effort Careful With That Axe, which was released last Aug. 12 as the follow-up to 2012's God Told Me To. His touring band consists of Ian Ross on bass and drummer Rodger Carter. Careful With That Axe is the latest showcase of John 5's skills, as he fluidly interchanges between metal shredders such as "Flight of the Vulcan Kelly" and "The Dream Slayer" -- both of which dare you to keep up on air guitar -- to the Flamenco stylings of "El Cucuy" to a country and western tune "Jerry's Breakdown" that'll make you feel like swinging your partner in a do-si-do.

I phoned John 5 today to discuss the forthcoming San Antonio show, the inspiration for his song titles and on-stage masks, his experience working with a who's-who of musicians, channeling his inner Michael Jackson and all things in his world. Listen here.

WHO: John 5 and The Creatures
WHEN: 8 p.m. on Tues. Feb. 24
WHERE: 210 Kapone's (1223 E. Houston St.)
TICKETS: $13 plus fees at Buy here.