Chad Kroeger says he’s heard John 5 play “every single Mötley Crüe riff” flawlessly

Chad Kroeger and John 5
(Image credit: NBC / Gary Miller / Getty)

Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger says John 5 already has the full range of Mick Mars’ Mötley Crüe riffs down, well ahead of their 2023 tour dates – and well before the public was aware of his appointment.

Kroeger was talking to Detroit’s WRIF radio, when he made the remarks, reporting that he got a taster of John 5’s Crüe chops at Tommy Lee’s recent 60th birthday celebrations in Punta Mita, Mexico.

“John's incredible,” says Kroeger (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). “He brought his guitar [with him to Mexico]. 'Cause we were there for – I think we were there for, like, five days. So on one of the nights, John brought a guitar out. And a lot of people were heading to bed. And it was just, like, John and Tommy and myself. I think Deadmau5 [Canadian electronic music producer and DJ] might have stayed up with us that night as well. 

“John just played… 'Cause now I'm allowed to say that he's gonna be filling in for Mick for the rest of the tour. And so he just sat there and played every single Mötley Crüe riff that's ever been written and recorded – flawlessly. Flawlessly. You don't need to put on music when you've got that kind of talent just sitting right there. I mean, he was just running the gamut, and it was fantastic.”

John 5’s new role as Mötley Crüe guitarist was confirmed by the band on October 27, following weeks of speculation about his possible appointment. At the time of the announcement, the band again paid tribute to their founding guitarist’s role in the group and said they respected Mars’ decision to retire due to ill health

“We have watched Mick manage his Ankylosing Spondylitis for decades and he has always managed it with utmost courage and grace,” read the statement [edited for length]. “We’ll continue to honor his musical legacy.

“We will carry out Mick’s wish and continue to tour the world as planned in 2023. No doubt will it take an absolutely outstanding musician to fill Mick’s shoes so we are grateful that our good friend, John 5, has agreed to come on board and join us moving forward. We’ll see all of you Crüeheads out on the road!”

The band, including John 5, will now prepare to head out on their world tour with Def Leppard next year, beginning in Mexico City on February 18, 2023. 

For more information and to view the full list of tour dates, head to Mötley Crüe’s site.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar,, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.