Manson Guitarist Zim Zum Replaced By Two's Lowery

Representatives for Marilyn Manson have confirmed that guitarist Zim Zum has been replaced by Two co-writer John Lowery, who has been christened with the stage name "John 5."

Zim Zum joined the Manson band just prior to their 1996 album "Anti Christ Superstar" replacing Daisy Berkowitz (aka Scott Michael Putesky, now with Jack Off Jill). Rumors of his pending split with Manson had been circulating for weeks.

In a statement released today, Zim Zum said that he wanted to explore a solo career and some production gigs rather than head out on the road to support Marilyn Manson's upcoming album, "Mechanical Animals."

"We worked really hard on 'Mechanical Animals'," the statement read, " and throughout that time - creatively - a lot of doors opened for me. I looked through them and liked what I saw - so I felt it was better for me to pursue that vision."

Lowery most logically came to the attention of Manson through his tenure with Two, the band led by former

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, who are also signed to Nothing Records. Two made their debut on the label earlier this year, but Halford's switch from heavy metal maven to industrial tycoon did not fare well, at least not with the live crowd - tours in both the States and Europe were recently cut short due to an apparent lack of interest.

Lowery's new role in his Satanic majesty's favorite band is also apparently not sitting too well with David Lee Roth. Lowery appears on the new David Lee Roth Band album and had been widely expected to tour with Roth, who already lost one of his hotshot guitarists, Michael Hartman, to "creative and personal differences" in May.

Lowery had told "Metal Edge" editor Gerri Miller that he may well continue writing and recording with Roth, but said that he didn't expect to tour.