Rustyn Rose of Metalholic.com recently conducted an interview with GUNS N’ ROSES/SIXX: A.M. guitarist DJ Ashba. You can now listen to the chat in two parts below. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow.
On whether Axl Rose is receptive to songwriting ideas from the rest of the current lineup of GUNS N’ ROSES:
Ashba: “Axl definitely is open to writing with the band. I know [former GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist] Robin Finck helped him write ‘Better’ [from ‘Chinese Democracy’], the single that was out. I know a lot of the guys had a lot of input on the album. He’s always been really open. I’ve worked with a lot of talented people, but this guy, I’m telling you, he has songs up his sleeve that I’ve sat down at the piano with him, and literally, my jaw hits the piano bench. He has a lot of songs up his sleeve. Obviously, I’m in the band, and I have no reason to kiss his ass, I’m just kind of putting it out as it is. The guy is just fucking incredible. The songs that he has that no one’s heard… I pray to God one day people get to hear what he has up his sleeve, because me being a fan for one, but the shit is just awesome. And I can’t wait to get in and work on some stuff with him. And I know he’s really excited to get in a room, too, so I think us together, we’re gonna do a lot of damage. And this band he’s put together is just incredible musicians — I mean, top-notch players. He definitely put together an amazing band and he has, like, three albums’ worth of shit up his sleeve that’s just gonna floor people. I’m really excited about it. And I’ve been writing around the clock, constantly sending him songs, too. So it’s good; it’s really good.”
On when fans can expect to hear a new GUNS N’ ROSES album:
Ashba: “Well, it won’t be 15 years, I promise you. [Laughs] The thing about Axl, and what I do respect about him, he doesn’t give a fuck about, like, if a label person is trying to hurry him for a record. The one thing is, he is the real deal, he is a true artist — he will not release a record until he knows in his heart it’s ready. And that’s exactly how we are with SIXX: A.M. — we won’t turn a record in… It doesn’t matter if it takes five years. And it doesn’t really matter to us if it doesn’t sell a record, because when you’re doing something from a very true place and you’re being true to yourself, none of that matters, really. At the end of the day, you just wanna leave a song here that you’re gonna be proud of long after you’re gone. So if you go into that mindframe and not, ‘OK, this sounds like a hit.’ Or ‘We’ve gotta change this to sound more like this band because they’re doing really good.’ It’s not real. So the one thing, whether you like ‘Chinese’ or hate it, it’s real. And it definitely is a very brilliant artistic record. I think it’s an amazing record. Will the next one take as long? No. I mean, what people don’t realize is ‘Chinese’ didn’t take 15 years. He literally has, like, four albums’ worth of… I mean, he has tons and tons of songs. So whenever he feels like, OK, this is what he wants to release next… It’s his call, it’s his vision, so I’m just here to do whatever I can to bring that vision to life for him, or with him.”
In addition to Ashba and sole original member Axl Rose (vocals), the current lineup of GUNS N’ ROSES includes guitarists Ron Thal and Richard Fortus, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer.
Ashba joined GUNS N’ ROSES in March 2009 following the departure of Robin Finck.