Casper of Silver Tiger Media recently conducted an interview with former GUNS N’ ROSES and current SIXX: A.M. guitarist DJ Ashba. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
Speaking about he approaches soloing, Ashba said: “I’ve always looked at guitar playing as an extension of the story telling. Basically, it’s where the vocalist hands you the song, and it’s your job, your duty, to write the perfect solo for that song. I’ve never looked at guitar solos as, ‘Okay, it’s my turn to show off.’ That’s the worst mistake I think guitar players make. I take the song from the singer and I try to take the audience on a journey and bring them right back and hand it back off to the singer. And that’s how I look at it when I write solos: I try to write the perfect solo for that song.”
He continued: “I’m from the mindstate where I’m all about melody — I want people to walk away singing the solos. And that would mean more to me than, ‘Wow, he’s really fast on guitar.’ That doesn’t mean anything to me. You can play a million miles an hour and it’s gonna go over everybody’s head in the audience. But you hit one note with everything in your heart, and you’re gonna turn every head in the room, and I’ve always believed that.”
Ashba also talked about the differences between playing material that he had a hand in writing and performing songs that were composed by someone else. He said: “I’m not a schooled player. In fact, I played in GUNS N’ ROSES for seven years, [and it was a challenge playing other] people’s songs. I do my best, but I have such a distinct style, and it’s hard for me to actually play other people’s songs; I actually have to work at it, whereas SIXX: A.M. is my style. It’s what [come out of me naturally]; I don’t even have to think about what I’m playing, it’s just… I feel it. And I can’t explain it. Along the way, many people have wanted me to teach ’em how to play guitar, and I can’t teach you, because I’m not a teacher.”
Ashba, who joined GUNS N’ ROSES in March 2009 following the departure of Robin Finck, issued a statement in July 2015 saying that he was leaving the band. His statement read in part: “It is with a very heavy heart and yet great pride that I announce that I’ve decided to close this chapter of my life and encapsulate the wonderful times that I’ve shared with GUNS N’ ROSES into fond memories. I have reached a point in my life where I feel its time to dedicate myself to my band SIXX: A.M., my adoring wife and family, and to the many new adventures that the future holds for me.”
Ashba said earlier in his statement that working with GUNS N’ ROSES was “the most incredible journey I could have possibly imagined.”
The first volume of SIXX: A.M.‘s upcoming double album, “Prayers For The Damned”, will drop April 29 via Eleven Seven Music.