Ex-Guns N’ Roses Member On Why It Was ‘Very Unnatural’ And ‘Tough’ In Band

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Willy Tyler of Billings MT 96.3 The Zone recently conducted an interview with former Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba. Some of the interview has been transcribed below via GNRTruth:

Willy Tyler: You just kind of recently walked away from Guns N’ Roses. That’s gotta take a lot to walk away from GN’R?

DJ Ashba: Ha ha it does. Yeah man I had a blast man, I think over six years I don’t know, around 6 years. Well over 300 shows with them. We had a lot of fun, there were a lot of laughs a lot of good times. It gets to a point where you start loosing yourself, or at least I do. I never got into the music business or started playing music for money so at some point you start going…wait a second. You know playing other people’s songs, is really cool and it’s fun especially if you were very inspired growing up as a kid to these songs. But after a while you — I remember we did a modern vintage tour, it was like 19 shows — the difference between playing stuff that you write and the notes that you hit that come from your heart, when you see them connect with the crowd. I can’t tell you, there is no amount of money can buy that feeling. It just came down to following my heart. Getting myself back on track to where I knew I was suppose to be.

Willy Tyler: I kind of wondered when you were the touring guitarist during the Chinese Democracy, I don’t know how many guitarists Axl had on that album. But you had to have been having to swing like 5 different styles?

DJ Ashba: Yeah, again, I’m happy I did it because it was an experience of a lifetime. I believe it really did make me a better guitar player. But it was tough. I’m not great at playing other people’s styles. You know it really made me, I was playing quite a few different peoples styles. One song I’d be soloing to a Buckethead solo, the next one would be a Robin Finck solo. The next one would be Slash. It was tough because they all three have such different styles from each other. And there are three guitar players in the band. I wasn’t used to so, you played 5 majors of a solo then the next guy would take off — it was really broken up and was very unnatural feeling, you know, to play this stuff. At the same time it was an incredible challenge, I’m glad I did it.

Have you gone to see GN’R with Slash reunited yet?

DJ Ashba: I haven’t, I can’t wait I’d love to see it you know. I remember before the whole thing went down before it was public, Axl personally called me and really wanted me to a part of it. My whole thing was, you know, if he’s coming back, that’s his deal man. I couldn’t be happier as a fan, I get the best of best worlds. Playing in the band I love and I get half of the band I used to love back which is kind of a win win. If Slash is back there is no reason I need to be there. I was just there trying to keep the music alive.