DJ ASHBA: 'I Still, To This Day, Don't Think I've Found The Real Reason Why I'm Here'

Leslie Michele Derrough of recently conducted an interview with GUNS N' ROSES/SIXX: A.M. guitarist DJ Ashba. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. When did you realize that you wanted to become a business person behind what you wanted to do?

Ashba: A couple different things. When people ask me who were my influences. It was never guitar players, it was never, so to speak, musicians. I've always looked up to certain people, but my true influences in life were people like Walt Disney, people like Steve Jobs, people that really came and changed the world in a much bigger way than just a dream. They've changed the world in a massive way. And I always felt like I was put here to do something great, like really beyond music. I still, to this day, don't think I've found the real reason why I'm here, you know. People are like, "But you're in the biggest band in the world," and I go, "Yeah, but there is something inside that I keep searching for," and I think before I go there is going to be something, I'm pretty confident, that is going to be kind of the reason I'm known for. And I don't think it's going to be music-related, which is weird. You've always been very artistic to begin with, and then you took that and made it into something.

Ashba: Ever since I was young, I would draw on everything there was: paper plates, blah, blah, blah. I started working for a newspaper when I was really young, like in seventh grade, I believe, seventh or eighth grade, and I noticed they didn't have a cartoon in the newspaper. And I worked down in the crappy, folding the papers that come out of the press, and our boss was scary, like this old, scary guy that everyone was afraid of. So I remember going up to the third floor of this small, little, tiny town rickety building and knocking on the big boss's door and walking in and he looked at me like, what balls do you have? [laughs] And I tried to tell him, "I know how to make your paper better." And he was just like, "What?" And I'm in like seventh or eighth grade and I go, "Your paper doesn't have a cartoon and everybody loves cartoons. I would love to do a cartoon for the newspaper." And he kicked me out of his office but about a week later he came down and everybody got all tense and he goes, "I need to see you in my office," and I was like, crap, he's going to fire me. And it went from that to him going, "I thought about what you were saying, bring me in some ideas." I actually stayed up all night drawing and drawing. And I went from that to he gave me my own office. So I think that kind of showed me something from an early age. It's like, wow, I believed in something I really strongly believed in and I, as hard as it was, approached it and it worked out. And I think that's kind of what was the start of everything else. What was your biggest challenge into the business world?

Ashba: I think, in a big way, it's the clothing. The clothing I've been trying to do for fifteen years and I could never get it right, 'cause clothing is a really tough thing to get into. You've got to really know what you're doing and I've made a lot of mistakes and I learned from them, but I never gave up. And I think that's half of it, you know. I've always said it's never hard to do anything you wanted to achieve your dreams; it's hard not to give up. So if you don't give up on your dream, you will succeed and you will get to your ultimate goal. I come from a place where it's, like, you can have anything in life you wanted as long as you wanted it bad enough and you're willing to work as hard as it takes to get it. And I'm a hard worker and when I get focused on a goal, no one can detour me from it. And I love it. It's fun.

Read the entire interview from


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