Australia's Yahoo!7 News recently conducted an interview with GUNS N' ROSES guitarist DJ Ashba. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On GUNS N' ROSES singer Axl Rose being portrayed in a negative light:
Ashba: "I think a lot of people and the press try to blow it up and say he's an asshole but everyone can be an asshole if you get them on the wrong day. One thing people don't seem to get is that he's genuinely funny and he's always joking around and telling stories to make people laugh. I always say that if he wasn't a musician he'd be a great comedian. I wish the world could see that side of him because it's the opposite of what people have branded in their brains."
On how Axl treats his GN'R bandmates:
Ashba: "Axl is in a position where he doesn't have to be cool with the band but he treats us like gold. He lets us write our own solos and gives everybody their time to shine on stage and I think that says a lot about who he is. He has no problem sharing the spotlight, in fact he quite likes it — otherwise he'd be doing this interview and not me."
On GUNS N' ROSES' latest album "Chinese Democracy", which came out in 2008 after a 15-year wait:
Ashba: "I came in right after 'Chinese Democracy' was released and I've seen a huge difference over the last four years in how fans react to those songs. A lot of people are singing along to them now that they're more familiar."
On how "production issues" are mostly to blame for GUNS N' ROSES' continual stage tardiness, with long waits for Axl just as much a definite at a the band's concert as hearing "Paradise City" or "Welcome To The Jungle":
Ashba: "We have a huge rig and pyrotechnics so often it's the case of fitting all that into the venue. Our number one priority is to make the shows safe. [The criticism from fans on social media] kills us as a band because we're not doing any of this on purpose. Our main goal is to go and give the fans a show they will never forget and we understand how expensive tickets are. We take that into account and when we do hit the stage, it's almost impossible to get us off."
On GUNS N' ROSES' next studio album, for which the bandmembers have already begun collecting ideas:
Ashba: "It won't be another 'Chinese Democracy' but then again we're in no rush to make a bad record. Failing is not an option so we're putting our heart and soul into this one."
Read more from Yahoo!7 News.