Late last month, Meltdown of Detroit, Michigan's WRIF 101.1 FM radio station conducted an interview with GUNS N' ROSES/SIXX: A.M. guitarist DJ Ashba. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below.
On GUNS N' ROSES frontman Axl Rose's first broadcast interview in years, conducted by VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" at 5:30 a.m. following GUNS' performance on October 29 in Miami:
Ashba: "It was really weird. And to be honest, it wasn't Axl's fault [that the interview took place so late]. Axl had no clue [he was supposed to be interviewed for 'That Metal Show' until after the concert had taken place]. He walked into the dressing room after the show. And I had heard about it, 'cause I had done an interview right before we went on stage. And I happened to bring it up in the dressing room. 'Ah, it was pretty cool doing the VH1 thing,' and I mentioned it. He kind of looked around, like, 'What are you talking about?' Its sad how in the dark he is sometimes. But he was cool. He went and took a shower and he was, like, 'They're here and I'll definitely do it. I just wish I would have known about it.' So it was one of those things."
On most people's perception that Rose is a "control freak":
Ashba: "He definitely isn't a control freak; that's the thing about him. I don't know many people out there — in his shoes — that would allow everybody spotlights on stage. I mean, he lets me freely write my own guitar pieces. I can do whatever I want. So, I mean, there's a lot to be said about that, I think."
On GUNS N' ROSES' 2008 album, "Chinese Democracy", not getting the kind of promotion from the record company that it deserved:
Ashba: "I couldn't agree more. I, personally, I came in right after it was finished up. But I get it. I think it's such a great artistic record, and I think that's what Axl, in his heart, wanted to do. It's gonna piss some people off that it doesn't sound like 'Appetite For Destruction'. I always look at it like, if every album sounded the same, we'd all be pretty bored with music by now. I think it's a natural progression for him, and I think it's a great album. I think there's a lot of songs on there that didn't get a fair push. So definitely go pick it up, because it's really cool. . . It's one of those albums where people are just now getting it. Not everybody got 'Appetite' right off the bat; that album took a long time before it ever took off on radio. And I think this is the same type of thing in a different sense where I think you're gonna find yourselves falling in love with these songs over time. It's one of those albums that just grows on you."
On how it feels to be a member of GUNS N' ROSES:
Ashba: "It's surreal. It has its good and bad [points]. The good is, obviously, you're in GUNS N' ROSES and you're getting to stand on stage next to Axl, who is gonna go down in our time for one of the most legendary singers. And it is an honor. And it's bad, because everybody thinks, for some weird reason, that me and [original GUNS N' ROSES guitarist] Slash hate each other, or I have a thing against Slash… I don't get that at all. I grew up cutting my teeth, I was a fan. I'm honored to be in the band. I never joined the band to replace anybody. Slash is his own person, I'm my own person. I'm just here merely trying to do the gig justice, and that's all I can do."
GUNS N' ROSES kicked off its first U.S. tour since 2006 on October 28 in Orlando, Florida.
In addition to sole original member Axl Rose (vocals), the current lineup of GUNS N' ROSES includes guitarists Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Richard Fortus and DJ Ashba, bassist Tommy Stinson, keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Chris Pitman and drummer Frank Ferrer.
"Chinese Democracy", the 2008 album released by the current edition of GUNS N' ROSES after a 15-year wait, was officially certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on February 3, 2009 for shipments in the United States in excess of one million copies. The long-in-the-making, 14-song CD finally arrived 17 years after the last full-length collections of original GUNS material, "Use Your Illusion I" and "II", were released, and nine years after the non-album track "Oh My God" surfaced on the soundtrack of the movie "End Of Days".
"Chinese Democracy" was made available exclusively through Best Buy.