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2012.02.17 - Interview with Ashba - nwi.com

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2012.02.17 - Interview with Ashba - nwi.com

Post by Soulmonster on Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:32 pm

New Guns' lineup coming up Roses

"Chinese Democracy" took Axl Rose and his Guns N' Roses more than a decade to complete and, upon its release in 2008, paled with many a music fan when compared to the band's past triumphs.

But Guns guitarist DJ Ashba encourages listeners to give the set a few more listens before casting a final verdict.

"'Chinese' is a very artistic record," he said. "The more and more you listen to it, the more and more things you hear. It's really an intense record if you sit down and listen to it as a whole. It's Axl's vision. I do believe more and more people are getting it."

Stepping out of stadiums and arenas for a brief club tour, which includes a stop at Chicago's House of Blues Feb. 19, Ashba, like Rose, traces his roots to the Midwest; he was born in Monticello and reared in Fairbury, Ill., before making his way to the west coast in the ’90s.

Ashba was a seasoned hard rock veteran before he joined forces with Rose and Co.; along with releasing material on his own or in a myriad of bands, Ashba served as Motley Crue leader Nikki Sixx' creative partner in crime in his side project, Sixx:A.M., and also penned songs with Sixx for Motley Crue. In addition, he lent production expertise to albums by bands such as Drowning Pool and the Last Vegas.

In 2009, shortly after "Democracy" hit record store shelves, Ashba became the newest addition to Guns N' Roses and has spent most of his time under Rose's thumb on stages worldwide. While GNR lore is filled with tales of intra-band turmoil, this, Ashba said, is hardly the case with the current lineup.

"It feels like a family," Ashba said from his Las Vegas home base last week. "We're all up there and we've all got each other's backs. And the musicianship is just incredible. There's nothing that these guys can't play. It's a lot of fun."

Guns N' Roses has also won over fans and the music press with their live prowess since Ashba came on board. While the band's history is riddled with troubled shows, the Ashba-era band is known for shows that clock in and past the three-hour mark.

"We just wanted it to go well and we're really, really happy that it did," Ashba said of their recent live outings. "The press was really good to us, which is nice, and I think the fans finally got to really see Axl's vision. When he put together this new lineup, he put together some solid players, some of the best players out there. And it's a true honor to share the stage with all of them."

Late last year, Guns N' Roses were named as inductees to the 2012 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It has yet to be announced what, if any, past or present members will perform at the ceremony, which is scheduled to be held in Cleveland next month.

Ashba, however, has his fingers crossed on Rose summoning his fellow GNR bandmates into the studio in the near future for a follow-up to "Democracy."

"I'm super excited about (the prospect of recording), being a songwriter and a producer," Ashba said. "That's one thing I've been looking forward to ... hearing some of the ideas and songs that are already done that Axl has, I can't wait to get my hands on them."

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