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2011.10.26 - Interview with Dj -

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Post by Soulmonster on Fri 28 Oct 2011 - 9:30

Costumed or not, Guns N' Roses set to rock on Halloween

As Guns N' Roses embarks on its first U.S. tour in more than five years, lead guitarist D.J. Ashba is particularly looking forward to the legendary band's upcoming performance in Greenville.

To be honest, it's not so much where the concert is occurring but when. Guns N' Roses will take the stage at the Bi-Lo Center on Monday, Halloween night.

“My favorite holiday — I can't wait,” Ashba said by phone last week from Mexico City, where the band played the night before. “I'm really excited about it. ... It's going to be so much fun.”

At the time of the interview, Ashba hadn't yet discussed the Halloween night concert with Axl Rose, but he said he was sure the iconic Guns N' Roses frontman shared his eagerness for the gig.

“I know he's really into Halloween — he usually likes going off and trying to get to a Halloween party — so, yeah, it should be a lot of fun,” Ashba said.

Does that mean fans can expect Guns N' Roses to show up for the concert in Halloween costumes?

“I have no idea, but there's always a good chance of that,” said Ashba, who added that he hopes to see plenty of audience members dressed for the occasion.

Since its last U.S. tour in 2006, Guns N' Roses has played to nearly a million people throughout the world, including concerts in South America, Canada, Europe and Southeast Asia.

Ashba isn't surprised by the enthusiastic response the group got when it announced its long-awaited U.S. tour last month.

“If I wasn't in the band, I would be the first one in line to buy a ticket,” Ashba, 38, said. “With Guns, you come out and you never know what to expect. It's just a crazy, wild show, and I think that's part of (the appeal). And I think the other part is the music.

“It's music that a lot of us grew up on, so it brings back a lot of amazing feelings and memories. And I think when you come to a Guns show, you know there's a danger element to this music, but it's very cool.”

More than a quarter-century has passed since Rose started Guns N' Roses, which went on to become one of the biggest bands in music history, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide. The group's 1987 major label debut, “Appetite for Destruction,” has sold more than 28 million copies in the U.S. alone.

Guns N' Roses was recently nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rose is the only original member remaining in the group, whose classic alumni include lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan and drummers Steven Adler and Matt Sorum.

Besides Rose, keyboardist Dizzy Reed is the longest-serving active member of the group, having been with Guns N' Roses since 1990 and appearing on the acclaimed “Use Your Illusion” albums.

“They brought so much to the world of music,” Ashba said. “I have nothing but respect, as a fan, for Guns N' Roses. They also set a standard for music videos, which I thought was really cool.

“Every video they put out was just epic, almost like mini-movies. They would dump millions of dollars into making these mind-blowing videos.”

Ashba described Rose as “a musical genius” who “puts his heart and soul into his music,” and he said the tabloid media rarely offers an accurate portrayal of him.

“Axl is one of those people who would give you the shirt off his back,” Ashba said. “And he's also one of the funniest guys I know. I always tell him, ‘It's a good thing this music thing worked out, but if it didn't you should've been a comedian.'

“The guy is hilarious. He just cracks me up. We're always sending each other the funniest jokes back and forth.”

The most recent Guns N' Roses album, “Chinese Democracy,” was released nearly three years ago and, like the band's previous works, has sold millions of copies worldwide.

Ashba said the band's current lineup has been working on new material.

“I think everybody's main focus is on putting out the ultimate Guns N' Roses record,” he said.

Having the opportunity to perform as a member of Guns N' Roses is something that Ashba — whose songwriting and production credits include Motley Crue, Sixx: A.M. and even Neil Diamond — never takes for granted.

“Being in a band like this is awesome,” Ashba said. “You just kind of pinch yourself.”

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