APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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SoulMonster
APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2013.05.21 - In The Now Magazine - Interview with DJ

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2013.05.21 - In The Now Magazine - Interview with DJ Empty 2013.05.21 - In The Now Magazine - Interview with DJ

Post by Soulmonster Wed May 22, 2013 2:18 pm



Transcript:

DJ: Hey, this is DJ Ashba from Guns N' Roses. If you aren't in the now, you are in the nothing.

Joey Irsik: Right, you've seen him on stage with the Bullet Boys, with Beautiful Creatures and SIXX:AM and now this summer you can catch him playing Rocklahoma festival and some other gigs in the US with Guns N' Roses, on the phone today, DJ Ashba. DJ, how you doing, man?

DJ: How are you, brother? Doing good.

JI: I'm just really curious how this works out, you know, you're a solo artist, you do all the stuff with Beautiful Creatures, Bullet Boys and SIXX:AM for many years, how did you end up joining Guns N' Roses?

DJ: I had just gotten off a tour with SIXX:AM and I got a call from management, from Guns' management, and they said they'd been looking for a new guitar player on the down low for about a year and a half and had gone through numerous guitar players and just wasn't finding what they were, what Axl was looking for, and they asked if I'd come down or wanted to come down. I said, "Yeah, I'd love to check it out," didn't really think a whole lot about it, never dreamt I was going to, you know, take the gig or get the gig. And evidently when Axl caught wind that I was coming down he called management and said, "If he even shows up he has the gig," so it was kind of that kind of went down like that and it's just, you know, certain things are meant to be and it just kind of happened so organically, you know.

JI: And I'm guessing that in your formative years you were probably a big Guns fan?

DJ: Oh, huge, yeah.

JI: So what's it like now, like, being in the band, you've been in the band for about four years now, what's it like being on stage playing those classic Guns tracks, playing the new Guns tracks, and looking over and seeing Axl to your right, or to your left, or right in front of you, or knowing he's behind you just singing those songs?

DJ: I mean, I think it's everything you could ever imagine it being. It's very surreal, very cool. I mean, you know, I have so much respect for him and vice versa and it's just really cool to share the stage with, you know, one of the last living legends out there, you know. He is, you know, just insane every night, he's on 10 for the two to three hours around stage, it's just high energy, and I'm just, you know, very blessed to be able to share the stage with not only him but some of the most talented musicians out there [?].

JI: And with the tour schedule this year you guys have been on tour pretty much solid since you joined the band, there's are some breaks but-

DJ: Yeah.

JI: -but this summer you guys are actually... you've hit the UK festivals many times, this summer you're actually hitting the Rocklahoma Festival and The River City Rock Fest, prior [?] and San Antonio on The Rock Fest and then you're doing another date that's just announced in a Kansas City at the Midland, a small venue. Have you guys done the festival circuit in the States very much prior to this run?

DJ: Not really. To be honest, I mean, we've done quite a few festivals, we've done, like, Rock In Rio and a couple... I mean, actually, a lot of big festivals but, you know, these are... we've never played Rocklahoma, or I haven't with the band, and so we're, you know, this and the Governor's Ball and the few dates that we did book we're really excited about. Rocklahoma is going to be a blast, I can't wait.

JI: Now, some bands when they play a festival they kind of... they shorten the set list or they, you know, they don't really bring what they bring to a headlining show because of the constraints of festival. Are you guys actually bringing the entire Guns N' Roses full set list, full stage show, to the festivals?

DJ: We do, yeah, yeah, I mean, yeah, that's just what a Guns show is, you know, Axl doesn't do anything half-ass and and neither does the band, you know. So definitely be prepared to get your ass kicked for sure that night.

JI: I've actually for a long time YouTube'd you guys's UK gigs, the festival shows, and it's just, I love the setlist variety because you guys don't ignore Appetite, you don't ignore the Use Your Illusion era, and you really don't ignore Chinese Democracy-

DJ: -No, you're gonna get, seriously, you're gonna get everything from Appetite to Chinese Democracy. Its, you know, it's just a kick-ass night of rock and roll and you're going to hear every classic hit, every new song that we're putting out you. Yeah, it's just a full-on well-rounded show for sure.

JI: And it's an even like even though you guys play for three hours a night it really seems like when you watch this raw video from the festival's, even if it's somebody's, like, flip cam, Axl's on, he's on for the entire three hours and that's really cool.

DJ: Well, the one thing I... you know, I've obviously played with a lot of bands out there and the one thing that impresses me so much about playing with somebody like Axl is there's not one of these songs that's easy to sing and this guy goes out and not only runs for three hours on stage full blast singing these songs, he does it night after night which is it's just mind-blowing to me. I don't know how he does it. I could never... you know, it's pretty insane. It's one thing to play guitar for three hours but it's another one to be singing these songs, you know. It's pretty insane.

JI: And he still does the dancing and the running and the jump he did back in 1990, in 1988, he's doing all of that.

DJ: Yeah, and then the greatest thing is he's old-school, you know, he doesn't believe in playing, you know, having... you know, everything you hear, he is singing, and there's no, you know, there's no lip-syncing to Guns N' Roses, it's the real deal. It's raw, you know, and it's just... you know, I just have so much respect for that, so....

JI: Now, if you had to pick a favorite Guns track, on the set list, what would be the favorite track to pick of any of the songs of any of the albums?

DJ: Well it's... you know, that's a really tough one because there's not a Guns song that isn't on the playlist, to be honest. You know, I mean, God, you know, I mean, everything from, I mean, I love playing all the new stuff like Shackler's and This I Love and, you know, Chinese, and there's just so many great ones, you know, that I, you know, like, There Was A Time, you know, and, you know, of course, like, November Rain, Don't Cry and Civil War and it's just so many, you know, Patience to everything off of Appetite. I mean, there isn't a song that isn't fun to play.

JI: And on the tour you guys pull out the full, like, for the festival gigs, the full arena thing, like, where you guys have the big video screens, pyrotechnics, you guys have that whole setup going on?

DJ: Yeah, yeah, we take that everywhere we go. Yeah, yeah, we're going to switch it up for these festivals. We're going to do something, pull out some fresh things and change it up a bit so it should, you know, it should be really exciting and, yeah, it's going to be fun for everybody.

JI: Now, the one show on the schedule that makes me curious, like, how you guys are going to work this in, it's the one in Kansas City where you have to play in The Midland. It's a smaller theater. Now, well, how do you think you guys will go from playing... like, what will be the difference going from playing like an amphitheater in Lubbock, Texas, on June 1st, and then playing the theater, The Midland, in Kansas City-

DJ: -You know, what's cool about being in Guns is we'll go from playing 150,000 people at Rock In Rio to playing the Soho House for a private party for 300 people. So I mean, it's a... we're used to doing really small eclectic gigs and, you know, in fact we get a kick out of going in, like, when we were in Tokyo last, instead of playing the Tokyo Dome like we did the time before and selling it out, we went in and played a really small theater, you know, so it just causes pandemonium, you know, and it's fun because it's our chance to get really super up and close and personal with the fans, which is really cool. So we actually like doing that type of stuff.

JI: Yeah. This is really cool to see that you guys are still willing to go do that, do, like, the House of Blues gigs or things like that, like actually going-

DJ: Yeah, yeah, I mean, we love and what's cool it's just so random that it works, you know, and it makes it fun for everybody, you know.

JI: On a personal front, you have your own website too, there's the official website for Guns N' Roses, is gunsnroses.com, but you have djashba.com and-

DJ: I do.

JI:- on that site you have a link to your personal MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, you also got your online store which is the Ashba Swag store and-

DJ: Yes.

JI: - you've also got an iPhone app. The iPhone app that's actually... you can tune your guitar through the app, right?

DJ: Yeah, you can. I mean, we have over, well over, 300, I think, 350 items in ashbaswag.com and the store is growing rapidly. And we put out one-of-a-kind handmade stage clothes so pretty much everything you see me wearing and on stage you can actually go to my store and get it from the exact same maker who makes mine and her name's Cody [?]. And she's, you know, she's been doing everybody's clothes for Marilyn Manson to Motley to Rihanna [?] for the last 30 years, in the rock industry. So I teamed up with her and started this clothing line and it's just been on fire. We just opened up three stores, three pop-up stores, one on Melrose, I've forgot [?], one in Las Vegas at Harley Davidson, we put a pop-up store there in Henderson, and then we have some stuff over at the Goretorium, Eli Roth's Goretorium, here in Las Vegas. And the stuff's just doing really well and the goal is to officially open our, you know, to open up a store here, of our own, here in Las Vegas, so we're hoping to do that sometime this year. But we do so much beyond just clothes, we just launched a whole division called Street Wear where it's just basic really high quality t-shirts and jeans and you know, [?] beanies and gloves and all kinds of cool stuff. And then we got the graphic driven t-shirts and things like that, hoodies, robes, I mean, you name it, we got it. We got a lot of merch in there and, you know, it's really cool. I designed a car, the Ashba Challenger, coming out with Dodge, and I teamed up with West Coast Customs and we're putting that out this year. We got a guitar coming out, Les Paul signature model from Gibson, it's my signature guitar that matches the car, that's coming out in June. So we got a quite a few things coming out this year that I worked really hard putting together last year.

JI: You can get all the information at dhashba.com. Like I said, all your social media is there and you can actually get the link to the the tuner as well, the iPhone app tuner. And as far as the rest of the year with Guns N' Roses, after you guys finish up these few dates you have booked for May and June, what's the plan for Guns N' Roses for the rest of 2013?

DJ: Well, right now I'm just in the studio writing every day, you know, I mean, I'm writing every free moment I have. Since I've been off tour I've just locked myself in the studio. Axl's coming out in about a week and yeah we're just gonna have fun and hopefully get in the studio and make some magic so...

JI: That'll be great to hear, honestly. I love Chinese Democracy, man, and I'm always itching for new music from Guns, I've been a big Guns fan for a long time. So Guns N' Roses on stage on Friday night. And May 24th is the date for Rocklahoma and June 2nd Kansas City at the Midland. Usually at the festival's what time do you guys hit the stage?

DJ: We've been going on right on time. I mean, like, you know, to be honest, the last few tours, I mean, Axl has been just dead on and it's just been awesome and we go on and the crowd just, you know, the crowds are insane out there. I'm hoping to meet a lot of people out there, you know, I know I have a lot of friends going out so it should just be one massive party and I'm really looking forward to it so I may even go out a few days early just to hang out and hopefully meet some people out there.

JI: Very cool. And once again those dates are May 24th Rocklahoma, [?] Oklahoma, and a June 2nd in Kansas City to Midland [?]. I can't wait to catch the show in Rocklahoma, I'll be I'll be there, so...

DJ: Thank you, brother, we'll go have a drink.

JI: Hope so, man, it'll be fun. Thanks for chatting with us today, DJ.

DJ: You got it.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Sat Jul 23, 2022 9:35 am; edited 13 times in total
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2013.05.21 - In The Now Magazine - Interview with DJ Empty Re: 2013.05.21 - In The Now Magazine - Interview with DJ

Post by Soulmonster Sat Jul 23, 2022 9:37 am

Just transcribed this. The most interesting part is DJ talking about spending time writing for the next album and Axl coming out to visit him in Las Vegas, "hopefully" to spend some time with DJ in the studio.

I wonder if that actually happened?
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