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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

2011.06.DD - The Portal - Set Your Clocks for SIXX:A.M. (DJ)

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Post by Soulmonster Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:33 am

2011.06.DD - The Portal - Set Your Clocks for SIXX:A.M. (DJ) Uten_150
2011.06.DD - The Portal - Set Your Clocks for SIXX:A.M. (DJ) Uten_148
2011.06.DD - The Portal - Set Your Clocks for SIXX:A.M. (DJ) Uten_149

TRANSCRIPT:

SET YOUR CLOCKS FOR SIXX:A.M.
Author: Dave Fugett

The new album by SIXX:A.M. is titled This Is Gonna Hurt. It was released May 3rd and has sold 30,000 copies in the first week and is well on its way to surpassing the success of The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack. the band's first re-lease which sold 344,000 copies in the U.S. alone . It debuted at the #10 spot on Billboard's Top 200, and the first single "Lies of the Beautiful People' is currently #11 on the Billboard Rock Chart. The band is the trio of Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, vocalist/producer James Michael and current Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba. All three guys are accomplished song-writers. musicians and producers  as well as business-men who could look Trump in the eye and not blink first.

DJ Ashba was gracious enough to give The PORTAL Magazine a few moments of his time and we chat-ted about Super James, the new record. Axl and chemistry.

DJA: Hey Dave.

DF: Good morning, sir. It's nice to talk to a fellow mid-westerner. I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio.

DJA: Yeah, I was born in Indiana and moved to Illinois. a lithe tiny country town when I was like 2 or 3.

DF: One thing about the Midwest —they love their rock.

DJA: Yeah, they do and you know what's so cool is they're loyal as shit. It's just great. They don't really listen to — like it's sad because out here (LA) and in New York every-body wants to fit into the new trend. So people are more like sheep when it comes to things like rock music. I hated when Nirvana hit and all of a sudden good rock wasn't cool anymore. Not saying Nirvana isn't cool but it was like 'Oh god, that's so 80's' and everybody was like typecasting certain things and I just hate that mindset. To me, great music is great music. I don't care when it was made. So I think the Midwest and especially people out-side the U.S for sure, they tend to just follow their hearts when it comes to music. They like what they like and they don't give a shit what the press says is cool, you know?

DF: This Is Gonna Hurt is freakin' incredible. You've got to be so proud of your new baby -

DJA : Thank you. You know, we're just in a weird creative vacuum when we're writing these records. We really dig so deep into our own personal lives and things that we've been through — we bring up a lot of issues and things that people tend to bury and forget about. The one thing about SiXX:A.M. is we just kind of expose those feelings. Actu-ally I was just jamming the album in the car yesterday cause after I finish a record I tend to step away from it. I try not to listen to it for about a month and I gotta tell you, man, I had goosebumps. I was like 'Holy shit we really nailed this album.' You don't understand how powerful it is until you give it a little space and step out of it. I gotta be honest — we didn't realize how high we had set the bar with The Heroin Diaries. I mean the record started hitting and people started getting it. We were like 'This was never supposed to be on radio and why are people liking this?' I mean, it's something almost so personal that it should've never caught on but it did and I think it's because were so true to ourselves as artists that we really didn't care about what people thought. It was the first project I'd ever been a part of that we honestly did not care because we knew inside we wrote an album that we could — look, that record is gonna be here long after I'm gone and it's something I'm always gonna be proud of. This new album is a really strong record and I be-lieve we really outdid ourselves. We really wanted to up the stakes — up it from The Heroin Diaries.

DF: The vocals James lays down are so genuine and heartfelt. Be-tween both albums I don't think the dude has ever phoned in a lyric. He sells every word.

DJA: Yeah, James is one of my favorite singers out there. I mean. he's not only a super, super good friend of mine but he's just an amazing producer and an amazing singer. You know, when we were doing The Heroin Diaries I remember originally I had worked with James for years and had no idea he could sing. He would call me in when they needed some guitar done on a record or what-ever and I'd go in and we were just good friends. So me and Nikki had teamed up as songwriters and we were writing for a bunch of different people and producing different people and I remember when we started writing all these songs for The Heroin Diaries we started forming the idea of bringing in a bunch of singers. We called Chester (Bennington) from Linkin Park and Steven Tyler. We were just going to have different people down to sing on every track. And James was like 'Hey guys, I'd like to sing on this' and I was like 'What?' He goes 'Hey, I sang on one of these songs, I'm going to send it to you' and I heard it and literally my jaw just hit the ground and that was it. We were like, 'OK James is singing everything on the record.' (laughs) That's how we formed SIXX:A.M. Then the fans turned us into a band even though we don't have a drummer and never will because it's too expen-sive to feed an extra guy on the road. (laughing)

DF: I was gonna ask who did the drumming cause on some of the tracks I could swear you had freakin' Neil Peart in the studio.

DJA: James. On the first record I programmed a lot of the drums and on this record I was on tour with Guns N' Roses so James was actually left with a lot of that responsibility and he did just an incredible job on it. He's one of my favorite producers out there and that's kinda why we all three teamed up in the beginning is because I've always loved the way he produces stuff and he's always had a lot of respect for me and Nikki and liked the stuff we had produced. We trust each other. We pass a song back and forth and we know we don't have to worry. We just know it's gonna come back even cooler than when we sent it, you know?

DF: I understand Nikki's photography was an inspiration for some of the new songs.

DJA: Yeah, we had a lot of music ideas already written, a lot of the riffs. Nikki's been doing photos for years and years. What's cool is they both stand alone - they both are kinda married to each other in the sense that they co-exist with each other but his photography definitely inspired some of the songs and a lot of the songs we wrote he would get an idea and book a photo shoot around a song so it kinda went back and forth.

DF: Speaking of songwriting, for you is there a method to the madness? Do you have a routine or do you just wait for the muse to arrive?

DJA: You know. I never rush a song. I never force a song. If I go three days without a song idea or three months, I don't care. I never get frustrated because I know it will come when it's right. I think when you do that it will be authentic. There are times when I get booked to write for different bands and I've studied every different style so when I get a band in my studio all I gotta do is hear one song and I have this weird ability to be able to write like most any band. I mean. I've written for Motley Crue, Drowning Pool, Neil Diamond. from country to pop to rap — I did work for Run DMC. The thing about me is I can hear a song and I can liter-ally write within that style. What I do is pretty intense. I breakdown the entire band because I write for every instrument when I go in to demo stuff. I remember with Motley Crue I studied every single guy. I listened to every record and I re-search, find out what keys Vince sounds the best in when he's singing or whoever the singer is. Each individual member has a certain style and certain things he does that make him unique and cre-ates the overall sound of that band. So once you break everything down like how Tommy Lee plays drums and stay within those guidelines, that's how it'll come out sounding. It's basically just staying within what they're so good at doing and at the end of the day it sounds like Motley Crue or whatever band.

DF: Since you are the guitarist in Guns N' Roses I have to ask about a rumor I read online — is it true you and Axl are working on a new GNR album?

DJA: Yeah, yeah, yeah! Well. Axl has so many amazing songs. I've sat in his hotel room and listened to him play the piano - the guy is a music genius. I mean, he'll be sitting there playing shit that is like the next "November Rain" type stuff and he'll say 'Oh it's just something I'm tinkering with.' The guy has so many great song ideas, not to mention he has like three albums worth of material just sit-ting there, really great stuff. I've been doing demos in my studio around the clock and I've got a shitload of ideas so together we're going to go through and put to-gether an amazing GNR record.

DF: I watched the This Is Gonna Hurt documentaries on Hulu.com and tell me if I'm wrong but I get the feeling you, James and Nikki are all on the same page, no drama, no bullshit — like a fine tuned machine.

DJA: True. We are. The thing about it is at the end of the day we're all three best friends and we have so much respect for each other. There's no ego. It's like dating somebody or a marriage —you just know when it's the right person, you know? I've played with a lot of people in my life. People can go their whole lives playing to-gether and never find the chemistry that the three of us have. And that's what makes some of the greatest bands. Jon Bon Jovi, Riche Sam-bora — they found each other and there's a magic. Steven Tyler, Joe Perry — it goes on and on. That's why those bands became what they
became because they happen to be lucky enough to have found that one other person or two or three other people in the world who are actually on the same page.

DF: Well, you did that sir. DJ, I have two words for you — Grammy winner.

DJA: I have a feeling too. I mean if this album doesn't win a Grammy, I — I don't — I'll be shocked because this is by far my best work and I know it's Nikki's best work and James' best work and we're really proud and thankful people are out there buying the record.
Ladies and gentlemen. if you want to hear three songwriters. three musicians and three producers at the top of their game — pick-up This Is Gonna Hurt. For inspiration and true stories of courage check out the documentaries on Hulu featuring DJ, James, Nikki and a number of models who posed for Nikki's camera and influenced some of the songs on the album.


Last edited by Soulmonster on Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:39 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Post by Soulmonster Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:57 am

Shit. I never pasted the text into the post.
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Post by Soulmonster Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:07 am

I contacted Portal to ask for a copy of the interview.
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Post by Blackstar Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:38 am

I see there is a past issues archive on the magazine's site.

The June/July 2011 issue can be read and downloaded here:

https://issuu.com/theportal/docs/06_2011
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Post by Soulmonster Fri Nov 26, 2021 9:41 am

@Blackstar wrote:I see there is a past issues archive on the magazine's site.

The June/July 2011 issue can be read and downloaded here:

https://issuu.com/theportal/docs/06_2011

Excellent! I will add the images to the first post together with a transcript later Smile
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Post by Soulmonster Fri Nov 26, 2021 3:39 pm

Done.
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