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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.


2013.07.19 - The Scotty Mars Show (Live 105 Radio) - Interview with DJ

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2013.07.19 - The Scotty Mars Show (Live 105 Radio) - Interview with DJ Empty 2013.07.19 - The Scotty Mars Show (Live 105 Radio) - Interview with DJ

Post by Blackstar Mon Apr 18, 2022 12:11 am


Scotty Mars: You joined Guns N' Roses in '09. Now, as I said, I've seen you live with them, you fit really well with Guns but did you have any hesitation in jumping into that circus?

DJ Ashba: Well, I mean, I didn't understand really what I was getting into, you know, I was of course a fan, you know, when I was a kid and as everybody was, but I just got off tour with SIXX:AM, I got a phone call from management and they said, "Hey, you know Axl's been looking for the right guy to come in and play guitar and they've auditioned hundreds of people, I mean, for like a year and a half on the download, they've been looking for that guy," and I got a call and said, "Hey, you want to come down?" and I said, "Yeah, you know, I'll check it out," and didn't really think a whole lot of it to be honest, I just thought it'd be cool to go down. And then Axl caught wind that I was coming down he called management said, "If he even shows up he has the gig". So it was really kind of bizarre but cool cuz I didn't know he knew anything about me and evidently, you know, he had been following my career for 10 years he said, you know, and knew quite a bit about me. But he knows quite a bit about everybody out there, he's really up on it.

SM: So you go in and basically you just get the gig and now you're in one of the biggest bands in the history of music and a guy that is an enigma, in Axl Rose, that takes a lot of flak in the media, I think unnecessarily so-

DJ: Oh yeah, you know, and the sad part is once you really get to know him [?] become super good friends [?] many years. You know, it kind of bums me out too because if people don't get to see... I wish they got to see the real side of him because he's actually, you know, a really nice guy and he's always, you know, he treats the band like gold and buys everybody gifts and, I mean, he's just a good, good guy and it's kind of mind-blowing that people have this big [?] conception of who he really is.

SM: Yes, Sebastian Bach said the same thing to me that Axl's just a sweetheart of a guy and you see glimpses of it every now and then in the media but it's, like, he should just.... it's okay to be a nice guy, Axl.

DJ: Yes, yeah. I mean, I think that the whole thing with that is media can also be your enemy and I think over the years, you know, that a lot of mainstream media will build people up, like Britney Spears and Michael Jacksons, and then they love to, you know, when you get to a certain hype like an Axl or a Michael Jackson or any of those guys, there's nowhere really else to go and I just feel like, you know, they're the same people that really just ruin your career or try to ruin your career by cutting you down and you see it every day and that's the saddest part. It's like the Michael Jackson thing was really sad to me because, you know, the world turned against this guy who, you know, brought them decades of amazing music and great shows and entertained the world and it's just sad that when he died everybody was bagging on him and the moment he died everybody's like, "Oh my God, he's the king of pop," and it's just, you know, it's sad that he had to die, you know what I mean?

SM: Yeah, our media now seems to like to cannibalize our heroes.

DJ: Yeah, exactly, exactly. And it's, like, my point is why help build somebody up if your ultimate intention is to, you know what I mean, to bring them down? So I don't get that. When somebody gives up their entire life to entertain millions of people, it's just really sad to me because nobody, unless you're out there entertaining and, you know, you can't shit without it being on the internet or, you know, you're always under the watch and it's a hard life. And it's a very [?] and I don't think people understand that. So it's like, for instance, we'll go play a show from 80,000 people and every person in that place is jumping up and down for a solid three hours and then you read the paper the next day and it's like one guy's opinion will be like, "Oh yeah, Axl this or DJ this," that's kinda, like, "You know what? You obviously weren't at the same show." So it's kind of sad that one guy's opinion is kind of like the stamp on the entire show with 80,000 people that are going nuts so, you know, it's kind of sad.

SM: Yeah, and I think a lot of times now in media people just... they go into something, whether it's a movie or a concert, and they have an idea in their head, "This is gonna suck," or, "This is gonna be bad"-

DJ: Yes, absolutely.

SM: And-

DJ: Or they're huge fans of the old band or whatever and they're going to write a shitty review [?], I mean, we could literally, you know, we could swallow dollar bills and shit and fuck, you know, shit coins, and it wouldn't matter, man. When it comes down to it, the fans are the only people that Axl cares about, the fans are the only people I care about, because those are the people we're performing for, those are the people that are out there, you know, spending their hard-earned money on the albums or t-shirts and everything we're doing. It's not the media guy, it's not the guy that's going to go, you know, write a shitty story for no reason at the end of day we know that the fan base has kept this band alive for 30 years. And they're the most hardcore fans out there, so they don't really even read that shit, to be honest.

SM: No, exactly. And speaking of the fans, one thing that they want to know with both your bands Guns and SIXX:AM, is some new album updates. There's always rumors of a new Guns album and I know you're working on a new SIXX:AM album, so where are we on both of those?

DJ: Yes, the SIXX:AM, we're just wrapping it up, it's awesome, it's by far one of my favorite albums that we've done so far and we're all pushing ourselves to a whole new level of insanity, I think, you know, we're like, "You know, we already did that, we already did that," and "Let's really, if we're going to make another album, let's really push outside the line again like we did on Heroin Diaries, like really veer off to the right," you know, "maybe even drive off the cliff." And so we're, you know, because SIXX:AM's one of those bands where, you know, I have Guns, you know, Nikki has Motley, James produces tons and tons of great artists, and we don't rely on that band. So therefore we can, you know, it's the perfect opportunity for us to just create and be true artists. It's, you know, a labor of love project. And that's good, you know, we don't care if it ends up on the radio, we don't care... obviously, I mean, not many bands put out a hit song and don't tour on it, you know, and we're not doing it on purpose but it's one of those things where it's just so personal and close to us because it is where we really get to, you know, paint outside the lines, we have a big open canvas and we're like, "You know what? I don't want to paint on the canvas, I want to paint on the wall that it's hanging on," you know? So we can really go out there and really push the boundaries. So that's what I love about doing [?].

SM: So we should see the new SIXX:AM hopefully before the end of the year?

DJ: We're trying to, yeah, that's our goal. You know, and if not, it'll be, you know, it'll be first thing, you know, of the new year, but, yeah, we're really shooting for the end of the year.

SM: And then the other band, Guns, there's always rumors of a new Guns album. Is their work being done on that and is there kind of a plan or is it just, "We'll see what happens"?

DJ: There is and it is our main focus, you know. Everybody has, like, Axl has tons of stuff that's already done, I've written, you know, all I can do is speak up for myself, I've written 12 songs that are fully done and demoed and... It's just we've been non-stop touring for five years so now, you know, we're finally taking a little bit of a break and I think everybody's main focus is to get together, go through everything, and collectively put together what we feel is going to be the next best Guns N' Roses record.

SM: Shifting back to SIXX:AM cuz you mentioned, you know, you have a hit song and you don't tour, you've never really done a proper, with the exception of maybe the Crue Fest thing, a proper SIXX:AM-

DJ: Yeah, the Crue Fest is the only time we ever played as a band, it was like a two months [?] and, you know, put out two albums, a live album and, you know, Life Is Beautiful with [?] or, you know, Lies Of The Beautiful People, number one, but we just haven't toured, you know. And our goal is, we've always thought, you know, by our third record we should do a massive tour and do it right and blah blah blah and so now there's a lot of talk about that. So I'm really excited to hopefully get out there and play some shows again.

SM: We'll switch some gears now to some of the other things you're involved in, because there are many. As I mentioned earlier, you are the spokesperson for an anti-bullying group,, how did you get involved with them?

DJ: You know, I had kind of a secret my whole life that I kind of buried way, way deep and it was the story I told on BullyVille. I just bought a house here and Vegas about a year ago, and this guy walks up to my house and I was out working on something, I can't remember, but he loved my car, that's the car that I designed that's coming out with West Coast, [?] in the driveway and he's like, "Holy shit! blah blah blah," and we got to talking and he was telling me about this website he's gonna launch and - I don't know what - but [?] like, "Fuck, you know, it's like the perfect opportunity to kind of get something off my chest." And it wasn't like, "I'm gonna throw my dad under the bus," never about that, it's like, it took me, you know, a lifetime to figure out why I'm like I am and know that there's no books out there to help people that have been abused when they're little. You know, and it really does affect people's lives as they grow up and nobody's really there, you know, especially if it's your parent, they're not there to teach you how to get over it or, you know, to realize it wasn't your fault. So it kind of was the perfect opportunity because I had figured things out along my life about it, you know, and I just kind of said, "You know what, if I help one person out there then it was worth it," you know, "I don't care," you know. And, you know, I talked about it, I got it off my chest, and it was probably the most just cleansing thing I've ever done, you know. I kind of got in and I saw, "Holy shit, I'm not alone, man, there's a lot of people out there that have been bullied and abused," and it kind of makes you feel like you're not the only one and it will be okay, you know, and if I can give one kid out there a little bit of hope, like, "Oh wow, he plays in, you know, two really, you know, big bands and he's successful and I can't believe he's having the same problems I am right now." You know what I mean? If it gives them a little bit of hope and a light at the end of the tunnel then I think it's well worth the humiliation of me going out and doing that.

SM: I wouldn't phrase it as humiliation and you can see the entire on But-

DJ: Yeah.

SM: -it is cleansing but it also takes strength to put that out there and I think-

DJ: Yeah.

SM: -putting that out there probably has helped more than you will ever know.

DJ: Yeah, I mean, yeah, I guess 'humiliation' is the wrong word but it is, I mean, that's how you feel. My whole life I felt, he would... like, it was my fault, like, "What did I do?" and I was never good enough to get my dad's acceptance and it was just such a frustrating... but it, you know, when you figure it out it's not humiliating, you're right, you know, it's something that's, like, you know, a lot of people go through, it's not my fault, it's not your fault, it's not their fault, but, you know, when people come together, you know, 'united we stand', basically on the dollar bill, it's the same [?], when you're alone it's a lot harder to fight a battle. So BullyVille is one of those places where you can come together, you know, and really get stuff off your chest and meet people and talk to people about the same problems you may be going through. So it's a really cool cool website.

SM: Another story I just read about you is your doctor recently told you to go back to smoking regular cigarettes after you had an incident with an e cigarette?

DJ: Well yeah, you know, it's one of those things where it's like, I was... poison control came back and to clarify it was e-cigarette that I bought in Poland and the ingredients had a high dosage, for some reason, of antifreeze in it and high dose of ethanol and nicotine, and I guess they were using the antifreeze to create the smoke or whatever it was, but it was just, you know, I'd smoke these things for nine months and I was, like, you know, smoking it all day long every day. And it came to the point where, you know, I came down and my system was, like, "What's wrong?" and I couldn't even put a sentence together, like, I was slurring. And they rushed me to the hospital and poison control and they had heart monitors on me and there are eight doctors racing around. They thought my kidneys were going to collapse and I didn't really know what was going on. And then poison control came back and said the equivalent of.... high doses of nicotine and basically poisoning from antifreeze was the equivalent of doing thirty three packs a day of nicotine.

SM: Wow!

DJ: So it was a super incredible high dose. And so that put all the doctors in fear so they had me doing full body cat scans and it was kind of a scary moment. They went through every organ and they're like, "We don't get it," you know, "your heart looks great, your lungs look great, kidneys look great," and I'm like, "Are you sure you get the right test?"


DJ: He also did said, "If you're going to smoke," you know, "you can't just stop," you know, "because the high doses, so either start smoking e-cigarettes that are made in America or," you know, "you're going to have to smoke cigarettes. It's one of the two because you can't just stop, your body will go into shock. And then you can wean yourself off of that," but he's basically like, "You can't smoke this, this stuff you found in Poland," you know. It was a weird, weird thing, you know. The one time I try to do something healthy about-


SM: That sounds like a travel warning, "Don't smoke the stuff you get in Poland!"

DJ: Yeah, and, you know, unfortunately it had to be in Poland, I don't want to bag on them. But it was just a mall I walked into, they sold it a mall and I bought all this stuff and it's all in Polish so I couldn't read what was in it. Then Kari, my sister, was like, "Didn't the skull and bones on the thing give you a hint that maybe it was poison?" and I go, "Yeah, but I bought it in the mall," you know. It was kind of a weird thing.

SM: And skull and bones are cool.


DJ: Yeah, that's the reason I bought it.

SM: Yeah, come on now, use your head, I see skull and bones and I'm buying it.

DJ: Yeah, exactly.

SM: You do something very, very cool every now and then, you do these live feeds just right out of your house-

DJ: Yeah.

SM: -which really let's the fans in. Did you ever look back after you do one and go, "Oh man, we should not have put that on the Internet!"?

DJ: Oh, every time.


DJ: Every time I wake up I'm like, "Fuck, that was really bad!" Like the one me and James did, I mean, we... but that's a thing and now it's just like, you know, we made up this little jingle about the clothing line and, you know, it was a fun way to introduce, you know, the street clothes that we were doing with AshbaSwag. And it was just like James was staying at my house at the time we're working on the record and he's like, "Yeah, yeah!" and so we just got wasted and like, "This will be fun for everyone," you know, and you wake up the next day and you're like, "Oh my god!" But the fans really enjoy the connect with fans and at the end of the day, you know, we are real people and we just love to have fun.

SM: Yeah, I watched a few of them and they are great to watch.

DJ: Haha, yeah.

SM: They are fantastic. I want to get invited over for one of the live feeds because it just seems like a blast to be part of.

DJ: Yeah, we get up to moonshine and just stupid-

SM: Yeah, it sounds like a good old time to me.

DJ: [?] because it's like, you know, it's not like you're sitting there trying to be too cool for school, it's just, like, "This is me, I'm a dork and I'm having fun and I don't give a shit," you know, we're all drinking and-

SM: Speaking of dorky and having fun, you did the music for Eli Roth's Haunted House in Vegas, Goretorium-

DJ: Yeah.

SM: And I gotta figure you're a big horror movies fan?

DJ: Love it, yeah, yeah. Big fan of Eli Roth's stuff, too, you know so I did it, you know, because of Eli Roth, not because of, you know, the Haunted House thing. And you know, I knew it was a a really niche type album because it's just for a haunted house and it was geared around the whole story that Eli Roth wrote for the Goretorium which is at the Delmont Hotel and Mr. and Mrs. Delmont killed their guests and feeds them to the next guests and then blah blah. So what I did is I heard the story, I walked through the Haunt, and I wrote a story within his story and I go, "What would it be like if you were the last honeymoon couple to stay at the Delmont Hotel?" And so I just got this idea in my head and I wrote 19 jingles on the Goretorium soundtrack. And it was something that was just so fun for me to do. You know, I did it at my house and I had two weeks to write and record every piece of music. And not only did I, you know, have to write the dialogue and blah blah blah, every cricket noise, every, you know, raindrop, every little thing, you know, all the Foley sounds were done right here at the home, too, which is a lot of fun.

SM: That's very, very cool. And you said you're a big horror fan, what are your fave horror flicks out there, like, what are your go-tos?

DJ: Well, one of them was Hostile and that's why I had... that's, you know, why me and Eli, you know, met and became really good friends and blah blah blah. And he told me, "You gotta watch Cannibal Holocaust," and once I watched that, that became my new favorite video. You know, it is heavy and it's like a 1970s film but it was awesome, you know. And he's turned me on to some really cool, cool movies that are really out there.

SM: Yeah, and-

DJ: He has a new movie called Green Inferno coming out. I'm really excited to see it.

SM: He's got to get you in a flick though, man, that's what he's going to do.

DJ: I would love to, you know, and we've talked... I mean, we talked quite a bit but we're always, like, our minds are too twisted not to work together again in the future and I know we will. You know, it's just a passion of mine, writing is a passion, I have three movie scripts that are done. I just finished an insanely scary horror movie script which he will be the first person I pass off to, and just to get his advice, nothing else. But, you know, it's just a passion. In my whole life I've written three minute, songs three-minute stories, so to sit down and actually write, you know, a script, you know, 100-120 page script, it's just... the details you can tell, you know. And I remember he sat in my home studio here and he was listening to Goretorium for the first time and he his jaw was dropping, he's just like, "You need to be a director," and I'm like, "What are you talking about? I can't direct," but he was like, "But you can, because you're directing a movie without a picture, right? Which is incredibly hard to do, that's harder than actually directing a film." And so, I mean, it kind of opened my mind to, "Oh wow, that's kinda cool to do one day," you know. But, you know, he just really inspired me and opened up a whole new door so, yeah.... It's fun.

SM: That's awesome, man. And when you get the movie done we'll talk again. Sorry I kept you so long, you've just got so much going on, man!

DJ: Yeah, yeah, it's fine. I'm excited and right now we just landed all eight Circus Du Soleil [?] for Ashba Media and we got nine jobs going on right now with that. It's just a busy, busy life.

SM: Yeah, you got the iPhone app, the clothing line, the cars, you're doing it all brother!

DJ: Yeah, trying to.

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2013.07.19 - The Scotty Mars Show (Live 105 Radio) - Interview with DJ Empty Re: 2013.07.19 - The Scotty Mars Show (Live 105 Radio) - Interview with DJ

Post by Soulmonster Wed Aug 10, 2022 11:50 am

Finished transcribing this.
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