DJ Ashba Tried Submitting New Songs to Axl Rose When He Was in Guns N’ Roses
Former Guns N' Roses guitarist DJ Ashba, as a recent guest on "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" on SiriusXM, said that while he was in the band, he attempted to write new songs, which he submitted to Axl Rose.
Ashba was a member of the band from 2009 through 2015 and departed once Slash had been invited to return. He told Trunk (transcriptions via Blabbermouth) that "85 [or] 90 percent" of the guitar parts he was responsible for were originally Slash's and, although he could've remained in the group once the top-hat wearing axeman rejoined, he felt relearning a three-hour-plus show would have been overwhelmingly difficult. "It's muscle memory," he said of the parts he had already been playing for years.
It also afforded him the opportunity to concentrate more on Sixx:A.M., the hard rock group led by Motley Crue legend Nikki Sixx, as he was splitting his time between both bands before exiting GN'R.
Trunk asked if any attempts were made to write new Guns N' Roses music during his stint in the band, to which he replied, "Yeah, I attempted. By nature, I'm a songwriter/producer, so, of course, I'm going to keep writing."
Ashba, who will turn 50 later this year, estimated that he wrote "eight to 10 with Guns in mind, but a lot of them were too 'Appetite [for Destruction]' sounding."
"To me, as a fan, I'm, like, that's what I'd want to hear," the guitarist continued, "And so I was, like, 'I want write something that sounds like it came right off of Appetite.' I think they hit a little too close to home, but there was a couple where [Rose] absolutely… He was, like, 'This song is dope.' For whatever reason — we were touring a lot — we never got a chance to get him in the studio or whatever. But they didn't go anywhere further than just me sending him some tracks and him going, 'Ah, this one's dope,' 'This one's cool.'
Former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, however, was quite impressed by at least one of those songs. "I played [the song for him]," Ashba recalled, "and to this day, even when we were together last week, he's like, 'I want that fucking song. That song is insane.'"
Flash forward to 2022 and Guns N' Roses are set to drop the Hard Skool EP on Feb. 25. The four-track EP is comprised of two new studio songs that were released last year — "Absurd" and the title track — as well as live versions of "Don't Cry" and "You're Crazy."