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Guns N’ Roses Guitarist DJ Ashba Talks Internal Democracy, Axl Rose’s Dressing Room Parties

DJ Ashba
Chris McKay, Getty Images

Guns N’ Roses‘ last album was 2008′s ‘Chinese Democracy,’ but there’s an internal band democracy when it comes to being in the band and deciding who plays what parts!

In a recent chat with Banana 101.5 FM, guitarist DJ Ashba, who didn’t say much during his boss Axl Rose’s chat with VH1 Classic’s ‘That Metal Show’ last night, spoke about playing some of former guitarist Buckethead’s technical guitar parts from ‘Chinese Democracy.’ Ashba admitted those parts are the most difficult but he remains undaunted. “I just have a lot of fun, every song we do, it’s been a lot of fun to do,” he admitted.

With Ashba, Bumblefoot and Richard Fortus all playing guitar with GN’R live, Ashba revealed that it’s diplomatic and democratic when deciding who plays what. No rock-paper-scissors or heads-or-tails coin flips are involved, either. “We kinda just sit back and say, ‘You wanna take this?’ or ‘You take that?’Nobody fights over anything. I think we all have so much respect for each other as far as musicians and friends and what not. It’s really just kick back and lay back and we kinda all three know. We all three have very different styles of playing and I think it’s like, ‘Hey, you do this and I’ll do that.’”

Axl couldn’t ask for a smoother situation amongst his guitarists, right? Ashba continued, “We all know each other’s parts. I mean we know these songs inside and out.”

Offstage, things are also in a healthy place. Ashba revealed that post-show, there is always a party….and it usually takes place in Axl’s dressing room. He also said that the singer will share new music, saying, “He’ll sit down and play me stuff then, and it’s good man. He has a lot of really solid, solid songs that nobody has ever heard. I produce and write for a lot of artists and I can’t wait for people to hear some of the stuff he has up his sleeve.”

Ashba also threw more props his boss’ way. While Rose is often criticized for his tardiness, which he also addressed as a lifelong problem in the ‘That Metal Show’ interview, Ashba praised Rose for being able to perform three-hour long shows.

Ashba said, “What people don’t really point out is the guy goes on and sings his balls off for three hours solid…and not one Guns song is easy to sing. So I just think the world of the guy, I think he’s the real deal.”

For the full interview with DJ Ashba, visit Banana 101.5.

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