Ashba got Guns gig by showing up

Guns N’ Rose guitarist DJ Ashba has recalled how he got the gig with Axl Rose’s band - just by turning up for his audition.

He joined in 2009, and reports they’re preparing for a busy year of live shows while they continue work on the follow-up to 2008 album Chinese Democracy.

Ashba tells Rock Reflected: “I got a call and Guns was looking for a guitar player on the down-low. They wanted to know if I would be interested.

“I went down there – and I didn’t know, but evidently Axl called management when I was coming down and said, ‘If he shows up in the room, he has the gig.’ It was kind of like that.”

He finds it difficult to choose which GNR songs he enjoys playing most. “I love playing the solo in This I Love,” says the axeman. “I change the solo up a little bit from what’s on the album. I love Shackler’s Revenge – of course, all the old stuff. It’s a blast to play.

“There really isn’t a song I don’t enjoy playing because it’s so high energy. The crowd is what makes it over the top – it’s a lot of fun out there.”

And Ashba admits he prefers playing residencies to tours. He reflects: “What’s cool about that is you get to set up shop, and it’s home. We’re all in the hotels and get to party with the fans and hang out with them a lot more – instead of play the show, get on the bus and go. I enjoy it big time.”

He’ll hit the road with Nikki Sixx’s band Sixx AM in April, and after that he’ll return to GNR duties. “We were talking about doing another huge tour,” he reports. “Our main focus right now is putting together the next Guns record. We’ve got tons of material – it’s just a matter of sitting down and sifting through the pieces. It looks like we’re going to be doing a lot more touring.”

The status of fellow GNR guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal remains unclear after he said he’d been asked not to comment on the situation, and admitted it made him feel like he was “repeatedly taking the bullet.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.