DJ Ashba says it is easier and more natural to play with Sixx: A.M. than it was with Guns N’ Roses where he worked with songs he played no part in writing.
The guitarist opens up in a frank and honest exchange with Silver Tiger Media in which he recalls his time with Guns and performing his own solos with Sixx: A.M.
He says: “I'm not a schooled player. In fact, I played in Guns N’ Roses for seven years, (and it was a challenge playing other) people's songs. I do my best, but I have such a distinct style, and it's hard for me to actually play other people's songs; I actually have to work at it, whereas Sixx: A.M. is my style.
“It's what [come out of me naturally]; I don't even have to think about what I'm playing, it's just… I feel it. And I can't explain it. Along the way, many people have wanted me to teach 'em how to play guitar, and I can't teach you, because I'm not a teacher.”
Ashba compares guitar solos as ‘an extension of the story’ as he insists it’s never about who can play fastest. Instead it’s only ever about who can connect most deeply.
“I've always looked at guitar playing as an extension of the story telling,” he continues.
“Basically, it's where the vocalist hands you the song, and it's your job, your duty, to write the perfect solo for that song. I've never looked at guitar solos as, 'Okay, it's my turn to show off.' That's the worst mistake I think guitar players make. I take the song from the singer and I try to take the audience on a journey and bring them right back and hand it back off to the singer.
“And that's how I look at it when I write solos: I try to write the perfect solo for that song."
He adds: "I'm from the mindsetwhere I'm all about melody — I want people to walk away singing the solos. And that would mean more to me than, 'Wow, he's really fast on guitar.' That doesn't mean anything to me. You can play a million miles an hour and it's gonna go over everybody's head in the audience.
“But you hit one note with everything in your heart, and you're gonna turn every head in the room, and I've always believed that.”
Ashba confirmed his departure from Guns N’ Roses in July 2015.
Sixx: A.M. will release the first volume of an upcoming double album, ‘Prayers For The Damned’, on April 29.