D.J. Ashba Reflects On Guns N’ Roses Fan Backlash
Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist D.J. Ashba reflected that he’d been “pretty naive” when he began his six-year tenure with Axl Rose in 2009, and that he hadn’t been ready for the level of negativity he received from some of the band’s fans.
Ashba, who was already a member of Sixx:A.M. when he joined, announced his departure months before the return of Slash and Duff McKagan was confirmed in 2015. He later revealed he’d been invited to remain in the lineup.
“Sixx:A.M. [had] a No. 1, biggest song of the year on the radio, but it didn’t come close to comparing, or preparing me for the magnitude that was ahead of me,” Ashba told Vegas Junkeez in a recent interview (via Antimusic). “I had no idea. I had no idea about a lot of things. I didn’t understand taking the gig, there’d be certain… I went into it probably pretty naive.”
You can listen to the full interview below:
He continued: “Slash is one of my guitar inspirations, so, to me, it was just so inspiring and such a cool thing. But I didn't really think about, 'Oh my God. There are hardcore GN'R fans, and you've gotta win these guys over.' Once you do, you win 'em for life and they're the best fans you could ever possibly have... But I didn't realize there was gonna be a big handful of people that, no matter how good you do at the gig, they were gonna fucking hate you… And I get that now, standing back, I totally get it and I respect it.”
Ashba said he felt like some fans had “pitted” him against Slash, despite his position being: “I’m a fan too; I’m one of you.” However, he eventually settled with the idea and decided: “I just wanted to do whatever I could to do the gig justice, try to bring back, or carry on that reckless rock ’n’ roll attitude that I loved about the band.”