He might not be Big Ben of rock stars, but Axl Rose
is not the jerk hes portrayed as in the media, his guitarist says. Guns N' Roses
' DJ Ashba
explained why they are often late to the stage and defended his lead singer as a nice guy in a recent interview (via Ultimate Classic Rock
"One thing people dont seem to get is that hes genuinely funny and hes always joking around and telling stories to make people laugh,"
Ashba told Yahoo News
. "I always say that if he wasnt a musician hed be a great comedian. I wish the world could see that side of him because its the opposite of what people have branded in their brains."
That brand is a result of year's worth of public tardiness, sulking and perceived bickering with former GNR bandmates. "I think a lot of people and the press try to blow it up and say hes an ahole but everyone can be an ahole if you get them on the wrong day,"
Ashba says, before adding Rose treats his band "like gold,"
allowing them to share the spotlight and write their own solos.
As far as their lack of punctuality, the 40-year old says it's a result of a complicated touring stage. "We have a huge rig and pyrotechnics so often it's the case of fitting all that into the venue. Our number one priority is to make the shows safe."
"Our main goal is to go and give the fans a show they will never forget and we understand how expensive tickets are."
GNR has five dates scheduled across Australia in March. Ashba says they're working on a new album, but they won't rush.