DJ Ashba On Axl Rose: 'He Treats Us Like Gold'

GN'R guitarist explains why they are often late to the stage and defends his lead singer as a nice guy.

Ultimate Guitar

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.

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    Man, Axl is such a cool guy. Not only does he let his guitarists write their own solos (!), he is so concerned about everyone's safety! It seems we have all been wrong about him.
    "He treats us like Gold" So he locks you up until you're needed? Also, I get it that it takes a while to set up an elaborate live show, but if that's the issue, SHOW UP AND START CONSTRUCTION EARLIER.
    That must be why every band with a big stage show is always really late on stage. Wait, hang on...
    China could actually have democracy by the time the sequel is released.
    How many different excuses have they made for Axl being late? Bach says he has to warm his voice up, others say Axl is just quirky like that, Ashba says it's their stage setup... Jeesh.
    Meanwhile in Guns N' Roses, sharing the spotlight with Axl and writing your own solos is considered being treated like gold.
    lol this guy really likes to suck up to Axl sometimes.I guess if he said anything else, he'd get fired.
    GNR has five dates scheduled across Australia in March. Ashba says they're working on a new album, but they won't rush. GOOD. I think Chinese Democracy was released wayyyy too abruptly.
    "I always say that if he wasnt a musician hed be a great comedian." Would he show up two hours late to those comedy shows too?
    KISS have more pyrotechnics than any other band I've seen to date, and I don't hear any complaints about their show starting hours late...
    Or even Rammstein; there's really no excuse to start up hours late unless something really bad happens.
    Guys I'm serious. I used to live in Malaysia, and I bought a guns n roses album in 2007(back when I knew NOTHING of them) and then when Chinese Democracy came out, I thought 'Shit, these songs sound familiar'. I played the 2007 album I bought and lo and behold it really was chinese democracy. I HAD chinese democracy in 2007! It was demo and not studio quality but I really seriously ****ing had it. I'm going back there in June and I'll see if I can upload it. I think there 'might' be some unreleased tracks on it that might show up for this new album. Not trolling. furrrr real.
    If you do, please post on or send it to my mail Would be much appreciated
    madagascar and couple of other songs were known for a long time , that's probably what you heard
    I REMEMBER hearing CHINESE DEMOCRACY as well as the FIRST track. Although it was full of static.
    That's the thing when the ticket says a certain time the band should be on stage at that time ready to perform. Its just being professional. If I couldnt deliver a service and gave the exact same response Ashba just did I would lose a customer.
    I've seen a few interviews with him where he comes across as a friendly, likable guy. Funny too. Maybe he has "grown up" a bit after all these years.
    "Our main goal is to go and give the fans a show they will never forget" I'd still rather see Slash and the Conspirators
    Im pretty sure that Metallicas stage is one of the most complex ones live. Howcome James Hetfield (who got burned by pyro on his stage) doesn't act the same as Axl?
    About time you grew up.To bad you can't sing anymore and your real band is gone.
    The only thing they have trouble fitting into the venue are Axl's 6 Filet Mignongs and 4 cheese burgers and 12 cases of mixed Domestic & Imported Beer and 2 bear shaped honey bottles. Thats what takes the time.
    when you think about it the worst of what he's done was a long time ago he might've of actually grown up... then again he could just still be a ****... yeah he's probably still a **** forget what i said it was silly
    Jesus, I *never* hear about their Australian shows until like, 2 months before. What is with their promoters?
    I can't stand Ashba.. he looks like a douche. I guess that's why him and Axl get along so well
    Don't know why he is saying the tickets are expensive. GnR was the best value for money ive ever spent on a concert , 35 for 3 hours is great.
    BULL SHIT. Proof.came out a few months ago that Axl intentionally goes on late. Also, can someone explain to me why exactly (Hired) Guns N' Rose has a DJ now?