Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist DJ Ashba didn’t realize that he would be hated by a small portion of hardcore fans of the band because he wasn’t part of the original lineup.
The Sixx:A.M. star replaced Robin Finck in March 2009 and stayed with the group until the summer of 2015, which was roughly six months before the reunion with Slash and Duff McKagan was confirmed.
Ashba spoke with Vegas Junkeez about what it was like joining the legendary band. He said, “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. I had no idea. I had no idea about a lot of things. I didn’t understand taking the gig, there’d be certain… ‘Cause I went into it probably pretty naive.
“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 f***ing hate you, because you’re not [one of the original members]… And I get that now, standing back, I totally get it and I respect it.
“But it’s almost like they immediately pitted me against Slash, and I was just, like, ‘I’m a fan too. I’m one of you.’ So it was weird for me to get used to that. It was just one of those things where I just wanted to do whatever I could to do the gig justice, try to bring back, or carry on that reckless rock and roll attitude that I loved about the band.”