ASHBA, Interview – Guitar Dance Music, the Future of Sixx:A.M. + More

2021-11-02

Ashba of Sixx:A.M. and Guns N' Roses posing in a dark room with his guitar.

ASHBA – Story by Anne Erickson, photo by Radiant Inc. (https://www.radiantinc.net)

ASHBA of Sixx:A.M. sits down with Anne Erickson to discuss his new guitar dance music project, Guns N’ Roses memories, the future of Sixx:A.M. and more in this video interview

ASHBA, also known as Dj ASHBA, is a multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter, producer and guitarist, with years of experience performing and writing music with bands such as Sixx:A.M., Guns N’ Roses and Beautiful Creatures, as well as his own music. Now, ASHBA is doing something completely novel and innovative: combining rock music with electronic dance music for a hybrid called GDM (guitar dance music).

ASHBA released his first taste of GDM last month with the dance-happy single “Bella Ciao.” The song is a reimagined version of the Italian folk classic, featuring ASHBA’s guitar work with a strong electronic beat. The new single is ASHBA’s first release of 2021, and more is on the way.

ASHBA will perform his first headlining show of the year Nov. 12 at the Epic Event Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Ahead of the show, he sat down with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio to discuss the new single, his love for combining guitars with electronic music, the latest on Sixx:A.M., memories from his time in Guns N’ Roses and more. Watch the full TV interview below. Find ASHBA online via ASHBA.us.

On his first GDM (guitar dance music) single, “Bella Ciao,” and the challenge of combining guitar with dance beats

On paper, it seemed like it was going to be very easy. (Laughs) I saw a big void. It’s not like I’m the fist person to put guitar over electronic music, but I think the way I’m doing it is a one-of-a-kind thing. I’m doing it in a unique way where I’m actually playing guitar the whole, entire show with a DJ. I just saw a big void, as far as there’s not a lot of kids in the electronic dance space getting guitar and getting a performance. I thought, if I could do what I do and inject it into this work that I love so much and inspire even one kid to out there to pick up a guitar, that’s the goal.

On the younger generation embracing guitar

I feel like these young kids are starting to get inspired by guitar. I’m hearing more and more guitar, and not only guitar- I’m hearing more performance elements, like trumpets. Timmy Trumpet has been out there doing it for a while, and there are a couple others putting live instruments to electronic music, and that’s kind of what’s popping right now out there, and kids are freaking out because they haven’t seen that before.

On his biggest memory from his time with Guns N’ Roses

There are so many memories from that six, seven years. I think the biggest memory, when I think back on those days, it’s just how probably misunderstood Axl (Rose) is. He’s just, to me, I can’t speak for other people, but he’s one of the f***ing coolest guys to hang out with. When he’s your friend, he has a very tight circle, but when you gain his trust and are in that circle, you couldn’t find a better f***ing dude. He’s just a cool f***ing dude, and we had a ton of fun on stage and even more fun off stage.

On if he keeps in touch with Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses

Not too much, but the minute we see each other, I’m sure there’s going to be big hugs thrown. We have so much respect for each other. I miss him. I miss him to death as my buddy, but they’ve been on tour. They’ve been nonstop busy, and I’ve been slammed busy, and that’s kind of how this industry is. Your paths will cross one day, and it’s just how it is- it’s like a traveling circus. (Laughs)

On if Sixx:A.M.’s latest release, “Hits,” is going to be the band’s last

No. I don’t think so. I know they’re kind of saying that. There are no real plans for anything past this, but Sixx:A.M. has always been a labor of love for the three of us, and we’re all three best friends, so something’s going to happen. We get together to go to dinner, and we’ll write a couple songs. It’s just in our DNA, the minute we walk into a room. So, I wouldn’t say never, for sure. I mean, who knows, but it’s something we don’t ever plan. It’s weird. It’s a weird thing, and it’s because we don’t look at it like a band like other people do. We just look at it like it’s kind of our therapy session. (Laughs) When we get together, we pour it all out, and a few songs usually tumble out.

Related: Stream Audio Ink Radio’s recent interview with ASHBA band mate Nikki Sixx below.

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