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Dj ASHBA Artist Profile
Who is Dj ASHBA?
Dj ASHBA™ is best known as the lead guitarist of Guns N' Roses (since 2009) and Sixx:A.M., but there is much more to the man with the trademarked name than that.
Aside from being a musician himself, Dj is also an established songwriter and producer and has worked with artists such as Neil Diamond, Drowning Pool, Mötley Crüe and James Durbin.
Outside of music, Dj runs his own clothing line - ASHBA Swag - and even has his own automotive company - ASHBA Autos - which proudly boasts his custom ASHBA Challenger by Dodge.
It's difficult to imagine how he makes time for all of the projects he has going on. There's also his creative agency - ASHBA Media Inc - and the time he spends interacting with his fans on various social networks.
Dj is known for truly appreciating his fans and goes out of his way to let them know it. He frequently replies to people on Facebook and Twitter, and occasionally drops by on videos that people have uploaded on YouTube and thanks them for their support.
Dj was born in a small town in Indiana called Monticello, and raised by his single mother, a highly religious trained classical pianist who taught him about music from a very young age, in rural Fairbury, Illinois. He has stated many times in interviews that the town that he grew up in was small and they had no TV.
At the age of five, Dj performed Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" in his first piano recital, and then turned his attention to playing the drums. He built his own kits from pots, pans and garbage cans, and acquired his first real drum set at the age of six.
By age eight, his ambition was to learn guitar and he took a job in local fields, detasseling corn, so that he could save up for his first guitar out of the Sears catalog. His bus ride to the job was taken with a guitarist in a local band, who taught him a new chord every day on the fretboard that they had carved with a pocketknife into the back of one of the bus seats.
Dj spent up to 17 hours per day in his bedroom practicing and developing his guitar playing in his teenage years, and when his father took him to his first live concert - Mötley Crüe on their "Girls, Girls, Girls" tour - at age 16, his life was changed forever. That was when he knew that no matter what it took, he was going to be on the stage some day.
When he was 19, he packed up his belongings and headed west to Hollywood to fulfill his dream of becoming a rockstar. He's admitted since that leaving everything behind was the hardest thing he'd ever done.
Sixx:A.M. on Amazon
Sixx:A.M.'s debut album, Heroin Diaries Soundtrack, audio CD.
Are You a Fan?
Are You a Fan of Dj ASHBA?
After moving to Los Angeles, Dj joined the band Barracuda and toured with them for two years before releasing his debut solo instrumental album, Addiction to the Friction, in 1996. In 1998 he joined the Bullet Boys, where he met Joe Lesté. A year later he left the band and formed The Beautiful Creatures with Lesté.
Dj spent three years as a founding member of the Beautiful Creatures, releasing one album (self-titled) with them after being signed to Warner Bro Records. Two songs from the album were used on movie soundtracks. 1 A.M. was featured in 2001's Valentine as well as featuring on TV show Smallville, and Ride was used on 2002's remake of Rollerball. Despite playing at Ozzfest, the band was later released by their record label as a result of poor album sales. In 2002, Dj left the band. They found a replacement guitarist and continue to make music to this day.
After leaving Beautiful Creatures, Dj went on to form another solo project, simply named ASHBA. In 2003 he was invited by Nikki Sixx to be a part of the band Brides of Destruction, but turned it down so that he could focus on his solo career.
Sixx:A.M. was born in 2007, when Dj came together with Nikki Sixx and James Michael. The band's name is taken from the surnames of the three band members. They released their debut album The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack in August, to go alongside Nikki's first book. Their single from the album, Life is Beautiful, reached #2 on Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Chart.
The band originally had no intentions of touring, but due to popular demand scheduled a tour to start in Spring of 2008, but it was postponed until the summer under unforeseeable circumstances. They joined Mötley Crüe's Crüe Fest along with Trapt, Papa Roach and Buckcherry. Due to the band not having a drummer, Papa Roach's drummer, Tony Palermo, played for them on the tour. Later that year they released a live EP titled Live is Beautiful, which featured recorded performances from their summer tour.
In May 2011, Sixx:A.M.'s second album, This is Gonna Hurt, was released, inspired by Sixx's second book. In November they released an acoustic CD, 7, which featured 7 acoustic renditions of tracks from their album.
The band are currently writing their third studio album, which is scheduled for release next year.
While still being a part of Sixx:A.M., Dj joined Guns N' Roses as their lead guitarist in 2009. He replaced Robin Finck, who left the band to return to Nine Inch Nails. He has toured the world as part of the band with his first being the Chinese Democracy tour in 2009. In 2012, the band toured Europe and Asia, as well as performing a 12 date Las Vegas Residence at the Hard Rock.
For a more in-depth profile on Dj ASHBA, click here.
Dj ASHBA - Mi Amor Solo
In April 2012, Dj became the spokesman of anti-bullying website, Bullyville. For the first time in his life, Dj shared the story of his troubled childhood and being bullied, both emotionally and physically, by his own father, who walked out on the family when Dj was still young.
He stated that he told his story because he wanted to let other kids and teenagers who may be going through a similar thing know that it does get better and that they are not alone. He also said that he is living proof that they can achieve whatever they want to and be whoever they want to be.
You can read Dj's story of being bullied here.