If you haven’t yet heard of Dj ASHBA, then you are missing out on one of the 21st centuries most talented and celebrated musical personalities. Ashba was born in Monticello, Indiana and was raised in the rural city of Fairbury, Illinois. His rural childhood was centered on his love of music, which developed at an early age; instructed by his mother, a classically trained pianist, he performed his very first piano recital at the young age of five years old. His love of music knew no bounds and limitations. Ashba took a job detasseling corn at the age of eight in order to raise enough money to purchase a guitar. He learned chords from a local guitar player who taught him on his daily bus rides to work. Ashba would practice his guitar for hours, practicing chords and songs until his fingers were numb and his mind was full of music.
Ashba’s father took him to his very first concert when he was just 16 years old–it was the Motley Crue Girls on their Girls, Girls, Girls tour. The experience changed his life forever. “The crowd, the music, the lights!” said Ashba, about the experience. “It was the night I realized that no matter what it takes, it was going to be on that stage one day.”
At the young age of 19, he packed up everything he owned and set out for Hollywood, intent on fulfilling his dream of being a rock star. For two years, he was in the band Barracuda, where he toured around the United States performing for countless music lovers. He eventually left the band and recorded his first, all instrumental solo record, called ASHBA: Addiction to Fiction. Ashba described the experience of making the album as “a huge learning experience. I learned a lot about recording, writing, and the music business.”
In 2001, Ashba founded Ashba, Media INC (or AMI) which, in 2003, beat out 110 other agencies to become the exclusive agency of record for Virgin Megastores. Other prominent AMI clients include Sony PlayStation, Royal Underground clothing and Ovation Guitars.
Today, Ashba is currently the new guitarist in Guns N’ Roses. On his experience with the band and in the music industry, Ashba said: “I am very happy that the fans have never given up on me … They are my motivation. My Strength, and their love and support, is the fuel that burns the fire in my heart.”
Ashba is also embracing a new role apart from his famous rock bands as the new spokesperson for the anti-bullying website, BULLYVILLE.com. “I had to get involved,” he told us. “I don’t get involved in things unless I believe in them 100 percent, …if I can help just one person who is being bullied, then this is worth it. It is such an important topic, and it stays with you.”
With our gratitude, DJ Ashba shaved a little time from his unbelievably productive schedule to answer some questions for The Ball.
Where do you see your musical direction heading?
“I’d like to get into scoring movies.”
You have stated that you saw your first Motley Crue concert at the age of 16 and that they had a significant influence over the direction of your life. Are there any other influences on your music that most people would not expect?
“I am drawn to composers more so than musicians. I appreciate people like Beethoven, Danny Elfman, and John Williams.”
Everyone has their guilty pleasures when it comes to music. Any guilty pleasures that you have that you might be open to share with the public?
“I love Christmas music and play it on a regular basis around the house regardless of the season”.
What is your idea of spirituality and how do you practice that in your life?
“ I believe that whatever you put out you get back. I believe that no dream is too big to achieve and I thank God every day for having such a blessed life”.
You have many tattoos. Is there a favorite one you have acquired and what meaning does it hold to you?
“Trailer Trash written on my hands means the most to me because is a daily reminder of where I came from and motivates me to keep moving forward.”
What made you interested in Bullyville.com? What is your take on bullies and were you bullied as a child?
“Please see my story on www.bullyville.com. Bullying happens everywhere, everyday, in all walks of life. No one deserves to be bullied. Those who are need to know that it’s okay to talk about it and there is help.”
What is your favorite movie?
“Nightmare Before Christmas”
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment thus far in life?
“What is in the future.”
When you write music, where do you find inspiration?
“My life experiences and from within.”
When you started ASHBAMEDIA what did you envision for the company?
“ASHBA Media, Inc. is a Creative Agency. There are no limits as to what we are capable of. If you can imagine it, we can bring it to life.”
What would be your favorite live performance that you’ve had on past or present tours?
“There’s no way I can possibly pick one. They’ve all been amazing in their own way”.
Who has been your favorite collaborator that you’ve worked with?
“I have worked with so many amazing artists. Each one is special in their own way and I appreciate them all.”
Any new projects in the near future?
“Yes. I’ve teamed up Ryan Friedlinghaus, CEO of West Coast Customs to develop my Limited Edition ASHBA Challenger by Dodge which is being released later this year. I’ve also written the new theme song for the upcoming season of “Inside West Coast Customs” on FOX.
ASHBA Media has teamed up with Cirque du Soleil to develop the wardrobe via Cody Varona, for their new Street Team Initiative. We are also developing Life-Size Figures to display throughout the hotels in Las Vegas, “bringing the shows to life outside the stage”.
ASHBA Swag is officially opening a second pop-up retail location with Henderson Harley Davidson, here in Las Vegas.
I will be hitting some of the Rock Festivals this summer with Guns N’ Roses and am enjoying our writing sessions for the new Sixx: A.M. Album.
My Signature Les Paul will be launching with Gibson in June.
Lots of exciting things…”
What would you like your legacy to be?
“I will live forever so let’s no worry about that.”