Interview with D.J. Ashba
Sixx A.M. D.J. Ashba "Originally, this was a double CD"
Guitar(Sixx A.M./Beautiful Creatures)
Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 2007
The Official Sixx A.M. Store
Brian Rademacher: Hey man how ya doin’?
D.J. Ashba: Great.
Brian Rademacher: “The Heroin Diaries” is going to be on our site and SIXX A.M. Best Band Of The Year.
D.J. Ashba: Nice I’m, blown away, Thank you.
Brian Rademacher: That album is so emotional I can cry during some of those tracks.
D.J. Ashba: Yeah, it was that emotional writing it too, Nikki brought in the journals and reading them, I broke down in tears; I can’t believe this was my friend going through this. It struck many chords with me to the point I was filled with emotion and so many songs going through my head.
Brian Rademacher: Even the way James sung the songs?
D.J. Ashba: James is amazing, if there were anyone else singing on this album it would have never come out the way it did. The emotion James puts into to every word; I just get goose bumps the way he sings them. Musically and vocally, we really tried to do the album justice and bring “The Heroin Diaries” to life. Musically we wanted to take people on a journey into what Nikki went through. Nikki wanted to do this to help people, not just people dabbling in just heroin and drugs. This is to help people in all directions from bad relationships, eating disorder, alcohol or whatever. Hopefully, it gives them some bit of hope.
Brian Rademacher: You also played some shows, right?
D.J. Ashba: We actually did two shows; we did a press conference at the Crash Mansion which was for press like Billboard and we did Salt Lake City, Utah with KORN for about 20,000 people. It was amazing bringing the book to life onstage and having people feel the experiences live.
Brian Rademacher: Your first concert was MÖTLEY CRÜE’s Girls, Girls, Girls tour, tell me what that experience was like.
D.J. Ashba: :My dad took me on the sixteenth birthday; I think that night changed my life. I use to lay on the hood of my car and dream when am I going to get out of that old country town, I lived in Illinois and moved to Indiana and back to Illinois. There was no doubt in my mind I was going to move to L.A. and see what I could do musically. But that night watching MÖTLEY on stage was inspiring and now I’m in a band with the guy. I could probably right a book.
Brian Rademacher: Can you tell me any exciting moments when you played in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES during the KISS tour?
D.J. Ashba: We did four shows with KISS, they were awesome. We were driving to the show and the record company almost held up our record because we couldn’t come up with a band name; this was our first show ever as BEAUTIFUL CREATURES with KISS in front of 60,000 people. We were pulling up to the venue and we called ourselves HELLSTAR and after the show we came up with the name BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (laughing).
Brian Rademacher: Did you get to meet those guys?
D.J. Ashba: Yeah, they were very cool, I am an artist, and after we got back to L.A., they asked me to come down to their warehouse where they were selling off some old stage outfits and things. So they had these life size mannequins, and I did all the face make-up on the mannequins for them, it looked great they even had the glass eyes. I remember the funniest story during our first show with KISS. The stage was humongous it had these huge wings on each side of the stage that were only to be used by Paul and Gene. So I was running around the stage doing jumps off these side wings that Paul and Gene used, and I look to the side of the stage and Paul, Gene and Doc McGee are there watching me. I’m like, they are totally digging it, and this is awesome so I rocked out. I get off the stage and go up to Doc and he says you are the ballsy-est kids I ever met in my life nobody goes up there but Gene and Paul. So I thought I was going to be in trouble but they were really cool about, I had no idea.
Brian Rademacher: Out on tour what band treated BEAUTIFUL CREATURES the best?
D.J. Ashba: MANSON really treated us well, LINKIN PARKon Ozzfest, DISTURBED are super good people, DROWNING POOL, me and Nikki produced a song for them on their new album called “Reason I’m Alive”. Actually, Ozzy was really good to us and Sharon was so great to me through the years.
Brian Rademacher: When you first met Nikki Sixx what was your impression?
D.J. Ashba: I actually met him at Randy Castillo’s(Ozzy Osbourne drummer) funeral, so it was not the place to really talk about things. Then we kept running into each other. Once I left BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, I got a call from Nikki and he asked me to join BRIDES OF DESTRUCTION but I was doing my own project ASHBA and even though I really wanted to join BRIDES I was dedicated to my own project. I have the most respect for Nikki but couldn’t do it and turned it down which he never let’s me forget about. We eventually started to hang out together, and he invited me up to his house and we wrote four songs that day, it just clicked. I was just about to sign a brand new deal with Atlantic Records; right before I signed the deal Nikki asked me to partner up and started Funny Farm Studios. We never thought about being a band we were only going to do some writing and producing at Funny Farm Studio and one day Nikki brought the diaries in and that’s how it all started.
Brian Rademacher: With Ashbaland, Funny Farm and all the other projects you have going on is there anything you thought about doing, that you haven’t?
D.J. Ashba: Yeah I just launched a ringtone thing, which I’m really excited about. I would like to score movies; Danny Elfman is a big influence on me. I love writing and arranging thirty, sixty-piece orchestra’s parts. That’s what made the “Heroin Diaries” so fun for me to dive into that world. I could bring this whole record to another level with songs like “X-Mas in Hell”, “Intermission” and “Life After Death”. I am also putting out a three-part instructional guitar DVD, because I have a wired style of play evidently, we are laying out the lessons now.
Brian Rademacher: Were there other songs that were written for “The Heroin Diaries” that were not used?
D.J. Ashba: Absolutely! Some of these pieces like “Girl with Golden Eyes” had a six-minute intro of orchestra music kind sounded of like watching the movie 300. Originally, it was going to be a double album so we have a ton of songs done, but we narrowed it down. It was hard because it was up to us to narrow it down and make it an executive decision and we had to edit some of the stuff down. Some of the other songs would have taken you on a much farther journey, one day some of that stuff will be release.
Brian Rademacher: Do you foresee another SIXX A.M. record?
Absolutely, for sure!
Brian Rademacher: What about tour dates?
D.J. Ashba: We actually never thought of this as a band, where as shocked. We are going holy crap our single been on the charts for twenty weeks, so now the demand for touring is so great but I hope we do and I foresee it.
Brian Rademacher: I see you have an Ovation “Heroin Diaries” Guitar and I’m sure there are other things in the works, tell me about the marketing of the band?
D.J. Ashba: : Yeah quite a few people are coming to us for products, Ernie Ball is great and was with me since BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, and are making me a SIXX A.M. guitar Paul Brown is doing it for me, he’s amazing.?
Brian Rademacher: I know Donations are made to Covenant House, if you could donate to another cause what would that be?
D.J. Ashba: : I actually donate to our troops, we been sending them a lot of our SIXX A.M. stuff after all they are over there kicking ass, that’s the least I can do. We buy tons of food and send it over their. We also donate a lot to animal rescues; I’m a big animal lover.
Brian Rademacher: How did you learn web design?
D.J. Ashba: : (Laughing), I’ve been doing this since I was growing up. I won a lot of art awards; I did the prom backdrop and designed the yearbook in school. It’s just another passion for me. It’s fun for me.
Brian Rademacher: D.J. It has been great talking to you and an honor, would you like to say anything in conclusion.
D.J. Ashba: I’m really happy to be on your website RockEyez.com and being named ‘Album Of The Year’ and ‘Band Of The Year’. It gratifying when you put your heart and soul in to something and people actually feel the same things you felt when you wrote it, we wanted people to feel what Nikki wrote and went through emotionally and make it available for everyone. We were so true to the story and book that’s probably why it came out the way it did with all that emotion. Thanks again, bye.