DJ Ashba slashes his way into Guns N’ Roses guitarist spot

The band returns to Atlanta for the first time in 24 years next Wed., Nov. 2

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When it comes to Guns N’ Roses guitarists, Slash’s iconic top hat and curly hair-curtain will always be the first image that comes to mind. But in a Guns N’ Roses lineup that has revolved around Axl Rose and a rotating cast of other musicians since the late ’90s, that position has since been filled by such luminary axe men as Nine Inch NailsRobin Finck, Buckethead and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal. The most recent Guns’ guitarist is DJ Ashba, whose previous credits include the BulletBoys, Beautiful Creatures and Sixx: A.M. with Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue. As Guns N’ Roses return to Atlanta for the first time since 1987, Ashba talks about performing Guns hits, filling the role of those who have preceded him and the debauchery that still seems to follow the band to this day.

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$39-$92.05. 7:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 2. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive. 404-878-3000. www.philipsarena.com.

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Guns N’ Roses hasn’t played in Atlanta since 1987. The venue the band played then has been razed, but Philips Arena was erected on the same site. An odd correlation for you is that Guns N’ Roses was on tour with Motley Crue on that tour and it was only a few days before then that Nikki Sixx had his infamous heroin overdose. A lot has obviously changed since then, so how does it feel to be coming full circle in so many ways?

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Ashba: Absolutely. There’s still some debauchery and it’s a lot of fun out here. We’re all having a blast and the shows are definitely wild. I don’t think that’s changed too much. It definitely has a very dangerous element to it and the crowds have been going crazy. As far as the energy and excitement of the whole show, I think it’s definitely still there. But, I don’t know, I wasn’t around during those times.

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As the latest guitarist for Guns N’ Roses, considering the people who have filled that role before you, including Slash, Buckethead and Robin Finck, how did you prepare yourself to fill such big shoes?