DJ Ashba says he submitted “8 to 10” new Guns N' Roses songs to Axl Rose during his tenure, but they never materialized

[L-R] DJ Ashba and Axl Rose
(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

DJ Ashba says he attempted to submit “eight to 10” new Guns N' Roses songs to Axl Rose during his tenure with the band.

In a new conversation on SiriusXM's Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk, the guitarist – who served six years with GNR from 2009 until 2015 – says that his nature is that of a “songwriter/producer, so, of course, I'm going to keep writing”.

He explains that he wrote “eight to 10 [songs] with Guns in mind, but a lot of them were too Appetite [For Destruction]-sounding.”

“To me, as a fan, I'm like, that's what I'd want to hear,” he continues. “And so I was like, ‘I want to write something that sounds like it came right off of Appetite. I think they hit a little too close to home, but there [were] a couple where [Rose] absolutely... He was like, ‘This song is dope.’

“For whatever reason – we were touring a lot – we never got a chance to get him in the studio. But they didn't go anywhere further than just me sending him some tracks and him going, ‘Ah, this one's dope,’ and ‘This one's cool.’”

Ashba departed the legendary rock outfit in 2015 upon Slash's return. He says that around “85 or 90 percent” of the guitar parts he was responsible for live were originally Slash's, so while he could have remained a full-time member, he says that relearning a three-hour show would have been too difficult. “It's muscle memory”, he says.

Elsewhere in the interview, the guitarist – who is also a prolific session musician – recalls recording “all the rhythm” guitar parts on Mötley Crüe's 2008 album, Saints of Los Angeles.

When questioned on albums he's performed on as a “ghost” musician over the years, Ashba mentions Saints of Los Angeles, saying: “I played all the rhythms on it. But Mick [Mars, guitarist] was awesome. [He] was actually in the hospital at the time.”

Ashba is credited as a songwriter on 11 of the albums 13 songs, with the exception of The Animal in Me and This Ain't a Love Song.

Back in November, the former GNR man gave Italian folk classic Bella Ciao an EDM-inspired, guitar-heavy makeover.

You can listen to DJ Ashba's full guest appearance on Trunk Nation with Eddie Trunk on the SiriusXM app.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.