Former Guns N' Roses Guitarist DJ Ashba Discusses Juggling His Passion and Entrepreneurship


Although DJ Ashba no longer plays with Guns N' Roses, he has by no means walked away from his passion. Instead partnered with Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), and James Michael to form Sixx: AM.

He does not stop there, however. DJ Ashba is celebrating the launch of his first retail store, on April 7th, placing him in the position of juggling music and entrepreneurship.

[Image via John Knopf]

I had the incredible opportunity to speak with DJ Ashba not only about the music but about his transition into entrepreneurship. From his drive, inspiration, to the pressure of juggling music and the life of an entrepreneur, DJ Ashba opened up in this exclusive interview.

You have been in several rock groups over the years, is being a rockstar something that you always wanted to be?

I always knew that I would play music professionally. I never knew to what extent, but I always knew. Before I could walk my mother had me sitting on a piano bench.

How did the idea of crossing over into Entrepreneurship come to fruition?

In schools, students are taught the importance of getting good grades, go to college, and transition into a 9 to 5 job. Prestigious colleges teach the complete opposite, rather, they teach the importance of creating your own jobs, and the benefits of being your own boss. Those with 9 to 5 jobs struggle while those who have money to burn and drive the best cars are entrepreneurs. Being creative, I just fell naturally into that world.

Has it always been important to you, somehow, to own your own business?

Yes, it has always been important to me to own my own business. There is nothing quite like the feeling of having a vision in your head and creating. Watching an idea grow is the most amazing accomplishment in life.

[Image via John Knopf]

I know that time can be very valuable to a musician, what are some of the challenges that you have faced as a musician juggling Entrepreneurship?

Time. There's never enough time. Right now I currently sleep on average of 4 hours a night. Time is so valuable, spend it wisely.

Do you have a mentor?

Walt Disney, Steve Jobs to name a few. I admire people who are visionaries. People who don't see boundaries or live by society's rules. I love and admire people who make a difference.

Are there any similarities between being a musician and owning a business?

Well, music is a business, so yes!! They go hand in hand. If you're a musician I highly suggest that you study the business side as much if not more than you study your instrument. After all, it is called the Music Business for a reason.

Is it more important to you that you be remembered as a great musician, or a great Entrepreneur?

I don't really care as long as I'm remembered. ;)