Former GUNS N' ROSES and current SIXX: A.M. guitarist says that he "walking away" from GN'R after a six-year stint with the group was "the hardest decision" he has ever had to make in his life. He tells Music Radar: "I loved sharing the stage with Axl [Rose] and the guys. Axl put together such an incredible bunch of musicians, and I was proud to be part of that."
He continues: "I'll always be thankful for Axl believing in me. But it's not my band and it never will be. I was performing songs written before I got there. I had a blast doing it, and I will cherish it. But we did a 19-day sold-out run on the SIXX:A.M. 'Modern Vintage' tour and it was that tour of playing my own songs — songs that came from my soul — and seeing how they connected to the fanbase, I could not put that feeling into words, and I realized that I needed to follow my heart."
Ashba recently said that Rose wanted him to be a part of a partial reunion of GN'R's classic lineup but he "just didn't feel like it was [his] place."
Ashba, who joined GUNS N' ROSES in March 2009 following the departure of Robin Finck and stayed in the band until last July, told Metal Insider: "At that point, it's best I go do what I'm really good at doing. It's kind of the best of both worlds. I get to have my favorite band back and I get to go play in my favorite band again. It's a win-win."
Ashba issued a statement in July 2015 saying that he was leaving GUNS N' ROSES "to dedicate myself to my band SIXX: A.M., my adoring wife and family, and to the many new adventures that the future holds for me."
Ashba said earlier in his statement that working with GUNS N' ROSES was "the most incredible journey I could have possibly imagined."