Ashba was born in Monticello, Indiana and was raised in rural Fairbury, Illinois by his religious single-mother, a classically trained pianist, who began teaching him about music as a toddler. Dj performed in his first piano recital at the age of five, where he played Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” Ashba’s next ambition was to learn the drums. He built kits out of garbage cans and pots and pans, until he finally acquired a real set at the age of six. When he was eight, Dj took a job detasseling corn in the fields in order to earn enough money to buy his first guitar out of the Sears catalog. He would ride to his job in the corn fields on the bus with a guitar player from a local band, who would teach him a new chord each day on a “fret” that they had carved into the back of a bus seat with a pocketknife. His friend would take the knife and make three holes in the fret and say, “That’s an A chord, go home and practice.” Dj sometimes spent 17 hours a day practicing guitar in his bedroom as a teenager.
For his 16th birthday, Ashba’s father took him to his first concert, the Motley Crue Girls, Girls, Girls tour and his life was forever changed. “The crowd, the music, the lights! It was the night I realized that no matter what it takes, I was gonna be on that stage one day.” At the age of 19, Dj packed up his possessions and set out for Hollywood to make it as a rockstar. He joined the band Barracuda and toured for two years before leaving to do his first instrumental solo record “ASHBA: Addiction to Fiction.” He describes that album as “It was a huge learning experience. I learned a lot about, recording, writing and the music business.”
In 2001, Ashba co-founded the band Beautiful Creatures with Bang Tango front man Joe Lesté. The band was signed to Warner Brothers Records and played their first show with Kiss on their farewell tour in front of 60,000 fans. The band went on to play Ozzfest, the Rolling Rock tour and dates with Marilyn Manson. Beautiful Creatures’ songs appeared in the films ROLLERBALL and VALENTINE, as well as the television show “Smallville.”
In 2003, DJ founded Ashba Media, Inc. (AMI), a creative design agency. AMI beat 110 agencies to become the agency of record for Virgin Megastores, and are responsible for the look and feel of each store. In addition to Virgin, other AMI clients include Ovation Guitars, Royal Underground clothing and Sony Playstation. In 2005, Ashba founded Ashbaland, the production company in which he writes and produces music. Ashba has worked with artist such as Mötley Crüe, Neil Diamond, Run-DMC and Drowning Pool. He co-produced and wrote on Motley Crue’s SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES album, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2007.
Ashba then teamed up with Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx and James Michael to create the band Sixx: A.M. (Sixx, Ashba, Michaels). They released the critically acclaimed HEROIN DIARIES SOUNDTRACK in 2007, and their single “Life is Beautiful” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. While the group originally had no intention of touring, they took the opportunity to join Mötley Crüe's Crüe Fest in the Summer of 2008 along with Buckcherry, Papa Roach and Trapt. Sixx: A.M. is currently working on their long-awaited follow up album which will be released in 2010.
It was announced in March on 2009 that Ashba would be the new guitarist of Guns N' Roses. Since joining the band, Ashba has toured Canada, Asia, South America, Central America and Europe in support of their latest album, CHINESE DEMOCRACY!!!