Three Minutes With….Anniversary Trifecta! Rowan Robertson, DJ Ashba & Jonathan Montoya
At a mere 18 years old, he was catapulted on the world stage playing with the late, legendary Ronnie James Dio in Dio. (And yes, I remember the press release from that announcement!) Since then, Rowan Robertson has done session work, played in bands like Violets Demise with Oni Logan of Lynch Mob (but unless you read magazines like Metal Edge back in those days, you are probably more familiar with the name the label released the record on – Logan-Robertson.) Now he plays in the LA-based DC-4 with a couple of the guys from Armored Saint. I was introduced to Rowan by a mutual friend at NAMM this year, and he was kind enough to give me Three Minutes in a crowded hotel lobby!
The question you drew is, what artist(s) – could be plural – do you think have had the greatest impact on music? State your case.
I would probably have to say Charlie Patton because he was one of the two first musicians to ever popularize the blues, Delta Blues style of music in 1927/1926. And they were the first rock n rollers. That’s one. Another one? How about Louis Armstrong? Because he would be the first one to popularize….. Well, where would David Lee Roth be without Louis Armstrong?
Very true! And now you’ve gotta promote whatever you’ve got going on!
I’ve got to promote DC-4, which is my band, its me, Jeff Duncan, the singer, and he plays in Armored Saint as well. He’s a fantastic guitar player. We’re on our second album now, as the four of us. We’ve signed our new album with Metal Blade Europe. Electric Ministry, that’s our new album. Hopefully we’ll get to do some festivals there this year, over in Europe. Were really proud of the new record.
And on with the show….
Currently pulling double duty playing in Guns n Roses with Axl and with Nikki Sixx in SIXX: A.M., former Beautiful Creatures guitar player DJ Ashba also has his own line of self-designed guitars by Ovation, a guitar-tuning app for iPhone, and other swag. (In addition to moving base from LA to Vegas at the time this interview was conducted!) I was lucky enough to get DJ to stand still at NAMM for about Three Minutes….
Is there one song that defines who you are – and it doesn’t have to even be yours?
Yes. ‘Life Is Beautiful’.
Elaborating…. because a lot of people in life take life for granted and ‘Life Is Beautiful’ is one of those songs where…. Don’t take anything for granted. When everything couldn’t be at it’s worst, stop, breathe, and take it in and realize that there is a lot in this world to be thankful for. No matter how bad your life is, no matter how bad your day is, it could be a lot fucking worse out there! So, just thank God for what you have. I love you, and Elvis Presley is the best! And…. I love Skittles.
And here is the record-breaking number three……. Check out the special offer at the end!
Possibly best known for his tenure in Saliva, former Full Devil Jacket guitarist Jonathan Montoya has two new ventures…. Not only does he have a new band, but also a clothing and jewelry design business. (Check out his signature bullet bracelets!) Jonathan accomplished what several others have attempted to do before – (Spoiler Alert!!) He has broken the record Brent Fitz set last Spring with the Sack o Questions! Here it is:
So, the question you drew is….. If you weren’t doing this (music) what would you do?
Oh! Clothes! <laughs> Yeah, yeah, of course. Jewelry and clothes!
Didn’t you see me roll my eyes when I saw the card? Would you like to draw another question?
Sure. I’ll draw another one. That one was too easy!
Exactly. That’s why I rolled my eyes when you handed it to me. OK. Ever had any real-life Spinal Tap moments?
Oh my God. <laughs> Ya think? Every one of them! Getting lost on the way to the stage. Of course. Like once a day. In Cleveland, of all places, and Josey thought it was Cincinnati. So, he says, “Hey! What’s up Cincinnati?” I was like, The ONE time you get to say “Hello Cleveland!” you fuck it up!
Nice! Well, you have a ton of time…. Want to do more?
Yeah, I’ll draw another one….
What is something that would surprise people to learn about you?
That’s a good question…. That I’m smarter than my accent. <laughs> That I’m not actually stupid. Oh! I know! That I’m not as good a guitar player as everybody gives me credit for! I’m more of a performer, not a guitar player. I would rather sing. I would rather be a singer. I just play guitar because its kind of what I got roped into doing.
Nice! Well, you could actually tie somebody’s record a do a fourth question……
Is there one song that defines you as an artist? And it doesn’t necessarily have to be one of your own.
Yeah, ‘Kickstart My Heart’, Motley Crue. That’s how I like to live life. By the seat of my pants. That sums it up. Kickstart My Heart. Nikki Sixx wrote that on my arm, and I tattooed it in. He also signed my arm.
There ya go. I’ ll beat the record.
Now I gotta break the news to Fitz. Go for it. Allright. What is your best tour story?
Nahhh… <laughs> I’m sure it deals with illegal.
Everybody has one of those! I could possibly get sued for mine!
I can’t even say what they are! I’m sure it has to do with girls….. that cliché…. Girls… Drugs…. It happens. Oh wait! Every time I get to go home. That’s the best part of touring. And I like packing.
I HATE packing!
I know…. But I know I get to leave for something exciting.
Allright! And now you can promote whatever you want to talk about!
Monstar-designs.com Go to it. Check out my clothes and jewelry! And I have a new band! Called A New Rebel, basically Full Devil Jacket with Saving Abel. Our guitar player is from Saving Abel. I guess you could call it a Supergroup, but not really a supergroup, more like a right-timing group! Got an EP out that you can download from iTunes.
NOTE: At the time this interview was conducted, Monstar-designs.com was barely 36 hours old and had already gotten more than 42,000 hits!
SPECIAL DEAL FOR MY READERS!!! Jon is offering a very special deal for you for reading this interview. If you order from Monstardesigns.com he will give you 10% off your purchase. Just put TWRY in the comment section on the order page after you register. And, as always, this offer can be revoked at any time without warning. I would recommend doing it sooner rather than later!
Side note to my readers: See? Its my anniversary, and you get the gift! But in all actuality, I honestly appreciate each and every one of you. (Just don’t ask me to sign your boobs, okay? I will sign almost anything else though!) I could not keep this column going without all of your support, and it really wouldn’t be much fun without all of you, so I send big huge love and kisses to each of you! Let us see who else we can squeeze three minutes out of now!! (All suggestions accepted!) And, most importantly, PLEASE support your local music scene! They need you!
Follow ME on Twitter: @MouthySmurf.
Are you or do you know a musician coming through Las Vegas that wants to give the shortest interview ever with probably the shortest interviewer ever? Forward me contact info or put them in touch with me. Do you have a query for the Sack O’ Questions? Email me at ThreeMinWith@yahoo.com. (Sorry, I can not guarantee any question to be asked to anyone specific, because it’s literally the luck of the draw, but if your question gets drawn, you’ll get props – make sure you note how you want to be thanked!)
Super huge THANKS go to Randy Myers for setting up the Rowan Robertson feature!