DJ Ashba Reveals Nikki Sixx’s Failed Plans To Work With Steven Tyler And Chester Bennington


Sixx:A.M. lead guitarist DJ Ashba recently joined an interview on The SDR Show and revealed Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx’s plans regarding the band. According to Ashba, Sixx called Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler to sing on Sixx:A.M.’s debut album.

Nikki Sixx formed Sixx:A.M. along with DJ Ashba and James Michael as a side project in 2007. The band released their debut studio album, ‘The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack,’ which was based on Sixx’s autobiography, ‘The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star,’ also released in 2007. Following the album, they embarked on a nationwide tour.

In the later years, the band released another four studio albums. Their greatest hits album, titled ‘Hits,’ arrived in October 2021, and then the band announced that they were not planning to tour or write new material after this album. During a recent interview, DJ Ashba reflected on the band’s founding process and revealed that they had good chemistry with Nikki Sixx from the first moment they met.

The guitarist explained that they came together to create a soundtrack to Sixx’s autobiographical book, so they initially had no intention of forming a band. Moreover, they called Chester Bennington and Steven Tyler to offer them singing those songs as they planned to have different singers in each piece.

At this point, James Michael wanted to take one of the songs and sing. When they heard him singing, they were blown away, so they wanted Michael to contribute to all the vocals in the soundtrack rather than working with Bennington and Tyler. Thus, the three musicians formed the band, and the soundtrack marked their debut album.

Here is how DJ Ashba talked about the band’s founding process:

“He brought in these diaries, and he painted kind of a picture because I was really into movie scoring. He wanted me to kind of create something, and that’s when I think I came up with ‘X-MAS in Hell,’ the beginning song of that. I created all the music, and then he came in and did a narration over, and we were like, ‘F*ck, that’s cool.’

We created all these songs, and we were working with James Michael. James would always hire me to come in and play on people’s records. I never knew the guy was the same, never heard him sing. We originally set out to basically do a soundtrack to his book, and there was no talk of the band, not none of that. So we scored basically this book, brought to life musically.

When it came time to sing, I remember we were on the phone with Chester from Linkin Park, we called Steven Tyler. There were a lot of different singers we were going to have on each different song, and that was going to be the thing. James was like, ‘Hey man, do you mind if I take a crack at one of these?’ He sent it back, and me and Nikki I remember us playing our mouse hit the f*cking table. We were like, ‘Not only you are singing on this one, you are singing on the entire work.’ We were blown away.”

You can watch the rest of the conversation below.