Tommy is busy touring, recording and producing (check out his Facebook page or web site for all the details). In this interview with Chris Riemenschneider for the Star-Tribune, he talks about his current solo work, GnR and – of course – the Mats:
Since he’s more interested in talking about his new band coming to the Turf Club on Saturday, Tommy Stinson offered these short answers to the two most heard questions about the old bands he is probably leaving behind:
1) Ask Axl.
2) Ask Paul’s T-shirts.
“At this point, they probably have their own [publicists],” the veteran bassist joked of his Replacements bandmate Paul Westerberg’s letter-encoded white tees.
During the final stretch of his two-year, 33-show reunion run with Stinson (and replacements) as the Replacements, Westerberg wore a series of shirts with letters painted on the front that seemed to spell out the end of the band. Or at least they spelled this one encrypted message: “I have always loved you. Now I must whore my past.”
A friend of Westerberg’s since he joined him in the Replacements at age 12 in 1979, Stinson laughed at the presumed epitaph: “I really didn’t know where he was going with all that. I got home and was like, ‘Oh, that’s what that meant.’ ”
His postscript on the 2013-2015 Replacements: “Of course, the Midway concert [in St. Paul last September] was very special, but as far as I’m concerned, all of those shows were special. Paul had been playing those songs in his solo shows since we broke up, so it maybe wasn’t as big a deal to him. But for me, strapping those songs on again after 20-some years meant a lot to me.
“There were some things I didn’t like about it, but that’s [expletive] rock ’n’ roll. Emotionally, it had its heavy moments. And it still does, but that’s the nature of our beast. And if you read into Paul’s shirts, it probably went on about a year longer than he felt he wanted it to go. As for me, I was fine with how far it went.”
He also talked about the recording sessions done with this incarnation of the Mats:
“It was one of those things: We dipped our toe in the water, and it didn’t feel so good. The water was a little too hot. I won’t say never, but the songs of mine that we recorded, I’ve redone. You know, if [Westerberg] called me up and said, ‘Hey, you wanna try this again?’ of course I would do it, if only to [mess] around a bit. Do we need to do that right now, though? I don’t think so.”
Tommy’s single will be available via iTunes.
“Breathing Room” / L.M.A.O EP
“Not This Time” / L.M.A.O EP