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2004.06.09 - MTV News - GN'R Bassist Stinson Works Solo While Awaiting Chinese Democracy

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2004.06.09 - MTV News - GN'R Bassist Stinson Works Solo While Awaiting Chinese Democracy Empty 2004.06.09 - MTV News - GN'R Bassist Stinson Works Solo While Awaiting Chinese Democracy

Post by Soulmonster on Wed Jul 18, 2012 2:41 pm

GN'R Bassist Stinson Works Solo While Awaiting Chinese Democracy


Once the public pegs you as something, it's hard to break out of the box. For proof just look at Tommy Stinson, who's performed on more than 10 projects since 1991 but always seems to have his name preceded by the words "ex-Replacements bassist."

Stinson wouldn't mind the association if it were simply a reflection of how evocative, forward-thinking and influential he is as a musician. However, when most people draw the Replacements connection, it's coming from a completely different place.

"When I'm out, people literally come up to me and go, 'Dude, I saw you. You guys played, and you were so f---ed up you couldn't stand up. You were falling down and it was the greatest show I ever saw,' " Stinson said. "I think we made some great records, but no one ever says, 'Man, I think your music was amazing.' "

After forming the groups Bash & Pop and Perfect in the mid-'90s, Stinson joined Guns N' Roses in 1998 and has worked with them in the studio and on the road. And in his abundant spare time, he wrote and recorded his first solo album, Village Gorilla Head, due July 27.

The disc contains 11 songs Stinson has written over the past 10 years, and it covers a variety of styles. "Without a View" is acoustic and melancholy, "Something's Wrong" features serrated guitar chords that mingle with classic pop melodies, and "Couldn't Wait" is bristling and agitated, conjuring the brazen spirit of punk before the rise of Green Day.

"I didn't set out to make a certain kind of record," Stinson said. "I like to hear albums that have peaks and valleys, and different musical textures going on that maybe have nothing to do with the song before."

Stinson named the album Village Gorilla Head after an electronic-flavored song colored with horns and strings, which was cobbled together from three musical pieces, each of which illuminated different areas of the musical spectrum. "One of them kind of sounded like the Village People, one sounded a bit like Gorillaz, and the bridge on the other one sounded like Motörhead," Stinson said.

While Stinson explores various musical styles, his lyrics are fairly dark. Over the course of the record, Stinson obliquely addresses his marriage, his divorce, being a father, and numerous romantic relationships that didn't last. But even in the darkest lines, there's always a glimmer of light.

"I think these are a lot of bleak stories being told with hopeful endings," Stinson said. "The vibe of it is, as bad as things are, they're gonna get better."

Stinson plans to tour for Village Gorilla Head, but his road trips may be somewhat limited by Guns N' Roses, who are finishing up their long-awaited album, Chinese Democracy, in fits and starts.

"There are just so many little aspects that are being finalized on that record that every once in a while someone will go, 'God, I just realized you hit a bad note in this one place. We just found it.' And I'll go in and sort it out."

After having worked with a long list of producers — including Roy Thomas Baker, Bob Ezrin, Sean Beavan and Moby — Axl Rose has taken over production duties for the album, Stinson said. The reason the disc isn't done yet, he added, is because Rose is a methodical perfectionist who wants to make the creation of Chinese Democracy as democratic as possible.

"He likes to take all the members of the band and get the best out of each guy for each song," Stinson said. "It's a brilliant process that gets everyone involved so everyone owns a piece of the song because they've put themselves into it. That way you don't have people going, 'Well, I'm not gonna play on his song if you're not gonna sing on my song.' And that's a lengthy process because you have to get eight people to basically write a song together that everyone likes."

Stinson added that he thinks the record is finally almost done, and the only thing that's holding back its completion is legal issues. Even the recent departure of guitarist Buckethead isn't slowing anything down. "As far as I know, he hasn't been replaced, but we already have enough guitarists," Stinson said. "We have Robin Finck and Richard Fortus, and Buckethead will be on the record, too. I really have no idea why he decided to leave, but it didn't come out of left field because he's always come and gone. Even when I do see him, I don't know what he thinks."

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Post by Blackstar on Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:35 pm

From Tommy's official website, same date:
JUN. 09: Hey ya'll here's all the latest,

As you may or may not have heard my solo record titled Village Gorilla Head is being released on Sanctuary Records on July 27th. Before going out with The Figgs for two weeks on Aug 4th (EASTCOAST ONLY), I'll be doing a couple promotional shows, one in Minneapolis around July 26th the other in N.Y.C. around July 29th. They should be open to the public but I'll give more details as they come. I will also be adding more shows after the Figgs tour in the coming weeks and will broadcast them here first so...HEADS UP! Also, I may do some shows with Jesse in Europe in September.

Also, you should all go out and pick up Jesse Malin's new record The Heat. I haven't heard the completed record since I sang on it (Hotel Columbia), but what I heard was great and I'm told I have a copy coming in the mail tomorrow. I would go out and buy it but I'm up to my eyeballs booking tour dates, doing interviews, watching the NBA play-offs, working up B sides, producing Bobot Adrenaline's debut album, trying to finish the artwork for the soon to be released Perfect Record on Ryko Disc, etc.

O.K., I'm really watching M.A.S.H. reruns, playing tennis with Fabio on the weekends, and growing an Afro and moustache for the summer tour.

That's all for now. Stay tuned as updates will come quickly. You can also see the album cover for VGH on the MESSAGEBOARD.


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