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APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2011.09.12 - AMP Magazine - Interview with Tommy

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2011.09.12 - AMP Magazine - Interview with Tommy Empty 2011.09.12 - AMP Magazine - Interview with Tommy

Post by Blackstar Sat Dec 18, 2021 4:28 pm

Interview with Tommy Stinson by Jason Messick

It is difficult to stay relevant in the music industry, especially when reaching across decades: musical trends change, people change, and so do musicians. I recently checked in with the infamous Tommy Stinson of Guns N' Roses and The Replacements, who has been in the industry for over thirty years and talked about his life-changing trip to rebuild Haiti, his real feelings about major labels, and his latest solo album, One Man Mutiny. Not only has Stinson offered an interesting insight into the music industry and how he has fared over time, but also on the importance of his life outside of music. The upcoming album is definitely one to check out, especially since a portion of the proceeds go towards helping Haiti.

Recording in your home facility and on your record label, One Man Mutiny sounds like the DIY record of the year. Did you mix the record yourself as well? Did you hire a producer for the record?

I hired my very good friend Sean Beavan to mix it, because he knows how to make the oddball and miscreant and make it sound like a record. My producer was my left arm, Phillip Broussard. He produced my record because he told me what to do and how to do it. When I'm doing something wrong, he tells me how to do it right.

Describe the writing process for One Man Mutiny.

The whole record came together over the course of several years, I was writing in my downtime, and there are a couple of songs that were holdovers from the last record. I've had the chorus for "Destroy Me" for 16 years and I've been trying to make a song of it ever since. But I don't really have a "process," so to speak -- no special chair, magic pen, etc... I just write them when they happen.

Did you play most of the instruments on the record?

Everything in the key of fucking Lee Majors. Seriously, I played on most of the record, but a lot of my friends helped out.

I heard a rumor that your fiancée sings with you on the record. What other guests should we expect to hear on One Man Mutiny?

My friend Gersh played drums on a few songs. Uncle Chip Roberts played slide guitar all over it, as well as my fiancée Emily Roberts, who sang on the whole thing. She sings in this sort of Kinks way, I always loved the way female vocals fit into their repertoire. The title track was written and performed by Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus from Guns N' Roses and I in a nice hotel in Middle-Of-Nowhere, Belgium.

Any major changes between your first solo album Village Gorilla Head and One Man Mutiny?

Other than how this is me now compared to me then, a big difference is that I'm putting this one out on my own and my life has changed drastically since 2004. Also the incorporation of Emily on vocals and Chip on guitar has added a new dimension to my sound.

I think it is safe to say that you have your fair share of experience with major labels. What are the benefits of putting out a record on your own as opposed to releasing a record with major label support?

Benefits? Are you kidding me? I suppose the benefits are that I know where my money's gonna go, if I choose to put it there. I've been on ten different goddamn record labels, and I know the difference between what their M.O. is from me and my music. If I put out my own record, at least I know where I?m investing my own money to make people know about and find my record. And major labels have this staid way of doing every record the same every time, and I just don?t fall into those demographics.

What were the major stumbling blocks or headaches of putting out a DIY record?

There have been no real stumbling blocks, it's just a matter of figuring out where to put your energy in order to get people to hear the record and want to buy it. I look at that as more of a kid-in-a-candy-store type thing rather than a stumbling block. But I have to say that I've learned a lot about what not to do from my years on major labels, and it's great to be able to run things the way I want to, but at the same time it?s a little nerve-racking going into a great unknown like this.

It is to my understanding that you spent some time in Haiti recently. What was that experience like for you?

Life-changing. After 45 years of being on this planet, I've realized that giving back is more important than trying to be a rockstar. I still can't believe we raised over $40,000 for this little school in this little country. Just the other day, I saw a picture of one of the buildings at the school that was the beneficiary of our auction, and saw the 3rd floor of a building that had only two stories when I was there, and knowing that I had something to do with that addition brought tears to my eyes. It?s amazing how a little amount of effort can do a lot for people.

Last year you donated a very generous amount of money to the Timkatec School in Haiti, and are giving some of the proceeds of this record to the organization. After spending time over there, is there progress being made with rebuilding the country, and how can we help as well?

Go to Timkatec.org and donate. Or donate to any organization that you see fit. If I had one goal for my record right now, it would be to encourage anyone and everyone to try and give as much as they can to their brothers, sisters, or whatever. And as far as rebuilding, the people of Haiti are rebuilding their own county and are not stopping. They are very resilient.

Looking back over your 30+ year career, what do you feel were you major accomplishments?

I'd say living past 30! But seriously, being a part of putting a third floor on a trade school for abandoned kids in Haiti tops the list. And putting a roof over my own family's head is up there as well. And after all the sucker-punches, kicks, and bruises, I still get a kick out of making music.

What were your major influences with The Replacements? Are they any different from what inspires you today?

Everything I do is who I've become; and that's who I am right now. I have a huge musical palate, and it's all a part of me.

What advice would you give to a kid wanting to get into the music scene today?

Get the fuck out! Kidding... but don't put all your eggs in one basket, 'cause it'll probably tip over. Unlike me... that's all I've ever done. I feel very lucky to have gotten to where I am, and very few people get that opportunity.
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