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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

2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy

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2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy Empty 2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy

Post by Blackstar Wed Apr 27, 2022 10:12 am



Transcript:

Marc Maron: Right now it's my honor to bring to you an interview I did with Tommy Stinson, the bass player of The Replacements, one of the greatest rock and roll bands in the world, ever, Paul Westerberg and the rest of them. The Replacements were great and I miss them, quite frankly. So let's go and listen to me and Tommy Stinson.

[Music]

MM: So your record was some sort of doorway in for me into what power pop was and into understanding that fucking music. Do you ever put that much thought into it, like, "This is a power pop record"?

Tommy Stinson: Nope.

[laughter]

TS: This would be a short interview with questions like, "Nope."

MM: No, no, but you know what I mean.

TS: Yeah, no, no, and there's a lot of that, I mean Big Star's a perfect example of that. That kind of thing, just chord structure, it's all the same crap.

MM: Right.

TS: Just, you know, twisting up a chord to make it something interesting and, you know, finding another voice in the bridge makes your brain think of a different vocal melody.

MM: Yeah, yeah.

TS: -how that works for me.

MM: Yeah, and like Big Star, that's another example of, like, these seminal bands that never were huge.

TS: Yeah.

MM: And it's heartbreaking, isn't it?

TS: You know, the fucking history of art has them, though?

MM: Yeah, yeah.

TS: You know, think of Van Gogh, he didn't fucking know what he was doing. He's like,"I'm a fucking painter and that's what I do," and fucking who gave a shit.

MM: That's right, "I'm doing this for the sake of doing this."

TS: And so we'll all probably be famous from we're dead.

MM: Yeah.

TS: Basically.

MM: Well, I think you're pretty famous the way it is. Your guy sent me the Mutiny Of One record-

TS: Well, One Man Mutiny. Yeah, it was a mutiny of one.

MM: But I didn't have it and now I'm all up in the vinyl so I listen to that thing. That's a great fucking record.

TS: Oh, thanks, man, I appreciate it.

MM: It's so exciting just to put on a record where you're like in it, like within the first two chords I'm like, "Holy shit, this is it! I'm into this!"

[laughter]

TS: Awesome.

MM: Were you playing guitar on that?

TS: I played most everything on it. There's a few songs I've got different drummers, you know, my friend Chris plays drums on some things. Jeez, I think Frank played drums on a few things, two things. But mostly it's me on guitar, bass and other weird stuff-

MM: But it feels like there's an element to the way you play and I think the way you come from where it's just... it just feels like it's all just hanging together and it's just perfect, there's space and it feels raw, feels like dudes playing music-

TS: Yeah. The good part of that one, that is sort of a new staple for me is a Uncle Sippy. Uncle Sippy's my guitar player, my slide player, he's my wife's uncle and he's great. He's kind of... he's coming from the same school of, like, sort of haphazard music making and sort of like on the verge of completely falling apart or it's great.

MM: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right where you want to be, right?

TS: Right on the cusp of something. I don't know what you're going to call it, but it's on the cusp of something that could be something good someday [?] when we're dead.

MM: Wasn't that sort of the vibe, like, you know, I don't... when did you start playing with... when did The Replacements officially happen?

TS: We officially... I think, officially happened in 1980.

MM: And how old were you?

TS: Let's see '66... 14-15 years old.

MM: That's crazy!

TS: We made our first record in 1980, Sorry Ma, in '80-'81, maybe.

MM: And you were like 15 years old?

TS: Yeah.

MM: And your brother-

TS: Actually I was a little younger than that for that one.

MM: How'd you get roped into that? I mean, how did that all go down?

TS: You know, that bastard [?] he had come out of the group... out of a group home scenario, he was in a lot of trouble as a kid-

MM: Who, Bob [Stinson]?

TS: Yeah. He didn't like moving to Minneapolis, wanted to stay in Florida where his guitar was and all his friends and shit, so he was rebellious and fucking tried to kill himself all stuff - can I swear?

MM: Yeah.

TS: Okay. And when he came home from that hole-

MM: He's your half-brother?

TS: Yeah, yep. He caught me monkeying around with one of his guitars, his bass, actually, up in his bedroom and he asked me if I wanted to play and I'm like, "Sure." Then I started trying to play and it hurt, I wasn't into it, and then he goes, "Keep playing and I'll buy you candy bar" and it was like, "I'll buy you coke." And then when it hurt my fingers and I wanted to quit and I'd start crying, I had upped the ante, you know, and I kind of bribed him... so what he got out of it was a bass player, what I got out of it is fucking candy, you know.

MM: A career in music.

TS: Yeah. And then of course it cuts to... and actually a therapist told me once, going through some stuff I was going through, that... because I would always talk about my mother and how my mother, you know, you know, really kind of, you know, kept it together for us, you know, into the, you know, stuff that she knew and the best she could do with and that, and I was at a therapist telling me, "You know, it's really your brother that actually saved your ass, not really your mom, your brother was the one that said, 'I'm gonna get you out of here.' And that's why he showed," she put it to me that way, "That's why he showed you how to play bass and he wanted to get you fuck out of that stuff"-

MM: What was going on?

TS: You know, we just grew up, you know, in a fucking alcoholic family, you know, I just had the whole nine of just, you know, growing up in a, you know, sort of unstable, you know, survivalist kind of, you know, lifestyles for the kids, you know.

MM: It was up in that Minnesota?

TS: Yeah.

MM: And then your old man, like, Bob is your half-brother... so you share a dad?

TS: No, we shared my mom, that's it.

MM: Yeah.

TS: His father was, you know, from Minnesota; my father was, actually, I think my mom met him in California and moved to Florida with him, where they didn't marry so I'm an original bastard.

MM: Yeah. Florida is always a weird choice. If you end up in Florida and you're not old, there's something....

TS: You know, my friend Danny Murphy, man, from Soul Asylum, he's in the Florida and I'm like, "Dude, you're not that old, brother." It's not that, you're not-

MM: But it's a freak show, you start to appreciate it, it's like a free-for-all down there, it's a wild fucking west half the time.

TS: Yeah, he likes it down there I mean he, you know, he's got this little community where he hangs out, he's got a beautiful apartment with, like, all the best, you know, vintage, you know, art deco [?] involved and it's really great.

MM: He's in high-end Florida.

TS: Yeah.

MM: Okay, so Bob drags you into the base and he got you off the streets kinda?

TS: Yeah, he did cuz I had been to jail three times by that time already.

MM: For what?

TS: Stealing shit.

MM: Yeah.

TS: Running away.

MM: Yeah.

TS: Doing bullshit. Breaking in houses and shit.

MM: Oh really?

TS: Fucking... I was a creepy little kid.

MM: But wasn't Bob sort-of half a criminal, too?

TS: Yeah [laughing], he was half a criminal. And then I got in a band and then we were both completely criminal but that's a whole another story.

MM: And then when did Paul [Westerberg] come on?

TS: Paul came along, you know, we met up with Chris [Mars, drums] because Chris was... See, Bob was dating my friend's sister who lived next door to Chris-

MM: Yeah.

TS: -and... Annie [?] Olson, man, she was batshit. My god.

MM: Everyone's batshit. All the good ones are batshit.

TS: Yeaaaah, that wasn't a good one. Chris came along first and Chris knew Paul who lived down the street and played guitar and, you know, we all kind of fell together like that.

MM: Yeah?

TS: Yeah.

MM: And in terms of, like, just the reputation you guys had for just fucking off, how did that unfold?

TS: You know, we just kinda went with our flow. "Flow" was not real good.

[laughing]

TS: It was... you know, I mean, young and crazy and sort of all fucking broken kids, I mean, all of us come from a broken background, you know, just sort of, you know, one thing or another, alcoholism, you know, abusive, you know, childhoods, whatever, you know. And, you know, I guess it kind of breeds crazy people.

MM: And when you guys were working out songs and writing songs, I mean,  was it a group effort? Because I know that, like, you know, Westerberg, I don't know much about him, I've listened to a lot of his records, you know, I know things, I don't know why they ended, maybe we can talk about that, but, you know, a lot of people think that, you know, you and Bobby were like the driving forces of that thing.

TS: You know, early on I think he kind of took over the song writing before we were in The Replacements. Like, he came and we kind of had this "singer guy"-

MM: Who was that guy?

TS: Oh god, what the hell was his name? I can't remember, so long ago.

MM: Like a classic teenage singer guy?

TS: Yeah, no, he wasn't even a good singer enough, just a friend of a friend that sold weed, you know. And you know-

MM: That guy!

TS: Yeah, it was that guy for sure. Paul came in with some songs and kind of moved him out so he, you know, he kind of had a few things up his sleeve when he came in and from there on, you know... The way the songwriting went down we'd hash things out and I guess the history would show some of the stuff he gave us credit for, some of the stuff, you know, he just considered he wrote on his own and there were really no, there's really no talking about it, we don't really, like, sit down and go, "Hey, I wrote," you know, "the bass line for that song," or whatever because really we didn't, no one really knew anything about what the fuck we were doing except, "This is what we're doing here, we're just going to do this, get in a van, go play gig, get drunk, go back." I mean, it was like, you know, whatever.

MM: And so, like, when you guys started to record, where'd you start to record?

TS: There was a friend of ours, he was actually more of a friend of Paul's, that had a little recording rig that we kind of used out this ballroom for, like, the first demos or whatever.

MM: Four track?

TS: I think it was a four track, some kind of a tape... a reel-to-reel thing. Old school stuff. And that's where the first demos came from and then after that and we started out, we had a place called Blackberry Way Studios, which was all the way on the other side of town by the university, Northeast Minneapolis, and we made like the first four records, two, three, four records there.

MM: And what label were they at?

TS: Twin/Tone Records which-

MM: And that was in Minneapolis?

TS: Yeah, local Minneapolis record company-

MM: Who were the other guys? Where [?] with you on there, too?

TS: No, they went ...they were SST [?]

MM: Right.

TS: Soul Asylum, The Suburbs, Suicide Commandos, [?], there a load of like Minneapolis bands that, a lot of their names I'm blanking on right now, but there was a bunch of them and they had a record before we put our stuff up called Big Hit To Mid America vol 2 or something like that, and it was a compilation of, it was two LPs with the Suburbs, Courtesy... all these local bands on it and they kinda, they had enough, I guess, enough success with that to kind of launch, you know, more of a record company thing after that and slowly built it up. Twin/Tone actually lasted for a pretty decent amount of time for a little indie label from ShitbagVille.

MM: Like, I'm wondering, how the fuck can I replace, or find again...like, I'm replacing vinyls that I don't know what happened to and no one's reissued Let It Be.

TS: Yeah, yeah, they have. Warner Brothers.

MM: Did they?

TS: Warner Brothers reissued all of our records because what happened was Twin/Tone got bought up by another company and by another company and the catalog got bought up by Rykodisc at some point... and then Rykodisc got bought up by Warner Brothers so now all our Warner Brothers Records and the Twin/Tone records are all distributed through, in fact, Warner Brothers. So they did a repackaging, I did some remixes of some outtakes and shit, you know, about-

MM: From Let It Be?

TS: From all the early Twin/Tone records.

MM: And how do you approach that? Because, like, I always wonder that... like, you know, is there any part of you that thinks, like, "No, this sounds shitty but that's the way it's supposed to be"?

TS: Yeah, you know, it was funny, I had to pull this stuff up in a digital format because it's all done on a fucking eight-track and, you know, I think Let It Be might have been 18 tracks or something. But I had to pull the stuff up in the digital realm so it all had be dumped down into the digital realm so I could do exactly that, listen to it, and kind of come up with some of the outtakes. And the earlier record, like Twin/Tone, like the Sorry Ma stuff, had more outtakes than the later records because as we started touring there was less time to sit and write songs and shit. But it was interesting, you know. Some of it sounded bleak and then there's some of it that... I was listening to-

MM: Like bleak in tone or bleak in the way they were produced?

TS: Just, you know, cruddy. And they didn't transfer very well either so that had to be dealt with a little bit too. But it was funny to pull up Paul's guitar and Bob's guitar and solo up and listen to them, how they actually played off of each other which, I'm sitting there in my studio, is like almost six or seven years ago now, I'm sitting there listening to this going, "Man, they really played off each other and I fucking think they knew it! I thought they were both just fucking playing," and then you put them up together and they sounded great together, really bouncing off each other and shit, I was like, "God, this is kind of like what you hear the Stones do,"

MM: Right.

TS: And it was not even a concentrated effort, it was just there.

MM: Yeah? That's fucking awesome, man.

TS: It was killer to pull that stuff and, you know, those... you know, young and just slamming it out and, you know, there was a few extra songs that I got to edit and remix with my buddy Philip Broussard and then they put all that stuff on vinyl and you know CD, so you can get that stuff reissued on pretty decent sounding vinyl on Warner Brothers. I don't know if it still... you might have to eBay or some shit.

MM: Right, right. So that was like seven years ago?

TS: My timetable might be wrong. It might have been sooner.

MM: All I know is-

TS: It might have been five or six years ago-

MM: He's got it down the street for 30 bucks and I'm like, "Really?"-

TS: For Let It Be? like a Warner Brothers version or like an original?

MM: It must be an original.

TS: An original Twin/Tone version would probably be more than that, I think.

MM: Yeah.

TS: It must be the Warner Brothers one. I think they...and I think only the limited run of the vinyl, I'm not exactly sure.

MM: Yeah, okay.

TS: I gotta call someone to find out for you. If you really give a shit. [?]

MM: I'll do the research. I just picked up Tim on vinyl. I had that and I don't know what'll happen at my records but now everybody seems to be the current midlife crisis of choice-

TS: Yeah.

MM: -for people in their late 40s and early 50s is to like, "You know, I need my records again".

TS: Yeah.

MM: "I need a tube amp!"

[laughter]

MM: So-

TS: I've been looking for a good stereo, man, check me up, I'm so used to sitting in my damn studio listening to stuff and recording that way and I don't even have a decent like stereo.

MM: I ended up buying a [?] audio, they're out of Pennsylvania, it's a tube... I'll show it to you after.

TS: Yeah.

MM: It's a tube amp, it's got nothing, man, it's got a built-in phono preamp but it's got no tone control so it's just volume, balance, tubes-

TS: Coooool!

MM: Yeah, and you just run the turntable into that and that's it. The sound that comes out is the sounds you get. Turn it up or turn it down, that's it.

TS: Wow, so there's no imaging on there?

MM: No.

TS: That's awesome.

MM: It is pretty awesome.

TS: Yeah, that's kind of what I'm looking for. You know, my daughter works, my oldest daughter, works for John Varvatos and in the shop, in the Bowery, he's got all these Mcintosh, like, old stuff and it's actually not that expensive for this stuff anyway, but I just, you know, I don't know what's good, like what is good? What's a good stereo now?

MM: Whatever you get off on, it's a rabbit hole, dude. I interviewed Jack White and it fucking never ends, man. This whole thing started when I go down to Nashville and I interview Jack and he's got a wall of fucking Mcintosh so I'm thinking, like, "He's got a wall of those, how much could it cost?" So I go price Mcintosh and I'm like, "That's too fucking much, I can't spend $15,000 on a fucking amp," because I'll never enjoy it because then you'll just sit there and be like, "Does this sound like $15,000?"-

TS: You start listening to your records differently, "You know, I think it used to sound better when I played it in my car."

MM: Right, that's right.

TS: An innate problem with any stereo I've had is that, you know, I've had people give me cool stuff that's supposed to sound great [?] "Fuck, it sounds better in the Ford". [?] on the radio! [?] What you got for speakers, anything good?

MM: Yeah, they're Sonus Toy Towers. They're Italian made. I just went to a place, I finally just-

TS: Is that the shit I just walk to?

MM: [?] I will play you something on them afterwards.

TS: So when you're listening to my record, I'd love to hear what it sounds like on an actual stereo [laughter]

MM: Okay, I'll do it. I got it right there.

TS: I haven't heard it.

MM: I got it right there.

TS: Killer.

MM: So you're listening to Bob and Paul play off each other and you're the one holding the backbone of the thing together, but like it seemed like Bob, like, he was one of those guys who, like, his rhythm was all lead.

TS: Yeah, oh, you know, no, he played his part and then, you know, he'd start his solo before the solo came in and he would just go.

MM: And was he like... he's one of these great rock-and-roll mythic madmen, was he-

TS: I love that. That's exactly my brother.

MM: Yeah. I mean, he was just balls to the wall all the way through?

TS: He was... yeah, he was, you know, [?] pretty much at all point of the day a key. He wouldn't... he's the only guy I ever saw walk down the street in dead of winter and simultaneously drink a 40 ounce and piss at the same time while still walking down the street. And, I mean, he just he pulled the dick out and he'd just be, "Drinking, pissing, walking, talking" [?] "What are you doing over there?" [?] Not even stop, you know.

MM: Yeah, yeah.

TS: Killer.

MM: And when The Replacements were, like... because was you guys were really, I mean, you guys sort of defined American punk that wasn't punk rock but it was like the spirit of the thing and then people sort of credit you for you being like the quintessential indie rock band, but you guys were just a fucking rock band, you had no consciousness of that shit, right?

TS: No, I mean, we kind of got... you know, during the hardcore, you know, Stink era, whatever, we got kind of limped into playing shows, like, you know, Circle Jerks and Black Flag and shit like that and we, you know, I don't think there was ever any intent on Paul or my brother's behalf to try and be a hardcore band, we just played things fast and that was kind of our bit. And as time went on, you know, it got to be, you know, too much work to keep playing shit that fast so, you know, you can hear the songwriting kind of evolve into more, you know, little more complex structures and things like that and kind of... and a little more, you know, a little more soul as opposed to speed.

MM: Right. More melody?

TS: Yeah, more melody and, you know, more of a, you know... we kind of grew from that. It's like, if we'd gotten lumped into that we would have just gotten pigeon-holed and we would have gotten stuck, whereas we just said, "Fuck it," and unconsciously we got to kind of grow from that and Paul's songwriting kind of got to grow from that as well and that's the best thing that really could have happened to us is that we were able to do that.

MM: Chose to slow down?

TS: Well, not even chose to slow down, it was just, you know, the songwriting evolved, we evolved. We evolved until a point where my brother wasn't able to evolve sadly, and that's why we had to get rid... fire him, essentially, but, you know, we instead... I mean, a lot of bands at that time were, like, you know, they stayed their course, you know, and as bands do now, I mean, they try and recreate the same hit they had two years ago, whatever. And, you know, that never works, you know, you get your vibe by exploring and trying new things and always, you know, trying to reinvent the wheel so to speak and I think we kind of had our chance to do that. And the problem with that is the record industry really wasn't, you know, into that scene either, they kind of wanted to mold us a bit and we were unmoldable.

MM: Right. But you kept your sound? I mean, it's weird because if you listen, even to the evolution of all The Replacements albums, I mean, the lyrics and the sort of tone of it is uniquely yours-

TS: Yeah.

MM: -but that's not enough for a record company.

TS: No.

MM: They're looking for one hit and then they want you to write that hit ten times on a record.

TS:  Yeah. And that's not to say we didn't have any hits, because I think what happened when we might have possibly had a hit, we, you know, fucking flip the fucking finger to the fucking record company to dust [?] them off, you know. I don't think we're the easiest people to work with. It's kind of what that comes down to [laughter].

MM: When does that... when do you remember that first happening? Where you-

TS: Oh, we got signed to Warner Brothers and-

MM: After which record?

TS:  Before Tim.

MM: So right after Let It Be?

TS: Yeah.

MM: Yeah.

TS: So we made Tim and they were going to have a little meeting and fucking talk about how they're going to help our career and we just fucking lock yourself in a room and get hammered, you know. Basically it.

MM: But for that reason?

TS: Yeah. It's like, you know, "Yeah, we're just going to sit in here and fucking be idiots," and we were.

MM: Do you regret that?

TS: No, no, you know what, we did what we did and it's part of, you know, what became the history. I mean, I don't think we could have done it any different. We saw we saw firsthand how bands like REM were able to play the game, you know, how they were able to kind of handshake with the devil, basically, that we just couldn't do, you know. We couldn't conform any of those standards or any of those, you know, sort of ideals that they had, that they wanted us to do and the way they wanted us to be. I remember one time, you know, some guy...I can't remember who it was that sat us down to show us a fucking... a video of Metallica's, what's that song, One?

MM: Yeah.

TS: They showed us, you know, they're trying to make us go make a video, [?] what record it was, but they showed us, "Check out this video, this is fucking huge! It's Metallica." And we're watching this thing, we're just going, "What the fuck is wrong with you?" And we just, like, walked out of there scratching our head, back to the bar, like, "Fuck these people. What in the hell are they talking about?" Had nothing to do with us. I mean, in hindsight I can look back and go, "Yeah, they're just trying to show us like, you know, 'Check this out, this director' something along those lines," but what they did in effect was just completely turn us off to anything they had to say about anything-

MM: And implied they didn't understand you?

TS: Yeah, you know, and it kinda was that way, I mean, we did our best, I think, I mean, I'll say, I think we did our best to try to play along as far as, like, press and stuff like that. We had all, you know, all the press, you know, they fucking threw at us, and all the radio that would have us, which wasn't much due to the nature of our beast, I think. But, you know, I think it's a two-prong thing, I think part of it is we weren't able to work the game.

MM: Yeah.

TS: Like, you know, some of our peers and I think that the game didn't want to play us, either, you know.

MM: Well, you and Dave Pirner go back, way back, right?

TS: Yeah, we go back to high school.

MM: Well, I mean, that's a good example of a dude... like, I knew the dude briefly to sign them originally I think, Benji...what's his name?

TS: Benji Gordon?

MM: Benji Gordon. I know-

TS: [?] third record deal they had [?]

MM: Right, I knew him briefly at a different point in my life, but that was sort of a thing that they had to contend with, too, is that they had that huge record and then I imagine that he had a sort of deal with that, how come you're not making that record again?

TS: No, I've heard the story from Dave about it, and Danny, it's like, you know, they, you know, did Grave Dancers Union, sold a shit ton of records and fucking [?] success, they make the record after that, only sells a million records and they're like, "Okay, now we're gonna drop you." It's like, "We just sold a million fucking records! What's wrong with you?" "Well, it's not enough." It's like, "What do you mean that it ain't enough? It's fucking million records! What the fuck is wrong with you?" And all those kinds of fucking people, they mean... [?] Benji's and works for MTV now apparently, but all these fucking people that were once, you know, that were fucking,  you know, holding fucking powers that be back then, they're all fucking [?]. There not jobs anymore.

MM: No, the A&R guys are done.

TS: And that fucking warms the cockles of my heart.

[laughter]

TS: Only fucking people I care about that have any goddamn knowledge of music are... that really fucking care and are totally just music people, are still there doing it. Peter [?] is a great example of that. He signed Replacement,s you know, we're kids, he's still working the business and he still just loves fucking music. He's perfect example of that, you know.

MM: Was that back in the day? I mean, there were people that were fortunate enough to see you guys live in your heyday and that was, like, that was the thing. That people be like, "You ever see the Matt's live?" and I'm like, "No, I missed the whole fucking thing!" and that was like, that was the shit, cuz you just never knew what was going to happen.

TS: That was the shit a lot of times, yeah, for sure.

[laughter]

MM: What was it, it was completely unpredictable, huh?

TS: Yeah. You know, it's taken a while for me to get over when I first moved to LA, I was really weird, I was all creeped out-

MM: When was this?

TS: In '93. When I first got out here, I'd go to clubs and stuff and I'd have these people come up to me and I'm still getting over the whole Mats fan crazy stuff and it was like people would walk up and approach me and I'd just kind of shake them, "What do you want? what are you doing to me?" And people would come up to me like, "Man, you fucking played the best show I ever saw in my whole life, man, you guys didn't play one of your own songs, it was great!" I'm just thinking, "Then you were fucking robbed and you don't even fucking know it," you know. But, you know, whatever man, they bought it.

MM: You would do all covers sometimes?

TS: More than once.

MM: Like, I know you did Another Girl, Another Planet.

TS: Yeah.

MM: I heard that one but what are the covers were the ones you guys liked doing?

TS: We did all kinds of stuff. Just, I mean, shit, it's a fan [?] We did Stones stuff, we did just anything we felt like doing in a moment's notice. I know we were opening for Tom Petty one time and we did Whipping Post. It was just kind of Paul singing his ass off and it was great but I'm like, "What the fuck are we doing, man?"

[laughter]

MM: You just wing it?

TS: He just started playing it.

MM: Who did? Bob?

TS: Paul. Bob was gone at this point but I'm, man, we were just a hair [?], you know.

MM: Well, he's a great example. Tom Petty is a guy that, you know, I think, that for a lot of years made roughly the same record, you know, or the same sound, I mean, I love him, I loved all his records, but it didn't seem like till way after he sold a billion records that he was like, "Fuck it, I'm gonna do what I want," you know? Did you have a good time with him? Did you guys get to know him at all?

TS: Yeah, he's good guy. I mean, when we met him I remember talking to him one time he telling me, you know, he loves making records, loves writing, just hated touring, he was like, "Oh God, I hate... I just hate having to leave home," and shit, now that I'm 46 years old I get it, you know, I'm fucking sick to death of fucking airports and everything else but-

MM: But you don't live in LA anymore, right?

TS: No, no, I live in upstate New York now but, you know, traveling... all the aspects of traveling they've just gotten to be old and tiresome-

MM: Sure.

TS: -at my age.

MM: Yeah, absolutely.

TS: It doesn't mean I must stop anytime soon, it just means I'm gonna...

MM: Complain about it.

TS: Complain about it.

MM: Yeah, I'm gonna go to Columbus tomorrow morning.

TS: Good luck with that, dude. [laughs] Columbus, yeah!

MM: Six o'clock flight, man. I'm doing Cincinnati and then Columbus - good times.

TS: Yeah. Columbus used to be a kind of a cool little scene back in the day the eighties. Had a good little live rock club there, Stashes, I think it was.

MM: It was good?

TS: Yeah.

MM: You guys, did you guys play Boston and play the Rat and do all that shit?

TS: All that crap.

MM: Yeah.

TS: Boston was kind of our first home away from home. I mean, I was the first place-

MM: Great scene, man.

TS: Yeah, it was crazy, it was fun. Fun town back then.

MM: So your brother, the last record he was on was Tim?

TS: Yep.

MM: And how did that shit hit the fan?

YS: Well, it kind of came down to Paul sitting us down and saying, "You know, I really don't want to quit the band or I can't play with Bob anymore, I like playing with you two guys but I can't play with him anymore," because Bob really at that point was sort of a loose cannon and, you know, drug and alcohol problems were starting to get really out of hand and we actually put him to treatment, that didn't take, and just had to kind of move on, you know. And it was kind of... it was a bummer but we also at the same time, like, "We like playing with you, too, so I guess my brother's got to go." It kind of had to happen, you know.

MM: Yeah, and did you, like ultimately, soundwise, did you miss him?

TS: You know, we always missed him. I think even Paul always did. But it was like I think at that point it was that, you know, it was after Tim and it just got to be like, "Shit, you know, this is becoming more of something I really want to do." I think the realization that, you know, came into that it's like, "Well, this isn't just us fucking around anymore, goofing around making records," it's like, "This is what we're doing now. And so if we want to do that and continue to go and make records and, you know, do this for real, we got, you know, we can't do it that way." Not that we changed a whole lot but, you know, it wasn't as a degree of over-the-top that he went that we just couldn't do it anymore.

MM: And then those the next couple records, how did Tim and then Pleased To Meet Me and Don't Tell [A Soul], how did they all sell?

TS: I think that Pleased To Meet Me might be the bigger seller of those, I'm not sure exactly. I think Bennie pulled it up the other day [?] Pleased To Meet Me, as far as SoundScan goes, don't really know before SoundScan so it's a big grey area there, how many records were sold or not. But, yeah.

MM: And then how many damn changes did you go through? Who took your brother's place-

TS: Slim Dunlap took my brother's place and he played on pretty much the rest of the records after Tim.

MM: And did he play like your brother?

TS: No, no, completely opposite. He was very much more of a careful kind of, you know, melodic guitar player. I mean, he didn't walk the same walk.

MM: Yeah. And he's ill now?

TS: Yeah, sadly he had a series of strokes last year that has left him in pretty rough shape. He's not, you know, he's not able to play guitar, you know, I think it's his left side that's kind of is still trying to recover from it. And recently we did a Songs For Slim EP. Paul and I and Chris kind of got together, not as Replacements, the three of us, but Paul and I recorded some songs.

MM: How was that?

TS: Oh, it was a lot of fun. We did [?] Slim songs and we did four other covers and then Chris did one of Slim's songs at his studio and we put that in there together and made an EP out of it. And we just auctioned them off which made him, like, hundred and five thousand dollars, you know, out of 250, you know-

MM: That's just great.

TS: Yeah, no numbered and stuff, it's kind of a cool thing. But, you know, it kind of starts the ball rolling, there could be some more of those with other groups, like Steve Earle did a track and-

MM: Steve Earle.

TS: -with a bunch of other people, like different A and B-sides, different artists and all that. There's gonna be a series of them throughout the year that are all going to go to benefit him because he's gonna need a lot of a lot of money to get, you know, to offset the out of pocket, you know, rehab costs and all that.

MM: Sure, but he's kind of functioning-

TS: He's kind of functioning, he's slowly, you know, making progress and, you know, hopefully he'll make more progress as time goes along, you know.

MM: Isn't it fucking wild? I mean, I can't imagine just being from your side of it, just, you have the taxing life and the amount of casualties there are in fucking rock and roll in terms of people, you know, they don't just make it to 60 or they got run into trouble and like-

TS: Yeah.

MM: -and it's so weird... you never got strung out?

TS: No, well you know, I've had my bouts of shit and... I don't think I ever really had a full-on, like, drug problem necessarily.

MM: Yeah.

TS: But, you know, luckily, I'm still here. It doesn't mean I'm not going to pop off tomorrow. I could fucking die in my sleep tonight, who knows? But, you know, it's weird, there's no rhyme or reason. It's kind of a hard living kind of occupation. It's not one that, you know, I recommend.

MM: Yeah, yeah. If you had... when you look back on it, you wish you'd done something else?

TS: I wish I'd done things better.

MM: Yeah? Like, when in terms of, like, labels and everything else, I mean, how much bitterness do you have about that?

TS: I don't really have any. You know, I think back, and I'm actually, you know, when I get nostalgic about it then I'm actually just proud and stoked that I was there, you know. We did our little thing, we left a little mark there for people to look at and go listen to and fucking yap about, whatever, and I think it's, you know, it's cool. Not a lot of bands get to do it, even bands that make big records don't actually make the fucking history books.

MM: That's right.

TS: People forget about you. So I think that's kind of a... we left our little mark. So that's cool, you know. And the business was what it was and there's no changing any of that, so why bother complaining about it?

MM: Yeah, yeah. And in terms of-

TS: I like what I do now, I do all kinds of different crap now and I've got the freedom to do it because I was lucky enough to make it to 46 and be-

MM: And you still honor-

TS: -struff-

MM: It seems like you still honor the sound that you love, like, you know, that you've evolved as a songwriter and as a player but you still do... you can still hear where you come in your music.

TS: Oh yeah, you can't really shake that shit, though, I mean, you know what, it's ingrained in you.

MM: Yeah, yeah. Which songs do you think should have been fucking huge songs that were... like, which ones do you think, like, "I can't fucking believe that that song didn't take off"?

TS: You know, there's a bunch of them, really. I think back on it, you know, Left Of The Dial was a really great song and Bastards Of Young I thought was a really good song. Merry Go Round I was surprised that didn't, you know, do something with such a-

MM: Do you think that was a record company's fault and radio play and just politics and shit?

TS: You know, I don't... I mean, I think it's we were what we were and we, you know, we're at where we're at and-

MM: That was that.

TS: That was it. I mean, there's really... I think a lot of guys could sit here and spend all kinds of fucking-

MM: Theories.

TS: All kinds of, you know, theories and ideas, I just.... I don't buy into it. I think it's what it was. I think we probably could have, like I said, we could have played the game better probably and sold some more records by doing that, but I don't [?] change anything, I don't think we, you know, we would have lost our souls a little more, you know.

MM: And how did the break-up go down exactly? How did you decide-

TS: Honestly, we never really broke up.

MM: Yeah?

TS: We just kind of walked away from it, you know, and left it kinda sitting on the bus and after that last Grant Park [?] and just left it sitting there it's probably still floating somewhere.

[laughter]

TS: The ghost of The Replacements still lingering somewhere out there.

MM: So there was no heartbreak involved or any of that, fighting?

TS: No, no, you know, there really wasn't. You know on the last record Paul was kind of already indicating that he wanted to kind of have more...not more control but like wanted to get more involved in the producing of that record because he had some ideas he wanted to explore and it's like-

MM: On Don't Tell A Soul?

TS: No, on the last record, All Shook Down.

MM: Yeah.

TS: Which I was totally down with. I think in hindsight I think that we were, the three of us, really, me and Chris, I think we're kind of backing it until it really started to happen then I don't think Chris really liked that someone else was playing drums on stuff, I think it kind of screwed with him a little bit. And I know a bunch of bass players came in and played different things on different songs or tried to anyway, which I was cool with because if you listen back to all the Stones records just all kinds of different people playing on shit there.

MM: Sure.

TS: And so you think it's the Stones and like, "No man, that's not even Charlie on drums! That's the fucking producer!"

MM: "Phil's been gone for two years."

TS: Yeah, exactly. So I was kind of down with it and as it turned out, you know, lots of the bass parts the other people played didn't work out anyway so I had to go play anyway. But, you know-

MM: So no bad blood really?

TS: No, I mean, it was with Chris a little bit and, you know, time has healed that one a bit I think and, you know, he just didn't want to play the drum parts of where they were on the record that he didn't play on, he was not down with [?]. But that's the way the song goes whether you played it or not, I mean shit, Charlie goes out and plays all these fucking songs, [?] do you not get that and he didn't really like that and so that was, not the total caveat, there were things that were happening, but you know that Chris, you know, leaving the band, I mean, Paul and I never really, you know-

MM: Yeah, you guys-

TS: We were probably more ready to kill each other early days than the end, you know.

MM: Yeah. Over what?

TS: Just, you know, stupid shit. I think I tried to quit the band like on our first tour because they were so fucked up when I was just a kid and, "You guys suck!"

[laughter]

TS: And you know, instead of quitting the band I joined the party, sadly.

MM: And you still talk to Paul?

TS: Yeah.

MM: That's cool. He's doing all right?

TS: Yeah. We're always going to chat about crap, we're always going to play together in some fashion.

MM: And when you came out here after the Mats got done, what was the expectation? Was the first record Bash & Pop?

TS: Yeah, I mean I think we left it kind of like, you know, "I'm gonna go do my thing now, you go do your thing and whatever that is we'll see each other someday." And I played on almost all his solo records in some way or another. He'd call me up and just, you know-

MM: Westerberg?

TS: Yeah, yeah, he'd call me up, "Hey, what are you doing? Come play a song," "Yeah, sure, why not," you know.

MM: But he was still in Minnesota?

TS: No, he would call me because he did most of his records after the Mats out here.

MM: Yeah.

TS: And so he'd call me when he is here and had me come goof-off just to bring some vibe-

MM: And when you moved here, what was the plan?

TS: Well, my plan when I moved here was to kind of get more on the record company to try and help what my little cause was, which was the Bash & Pop record, because I knew that, you know, bands that break up, their solo records afterwards, you know, don't really have much of a chance as it is. So I thought, "Well from Minneapolis, I'm not going to cut this so well so I got to get out and kind of end it," and I had kind of fallen for another lady which was a part of the thing as well.

MM: Sure, that is always a motivator.

TS: Yeah, kinda. I had that going for me.

MM: Yeah.

TS: And I kind of wanted it, you know, if I moved out here and kind of rode the company a little bit I might get somewhere with that. And what I found is that that wasn't going to happen. They were just... it was exactly as I thought, I made my record and instead of sticking it out and getting, you know, having them let me make another record that they do nothing with, I actually asked to be, you know, to get off the label and they let me go.

MM: And then you left LA?

TS: No, I stayed here for, fuck, 17 years. I was just talking to him [?] about it, it's like, "God, I lived here 17 years, Jesus."

MM: And were you playing on a lot of other people's records or-

TS: You know, I played on some other stuff. I did sessions now and again, and I then joined Guns N' Roses in '98.

MM: So it's been that long?

TS: Yeah.

MM: So you've been there longer-

TS: Fuuuuuck.

MM: -than the original bass player?

TS: Yeah, what's wrong with me? [laughter]

MM: Look man, I mean, all I know is I'm trying to get you here and they're like, "Okay, he's coming out," and then you get the next email like, "It's not clear whether he's coming out."

[laughter]

MM: Then the next email it's like, "Yeah, it looks like he's coming out but we gotta wait to hear from Axl," and then the next email, "Okay, we're doing it, we're good!"

[laughter]

TS: What happened it was supposed to be a stripped-down show and, you know, I wasn't sure if I was even gonna be needed on it, if it was gonna be that stripped down, maybe just guitar players that do it. And then it kind of kept coming back and forth and then the venue changed, it was like, "Now you gotta come out," and I was like, "Okay."

MM: Where's it going to be?

TS: It's at the Soho House for some Tommy Hilfiger party, I'm not sure exactly, anything more than that, said it's kind of a one-off, you know.

MM: You're just going to show up?

TS: You know what, man, I'm just gonna show up. I don't know what I'm gonna do yet, I don't know how I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna show up.

MM: Yeah, oh God. So you toured a lot with Guns N' Roses and-

TS: All over the world and the world has been all over me.

MM: Which GN'R record... you're on Chinese Democracy?

TS: Yeah.

MM: And... but what other ones?

TS: That's it. It's the only one we've made in the whole 15-16-17 years I've been in the band.

MM: So you can play the catalog?

TS: Yeah.

MM: Yeah, and you go out like...what-

TS: In my sleep.

[laughter]

MM: Why is it that he can find.... he can find it in himself to tour everywhere but here?

TS: Well, which of the states? We did a bunch of that, like, 2010?

MM: Okay. So you did a bunch-

TS: And then and some other stuff and I think '06 or something.

MM: And who's on guitar now?

TS: There's a bunch of them, like, 20 guitar players. No, there's a Richard Fortus, Bumblefoot and DJ Ashba.

MM: Aha.

TS: And they all swap back bits.

MM: And so there's no, like, none of the original guys?

TS: Dizzy Reed-

MM: Yeah.

TS: -on keyboards.

MM: And you play with him as well sometimes?

TS: Yeah, Dizzy. I've had Rick Richards, Dizzy, Frank Ferrer play on my stuff.

MM: And do you like... I always wondered this about bands, I mean, do you guys talk about, like, what happened to Izzy Stradlin what-

TS: No, we see him, he comes out once a month and plays with us-

MM: Yeah?

TS: Just a totally great guy. He's a funny dude, man-

MM: He seems like a great player, he's kind of keepy-

TS: Yeah, you should check out his new record, he played us when we just saw him recently, where did we see him? We saw him in Vegas, he came out and he played us a couple songs and his new stuff. He's got like Rick Richards from the Georgia Satellites playing with him and he's got the same.... I think it's the same band, that's the JuJu Hounds he had going. But his new stuff sounds great.

MM: Yeah?

TS: Yeah. I think he made like an EP, you know, on his own, a little video clip of him and the guys just playing in a studio, it's great.

MM: Now, when you deal with Axl, I mean, in my mind, cuz my buddy Jonathan was a bass player, bass players are fairly diplomatic and, you know, they're kind of, you know, they know how to handle the egos of front guys to some degree [Tommy laughing].

TS: All the things I could say.

[laughter]

TS: The things I keep inside.

MM: I didn't encourage you to say some of those.

TS: It's just that... you know what, guitar players are pain in the ass, whatever. All of them are, every fucking one of them.

MM: Have you be able to identify what causes it?

TS: Fucking six strings, brother.

[laughter]

TS: You got six strings, you got a fucking pain in the ass. Sorry, that's the rules of the road.

MM: But what about lead singers?

TS: You got a microphone, you're a pain in the ass.

[laughter]

TS: No, you know.

MM: But it's a good gig for you, but I mean, he's an odd bird, I mean, Axl is anyway.

TS: You know what though, the fucking most amazing thing about this guy, about playing with him, is that he gets up there and fucking does a fucking thousand percent of what he's got every time he shows up, and fucking people come out in the fucking thousands all over the fucking world to see that. And it's, you know, I think we put on a good show for him, you know, and stuff but when you really think about it, it's kind of all about Axl. And I'm just going to be, you know, be honest about that and it just still just amazes me how rabid they are to see him up there doing his thing and he puts on a fucking great show.

MM: He's a great singer.

TS: Yeah.

MM: Great rock singer.

TS: I think he's probably a better singer now than he probably was back in the day cuz I think he's gotten more used to working with his, you know, voice and stuff like that. And he's a lot stronger in a lot of ways.

MM: And in terms of like his erratic behavior, is it just insecurities or perfectionism.

TS: I don't think he's as erratic as people think, he's just real and you just don't know. He runs on his own field, man, and he does his thing the way he does it and that's all he's doing.

MM: So with a gig like this, it's a private function, you know, it's like you don't know who the other players are going to be necessarily, you just know-

TS: No, it's going to be the band, just kind of stripped down, you know, the acoustic guitars and, you know, fucking congas.

[laughter]

MM: Oh yeah?

TS: Yeah, there might be a, you know, didgeridoo in there or something, I don't know. A fucking egg shaker.

MM: Yeah, you just never know? So in terms of, like, living in Hudson, how long you been out of here?

TS: I've been out of here three years. I think I moved... I don't know, yeah, must been three years ago that I moved back east. You know, and I kind of left a really great supporting cast of friends here that I miss dearly every day. But it came a point when all my friends were, you know, starting to have kids and get busy with their jobs and things like that, and I'd done everything I could do out here in my mind that pertained to, you know, my future musically and things like that, and I just thought, "This place is getting so goddamn expensive I'm bleeding money trying to just, you know, record and live." I'm like, "I got to get out of here," and it really kind of came down to that. It's like when you start looking at, "Okay, I can afford to buy a house now," and you're looking at it, you know, fifteen hundred square foot house in a crap neighborhood for $700,000 you kind of go, "You know what, I gotta get out of here, it's just a little bit much." And I knew that I needed to have a place to live, I need a place to record and set up my stuff so that I could keep making music because really that's all I do. I do other things within and around music, you know, that interests me and stuff, like cooking and stuff like that, even but it really comes down to: I have to have a place to work, otherwise I can't do what is now my work.

MM: Yeah, yeah. I've been up there, I had a friend who... Louis C.K used to have a place up there, I don't think he has any more-

TS: That guy's funny as shit.

MM: Yeah, yeah, he got a place in Hudson, I think-

TS: I just saw him.

MM: Yeah?

TS: Yeah.

MM: Where did you saw him?

TS: I just saw some special he was on and guy can fucking-

MM: Yeah, yeah.

TS: My wife and I watching, we're just fucking rolling-

MM: Yeah, yeah, he's hilarious. But it's a beautiful area up there.

TS: Yeah, we got, you know what, we moved up there and we got, you know, for all intents and purposes, it's a great sort of gay, art, music community, really great people, real diverse, a lot of real talented people and it's just this weird little one mile by one mile strip on the Hudson River.

MM: Yeah.

TS: But, you know, we've really gone to love it and, you know, I got all my shit set up so I can do what I got to do.

MM: How many kids you got?

TS: I have a 23 year old and I have a five year old.

MM: You've got five year old?

TS: Yeah.

MM: Yeah.

TS: To keep it interesting, Marc.

MM: Yeah, and the 23 year old, she's in the big city?

TS: She's living in the Big Apple, she's fucking working her ass off, kid's got the world by the balls already?

MM: And you get along?

TS: Yeah, no shit, we love each other.

MM: Awesome.

TS: It's my kids, my big baby.

MM: And your mom, is she still around?

TS: My mom?

MM: Your mom.

TS: Yeah, my mom is still around, yeah.

MM: And did she come out?

TS: Yeah, her and her husband just came out, you know, in October.

MM: Wow. It's so weird, you know, when you talk to rock dudes, you just like, "What is your life?"

TS: Dude, I wake up and I jump into both pant legs at the same time.

MM: Have some coffee?

[laughter]

TS: I put on my beer hat and I go at it.

MM: How long's your brother been gone now?

TS: He died in '94, I believe... '94.

MM: And in the circumstances that surrounded that, he'd just gotten away from everybody?

TS: You know, no, what happened was my brother, I mean, he abused himself pretty good and during the end there, and what happened was he finally sobered up. He sobered up and he called my mom. My mom was still working at the Uptown Bar then and he called up, "So I'm really doing it this time, I really want to sober up and straighten my shit out." And got himself a little apartment and, you know, was trying to put himself together. He was sober for two weeks and then his heart just said done.

MM: Really?

TS: Yeah.

MM: That's fucking horrible.

TS: I know, yeah.

MM: He made a commitment-

TS: He fucking committed to fucking change [?] and I would imagine now that we know, you know, he died pretty much of a heart attack now that we know, he's probably feeling pretty terrible to just go, "Okay, I got to stop now."

MM: Right.

TS: "Because I'm fucked up, this hurts, it's painful."

MM: Yeah, yeah.

TS: "I'm done."

MM: Ah, I'm sorry, man.

TS: Yeah, you know what, it happened, it's part of life and death, they're all intertwined, you know.

MM: Yeah yeah. Like I see it, like, I want to look at some videos and stuff, what is your... you seem to have taken to Haiti.

TS: Yeah, you know, of all the weird things. You know, when I turned 30 I started getting sort of a social conscience, I really started seeing things happening in the world that were starting to trouble me and it kind of, like, it snuck up on me cuz I had been pretty much, you know, just way out of it and not really caring about much anything except what's in front of me, you know. And I started to kind of think about stuff and when Katrina happened, you know, I felt really bad but I was traveling a lot, I didn't have time to, like, go get involved so I donated money to the Red Cross like everyone else thought was a good idea. And then I saw what they did and didn't do, which was totally heartbreaking to me, and was really just bummed out by it. So when the Haiti earthquake happened and all those people lost their lives from that, I was watching this kind of from, you know, my TV, just go on, "Jesus! What the hell can I do?" And so I had a friend of mine, in Philly, that headed an organization called Kids of Cajun, which is a nonprofit that helps get school supplies to different tribes in, like, Senegal, in different parts of Africa. It's actually expanded quite a bit since he's been doing this - he did it right out of high school. But I called him up and I said, "Luke, do you know anybody that I can call to try and find out what I can do to help in Haiti? I don't want to just send money somewhere, I want to, you know, find out where it's going to go and try and make sure I can do something good with my time and what money I can raise." And he actually knew somebody, so I got a hold of this guy, Matt, and he turned me on to this foundation that works for the school called Timkatec down there and father Simon who runs it, and I went down there with my manager Manny, saw saw the school, met the guy, father Simon, an 80 year old saint, basically, that takes these kids off the street, you know, as young as five years old, homeless kids that don't have family, anything, takes them, gives them housing and shelter, educates them, turns them out with a trade of some sort, whether it's a mechanic of some sort, you know, electrician, a mason, whatever, stuff, tools that, you know, education that they actually use in their community to help rebuild it in effect, it's the goal. And I just, you know, I fell in love with them, I met the kids and, you know, they just took my heart. So since then I've been trying to do everything I can to raise money for them, because everyone's forgotten about Haiti and their plight and now there's a bit of a civil war happening down there and they're just getting fucked. And there are people trying to help, like Sean Penn's down there trying to do the best he can with whatever he's got, and he's got probably more resources than anyone to do what, you know, the work he's doing down there, but it's just not enough. It's sort of so much.... you know. But, you know, I haven't gone in with the idea that I'm going to help Haiti per se and try and help the whole country, I've found a little pocket of kids that I can help by raising money. So that's what I've been doing.

MM: Well, that's great, man.

TS: Yeah, I'm trying to raise money for them every year and then last year we brought and got some tools for them. I'm still trying to find out how to get down there, because you try to get them through customs and they're going to steal them, so I've got about 19 thousand dollars worth of tools sitting in Philadelphia with the Mennonites organization that's waiting for a window of opportunity to get that stuff in and hopefully it will happen this spring.

MM: Who would have known that rock and roll would lead you to this place where you're concerned whether the Mennonites can smuggle some tools into Haiti so the kids can learn a trade?

TS: I know, right?

[laughter]

TS: Fuck! What's wrong with me?

MM: Of all the kooky crap-

TS: But you know what, it's-

MM: It's great. You know, you're not concerned about a shipment of blow.

[laughter]

TS: Yeah, exactly.

MM: And you feel that, like, it's an interesting wall to hit but, like, you must have just, like, an almost a spiritual moment where like, "I've done nothing."

TS: You know, yeah, I actually came to that. I'm thinking to myself one day like, "God," you know, "if I died right now, what do I leave fucking as a legacy?" "Oh, he just tried to fucking sell records," yeah, I mean, just, you know, asinine, you know, sort of lifestyle, you know, that we live to try and fucking do this one thing which is to be fucking pop stars or, whatever, that's great legacy to leave behind, right?

MM: Yeah, "he lived to rock!"

[laughter]

TS: Yeah, what would the tombstone say? Like, "Derp"?

[laughter]

TS: No, I just started thinking about you don't [?] kids and at that point I had a kid and I went... my heart got into wanting to help these people anyway I could, I got down there and then I, you know, was heartbroken and really wanted to help. And I think I'll always, you know, have that mindset. I've always loved kids. I've always been that guy that, you know, gets along with kids and, you know, has some, apparently.

MM: Yeah, yeah. I don't have any but I'm being pushed to the edge with it, my girl wants to have one. I'm 49, so.  
TS: There's only one way to do that, man.

MM: I'm doing that.

[laughter]

MM: I've just been doing it very carefully-

[laughter]

MM: -up to this point.

TS: Yeah.

MM: So what do you think, you guys... are you and what's left of The Replacements ever going to go at it again, just for fun? Would be you and Tommy and Paul?

TS: You know, I think Paul and I are always going to play together in some fashion at some point. And, you know, like I said, we didn't break up. But, you know, what's to say we wouldn't start a new band together here either, you never know. But we had a really good time doing the Songs For Slim thing and I think we might go and try and record some more stuff live like that. I mean, the thing that we did was really fun. We met at the studio with a drummer guy that we know and so the guitar player that we've known forever, and we just started hacking out some songs and we did it for an afternoon and came up with, you know, five-four songs for this EP. One of them was Slim's. Had a great time doing it, great vibe, and kind of came to the conclusion, "We should do this again with some original songs one of these days," "Yeah, let's do it," "I'll call you in a couple months, we'll fucking make both some time and go do it." You know, without any fanfare we're going to record again at some point soon and I don't know what we'll do then, that's-

MM: You ever think about, like, touring? If you think about like the fans of The Replacements, the diehards, have got to be about my age.

TS: Yeah.

MM: Right? So you think, like.... you can even do like a respectable theater gigs, you know, you and Paul-

TS: I'll tell you, they keep every fucking year from Coachella down, they always call us up, they call up, you know Paul's manager and they want a Replacements, you know, gig and they're offering us silly money to do it. But like we couldn't just... you know, we talk about it every fucking year we have the conversation, you know, it's, like, we can't just do it that way, it would be beneath us to just go and do a money grab and just, you know-

MM: It would be like a nostalgic act.

TS: Yes, I mean, you know, we were never about the money, otherwise we would have probably been all, you know, handshake our way to the top, you know, and blow our way to the top as it were.

MM: Yeah.

TS: As others were doing at that time, you know.

[laughter]

MM: Is there any of the guys, like, from that era, that scene, like, even the Minneapolis scene, that you, like, talk to or-

TS: Yeah, yeah, I talk to a lot of those guys, I mean-

MM: Are you friends with [?]?

TS: I haven't seen Bob in a long time but we're friendly, you know. If I saw him we'd probably sit and chat for a bit. I ate... you know, all the old, you know, suburb [?] guys, I see those guys around once in a while, you know... a lot of bands, you know. I see Keith Morris from Circle Jerks every time, I see him every time I come out here, you know.

MM: And people are holding up all right?

TS: Yeah, man, everyone that I still know. It's like... I saw Frank Black at the Dinosaur Jr. show in New York, I don't know... a month and a half-

MM: -Jay came back.

TS: Yeah. Okay, so I saw him at a Jay show and we just got to talking and he's actually going to sing a track for this Songs For Slim stuff and he's gonna do it next year [?] in my studio, like on the 24th or whatever, but we just got to talking and it's like, "Oh my God, it's still great that we still like to come to see bands that we, you know, liked back then." And I checked out and like, "You know, I still like writing songs," "You too? That's killer!" you know. It's kind of goofy in a way but, you know, we're getting older, we got kids and wives and houses and, you know, responsibilities to some degree, but it's like there's a handful of guys that I still know that still can, you know, eke out a living and although Charles ain't eking out no living, he's doing great, but, you know, they still have the inspiration, they're not bitter about it.

MM: Right.

TS: There's a couple guys that I know that are still fucking bitter about it and-

MM: Never gonna go-

TS: "Dude, you got to just get the fuck over yourself, it's not worth, you're just that guy, sitting there complaining about what should be and it ain't, so fuck it," you know.

MM: Locked in that mode.

TS: Yeah, you know. That's, you know... what are you gonna do now? Bitch and moan about it? [?]

MM: And matter of fact, not only do they not give a fuck but they'll avoid you.

TS: Yeah, exactly.

MM: Well, I'm glad you're doing all right, man. Thanks for coming.

TS: Yeah, same. Thanks a lot. You bet.
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2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy Empty Re: 2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy

Post by Soulmonster Mon Aug 08, 2022 1:21 pm

Finally done with this, it was a marathon endeavor.
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2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy Empty Re: 2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy

Post by Soulmonster Mon Aug 08, 2022 3:37 pm

Tommy is talking about the band's upcoming show at the SoHo House, which puts the date of this interview to before February 13, 2013.
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2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy Empty Re: 2013.06.06 - WTF with Marc Maron - Interview with Tommy

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