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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.


2011.02.17 - Matt Cord, 93.3 WIMMR Rocks! - Interview with Tommy

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2011.02.17 - Matt Cord, 93.3 WIMMR Rocks! - Interview with Tommy  Empty 2011.02.17 - Matt Cord, 93.3 WIMMR Rocks! - Interview with Tommy

Post by Soulmonster Mon Jan 02, 2023 3:18 pm


Matt Cord: 93.3 WIMMR. Matt Cord, and with us now a founding member of the Replacements, a part time member of Soul Asylum and a bass player for Guns N' Roses. Man, you wear a lot of hats.

Tommy: I got a lot of hats.

MC: Tommy Stinson.

Tommy: Yay.

MC: What's up, Tommy?

Tommy: Thanks for having me, Maddie.

MC: Well, you're in town Friday night. playing a.... Well, you're doing a few solo gigs.

Tommy: Doing a few solo gigs, had an offer come in for opening for Jesse Malin in New York. It sounded like kind of a fun gig, so I decided to fill in a couple extras around it just for fun as long as I was doing one. Yeah, so I play Philly, play Arlington, VA, two in New York and the same night - yikes, on that - and one in Boston.

MC: Jesse Malin, I know that name.

Tommy: Yeah. He's been hanging around for a while. He's been doing sort of the singer-songwriter kind of thing. And he used to be in a band called D Generation [?]-

MC: Right!

Tommy: -years ago. I toured with him and in Europe, oh man, five years ago now, and we had a really good time. He's an old friend of mine. Him and I grew up in the clubs in the same time. We're the same age, like when the Replacements played in New York the first time, at Gilder Sleeves [?], he was the 15 years old in the crowd, you know, he was the kid. And we became pals throughout the years. He used to own a club called Coney Island High, I used to do shows at in Perfect.

MC: But this is just a few gigs, Philly being one of them, but at every gig you got like a different lineup.

Tommy: Got a different lineup, dude, slightly different thing. I got Mike Jenn [?] from the Figs and my fiancee, Emily Roberts, singing with me in Virginia and New York and Boston. In Phill, I got my, fiancee, Emily Roberts singing with me and her uncle Chip Roberts playing guitar and George Manny playing drums. And I think also Frank Ferrer is going to play drums or like percussions with me anyway in New York. So I got a little different thing for each gig, pretty much.

MC: Frank is from GN'R?

Tommy: GN'R, yeah.

MC: The drummer.

Tommy: Yeah.

MC: He replaced Brain.

Tommy: He replaced Brain, the one-named wonder.

MC: So that's cool. So now what kind of stuff will we be hearing here in Philadelphia? I mean, will you go back and do Bash and Pop stuff?

Tommy: I will do a little bit of Bash and Pop, a little bit of Perfect, a little bit of all the stuff I do.

MC: Anything

Tommy: Village Gorilla Head. It's a tongue twister. Yeah, I'll play a bunch of stuff from that one. That's probably the most I'll be doing a lot. And a lot of new stuff. New stuff that's gonna come out probably in the spring.

MC: Right.

Tommy: There's a stripped down-

MC: But it's basically an acoustic thing, right?

Tommy: Yeah, basically kind of like acoustic with electric guitar kind of, you know, I don't want to say it's, you know, acoustic like me emoting, you know, ballads all night. It's certainly not that. But it's stripped down, intimate. I'm sick of playing rock bands at the moment.

MC: When you play a gig like that and someone yells out a song from the Replacements, what's your take on that?

Tommy: No [laughter]. Only because I didn't sing on that crap, you know, if I did, I'd probably go ahead and, you know, but I think it'd be pretty silly, me sitting there and singing one of Paul's songs alongst this point in my life. Never say never.

MC: Satellite was your song?

Tommy: Yeah. Yeah. I had to make chords.

MC: How often do you get asked if the Replacements are going to get back together?

Tommy: Well, every year it seems there's talk about us, you know, playing this or the other festival and, you know, every year, you know, he and I exchange phone calls about, "Yeah, what are you doing?" "I don't know, what are you doing?" "You know, what do you feel like doing?" "Nothing," you know? You know, I think he and I are more likely to play together without it being Mats than anything else because I think we enjoy playing together. I think the idea of the Mats is just too daunting. Again, I wouldn't say never but, you know, it's one of those things. I think both of us, at different times, I think Paul probably agree that some things are better left alone, you know. Like, why blow the myth now by coming out and sucking in stereo, you know? Or, you know, trying to relive the glory days of whatever that was, you know?

MC: But don't you think you could, like, sell out like 4,000-5,000 seat arenas easily?

Tommy: Yeah, you know, I don't know. I mean, Coachella asked a couple years in a row now and other things and just, you know, I can't even imagine playing Coachella cause all these young kids that go to that sort of thing. I mean, they wouldn't know who the hell we were. I don't think, you know.

MC: Pixies did it.

Tommy: Yeah, it's true. I guess they like that [laughs].

MC: But you get asked that question a lot, I'm sure.

Tommy: I get asked that question a lot and, you know, I pretty much the same pat answer like, "Maybe one day it'll happen, maybe not." I think in general it's probably one of the things we'll leave it alone.

MC: But you're still close with Paul?

Tommy: Yeah, we talk every now and again. We didn't leave in a bad way. We just kind of dissolved. And it wasn't like, "I hate your guts, you dick". And so we just broke it up and just decided it was time to move on.

MC: What does he do now?

Tommy: I don't really know. I know, you know, he's been helping his kid with his baseball and football career, you know, as a young high school age kid. And he just, you know-

MC: He's still in Minneapolis, right?

Tommy: Still in Minneapolis, still writing songs, and he's put out a couple of things, you know, in a small sort of form. I think he did a... like a little 45. And I think he did a CD of some kooky thing in his basement. But I don't think he's made a record.

MC: So he's just content on being, you know, Paul Westerberg, the dad, living in Minneapolis?

Tommy: He does his thing. At some point you'll probably see him coming out with something because, you know, he's got to generate income, I'm suppose, at some point.

Tommy: Does he tweet?

Tommy: No, I don't even know if he knows what that is, when he thinks tweet he probably thinks 'Tweety bird'.

MC: But you're tweeting now?

Tommy: Yeah. Why I tweet now is because it's kind of fun to, like, you know, reach out to people and and either mess with them or getting messed with.

MC: Right.  

Tommy: It's funny to watch people's responses to certain things.

MC: Well, on tour with Guns N' Roses, you've had a few interesting tweets.

Tommy: Yeah, there were some good moments out there. And I like, you know, when I'm on the road with that particular band, it's pretty fun to do it because so many people are tuned into it and they're all like, "What's he saying now? What's he saying now?" And, you know, everyone in the band does it so I don't do it as much as everyone else in the band. I don't have much interest in it, really, but once in a while I'll go, "Well, I got to speak up on this one," "I got to chime in on this particular subject."

MC: And then everyone else chimes in that follows you, right?

Tommy: Yeah.

MC: And you create this whole whirlwind.

Tommy: Yeah, it's funny. You can create a real stink right.

MC: You've been doing rock'n'roll since, what, 14 years old? 13?

Tommy: Yeah. 11.

MC: 11?

Tommy: Yeah, it's been a long time. Still like it though. I'm still inspired by stuff. I am still inspired. Like I'm inspired that, you know, Arcade Fire just got the Grammy for best record because I really like that record, too. So as long as I'm still inspired by the music and, you know, doing it on my own, I'll keep doing it. I mean, there's nothing more gratifying to me.

MC: So do you get young kids come up to you with their parents, like, "Hey, my son's thirteen, he wants to be in a band"-

Tommy: Absolutely.

MC:  What kind of advice do you give those?

Tommy: I always tell people it's great to be really in the music but it's always also important to be able to afford the tools necessary to do music. So you gotta have a way to make money, to have a job. Stay in school and follow through with all that stuff except stuff.... Anyone you know can make music if they've got the tools, I think. I think music it's not exclusive club for people, you know, who came out of the womb with a silver spoon. I think you learn how to do it if you're really into it. I think the important thing is to have the tools and the wherewithal to do that and you really can't do that if you just quit your job and quit school, "I want to be a musician!" It really, really is a tough life. It takes a lot out of you.

MC: So you gotta bring it back to to the reality of the situation.

Tommy: Yeah, yeah, you gotta be pragmatic. And I think the best and, you know, I can take it a step further and tell you that the times I've been struggling for money, I haven't written very good music, and the times that I've been very free and felt really relaxed, and "My life is going OK right now," I've written my better stuff and I think that's, you know, I would think that some people work differently than I do, obviously about that sort of thing, but for me that's, you know, I don't do so well if I'm, you know, stressed about money and that. And so it's, you know, better to have a job, have a day job or a gig of some sort that pays your bills so that you can freely enjoy it. I think art is not something you can force. You can't just say, "OK, I gotta do this right now." [?] works that way. I think you have to be free of mind and consciousness, you know.

MC: So speaking of stuff and writing stuff, new Stinson stuff coming out soon?

Tommy: I'm hoping to put something out in May. I got a bunch of songs been working on for a little while. I just kind of work on them when I feel inspired like I just said, and I got, you know, enough of them to make a record now and I just got to get some artwork together and all that. I'm looking to put it out in May. that's my hope, somewhere in there.

MC: Your status with Soul Asylum?

Tommy: I'm trying to help them finish their record. I just talked to Dave and Danny the other day and we're talking about hooking up here in March to, you know, spend a week in the studio and finish up their record, because we got about half of that done before I had to go back out with Guns and they had Pete Donnelly filling in, you know, for me. I think they got some more stuff done with him but still needed one last, you know, little batch of songs.

MC: Cool.

Tommy: Yeah. And that's a fun gig for me. Those are friends of mine from way back. Went to high school with Dave. It's a fun gig and, you know, super easy for me in that regard.

MC: GN'R status?

Tommy: GN'R. You know, at some point I think it'll go back out again, I don't really know. There's talk of doing a United States tour but at the moment there's nothing on the books.

MC: Right.

Tommy: I don't really know. I'm waiting to hear. I stay cautiously optimistic and guarded about that one because I don't wanna be the guy that says, "Oh yeah, I think we're gonna go blue, blah blah blah blah blah," and then nothing materializes for a year.

MC: But when they go out, they go out too? I mean you were away for a while. Yeah.

Tommy: Yeah, we usually go out pretty big and usually I have a lot of fun with it and it's a lot of work. It's a big production when it goes out.

MC: Yeah, I remember talking to you when GN'R went out for over two months. You're like, "This is the longest I've ever been out." Even the Mats never toured that long.

Tommy: We just did 10 weeks. 10 weeks straight in Europe. And boy, that was a burner that really, that torched everyone pretty great. Because, you know, you're going from country to country and for ten weeks. It's a long time to be away from your family. Especially when you're getting, you know, up there in years.

MC: Sure, and you got a 2 1/2 year old daughter at home.

Tommy: Yeah, 2 1/2 year old kid, you know, you're missing.

MC: And wasn't that the trip when you finally get ready to get back home in London, you couldn't get out for like a week?

Tommy: We got stuck in Heathrow-

MC: Like, it's over but you can't come home.

Tommy: Yeah, you know, that really was just unbelievable. But you know we were lucky in that we had hotel rooms. There was a lot of older folks and people with kids that slept at Heathrow airport, I'm telling you. We're going to hear something worse about what really happened I'm sure, but I'm sure those are dispute between the airlines and the people who own the airport, or something along those lines. It's going to come out and be scandalous, and I think they're gonna hope.... They're gonna wait until winter is gone so it doesn't really sting as much. But they really screwed up. I think there's a real-

MC: And it was just because of a little snowstorm? It wasn't that big.

Tommy: Man, they had four inches of snow on the ground and little ice. I mean-

MC: That was it.

Tommy: -there was nothing. Florida can deal with that. You know what I mean? You know, Miami Airport could deal with that.

MC: And it took you a week?

Tommy: A week to get out. They got so backlogged. And it's an international hub. And there's, you know, they're international hub for everywhere in the world. Sure, that makes sense. But man, you can't convince me that four inches of snow can do that by itself. There's something behind the scenes, I'm sure we'll hear about in spring.

MC: Hey talk about your charity work that you're doing in Haiti with your Timkatec school.

Tommy: Timkatec, yeah, the school, we raised over $50,000, all said and done, for Timkatec. Just selling, you know, a few of my bases and some personal items, and people donated stuff. Had a friend of mine donate his apartment at the Atlantis Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas. And we raised a bunch of money for the school because, you know, Haiti in general needs help but this school, like, takes kids, you know, that really have no options in life to learn and get educated, and they they give them an education and they turn them out with a trade. It's a trade school. And this year what we're gonna try and do is we're gonna try and take one of the trades that they turn on, they turn out tailors. They've got tailors that know how to make clothing and things like that. And right as we're talking about this right now, the US and Korea are going to put like a $250 million plan into the textile industry down there.I think they're gonna build a huge textile plant and all this stuff to help basically do the same thing, give them an opportunity to, you know, rebuild, you know, that aspect of Haiti. I'm sure there's, you know, there's good and bad sides to both sides of the argument, but my cause will be to actually get the school to make a specialized line, like a shirt, tie and a pair of pants, just basically their school uniform, and actually partially something that I wear as a suit coat when I play a gigs and stuff like that, and hopefully help them to turn out these young tailors. They can actually make the line there at the school, selling for a decent price and pay for, you know, these kids to make a little money. And hopefully that will turn into a program that will help give jobs.

MC: That's awesome.

Tommy: Ultimately what our goal is to make jobs, make outfits and, you know, help them grow.

MC: How can people listening to this get involved with that? Just go through your website?

Tommy: You can go through my website, or go through I think you push timkatec up on your Google alert. It's TIMKATEC, timkatec, and all the information's right there, it's really easy to get to. or, you'll find it. It might be but either way, if you put in timkatec in your browser, you'll find it.

MC: Cool. Tommy Stinson, Friday night, North Star Bar in Philadelphia. Bring it. Thank you, buddy.

Tommy: Thanks.
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2011.02.17 - Matt Cord, 93.3 WIMMR Rocks! - Interview with Tommy  Empty Re: 2011.02.17 - Matt Cord, 93.3 WIMMR Rocks! - Interview with Tommy

Post by Soulmonster Wed Jan 04, 2023 3:30 pm

Finished this.
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