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2011.08.12 - Interview with Tommy in

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2011.08.12 - Interview with Tommy in Empty 2011.08.12 - Interview with Tommy in

Post by Soulmonster on Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:05 am

The irreplaceable Tommy Stinson
By Nick Cristiano, Aug. 12, 2011

When Tommy Stinson puts out his excellent new album, One Man Mutiny, later this month, it will mark only his fifth release - including an EP - since his original band, the legendary Replacements, called it quits two decades ago.

That relative lack of production is understandable. The 44-year-old guitarist and bassist spends a good deal of his time playing with two other bands - Guns 'N Roses and Soul Asylum, the latter of which came out of the same Minneapolis scene as the Replacements.

While the two gigs help pay the bills, Stinson also enjoys them.

"Soul Asylum, I've known those guys since we all went to school together, Dave and I anyway," Stinson says from his home in Hudson, N.Y., referring to Soul Asylum front man Dave Pirner. "They're good guys and we have a good time playing together. That's more a labor of love.

"Guns is a different thing in that it's a bunch of guys that come from all walks of life put together in this musical soup, and it has a whole different thing going on. It's more of a collaborative band thing - when we write, anyway.

"Guns has been nothing but a good gig for me for 12 years now. I started it with no expectations. I didn't think it would last 12 years, but here I am."

As for One Man Mutiny, Stinson says, "I don't ever veer too far from my roots. That's pretty obvious here."

Indeed, the album should put longtime fans in mind of the Replacements at their best - that is, a band whose artistry and influence far exceeded its commercial success. The set contains riff-driven rockers, a couple of tunes with a countryish bent, and quieter moments that recall Replacements leader Paul Westerberg at his most reflective and openhearted. (Westerberg cowrote one number with Stinson, "Match Made in Hell.")

Looking back at the Replacements' legacy 20 years after the band's demise, Stinson, who joined the Mats at age 12, says, "I'm totally proud of it. I've got no regrets about it. We left a good mark. For better or worse, we stuck to our guns for the most part and stayed true to ourselves. I wouldn't go back. It was pretty . . . brutal. But I have fond memories of it. It was a good life."

Unlike his acoustic performance at the North Star Bar in February, his show on Saturday in West Chester will be a plugged-in affair - "a full-band rock extravaganza." (He and the band will also do an in-store appearance Sunday at Main Street Music in Manayunk). But don't expect any Replacements songs.

"It seems kind of foolish for me to get up there and sing some of Paul's songs, even though I played on them, too," Stinson says. "You don't see Keith Richards going out on a solo tour and playing Stones songs other than the ones he sang on."

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