Tommy Stinson of Guns N' Roses and The Replacements: "A [Replacements] Reunion Is About As Likely as an Original Guns Reunion."
In the time between when Axl started talking about that album and it actually came out, the whole music industry changed.
Oh yeah, tenfold it changed. Sadly, the help that was needed to try and capitalize [on] what could have been the biggest record of the fucking end of the industry as we know it, they just squandered it. Interscope didn't really get on board, and recognize that shit's changing pretty fast, and we can't really keep up with it. [They should have thought] We've got this record over here, the must anticipated record in fucking forever, and we should really be helping this guy out to get this thing together. Never happened. That shit happens every day to lots of band. But if you're Guns N' Roses, do something before everything really hits the shitter, I think you'd want to take advantage of that, especially considering the amounts of money they could have made.
So it's fair to say you're disappointed with the record.
The stupid thing was, it was pulled out of [Axl's] hands. He was already ready to give it up, but there were a few minor things that meant a lot to him artistically, but they pulled it out of his hands anyway. What was another couple fucking weeks waiting for the artwork? I mean really? That's what it came down to. That's just too bad.
The whole thing is a disappointment, considering how much time everyone put into it. But I still think it's a great record. I think it will go down as being a great record down the line. Compare it lyrically to past GN'R records, where his head was at and what he was trying to get out with the record, [and] I think there's some significantly deep, thought-out stuff. Down the road people will see that.
You worked some with Paul Westerberg (of The Replacements) on the Open Season soundtrack, and rumors were flying that you two were going to do shows together. As a Replacements fan, I have to ask, is there any chance of that?
Never say never. But it's probably about as likely as an original Guns reunion. [Laughs] About that likely. For the 'Mats, there's a certain amount of baggage that Paul still carries with him, and it's harder for him to get over it. He's done his solo stuff, and scored Open Season, and done some other things since the Replacements have broken up, but he still has that traveling with him.
I don't know if it's the disappointment of not getting past it or just having to live up to being that guy. He was the singer of that band and wrote most of the songs, but it's harder for him to deal with that baggage of "Can I be as good as I was?" or "Should I even bother?" or "Should I just go play my songs and have fun?" He can't really get around that. I've been doing so much other shit, I would only be interested in doing it if we could go out and have a good time with it. You know, appreciate what we did.
I would never want to try and re-create our youth, it's fucking 20-some years ago, and there's been lots of different lifestyle changes since. There's the rub right there.
Guns N' Roses is scheduled to perform Tuesday, December 27, at Comerica Theatre.