Former GUNS N' ROSES bassist Tommy Stinson has spoken out about the partial reunion of the band's classic lineup, saying that "people should love" the fact that most of the group is back together.
Stinson, who was in GUNS N' ROSES from 1998 until 2014, discussed the band's "Not In This Lifetime" tour in a recent interview with Salon. He said: "I'm actually going to see them again tomorrow! I just went and saw them with a buddy of mine. I think, for all practical purposes, he wanted to go and wanted a comrade to go with. And I told him, 'You know what? Let's go.' He got me a ticket and we had a fantastic time."
Tommy continued: "All of those people are my friends — the band guys, the crew guys. The only one I don't know is Slash [guitar]. I don't think I've ever really met him. But I'm friends with all of them — Axl [Rose, vocals] included. Even Izzy [Stradlin, guitar]!
"So, I'm going to see them in Philadelphia with some friends because I had such a good time. It was fantastic. It was great to see it on the other side and not having to be in it. And I mean that as no disrespect. But, when you're in it — when you're in the cacophony with the ear monitors — you can't really appreciate what the fans see on the other side.
"I want to watch it as a show and hang out with the people and go, 'Fuck! This is goddamn fun.'
"It's been fun for me. I'm not an ambassador of goodwill because I need to be. They're my friends and I'm glad for them. They're having fun, so I'm going to go see them and say 'Hi' to my buddies."
Stinson, a founding member of the seminal Minneapolis-based rock band THE REPLACEMENTS, last played with GUNS N' ROSES at a 2014 show in Las Vegas. But he looks back on time with GN'R fondly. "It was a great gig for me," he said. "I was in that band almost seventeen years. It was fun for me. It was good for me. I'm just happy they're all out there. They had the same stigma that THE REPLACEMENTS went through, but they're doing great. It's not all the band members, but people should love it. If you're a fan, you're going to love it."
GUNS N' ROSES' "Not In This Lifetime" stadium tour features classic lineup members Slash, Duff McKagan (bass) and Axl Rose backed by drummer Frank Ferrer, guitarist Richard Fortus, keyboardist Dizzy Reed and new second keyboardist Melissa Reese.