GUNS N' ROSES Bassist Says Songwriting Process Is 'a Completely Collaborative Effort'

Benjamin Ricci of recently conducted an interview with Tommy Stinson, founding member of the seminal Minneapolis-based rock group THE REPLACEMENTS and current bass player for GUNS N' ROSES and SOUL ASYLUM. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. It's been a while since your first solo record came out. Obviously, you've been so busy with GUNS N' ROSES. What inspired you to do another solo record when you have so much else going on?

Stinson: I've been slowly compiling songs over the last few years and it just got to the point where I thought, "Well, I've got these songs here, I should do something with them. I should just finish them up and put them out." And that's how the last one came out, really, the same way. I just compiled enough songs and finally just put something out. And I think in the future, they'll probably come out a little more often than that. With the GUNS stuff, I've heard that there's actually a lot of down time, but it seems like you guys are always up to something. Is that true? Or has it been overstated in the media that you guys are waiting for Axl [Rose] on a lot of stuff?

Stinson: Yeah, well, there's two ways that's overstated. One is that we're not usually waiting for him. It's a huge production if the monster that it is goes on the road, so it takes time to set it up. But there is a good amount of down time from that, and there is the logistics of it all that you have to deal with. There are logistical issues that don't have a whole lot to do with him either, as far as booking shows and whatnot. So that's when there will be down time. What does the future hold for GUNS N' ROSES? The rumors are that there's a ton of material written that hasn't seen the light of day. Can you shed some light on that?

Stinson: Ya know, I don't really know. There is a bunch of stuff that was left over from the last record that didn't make it because it wasn't finished. But I'm not sure if Axl has been working on that stuff or not. I would be inclined to think that he probably has been. There's definitely... I mean, when we made the record, there was definitely two full records worth of material there at least. A lot of it's really good, so maybe he'll get around to finishing up some bits and singing and stuff like that. That's kind of where it's been left at. Now, do you get involved in the writing process with that at all? Is that process collaborative, or is that mostly Axl?

Stinson: The whole process, funny enough, is actually a completely collaborative effort. Even if one guy were to bring a whole song in, he's got to fucking have the rest of the guys chime in, and do their bit on it. And for the good, I think that's worked out really well. As long as everyone gets in the mix, somehow. It's a cool way of doing it. I don't know if it works for everyone, but it worked out great for this last record, anyway.

Read the entire interview from


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