Mark Of The Quad Cities, Moline, IL
November 17th 2002

HIRED GUNS: Axl Rose hits road with reformulated band
- David Burke , Quad-City Times

Tommy Stinson says he can understand the skepticism.

The bass player and veteran of several bands, most notably The Replacements, knows that his new role in Guns N' Roses he'll be among seven musicians taking the stage with lead singer Axl Rose and keyboard player Dizzy Reed.

"When I took this gig, it was for the reason that no one else had - supposedly - ever done this in rock, resumed the band name with the leader and try to do a whole other thing, but still do the same thing. That's the most interesting concept I can imagine," Stinson, 36, said before a show Monday in Boise, Idaho.

"All I can to do eliminate that (skepticism) is show up and do my gig. I don't really spend any time worrying about it, or giving it much thought. I'm working with this guy that I like working with, I like the music we're playing.

I think it's turning out exactly that way. I don't give a (crap) what people think, as long as they come out to the shows, and they have fun and we have fun."

After The Replacements' 1991 demise, Stinson formed the group Bash & Pop in 1993, and Perfect in '96. He had a record deal "that I could see going down the tubes" in 1998, when he auditioned for Rose. The next day, he was told the job was his if he wanted it.

"I've always wanted to do something interesting, whether it was my own stuff or whatever. I've done a lot of crazy (stuff) musically over the last 10 years," he said.

He played on a reformulated new Guns N' Roses album, "Chinese Democracy," that has been delayed several time by its record label. An Asian tour over the summer proved successful, and the band made its re-emergence in August during the MTV Video Awards.

From 1987 to '93, Guns N' Roses hit with songs including "Sweet Child O' Mine," "Paradise City," "Patience" and "Welcome to the Jungle."

Stinson said he had no problem stepping in and playing songs that weren't necessarily his - although several songs from "Chinese Democracy" will be part of the concert.

"We've played the old songs enough that they're almost like ours, in a regard that we've taken them on and put our own spin on them," Stinson said. "We feel, in a weird sort of way, that they are our songs. Physically speaking, they're demanding rock songs, and you have to man up and put yourselves into them."

Guns N' Roses' North American tour got off on a wrong chord last week in Vancouver, British Columbia, as the concert was canceled at the last minute. Rose was en route to the concert, Stinson said, and the rest of the band was already in the arena doing an MTV interview.

Fans lining up outside began to riot, causing damage to the arena.

"We could have easily played that show," Stinson said of the concert, pulled by the producer. "We got the short end of the stick on it. I don't think it's a good thing when fans trash the building and take it out on the band or the venue. . None of that is a good thing going around."

The fourth stop of the concert will be at The Mark of the Quad-Cities, Moline.

"Our first gig, as any first gig I've ever done on a tour (last Friday in Tacoma, Wash.), was getting it all sort of sorted out, technically speaking. A dry run, in a way," he said. "(But) it did go a lot better than a lot of first gigs.

"There's a learning curve on this sort of thing. It takes a couple of days. We'll be smokin' by Moline."

Even though Stinson and the rest of the band - Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, Love Spit Love guitarist Richard Fortus, Replicants keyboard player Chris Pitman, Primus drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia and a guitarist known only as Buckethead - have "completely different walks of musical life," but have already jelled with a good chemistry.

Stinson says he is considering a lengthy future with Guns N' Roses.

"I have no expectations whatsoever," he said. "As long as we're having fun with it and people are having fun seeing it, I think I could be involved for an indefinite amount of time."