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Tommy Stinson Claims Westerberg Has Bigger Ego Than Axl Rose

Friday December 06, 2002 @ 04:00 PM

By: ChartAttack.com Staff

Tommy Stinson knows how to pick ‘em. Not only has he worked with revered lyricist and frontman Paul Westerberg as the former bassist in The Replacements, but he also accepted an invitation by W. Axl Rose himself to join his revamped version of Guns N’ Roses. Two frontmen with strong reputations behind them. The question really is, who’s better to work with?

"Oh, Axl’s a whole lot better to work with," chuckles Stinson while sitting in a dressing room a couple of hours before GN’R was slated to perform at Toronto’s Air Canada Center this past Friday (November 29). "The Replacements stuff we did I’m still proud of. It’s all great, fine, good, all that. But I feel like I’m actually part of a band right now. Paul wrote the songs, we played ‘em. But here, we’re all writing these songs, we’re all fuckin’ playing them. I just feel more a part of it.

"If it’s even fuckin’ imaginable at all, Paul’s got a fuckin’ bigger ego than anyone I’ve ever known," Stinson continues. "To play with, he’s got a bigger ego than anyone I’ve ever worked with. And he’s more self-conscious than anyone I’ve ever known. Axl doesn’t work like that. He’s like fuckin’ whatever it is he’s got with him, he checks it at the door. He comes in and fuckin’ gets involved, ya know? That’s a way better vibe to make music with."

It’s been nine years since Guns N’ Roses toured and released an album. Since Rose had the original members of the hard rock outfit up and quit on him, he’s been determined to keep the GN’R flame burning by recording a masterpiece with the upcoming Chinese Democracy, which he's been working on for the better part of the last half decade. He’s now settled on Stinson as bassist, former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck, guitar prodigy Buckethead, third guitarist Richard Fortus, remaining GN’R keyboardist Dizzy Reed, second keyboard player Chris Pitman and former Primus drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia for his band. Stinson still doesn’t have a clue as to a definite date of when the record will be released, but anxiously says the record will be out "Really soon. First part of the New Year I would think."

"The writing process is what’s been taking it so long," says Stinson. "The thing that makes this writing process this particular thing with this band, and I’m sure it was probably the same in the old band as well, is that it’s not like Axl comes in with a song and says ‘Here’s how it goes, y’all play it now. That’s it. We record it. We’re done.’ It’s like, everyone that brings in a song, gets their song put through the mill, so to speak. I think the end result is that everyone has lived with the music and put their self into the music so that we all are a part of it, as opposed to one guy writing it and everyone’s kind of copying what he did. The process is longer that way because you got eight guys hammering it out and beating it out. Took many years and there’s a lot of songs."

So they don’t know when it’ll be out and what songs will exactly make it onto the record. Sounds like a band that’s excitedly flying blind. Kind of like the good ol’ Guns N’ Roses, isn’t it? And what if this gamble and new rebirth of the band and album doesn’t work?

Stinson laughs out loud: "It’ll fuckin’ really be a fuckin’ big flop, now won’t it?!"

øøh.. somethings fucked..

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