GUNS N’ ROSES Bassist: ‘For The Most Part, AXL Tells Us What He Wants’

Brian McCollum of the Detroit Free Press recently conducted an interview with GUNS N’ ROSES/ex-THE REPLACEMENTS bassist Tommy Stinson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

On having been a member of GUNS N’ ROSES for 14 years — making him the third-longest-tenured player in the band’s history, behind singer Axl Rose (26 years) and keyboardist Dizzy Reed (21):

“It’s been a good run, and I still have fun with it. This [U.S. tour] in particular has been one of the more enjoyable, one of the least stressful we’ve had.”

On GUNS N’ ROSES‘ latest addition, lead guitarist D.J. Ashba, who joined in 2009:

D.J. made a good addition because he has fun with the gig and he doesn’t take himself too seriously off the stage, which is important. You can’t compete with each other. You can only do your own thing and have fun with it, and if you do that, you’re ahead of the game.”

On his relationship with GUNS N’ ROSES leader, singer Axl Rose:

“If I feel something is a really terrible idea, or there’s something good we’re not getting to, I feel compelled to say something. But for the most part, Axl tells us what he wants, and it’s: ‘OK, cool. That’s it. Make the dream real.’ ”

On how THE REPLACEMENTS‘ scruffy, spiky rock and GN’R‘s ambitious glam-metal may seem to inhabit distinct corners of the pop-culture kingdom:

“It didn’t really occur to me to look at it in those terms. The funny thing is, as I’ve talked to people over the years, it turns out there’s not actually much of that cultural difference. There are a lot of people who are fans of both bands, which was striking, because it’s the last thing I would have expected.”