Tommy Stinson: Axl Rose is victim of ‘misconception’

Axl Rose and Tommy Stinson
Rose and Stinson in 2014 (Image credit: Getty)

Former Guns N’ Roses bassist Tommy Stinson accepts Axl Rose has a “very particular” approach to work – but says that the singer is only difficult when being made to do something he’d rather not do.

And Stinson admits he could have been a little more prepared for the recent Replacements reunion.

He returned to the band that made his name for a run of shows in 2012, leading to further appearances before they split again in 2015. He left Guns N’ Roses earlier this year, ahead of the reunion featuring Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan.

Asked about Rose’s “notorious” reputation, Stinson tells Rock On Philly: “That’s one of the biggest misconceptions about him. He’s a very hard-working dude that has a very particular was he wants to do things.

“I’ll be honest – if he’s doing anything other than what he wants to be doing, and you’re in the room, you don’t want to be in there.

“But when he’s doing what he wants to do, he’s great.”

After having seen Guns N’ Roses twice recently, he adds: “He’s kicking ass and I’m very happy for him. I’m really happy for all my friends who are in that band.”

The Replacements bowed out during speculation that new music and further activity was being planned. Frontman Paul Westerberg spent their last shows wearing t-shirts that spelled out the message “I have always loved you, now I must whore my past” before confirming they’d made their final appearance in Portugal last June.

Stinson says: “It was fun – it was exactly what it was supposed to be for a while there. We probably reached our expiration date a little earlier than we should have. But it was good while it lasted.”

Asked what he thought of the band’s album catalogue, he replies: “It’s been years since I put one of those records on. No offence to anyone in the band or anything. I just haven’t.

“I didn’t even go and listen to them before we played those shows. Probably could have!”

The bassist has his doubts over the wide range of acts who cite the Mats as an influence. “Half the time I think they’re fucking lying,” he reports. “Half the bands who cite the Replacements don’t even sound like the band.” He adds: “I think for the ones that do, it’s a great honour.”

Stinson has recorded material with a new band that he aims to unveil next year. Guns N’ Roses’ Not In This Lifetime tour continues, with their production manager saying no end date has been set.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.