Music: Ex-Replacement Tommy Stinson relishes being a frontman

CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER , Star Tribune | Updated 8/17/2012

Tommy Stinson

It's the first thing he did when the Replacements split up in 1991, so it's no surprise that Tommy Stinson said he would like to be a full-time frontman if he could. Yet Friday's First Avenue show will be the Minneapolis rock legend's first time leading a band in about five years.

"It's been too long," he said. "The cool thing about where I'm at now, though, is I get the opportunity to do a lot of different things -- all of which pay." The paying gigs include his stint playing bass in Axl Rose's revamped Guns N' Roses and his other bassist job with Soul Asylum.

Stinson has a new record, "One Man Mutiny," tentatively set for August release. The disc includes a contribution from his old 'Mats buddy Paul Westerberg on one song, "Match Made in Hell." He finished the album a couple of months ago before moving to Hudson, N.Y.

On his new album: "It's a little more rootsy than the last record, and more upbeat. I did most of it over the last couple years, piecemeal between Guns N' Roses tours. I just work on it when I can. Hopefully, I'll move quicker now. One of the goals of moving up here to Hudson was to have my own place with my own studio."

On his post-'Mats bands Bash & Pop and Perfect: "Bash & Pop was interesting because it was my first foray into leading a band. The problem I had right off the bat -- which I'm facing again -- was it's hard to start a band. It's hard to get the right gigs and get people paid. In Bash & Pop, that was all on me. In Perfect, it was more of a group effort, but then that got to be hard, too. A lot of work and a lot of effort went into just getting screwed again."

On future Replacements endeavors: "I think the last round was scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as reissues go. I'm not sure about a live album. I don't know if there was ever a live recording made that was worth a crap. I could be wrong, but I don't remember any.

"I don't know if Paul or Chris [Mars] have completely shut the door on it, but I've always thought of it as an open door. If we wanted to go play some shows, we'd just go do it, no big deal."

On Soul Asylum's record: "We still have a few things to finish up. Just last week, I was working on a couple things. Hopefully we'll get it out by the end of the year. It's a little hard because we are spread across different states, but we've been really working hard on it."

And GNR: "We have dates in October, November, and then I'm still waiting to get the 411 on what will happen next year. I think the next thing is really going to have to be someone trying to organize a record and getting it together. I think there's a really good band there to do it. But, you know, the thought of it is more daunting than a 'Mats or a Soul Asylum record combined."