15th September 04 - Tommy Vague on future of GNRs Chinese Democracy Album
Tommy Stinson’s rock circuit has been a strange trip indeed — plying the fat strings on the full catalogue with the legendary Replacements, a one-off as Bash & Pop, a new solo album called Village Gorilla Head and eventually (hands clasped in prayer), a new Guns N’ Roses album called Chinese Democracy.
The solo record at hand, Village Gorilla Head, is an as-expected batch of eclectic rock and pop tunes reminiscent of The Replacements, albeit tighter and brighter.
"When I decided I was going to make a record, all the demos were based on me experimenting with other instruments, different arrangements and other musical soundscapes, so to speak," Stinson says. "It was all meant to be very experimental. That gets back to what makes music interesting in the first place, stepping out of your norm, stepping out of what your expertise is, challenging yourself musically. And that's what I intended to do, which, I think I did pretty well. I covered a lot of things that I had never done before that are interesting, and I think a lot of people are responsive to. And I think, I'll continue that path [laughs]."
With tour dates pock-marking the landscape for Stinson, all the guy can do now is wait for the GN’R situation to ramp up and explode.
"I would imagine they would start mastering it some time in October, November, somewhere in there," says Stinson vaguely, about a record that seems destined to miss another semi-set release date. "I just wanted to make sure I got my two cents in so I couldn't look back and go, 'Dudes, what's up?' And they go, 'Dude, where were you? You didn't say anything!' So I got my two cents in on it."
And what was your two cents?
"My two cents was very much like a cent and a half," he says. "It's like, all the stuff I heard was phenomenal. I didn't get a chance to listen to all of it, because I was pressed for time. But also I wanted to hear the things I hadn't heard yet. Some of the stuff had been done a while ago and hadn't changed much; I didn't really bother with that. But I wanted to hear all the new stuff and I heard about six things that I hadn't heard finished yet, that were really mind-blowing. A few of the songs are pretty epic in length, but that's always been GN'R's thing, hasn't it? I don't think it's a particularly long album, but I think the six I heard are pretty epic. I mean they are just... fucking huge, you know [laughs]. I think pretty much all of us in the band have some songwriting credits on just about everything. The undertaking was pretty much a large collaboration between eight people, even a couple others who aren't around anymore, but maybe started with pieces of the old band or whatever. But yeah, there is probably a lot to go around with that one."
— Martin Popoff