Jason P. Woodbury of the Phoenix New Times recently conducted an interview with GUNS N’ ROSES bassist Tommy Stinson. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Phoenix New Times: You’ve been in GUNS N’ ROSES 13 years.
Stinson: Shit, I think it will be 14 by the time fuckin’ May rolls around.
Phoenix New Times: What’s the secret? Not a lot of people have stayed in the band like that.
Stinson: You know, it’s been a good gig for me. it’s been fun, and you know, it’s served me well in a lot of ways. Axl [Rose, lead vocals] and I get along pretty good, and now is kind of the time to stick it out if we’re going to make another record. The lineup is working, and the camaraderie is good; it’s a good fit for me.
Phoenix New Times: I thought about asking if GN’R was going to do another record, but I thought that might be the worst question in the word considering how long people asked about “Chinese Democracy”.
Stinson: You know, I just see us making a record much quicker, because, in hindsight, a lot of what happened with “Chinese Democracy”, we could get around now. Mostly what happened with that record, why it took so long, was we just had no help from the record company whatsoever. [Axl] got zero fucking help from anyone outside the band to fucking do it. You know, it just got stupider and stupider as the record company kept throwing bad A&R guys [at us], or producers like Roy Thomas Baker who, you know, he made things sound better, but that wasn’t what we needed. We needed someone to help us fucking sow it up, and he came in fucking re-recorded everything five fucking times with every amp in the country. I just don’t think that was something that was really important to making a record, that could have been taken care of in the mix.
Phoenix New Times: In the time between when Axl started talking about that album and it actually came out, the whole music industry changed.
Stinson: Oh yeah, tenfold it changed. Sadly, the help that was needed to try and capitalize [on] what could have been the biggest record of the fucking end of the industry as we know it, they just squandered it. Interscope didn’t really get on board, and recognize that shit’s changing pretty fast, and we can’t really keep up with it. [They should have thought] “We’ve got this record over here, the must anticipated record in fucking forever, and we should really be helping this guy out to get this thing together.” Never happened. That shit happens every day to lots of band. But if you’re GUNS N’ ROSES, do something before everything really hits the shitter, I think you’d want to take advantage of that, especially considering the amounts of money they could have made.
Phoenix New Times: So it’s fair to say you’re disappointed with the record.
Stinson: The stupid thing was, it was pulled out of [Axl‘s] hands. He was already ready to give it up, but there were a few minor things that meant a lot to him artistically, but they pulled it out of his hands anyway. What was another couple fucking weeks waiting for the artwork? I mean really? That’s what it came down to. That’s just too bad. The whole thing is a disappointment, considering how much time everyone put into it. But I still think it’s a great record. I think it will go down as being a great record down the line. Compare it lyrically to past GN’R records, where his head was at and what he was trying to get out with the record, [and] I think there’s some significantly deep, thought-out stuff. Down the road people will see that.
Read the entire interview from Phoenix New Times.