Along with being the bass player for alternative rock icons The Replacements, Tommy Stinson is also an accomplished songwriter. He’s had a solo career consisting of a couple albums and a stint with the power pop act Perfect during the ‘90s. Recently, Stimson resurrected another act from the ‘90s that he used to be in with a brand new album. Bash & Pop put out their first album in over 20 years with Anything Could Happen back in January. On October 12, Stimson and the band will be playing tunes off of the record and a few other songs at The Met in Pawtucket with locals Tall Teenagers and Gymshorts starting off the night.
Ahead of the show, Stimson and I had a chat about starting up the current incarnation of the band, playing with Guns n’ Roses, his favorite memory from the recent Replacements reunion and performing with his uncle.
Rob Duguay: You originally started Bash & Pop in 1992 and it was a project that lasted until 1994. Then you restarted it last year, was this a band that you always had in the back of your mind of doing again and you finally had the time to do it or was it on a whim?
Tommy Stinson: It’s a little more complicated than that actually. I was recording songs for what would end up being this record with some friends of mine. I’d get them up for a weekend and then we’d start recording live, like we used to do in the ‘80s basically. It would be live in the studio with not too much fussin’ around with overdubs and stuff like that. After I’d finally had gotten tracks done, it started to sound like a band record.
So as the process went along, I didn’t want to put it out as something under my own name because it sounds like a band. I don’t need to make up another band for me to be in. After I played it in front of a bunch of people, a group of us thought that it sounded like the first Bash & Pop record. I still own the name so I figured I would just put out another album with that name and that’s the story.
RD: How did this installment of the band come together? You just mentioned how you were recording it in the studio with some friends. There’s a completely different group with you this time around, so how did this edition of the band come to be?
TS: Either I would have to fly them in or get them up from the city. Actually, two-thirds of the record is done by the same group of guys. Once Luther Dickinson went on the road and I had to get Steve Selvidge in, I pretty much sewed up the whole lineup at that point. It was Steve Selvidge, sometimes Tony Kieraldo on keys, Joe Sirois on drums and Justin Perkins on bass.
RD: It’s also pretty cool that this group also has connections with other bands through Steve being in The Hold Steady and Joe being in The Mighty Mighty Bosstones for a while.
TS: It’s very cool.
RD: Everyone who knows about you knows about your time in The Replacements and you also were part of Guns & Roses for a time as well. Other than Bash & Pop having you being the frontman and main songwriter, what other differences do you find with the band versus other bands and projects you’ve been involved in?
TS: I like slippin’ around and doing different things. I’m a short attention span kind of guy so I like playing bass for people, I like fronting my own band and I kind of like it all. I float around doing different things because it either moves me or its fun. At this point in my career, I can pretty much do anything I want.
RD: You must enjoy the freedom you have with your own band in Bash & Pop.
RD: Speaking of The Replacements, how was the reunion like for you on a personal level? Do you think it’ll ever happen again or was the reunion the last we’ll see of the band?
TS: Never say never but I think there’s a chance that we’ll get together to do shows again in the future. There seems to be a lot of interest in it right now. We have a bunch of different things going on with a book and a live record due out. It’s completely unfathomable that we might do it again but at this point, we have no plans.
RD: From the reunion that went on, do you have any favorite moments from it? Either from a show that you played or just different moments from being on the road?
TS: The show that we played in Queens, NY was a really good and special moment. We played at the old baseball stadium there that Bob Dylan had played and The Who has played early on. We had a full house and it was a really fun and cool gig.
RD: After this run with Bash & Pop, are there any other musical ventures for you on the horizon or will you be sticking with Bash & Pop for a while?
TS: I have two things going on right now, I have Bash & Pop going on and I got Cowboys In The Campfire which is a duo I do with my Uncle Chip. They both serve me well because some of the guys in my band have other bands and those guys have gigs coming up. So when they head out, I’ll head out with Cowboys In The Campfire in November.
RD: Is Cowboys In The Campfire a folk project? For people who don’t know about it, what does it sound like?
TS: It’s basically the same thing that I always do but it’s stripped down with me on acoustic and my uncle on electric guitar. We make as much racket as we can and we have a lot of fun doing it.