Rocker Tommy Stinson Reflects on Fatherhood and the Importance of Intimacy

Jan 21, 2016

The history of the Minnesota band, The Replacements, is full of chaos. In fact, that was sort of their appeal.

They emerged in the early 80’s, at a time when punk was giving way to alternative rock. The group won a worldwide following, but internal conflict and the use of many substances – both on and off-stage – meant that the band’s greatest legacy may be in the other bands they influenced.

Bass player Tommy Stinson wound up as part of a later incarnation of hard-rockers Guns and Roses before a brief Replacements reunion. After years performing as a solo artist, Stinson has assembled his own band and recorded an EP, L.M.A.O. He has other projects in the works, too, including another album and a television show. All-the-while he’s trying to work around his 8-year-old daughter’s school schedule. But Stinson says being a single-father hasn’t just changed his work schedule.

“It changes everything,” says Stinson. “It changes, you know, your focus. It changes your entire outlook on things. It makes what was once frivolous a lot more frivolous. It makes what was once important really important.”

He just launched a four show mini-tour of the Midwest, which opens at Milwaukee’s Turner Hall. He pulled together a band with some local artists and the tour is taking him to some rather small venues, but Stinson says he doesn’t mind. While the long-time rocker has seen his fair share of stadiums, he prefers the intimacy and energy of clubs.

“Even if I were massive on my own I would still want to go back to the clubs. The energy in a club is something that you never get outside of a club,” says Stinson. “You don’t get that in a field, you don’t get that in an arena, you don’t get that in a stadium. You get that in a club.”