On a break from his gig as Guns N' Roses bassist, Tommy Stinson is stepping out on his own. He's playing Thursday (June 12) at Largo in Los Angeles, July 1 at the Mercury Lounge in New York, and will

On a break from his gig as Guns N' Roses bassist, Tommy Stinson is stepping out on his own. He's playing Thursday (June 12) at Largo in Los Angeles, July 1 at the Mercury Lounge in New York, and will follow that with three shows in England with friend Jesse Malin.

At the end of August, he'll launch a three-week East Coast and Midwest U.S. run that will also feature the Figgs, and find Stinson playing material he's recorded for a solo album.

"Basically, I had an opportunity fall into my lap that I couldn't refuse," the former Replacements member tells Billboard.com. He recorded 16 songs over the course of two months in a studio owned by Charles Thompson (aka Frank Black).

"I've been pals with Charles for a number of years, and [his band] the Catholics went on tour for the months of March and April, and basically Charles said, 'you can use my studio and all my gear and my place while I'm gone and make a record if you want.'"

"I'd been sitting on a bunch of songs for a number of years -- there's two of them that are probably 10 years old, at least," he says. "So, I just went in and recorded them using his stuff and it worked out great."

Stinson tapped several pals to contribute to the sessions, including A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese, his brother Jason Freese on saxophone, Catholics guitarist Dave Philips, and GNR guitarist Richard Fortus and keyboardist Dizzy Reed. "My friend Gresh [a member of Stinson's short-lived mid-1990s band Perfect] played some drums on some stuff, too," he notes. "All of my closest friends played on my record."

The as-yet-untitled album doesn't yet have a home on a label. "I'm playing it on a day-to-day basis," he says, noting he'll meet with some labels at the end of the month in New York. "And it's a lot of fun, because I don't really even have to get a deal. If I hated everything tomorrow, it would be like, 'OK, I did that.'"

As for the fate of the long-awaited Guns N' Roses album, "Chinese Democracy," Stinson would not reveal specifics, but says he expects it will see the light of day sometime this year. "The record is being completed. Other people are putting their final little touches on things, and then it goes to mix," he explains. "My physical presence wasn't really needed until September, so that's why I'm getting out and doing some shows. I've got my parts all done."

Asked if he expects GNR, which late last year abruptly ended a tour shortly after it began, will hit the road again in the fall, he offered, "You know, I'm just gonna say, in September, that's when I've got to be back. All I know is that we're gonna finish the record up, get it out, and I've got some time on my hands to do some other s***."