While the band's management and press rep did not return Billboard's request for comment, another source said he believed the new line-up is not formally breaking-up but rather just "taking a break" two years since reforming for 2013's Riot Fest shows. He also called the break a "natural progression of things."
That may stand to reason given the current members' outside projects: Original Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson is playing the Newport Folk Festival on July 25 with a new band that includes Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi All-Stars), Frank Ferrer (Guns 'n Roses) and Catherine Popper (Ryan Adams, Grace Potter and Jack White); while drummer Josh Freese, who's played with Devo, the Vandals, a Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails, among many others, is an in-demand session musician.
The Replacements still have a number of projects in the works including two vinyl box sets out this summer on Rhino Records consisting of the band's Twin\Tone and Sire releases, a possible documentary, a biography and more. The band also performed several new songs on this latest tour including "Whole Foods Blues" and "Watering Can," which Paul performed solo (video above).
WTF's Up With the Replacements? Recording New Music, Vinyl Box Sets, Planned Documentary
In the band's statement announcing its cancelation of make-up shows, the group left open the possibility that they could again play together: "We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused," the statement read, "hope we can come back in the future and make it up to you."
One possible clue to the band's state of affairs--and possibly their state of mind--may lie in the letters Paul Westerberg cryptically wore on his t-shirts for this tour. On a "Paul's Shirt" Facebook page dedicated to deciphering the sartorial message, several amateur etymologists claimed the shirts' yet-unfinished message will spell out the following: "I have always loved you now I must whore myself." As cynical and/or over-the-top sarcastic as Westerberg's sentiment may be, Replacement fans just don't want it to end.