Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson got a taste of what working together again meant when they recently overheard a Sony Pictures executive’s telephone conversation.
“She took a phone call and said ‘I can’t talk to you now. I’m in the studio with the Replacements,'” Westerberg recalls. “Tommy and I looked at each other like, ‘Oh my God…’ That name brings heavy memories for both of us which we’ll never escape but that we’ve grown out of at the same time.”
Part of that growth has allowed Westerberg and Stinson to come back together for a couple of projects for the first time since the legendary ‘Mats broke up in 1991. As previously reported, Westerberg recruited Stinson to help him with some of the harder rocking tracks he wrote for the soundtrack to “Open Season,” an animated family feature that opens Sept. 29, with the companion album coming out three days earlier via Lost Highway.
In the midst of that, Westerberg and Stinson, who’s now part of Guns ‘N Roses, also reunited with ‘Mats mate Chris Mars to record a pair of new songs for the compilation “Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was? The Best of the Replacements.”
“We re-acquainted ourselves via the movie, and then got to the point where we were comfortable to do some [Replacements] stuff in Minneapolis,” Westerberg says. “When we parted, he said ‘Let’s GO,’ giving the accent on the word ‘go.’ I know what that means; it means ‘Let’s make a record. Let’s go do it.’ So we’ll see.”
Westerberg says fans may well see him and Stinson playing on a TV program to promote the “Open Season” soundtrack, which contains eight new Westerberg songs and a remake of “Good Day” from his 1996 solo album “Eventually.” He even goes so far as to say with a laugh that “people might get to see the Replacements. There we are at the Academy Awards, supposed to play ‘I Belong,’ and we do ‘Bastards of Young’ instead.”
Westerberg says more movie music is probably in his future but also that there’s more than enough material for another solo album, whenever that opportunity presents itself.
“I’m always writing,” he says. “I was writing when they asked me to do this film, and I kept writing songs through it, some that didn’t fit in the film. I could put together a new solo album tomorrow if I had to.”