Giving fans further hope for some kind of Replacements reunion, group principals Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson joined forces last month to “mess around” in Minneapolis with Soul Asylum/Prince drummer Michael Bland.
Stinson told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the trio didn’t roll any tape, because “that’s getting to first base. We’re sort of still in the dugout chewing gum.” But he assured that he and Westerberg are “good friends, and I’m sure we’re going to work together again.”
Westerberg’s manager, Darren Hill, confirmed the sessions to Billboard but added there are “no plans beyond that right now.”
The Replacements, who split in 1991, have been back in the spotlight this year as Rhino has rolled out expanded reissues of the band’s complete studio catalog. The second and final batch, covering the band’s major-label years with Sire, was released Sept. 23.
After years apart, Westerberg and Stinson hit the studio in 2006 to record two new songs for a Replacements retrospective and additional material for the animated film “Open Season.”
In separate interviews with Billboard earlier this year, both men said the door isn’t closed for some kind of project between them, although they added that Replacements drummer Chris Mars was unlikely to participate, owing to his thriving post-Replacements career as an artist.
Westerberg and Stinson have been tempted by numerous lucrative offers to reunite for festivals such as the 2008 Coachella, but “at the last minute, it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do, so we didn’t do it,” Stinson said. “But I think Paul and I have something to offer each other still. I think that’s pretty obvious when we get together.”
“I’m very hesitant about dragging the name out there and what damage we could do to the legend,” Westerberg said. “Whatever we did, someone would want something else. If I went up there straight, they’d want us wasted. If we were f–ked up, they’d want us to be this or that.”