|As expected, Tommy Stinson will hit road next month for a U.S. club tour with the Figgs. The tour kicks off Aug. 24 in Albany, N.Y., with intimate clubs as the setting for the entire run.
Stinson is a founding member of legendary Minneapolis rock band the Replacements and current bassist of Guns N' Roses. Between the two high-profile gigs, he formed a pair of short-lived 1990s alt-rock bands, Bash & Pop and Perfect.
Stinson recently recorded material for his first solo album in a Los Angeles studio owned by Charles Thompson (aka Frank Black). Among the friends who contributed to the recording were 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.
Stinson tells Billboard.com a label deal is still pending. "I recorded 16 songs and I probably will find some company of some sort to put them out," he says.
"I've become more accepting of how cruel and unusual the music business can be," Stinson continues. "And I'm in a position now where I really don't have to put a lot of thought or effort into the downside. I can pretty much do what I want and not really try to fit in or be a part of this or that scene anymore. It's great. It's like I'm sort of free, as opposed to five or six years ago, when I was looking for a deal, trying to do this or that."
On the tour Stinson will be playing on his own, as well as with the Figgs. "How that's going to work is they're gonna play a set, and I'll play a set in the middle, solo acoustic, with probably a couple of those guys sitting in and singing background vocals," he says. "And then me and the Figgs together will play the third set of the night playing a bunch of my stuff, a few of their things and some covers."
Stinson has been friends with the Figgs for nearly a decade. The Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based act, which has been Graham Parker's backing band since the mid-'90s, will be supporting its latest album, "Slow Charm," released in September 2002 by Hearbox Records.
"I'm going to totally use them and their band," Stinson adds. "I'm going to pimp them out."
Here are the Stinston/Figgs tour dates:
Aug. 24: Albany, N.Y. (Valentines)
Aug. 25: Buffalo, N.Y. (The Continental)
Aug. 26: Cleveland (Beachland Ballroom)
Aug. 27: Detroit (Smalls)
Aug. 28: Milwaukee (Cactus Club)
Aug. 29: Green Bay, Wis. (Studio East)
Aug. 30-31: Minneapolis (Uptown Bar)
Sept. 2: Chicago (Double Door)
Sept. 3: Columbus, Ohio (Little Brothers)
Sept. 5: New York (Knitting Factory)
Sept. 6: Hoboken, N.J. (Maxwell's)
Sept. 7: Philadelphia (Northstar Bar)
Sept. 9: New Haven, Conn. (Toad's Place)
Sept. 12: Providence, R.I. (Met Cafe)
Sept. 13: Cambridge, Mass. (Middle East)
-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.