Christ, it’s a good time to be a subscriber to Paul Westerberg, or even The Replacements. Within the past month, he’s released a new song, announced plans of a covers EP under The Replacements moniker, and even hinted at further things to come. Recently, he spoke to Rolling Stone about his latest projects and whereabouts, and this morning the publication ran the full interview. As expected, there were some great quotes to take away.
Touring with The Replacements:
Well, for the first 10 minutes, I thought, “Yeah! I’m ready.” After a couple of hours, it was like, “Uchhh, man, you’ve got to be kidding.” (Laughs) It’s possible. I’m closer to it now than I was two years ago, let’s say that.”
The numerous offers:
I’ve had offers to play with them, or without them, that are becoming stupidly ridiculous, to the point where someone thinks I’m playing hard to get. And it’s not like I’m wealthy. I’m getting by.
It was never about making money. If we can have a lot of fun, and make a lot of people happy, and make a lot of money – which means making a lot of other people money – then okay, I guess that’s spiritually and economically sound.
What’s his latest cut, “My Road Now”, all about:
I wrote it for The Band Perry, a country-pop group, to sing. Which goes back to something like “Sadly Beautiful” [from the 1990 Replacements album All Shook Down], which I wrote under the pretext that Marianne Faithfull was going to sing the thing. My tough-guy buddy Jim came over, heard “My Road Now,” and shed a tear. And I thought, “Goddamn, this has gotta be released.”
Why he turned down an appearance to perform it on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:
I write this stuff, it comes out, I have a nervous breakdown, and then a year later, I don’t know how I did it.
The idea of recording an album:
An album? Do we make albums still? I’m always recording songs and I declared my independence from this technocracy, the whole notion of doing multiple takes and overdubbing vocals and making it sound right. That has turned me off to being a professional musician. I get offers all the time to make records, and I’ve got plenty of songs.
Life as a recluse:
Like a wreck-loose? No, I don’t. People toss that around when they think of me as a performer who doesn’t perform. But I’m just changing hats. The way I look at it, it’s taken a long time to go from childish to childlike, and shed a protective shell you need when you go out and perform. I felt pretty naked, and not that confident as a performer. So of course, one falls into substance abuse and all that. I don’t [perform] as much as most people do. But I go lots of places in my brain.
I guess I spent as much time trying to be un-famous as I did trying to be famous. I’d hate to start it all up again. And be crap at it! I’m probably just a gardener who’s sick of the dirt.
That’s only about 60% of the good stuff. The rest has him digressing on the new Replacements documentary, Color Me Obsessed, poking fun at veteran artists who use teleprompters, and so much more. If he keeps this up, Morrissey will have to step up his snarky game.
Last week, we listed our favorite covers by Westerberg and the Replacements. Check that out here.