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The nine best quotes from the Replacements’ interview with the Guardian

Paul Westerberg of the Replacements performs at Midway Stadium in St. Paul last September. Photo by Nate Ryan/MPR.

As the Replacements head off on a short European tour, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson granted a long, career-spanning interview to The Guardian‘s Michael Hann, who calls the ‘Mats “one of the ur-bands of American rock—beloved by peers including R.E.M. and disciples such as Nirvana.” Here are nine great quotes from the interview.

“There was a game that had to be played that had nothing to do with music and everything to do with stroking someone else and f—ing doing the whole song and dance that was completely foreign and, quite frankly, illegal to us.”

– Tommy, on the band’s conflicted relationship with the music industry

“Falling on your face when you’re young and good looking is one thing, but when you’re an old man it can be quite humiliating.”

– Paul, on his slightly more deliberate approach to music-making today

“That’s a misconception he’s run with. I was never mortified by them. My brother was definitely not into them, but that’s because Paul and my brother had more of a competing nature towards each other.”

– Tommy, challenging Paul’s previous statements that the band disliked the ballads he wrote

Don’t Tell a Soul was our least honest record and we made it under duress.”

– Paul, on an album that he now says was made by a band trying too hard to have a hit

“The charm of the Replacements is that we’re not the greatest musicians on the planet, we’re a great f—ing rock’n’roll band.”

– Tommy, on why he’s enjoying the band’s comeback

“We play for free. We get paid for waiting.”

– Paul, on the band’s attitude towards touring

“Literally, we haven’t played ‘Treatment Bound’ in years, so I’m sitting there writing the words for the second time in my life. The first time was when we did it and the second time is here, 30 years later.”

– Paul

“Since starting up with the band again it’s kind of shaken every cobweb out of my head and got me rattled in a way—probably in a good way. I can’t relax any more. I can’t sit down and watch the television. I’m torn between the world of being a father, a homeowner and a creative artist and a rock ’n’ roll singer.”

– Paul, on his new reality

“I think you’re hard pressed to find another group that had as many facets to them as we did, and going through the songs now there’s an unlimited variety of everything from quasi showtunes to fake speed metal. God almighty, what were we trying to prove?”

– Paul