Interview with Paul Westerberg



The immensely entertaining but sadly out of print alt/indie/college-rock reader Alt-Rock-a-Rama featured a hilarious chapter, written by Replacements drummer Chris Mars, called “Eight Really Dumb Things the Replacements Did”. That list– which included stories of stink bombs, eyebrow shaving, hot pepper eating, and the like– could have been doubled, or even tripled, but if it weren’t for Paul Westerberg’s songs even such notorious behavior might have been long forgotten. It’s fitting, too, as few songwriters are as adept at infusing even the most slap-dash seeming punk track with loads of pathos and personality, and at his best Westerberg remains near peerless in the pantheon of heartbreakers.

“Lonely, I guess that’s where I’m from,” he once sang, but if you include all the people Westerberg and the Replacements have impacted or influenced, he’s got plenty of company. We caught up with Westerberg on the phone, speaking from his home in Minnesota and holding court on a career that often settled for glorious failure while the suckers and sell-outs walked off with all the fame and success.

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