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    Visit http://go.to/rockville for a lovely chat with mike and some photos of the UK portsmouth gig.


    Visit Web archive Watt Interview for a lovely chat with mike and some photos of the UK portsmouth gig.


    photos…Web archive photos

    Place: The bar in front of the Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
    Date: 07/06/01
    Time: 7pm

    Legendry bass slinger Mike Watt took a brief break inbetween making genre defining records with everybody who’s anybody, and playing as touring bass man for J Mascis to have a long chat with us about any subject which he could think to talk on.

    Mike Watt
    The patrons of the Hirameka Message Board
    and Ian Scanlon for saving my nervous ass at the final hour.

    what Mike Watt said about this interview

    by daniel


    Daniel: So how’s the tour going so far?

    Mike: Since October 23rd, yeah I’ve got a lot more confident. It was scary; I only had one day to learn everything. Came right off my own tour. Even though I’ve been playing a long time, D. Boon, George Hurley. J Mascis has taught me a lot, and I wanna stay that way, where I’m always learning. Like he asked me to play with a pick. I haven’t played with a pick in seventeen years, but I dug the challenge. He is an incredible musician, a very interesting man too. So yeah, I’ve enjoyed the tour.

    D: How’s your illness holding up? I know you pulled through that just before the tour started.

    M: I was in bed all that time, and I couldn’t play. When I started again, I started playing Stooges songs. I called J up, and said how about just doing a gig in New York City, and just play Stooges Songs. I think that gave him the idea of this tour. I was really scared, cause you know I started the bass at thirteen with D.Boon, and I’ve never stopped! And then the sickness. I had all these tubes in me, and I couldn’t play! When I tried to do it again, whoa! It freaked me out bro. But the Stooges, and now I get to play with Ron Ashton. This will be the eleventh gig with him.

    D: It must be like a dream come true, cause I no how much you like the Stooges.

    M: I grew up with the dude! I could never imagine I’d meet him, let alone playing with him.

    D: Did you never meet him before you started playing with him?

    M: I recorded with him for this movie called ‘Velvet Goldmine’. He went to some Minutemen shows, and Firehose in Detroit. I first met him then. It’s nothing like playing with the man!

    D: Is it as good as you thought it would be?

    M: Oh yeah. Those licks! It’s the same. He’s a really nice man too, very interesting cat too. That’s really important. That’s what I really liked about punk. It wasn’t just about notes, it was about people too. People that are a little different. Though it’s gotten really commercial nowadays. People that all dress the same.

    D: There’s a lot of skate punk around these days.

    M: I like skaters, but again, I like skaters that are individuals. Who take chances. I’m the same with music; I like people who take chances. That’s what’s also attracted me. I think cause I’ve always felt; I was always a little bit different. At school, I’d never fit in really. Me and D.Boon were way outcasts. So when I grew up, I never changed, you know. I don’t know if I grew up!

    D: What are you planning for the coming year? Are you going to record ‘The Second Man’s, Middle stand’ still?

    M: Yeah, because I’m in my middle years, I’m 43. I’ve got a lot of songs about the sickness, and I want to try this experiment, where there’s no guitar. We tried that once before with Dos, and in a way this is going to be like a Dos record with drums, cause I’m going to have the organ player play all the bass notes.

    D: Who’s going to play the organ on the record?

    M: A guy from San Pedro named Pete Mazich, a Hammond organ player.

    D: Ah Hammond. I’m really into Jimmy smith.

    M: Yeah right. I’m going to experiment with him, cause they got low notes. As low as the bass guitar, and I’m a little free without the guitar player, I can play kinda guitary, without the cloning. So, for me records are like experiments, cause you can always rewind, so that’s my plan. But first I gotta tell you, playing with a pick; I haven’t played with my fingers much in the last eight months. So I’m gonna do a tour September 12th to November 3rd, with Tom Watson from the Pliers, and Jerry Trebotic from Madonnabes, so I can play with my fingers again. Then I’ll record.

    D: What sort of stuff are you going to play on that tour?

    M: I wanna play some John Cale, some Television.

    D: I saw Television the other day.

    M: I saw Television in 1977, a great band, a huge effect on me and D.Boon. But also I gotta say some English bands, Wire, Pop Group from Bristol. They were the band that began the ford copy. They came up with the idea let’s put funkadelic with Beefheart. A great idea. Wire had the little short songs. This is 76′-77′. A huge effect on me and D.Boon, because before that we were into T-Rex, Creedence, and Blue Oyster Cult, and then all of a sudden, all of these wild bands. But there was already New York Dolls, and the Stooges, but there was something about the English guys. The English guys just seemed brave, they weren’t afraid to try shit. In the United States we had kind of a punk too, Ramones. What really blew my mind, the way they sang, like they talked. I knew English bands before, the Who, Cream, but they didn’t really talk that way, cause they sang United States, but something about the punk guys. They didn’t really do that. It made us think about it, why don’t we find our real voice? Why do we copy records? Why don’t we try to write our own songs? So the English punk guys really inspired us.

    D: Is it right that you’ve written lots of songs about ‘the man’ (mikes cat who recently passed away)?

    M: I loved the man. I had him fourteen years. That was a big blow to me, losing him. That’s the thing about life. You have to learn how to loose people. D.Boon died almost sixteen years ago now. His daddy died about a month ago. His mamma died when we graduated high school, that was the first person close, and ever since then more and more. I guess the odds go up! But you gotta do it. I think they want you to keep going some how.

    D: Yeah, I’ve read so many times that you only keep doing this for D.Boon.

    M: Absolutely, you ask me what kind of bass player I am; I’m D.Boon’s bass player! I think somehow that a little of him comes out in me when I play, because I played with him for so long, part of his playing is in me. In a way it doesn’t allow people to forget, because I don’t want people to forget him, but on the other hand I don’t want to go all vampire on him. Somehow though…. he still gets to do a little of the gig. I think of him everyday you know, especially when I’m on tour and away from Pedro. But I can go to the tree in Pedro that he jumped out of when I first met him.

    D: I don’t think people will forget him, with everything the minutemen have influenced since.

    M: United States punk was really little; I mean its big now with Offspring, but in those days. So I don’t blame people if they don’t know him. But if they’re curious about me, they should know about him. I owe him everything; I love that man. The man wasn’t afraid at all. I have all kinds of fear. But he was a very versatile man. Anybody could like D.Boon; he had no elitism. The man is just this cat who wanted to play his heart out, he wanted to uplift.

    D: I think he was described best as the king of fat men in rock!

    M: Yeah! He was the king. And I think that taught him not to judge people, because he was always being judged. He was beautiful; I could talk so much about him. J gave D.Boon a record way back then, when we played Boston in the early eighties. Remember he played drums, and Lou Barlow was the guitar player. There’s a connection way back then. Boon got the first Dinosaur record, and gave it to me. It came out just before he was killed. He said, "You gotta hear this it’s kinda weird, it’s like this east coast Meat Puppets". And I heard it, and I was like whoa, that is good.

    D: Do you think you’ll work with J after this tour?

    M: Oh yeah, whenever he wants to. Well he’s going to make a record this fall, by himself. A new Fog record, but last tour of the States he recorded every show, so live album.

    D: I know you love food. What have you thought of the UK selection?

    M: I don’t eat alot on tour because I get nervous, but I’ve been eating the breakfasts, they’re so trippy. Beans, and them hotdogs. And for the spicy you’ve got the Indian food, which is great. But you’ve got some great English food too, like I had this trippy tuna, with corn in it, and it was on a potato! But it was good!

    D: On your website you show the film of your bike route each morning. Do you still do that?

    M: Yeah, twenty miles everyday. There are no hills you see, not alot of traffic. I feel blessed. I mean that’s a simple pleasure right? It’s not all material objects. I write alot of my music on the bike. You gotta be aware, but you can also feel it. The rhythm of the chain.

    D: Of the whole SST records scene, people like Black Flag, Husker Du etc. Do you still see many of those guys still?

    M: Oh yeah. First there’s Kurt from the Meat Puppets, he’s living in Texas. Dezos singing some songs with the Misfits. Everybody’s still around. It’s not as close as it was. Those were special days.

    D: There’s been alot of obvious changes though, like Bob Moulds retired to acoustic, and Henry Rollins is working on his spoken word material. What do you thinks of these things?

    M: Bob’s ears are going. He played too loud, too long. J plays loud. I’ve never played with anybody this loud in my life. But without those SST days I wouldn’t be who I am today. It taught me how to tour, how to make records. It taught me alot. Because like I said the scene was little, so we all stuck together tight.

    D: In Henrys book ‘Get in the Van’, he speaks fondly of those days!

    M: Well he just came in from DC; he was the new guy. I’ll tell you Henry is very loyal. A good, good friend. We kinda bashed him a little. The new guy. He could fight good, and he was a great skateboarder.

    D: Didn’t he pump himself up because people kept beating him up at shows?

    M: Well he had to fight; he was a good fighter. There was one tour, the tour you’re talking about; the boss said no more fighting. That’s when they beat him up. They put cigarettes out on him. George would have to pick him up, before they put more out. I don’t understand people sometimes. One gig we got piss and turds thrown at us, and I got covered with used condoms. I couldn’t believe it, I was laughing it was so weird. But I still look back at those good days because at least I got to play. I got to tour; I wouldn’t have seen any of these lands.

    D: I don’t suppose there was much money involved?

    M: None, but we got to come. It’s so amazing. I just did this to be with D.Boon, I never realised you could do this for a living.

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    © 2001 ben & dan inc



    Hey Papps

    Thanks for the Great Pics [img]http://www.3dpcgames.com/cwm/s/cwm/alien/laugh.gif[/img]
    Cool Interview

    <FONT>[ July 02, 2001 09:58 AM: Message mutated 1 time, lastly by Spaceboy ]</font>



    Good interview with Watt;What was the illness he was refering to,I never heard about it before,does anyone know?



    Check out this link to a page on Watts’ website, Hootpage.com:

    for the full lowdown from the man himself.



    Thanks for telling me,dfkgurl.

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