Mike Watt

Hi Mike. With so many years of travelling and touring under your belt, where in the world would you say you most like playing or visiting?

This is actually very hard for me to answer because I believe any town, at any given time, can be a happening place for a gig to go off. So I wouldn’t wanna be narrow-minded and leave anywhere out of the running.

I’ve had happening gigs everywhere, and at the same time some that weren’t as happening, even if it was in the very same town as before!

 

Do you have a favourite venue or somewhere you have played a particularly memorable show?

I think the problem I have answering this question is a bad memory! That and not being able to do a fair comparison with one pad (venue) over another.

Some pads are definitely set up better than others for gigs. Maybe most the time that’s because of chance or circumstances.

Actually, my basic philosophy on this comes from vaudeville, where to “work the room” was one of the ethics I learned. I love the chance to try and perform a good gig anywhere, though yeah, some pads are lamer than others for that moment. And I truly believe it isn’t always the pad, more about the circumstances and the moment.

I must add that, even though I’ve been doing this (touring and playing music) over thirty years, I am a very slow learner!

 

 

Do you have a favourite album or group of albums which you most like to play when out on the road travelling or touring?

Yeah. I like to listen to the first six Creedence Clearwater Revival albums in a row, in order. It tells an intense story to me.

When I met D. Boon (co-founder of the Minutemen with Watt who tragically died in December 1985 in a van accident), that was the only rock band he had records of.

I like to play the first three Wipers albums in a row too, same with the first three Wire ones. I love everything John Coltrane did that I can listen to.

 

Have you had any particularly memorable travel experiences whilst on tour?

Sure, but getting my men home safe is goal number one whenever I sally forth.

Number two is to try my hardest for the gig-goers who work all week to get to our gig, to work the bass with my men (i.e. band) the best I can.

When I complete the first thing and do as good as I can for the second, it makes for the best trip. I’ve been very lucky to have great men with me on tour, very lucky. The same with lots of gig-goers and cats (i.e. people) in other bands. This makes for a righteous experience.

 

Have you ever been on any rock ‘n’ roll pilgrimages?

When I turned 40, I went to Pinelawn out on Long Island in New York to find John Coltrane’s grave. He died at 40- I don’t know why, but I felt I had to go there.

I like to listen to the first six Creedence Clearwater Revival albums in a row, in order. It tells an intense story to me. 

It took two trips because I couldn’t find it the first time, but then I found out he was in the “garden of sanctuary” there.

I thought a lot about what music means to me, standing there, thinking of him. I even laid down on the grass above him. I don’t know why, but I didn’t mean disrespect. I asked out loud if he was thinking of the hit single when he would record – I can’t understand why I would ask such a thing but he didn’t answer back… I think he wanted me to think about it.

 

Finally, do you have a dream trip for the future, Mike?

My dream tour I’ve had for the longest time is what I would call a real American tour- which means South, Central and North. There’s a road called the Pan-American highway that might help me because I wanna do the tour by van and play every land I can in all three places.

 

Be sure to check out Mike’s hootpage for all the latest goings on, tours and releases.