Interview: Mike Watt

Back in the early days of Chimpomatic, we had big ambitions for the site and got off to a great start by securing this 2001 interview with the bass king, Mike Watt. It's taken 3 1/2 years to get the interview together and online, but surprisingly little has changed. Bush has just been voted in (again) and Watt has just released his long planned third album - "The Secondman's Middle Stand". That's not available in the UK (again), but track it down on import. However, some better news comes in the shape of two upcoming Minutemen gigs in the UK. Watt + George Hurley will be playing Minutemen songs as support for Shellac at the Scala on December 2nd. The Minutemen will also be playing at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival this Christmas, curated by Jake & Dinos Chapman....

After an earlier brush with death, Watt had been recuperating by touring with J Mascis & The Fog - who also brought along Ron Asheton of The Stooges. The previous night's gig had also featured a bloody cameo from Bobby Gillespie, making it action packed...

Mike called me on the phone finally, doing his own press and arranging his own interviews. We decide not to do the spiel after the gig, as they'd be "Doin' Stooges" with Ron Asheton at the gig, and Watt anticipated being drained. He tells me he'll be doing laundry the next morning, so we agree to meet there at 8.30.

"Got to get up early, else the place is stuffed full of Americans who bogart all the machines," says Watt. "It's two blocks up from the ho', but it's the only Laundromat". After looking in 3 laundrette's we find him and get down to business.

Watt: I'm just about to start laundry. First laundry of the tour, so... this is my last outfit...

CSF: Don't they have laundry in the hotel?

Watt: Yeah, but mucho-doe! So I like to use these places, which are all over. Not as many as in the United States, but more than when I first came here in'82. a lot of things are different than they were back then...

CSF: Do like playing in England?

Watt: Sure... all these gigs have been good, but there was something about last night. That violence I didn't dig.

CSF: Yeah, with Bobby Gillespie?

Watt: You know I only met him the night before and he seemed like a really nice guy - I never would have imagined... He said some kid spat on him.

CSF: How come he was there?

Watt: He's a good friend of Kevin Shields, and Kevin's a good friend of J's.

CSF: How 's come they're such good friends?

Watt: Bloody Valentine toured with Dinosaur on the 'Rollercoaster' tour.

CSF: Oh, the Rollercoaster - that was years ago.