Mike Watt is this month’s conversation on Groove – The No Treble Podcast.
You can listen the new episode right here: Groove – The No Treble Podcast – Episode #106 – Mike Watt.
Who is Mike Watt?
If the electric bass had a pantheon, Mike Watt would undoubtedly have his own shrine. Known for his unparalleled musicianship, innovative bass playing techniques, and songwriting prowess, Mike has carved a unique niche for himself in the world of rock and punk and beyond into the world of “no genre”! From his early days with Minutemen, to fIREHOSE (a personal favorite) and his solo projects, Mike’s approach to the bass guitar has always been revolutionary and eclectic (much like the way he tells stories). Rather than just being the backbone of a track, his bass lines take center stage, setting the mood, melody, and often the very core of his songs. His technique, combining fingerpicking with aggressive strumming, produces a sound that’s both raw and melodic, a testament to his belief in the bass’s versatility and importance. Songwriting, for Mike, isn’t just about catchy hooks and verses. It’s about storytelling. It’s about painting vivid pictures with sound (including the creation of his own operas). His lyrics, much like his bass lines, cut deep, offering listeners a blend of introspection, political critique, and personal narratives. In songs like ‘Double Nickels on the Dime’, his bass doesn’t just support the music — it is the music. Now, as we delve deeper into his perspective on bass playing, it’s clear that for Mike, the electric bass isn’t just an instrument — it’s an extension of his voice and it’s almost like the drums. On this episode of Groove – The No Treble Podcast, he dives into how he sees the bass guitar in his music and songwriting. To Mike, the bass is both a rhythm keeper and a melody maker. It’s a tool to communicate feelings, stories, and even ideologies. It’s not just about playing notes – it’s about conveying emotions, pushing boundaries, and constantly evolving. Currently on tour with MSSV (aka Mike Baggetta, Stephen Hodges, and Mike), the band jams and builds on Mike’s signature style. MSSV is an exploration of sound, taking listeners on a sonic journey that melds punk ethos with improvisational jazz and much more (go and check them out). The project encapsulates everything Mike stands for — experimentation, collaboration, and a refusal to be confined by genre or expectation. For decades, Mike has showcased the boundless possibilities of the electric bass. His legacy, from trailblazing punk anthems to avant-garde collaborations, is a testament to his dedication to the craft. One thing remains clear: Mike Watt’s groove is eternal. Enjoy the conversation…
What is Groove – The No Treble Podcast?
This is an ambitious effort. This will be a fascinating conversation. Our goal at Groove is to build the largest oral history of bass players. Why Groove? Most of the content about the bass revolves around gear, playing techniques, and more technical chatter. For us, bassists are creative artists with stories to tell. They are a force to be reckon with. These are the stories and conversation that we will capture. To create this oral history of why these artists chose the bass, what their creative lives are like, and where inspiration can be found.
Are you interested in what’s next? How to decode the future? I publish between 2-3 times per week and then the Six Pixels of Separation Podcast comes out every Sunday. Feel free to subscribe (and tell your friends).