Local hero Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, etc., etc.) is almost ready to unveil his third “punk opera.”
“I'm finishing my third opera (“hyphenated-man”) w/bass brother tony
maimone at studio g in brooklyn now,” Watt writes from the studio.
Hyphenated-Man is the third opera the busy San Pedro bassist has completed, following 1997's Contemplating the Engine Room and 2004's The Secondman's Middle Stand.
The new opera was mostly recorded last year in Brooklyn at Tony Maimone's Studio G. “Tony was the incredible Pere Ubu bassist and a hero for me in the early punk days on bass, ” writes Watt. Tom Watson and Raul Morales (Mike Watt + the Missingmen) play on the project.
The musicians practiced the material on the road. Watt explained the process:
“we're doing practice on the songs on the tour but not actually playing the piece which is like one big song w/thirty parts. I put this trio together just for this proj[ect] but it's been a little bit coming since of incredible time spent by me in the Stooges classroom.”
Hyphenated-Man is different from his other two operas, he explained, “in that there's no beginning-middle-end. It's more like all middle which makes some sense maybe since
I'm fifty-two and kind of weird type of middle-aged person– a punk one?!”
The opera is one of two upcoming projects by Watt. On September 28, he'll also release Floored by Four, the eponymous debut from what he describes as his “Manhattan project,” a quartet with drummer Dougie Bowne, guitar ace Nels Cline, keyboardist Yuka Honda on keys, and “bass, spiel and compositions” by the Hyphenated Man himself.