Michael Watt (b. December 20, 1957 in Portsmouth, Virginia) was the bass player for influential punk rock band The Minutemen. When he was young, Watt's family moved to San Pedro, California, where he became good friends with D. Boon. Watt and Boon picked up bass and guitar, respectively, and in the mid-1970s, they formed a band called The Reactionaries. The band later became The Minutemen, and drummer George Hurley was added to the lineup. After signing with SST Records in 1980, The Minutemen began touring constantly, releasing a number of albums along the way. Their music was based on the speed, brevity and intensity of punk, but included elements of jazz, folk, and funk. The Minutemen were ended tragically in December 1985, when Boon was killed in a van accident.
Watt and Hurley, despite originally intending to quit music altogether, formed fIREHOSE with a guitarist/ fan from Ohio named Ed Crawford. He also formed a group called Dos with his then-wife Kira Roessler. After three releases on SST, fIREHOSE signed with major label Columbia Records. Their music often sounded much like that of The Minutemen, though the songs became longer and more traditionally structured (generally, verse-chorus-verse). With the release of 1994's Mr. Machinery Operator, the band decided to call it quits.
After fIREHOSE, Watt began a solo career. His first album, Ball-Hog or Tugboat?, featured appearances from members of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Soul Asylum, and Screaming Trees. He gained a following among the alternative rock crowd, as his band included Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Dave Grohl of Nirvana. After the release of Contemplating the Engine Room in 1997, Watt went on to play in such groups as Banyan and Hellride. He also played in The Wylde Rattz, recording a song for the film Velvet Goldmine.
In 2003, Watt joined the reformed Iggy Pop and The Stooges.
1995 Ball-Hog or Tugboat?
1997 Contemplating the Engine Room
2004 The Secondman's Middle Stand, currently scheduled to be released in August