Interview & Photographs by Theo Constantinou
“The punk movement for us was not a style of music, it was a state of mind. It was about taking things into your own hands.” - Mike WattREAD the whole thing at Paradigm Magazine
“… You never know when your last gig is, don’t do it half way. Don’t sleepwalk. Don’t connect the dots. Even if you’re fixing carburetors. Make it the best fucking job you did on a carburetor. That’s what happens. This working for the weekend. Everything is all by proxy. No! Accidently I wrote a song called ‘Life is A Rehearsal’ because it ain’t no rehearsal.”
"I think there’s a lot of allegory and metaphor involved. Being cruel to the people, that’s not a metaphor, but humans like to do it ‘cause they’re so certain of the reality. I think that some of the writers, they make me think a lot about shit. It’s hard to understand but you become so passionate. For the longest time, I didn’t know what “Proud Man” was about. Then I figured it out; it was a steam boat, with big wheels and a bottom wheel. It took all these years and hearin’ that thousands of times. So I didn’t figure it out but I like the passion that it puts in me. For sure, I would use it as a club to beat another guy over the head with and I see it bein’ used like that a lot. I was just in Spain, in Seville, and it was Muslim this part called Al Kazar. And when the Christians got it, they didn’t tear it down, they conquistadores. They added to it. They even invited some Italians in later and got some Renaissance shit in there. They turned the minaret to a bell tower, so he’s got the power but at least he didn’t destroy. In a way, there was a weird hybrid of things. Tolerance, the tolerance thing is intense. That’s the real test. Gettin’ along with people who agree with you is tough. Why would a God do this? I hear that question a lot. Not just Richard Dawkins. You’ll hear science people talk about it, philosophers. Doubting, I don’t think, is a bad thing. Professional doubters, same thing as skepticism, you have to doubt doubters. See, logic only gets ya so far. But the magic, I don’t know about that. When you talk about Boots, he was trying to mix you know, it seems like a lotta guys were tryin’ to do that with the Christians. This whole thing that there was more to it, kinda goes back to the old days, even with our newer tools and science. You still have that question from the old days. What’s to it? I think it’s interesting. It is a very personal issue. This is where Watt gets worried cause it gets mixed with politics. That way I like Mr. Jefferson, keep ‘em separate. I hope I don’t sound too old fashioned. Don’t put ‘em in where the guns are cause you know, people grab for the sword and ideas mean nothing. And religion is such a personal issue. How can you fuckin’ say for everyone just cause you got the guns? And they’ve tried it so many times, and it never works. It never works. So when he said keep ‘em separate, and I’ve been there, I’ve taken a lot of my bands to Montecelo. The Obilisque, there’s a lot of crosses in this thing but he’s under Obilisque. He’s under some kinda thing. I just think it’s so personal that to mix it with politics…and even with politics, what’s that word mean? Is it really better ideas or I got more guns than you? I got a good beauty contest thing goin and you get a little skeptical about a lot of these kinds of things. I believe in short cuts. Talkin to guy on the tour. He had to do the miles, he couldn’t sit down and see it on the TV, he had to make it. There are no shortcuts! If you have to spend a lifetime reading the Old Testament, it’s trippy. It is trippy. The new one, too, has got some trippy shit. A lot of books got trippy. It’s hard for us to get perspective. Especially when you raise that and tell us that’s the only way. You either react against it or you strangle it. Like if I had enough information and I had perspective, I could just look at it. Our thing was so closed. I think what you’re asking is very valid and I’ll tell you, more important than that question, that’s serious."