Issue #13 July 21st - August 3rd, 2006

Little League Bass Hero: Mike Watt
By: David Klein

Traditionally, the key to a successful band has been hard work, the ambiguous X factor, or an uncle in the biz, but Mike Watt, bass player for Little League Hero, suggests an easier path.

“All you need is a $3 date book from Wal-Mart,” Watt said.

Watt is very organized. He has the $3 date book, a cell phone with the most important numbers in the Oklahoma music scene, and an acquired passion for promotion.

All this is merely his means to a blissful end. Watt lives to play live and touts his reputation as an extroverted performer.

“I move around a lot,” Watt said. “The last thing I worry about is what people think.”

Watt’s on-stage antics sometimes cause undesired results, but he jokingly and confidently spins his behavior. “I’ve passed out on stage twice; Johnny Cash did it once. I must be twice as good,” he said.

Despite his active live performance, Watt is a solid bass player. He delivers a self-described rhythmic foundation under Little League Hero’s flowing melodies and arpeggiated guitars.

Watt enjoys arranging music to enhance the strengths of his fellow musicians and recognizes the song and band come before his ego. “I have never been the reason my bands have been awesome,” he said. “I’ve always known so many great guitar players.”

Little League Hero is no exception. Watt allows the dueling guitars in his band to dictate his bass lines and shape his style.

“I would rather play an intricate rhythm than a complicated run,” Watt said. “Playing complicated stuff is not what makes a band good; it’s the group dynamic.”

In fact, Watt plays only two notes on the song “Getaway Style” by Little League Hero. He uses different rhythms and note duration to distinguish the parts of the song.

Watt’s musical idols include Pink Floyd, Sonic Youth, and the Beach Boys. Soul music, reggae and 80s pop also influence his bass playing.

“If you want to learn to play bass, jam some Duran Duran,” Watt said.

Watt is not a classically trained musician, but he has an excellent grasp of practical theory and rock philosophy.

He compared music to physics and language in terms of a system. He explained that once one understands the basic elements of music, it is just a matter of applying the parts to the whole.

The holistic approach to his bass lines allows him to find a complementary place in the music in which he can “sit back and feel it.”

Mike Watt understands the evolving work to fun ratio in any career, and he strives to maintain the fun side of playing despite his ink-filled date book. He reflected cheerfully on the beginning of his music career and its inevitable decline.

“Your first show ever is gonna be your best show, he said. “It’s all downhill from there.”

See Mike Watt live with Little League Hero July 28 at the Bell Isle Brewery and July 29 at Danny Bob’s in Edmond. Visit and for more information.

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©2006 NONCO Media, L.L.C.