And he's clearly not living in the past. Whether solo, with Banyan, the Stooges — or anything else on which he puts his inimitable artistic stamp — Watt allows the music to speak for itself rather than insisting upon long-gone relevance in the wake of shoddy product.

"Younger people are more open-minded, I think," he says of how his music is being received by a younger audience. "There were weird ideas about punk in the old days, even among punk people. That's okay: It made me what I am, and it didn't make me bitter. It actually made me more grateful for people being open-minded to where I can do crazy shit. I'm more about the new days. The burden to be creative should always be there. I like the fact that it's more econo to make the music now."

The stories of Watt hanging out before or after a show with fans and connecting with them on a human level are legion. Like many of his peers out of the '80s punk and hardcore scenes, Watt remains a respected figure — because of who he is, certainly, but also because of the respect he gives.

Mike Watt still jams econo with his Missingmen.
Mike Watt still jams econo with his Missingmen.

Location Info


Larimer Lounge

2721 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80205

Category: Music Venues

Region: Downtown Denver


Mike Watt & the Missingmen, with Lion Sized and Il Cattivo, 8 p.m. Friday, April 22, Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer Street, $10-$15, 303-291-1007.

"I don't try to take anyone for granted, and I keep pushing," Watt concludes. "I don't think I'm better than anybody else. I'm grateful to the movement and try to be part of that in a productive way. I don't think I try using people or anything. Maybe it's why I got into it in the first place, to be with my friends."

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