Exclusive: Photos From Mike Watt's New Photography Book
Mike Watt mastered the art of playing the bass in punk with his group the Minutemen and kept alternative rock weird with fIREHOSE. In recent years he's been playing with Iggy Pop's band the Stooges. In his downtime, he's also a pretty-serious photographer, and his new book of photography, Mike Watt: On and Off Bass, comes out today, May 1. He took many of the photos of his native San Pedro from his kayak; the book also contains bits of his poetry and diary entries. We spoke with him about the project, and you can see more exclusive photos from the book below.
"You cannot set up these shots," says Watt. Indeed, his skill lies not in classical composition -- although photo nerds will nonetheless find plenty to like in the book. Rather, Watt's strength comes from his ability to capture everyday scenes. His pictures make the mundane into the sublime. While Watt has traveled the world, this book focuses on his home base of San Pedro -- "The locals just call it 'Pedro,' man," he notes.
"These shots are given to you. It's like winning the lottery," says Watt, speaking of his process. "They're beautiful. It's a trippy thing. You have to be there to capture that moment." One of his favorite subjects, repeated again and again throughout the book is the sun. It's not just any sun that Watt likes; it's the rising sun. "Think about the sunrise. It's potential. What is to be done today?"