Strap yourself in and hang on! Musician extraordinaire Mike Watt explains the connections between his new opera hyphenated man, the Wizard of Oz and ritual. The opera is an interpretation of the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Mike tells us how it came to be.
Mike Watt in the New York Times
“(Watt) has given middle age much thought. “I had this need to write about this period in my life,” he said. “You know, punk-rock guy confronting himself. But I didn’t have the talent to put it in one song.”
So he wrote 30 short ones. The subtext of the resulting album, “Hyphenated-Man,” is a fragmented self-portrait: “a mirror busted up in 30 pieces,” as he put it. But on the surface it’s a detailed description of 30 different characters painted by Hieronymus Bosch. “You know,” he said, “the midlife thing, the nightmare thing.”
Mr. Watt decided to return to the way he wrote songs in the Minutemen: title first, then music, then words. (He wrote all the songs on D. Boon’s Fender Telecaster guitar.) He based each song on a different Bosch character, drawing from six paintings.”