Watt + Kira = Dos; 4th Record Out in June

By on April 8, 2011

“dos y dos” is the fourth record from dos – kira (from twisted roots,
sexsick and black flag) on bass/singing and mike watt on bass. that’s it –
just two basses and her voice, sometimes watt’s voice too but not much.
this effort was recorded using a studio watt has created with pro tools
and a mac in his apartment in san pedro, ca called thunderpants. watt’s
band mate from floored by four, yuka honda, was given all the recorded
material to mix/produce. dos y dos is the second release on watt’s
clenchedwrench label and is currently set for 6/7/11 release.

the songs on dos y dos were written over the course of some 13 years.
every song has its own unique development. there is a selena cover song.
there are some songs that kira wrote most of the parts to. there are songs
that watt wrote a line and then the pair developed a second line together.
that is one of the coolest aspects of dos, that the songs vary wildly
because of the development process. some have singing, more do not on this
record unlike its predecessor justamente tres. watt sez:

“we’ve been together since the fall of 1985, this is my longest running
band. I really dig playing w/dos. it started as an experiment w/making
what’s commonly believed a backup instrument up front and paired off w/a
twin, using pingpong-like arrangements to create a special space which is
pretty much close to the deck but not smothered by competition. what we
try to do is develop converstations between our two basses and create a
landscape of lowend dynamic. in dos there is no hiding. this is both the
challenge and the reward.”

the beginnings of dos (pronounced like the word “dose” but it’s actually
the spanish word for “two”) go back to the fall of 1985, while the
minutemen were still actually a group. it was to be watt’s first ever
side project. black flag had earlier that year (in may) been on tour and
had the minutemen open up for about a week. kira was black flag’s bassist
at the time and was asked by mike watt (minutemen bassist) if she would
be interested in jamming in a two-bass-only situation. they had also
played together once before this tour in an one-off project called
“minuteflag” where both black flag and the minutemen recorded some pieces
together as one big seven member band one evening while black flag was
working on loose nut and it was later released on sst records. in around
october, kira and watt started to do improvised jams with each other,
some of which they recorded to a four-track. then d. boon died on
december 22, 1985. watt was devastated.

in kira’s words: “dos was initially formed after d. boon died. it was
important to keep mike playing in my eyes so we started jamming two bass
stuff and forming songs from the jams we had done. we liked the idea of
having no other intruments in the band because we both see the bass as a
lead instrument as much as any other instrument and why have drums or
guitar get in our way?” a few months later, kira and black flag parted
ways, she graduated from ucla and moved to new haven, connecticut where
watt would send her tapes of songs he wrote. meanwhile, kira started to
record bedtime stories and jam music w/two basses overdubbed onto the
stories and mailed them to her nephews who were quite young at the time
and they listened to them when they went to sleep for years; she also sent
copies of these to watt.

this trading of four-track tapes through the mail led to kira coming to
california to record the first dos record at radio tokyo in september,
1986 with owner ethan james at the controls. it was released later that
year on watt’s own label, new alliance records (which he started in 1980
with d. boon). many of the songs on this record went on to be used with
some modification in firehose and other watt projects. this would be true
for much dos material that watt would first write for kira and the band.

the first dos live gig was in the september of 1986 at raji’s in
hollywood, ca opening for greg ginn’s band gone, the same week they
recorded the first album. 1989 saw the release of numero dos, again on new
alliance records and again with ethan james. this was a six song 12″ e.p.
later, both the first record (dos) and numero dos would be combined to
make one cd, uno con dos. lots of dos gigs at this time consisted of kira
flying out to meet watt while he was on tour with firehose and open for
them during a stretch of four or five dates. there was even a small
dos-only tour of holland and belgium. a 7″ single for thurston moore’s
ecstatic peace label in 1991 (“the bob lawton ep”) was followed by 1994’s
justamente tres, a seventeen song cd on kill rock stars produced by ethan
james at his hollywood version of radio tokyo.



Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.