Watt and Hurley, despite originally intending to quit music altogether, formed fIREHOSE with a guitarist/ fan from Ohio named Ed Crawford. He also formed a group called Dos with his then-wife Kira Roessler. After three releases on SST, fIREHOSE signed with major label Columbia Records. Their music often sounded much like that of The Minutemen, though the songs became longer and more traditionally structured (generally, verse-chorus-verse). With the release of 1994's Mr. Machinery Operator, the band decided to call it quits.
After fIREHOSE, Watt began a solo career. His first album, Ball-Hog or Tugboat, featured appearances from members of Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Soul Asylum, and Screaming Trees. He gained a following among the alternative rock crowd, as his band included Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Dave Grohl of Nirvana. After the release of Contemplating the Engine Room in 1997, Watt went on to play in such groups as Banyan and Hellride. He also played in The Wylde Rattz, recording a song for the film Velvet Goldmine.