Jun 222012

RTH: Your first two solo albums, Kerosene Man and Dazzling Display, are two my all-time favorite recordings. The list of folks who played with you on those releases is long and includes loads of cool folks like Chris Cacavas, Howe Gelb, Flo & Eddie, Peter Buck, John Wesley Harding, Johnette Napolitano, D.J. Bonebrake, and more. The Giant Sand guys are/were based in Tucson. Over the years it looks like you have done stuff in Tucson and with Tucson folks, including your great Here Come the Miracles release. Tucson has a mystical energy for me. How did you get attracted to Tucson? Did you ever go over and hang in Nogales? In high school we did frequently as all you had to be able to say was, “cerveza por favor” to get served beer.

SW: Glad to hear you liked those first 2 solo albums. They often get lost (sometimes even by me, when making set lists) in the idea that my best stuff happened in my first 10 years and last 10 years. I’ve had several run-ins with Tucson–first as a friend (and eventually labelmate) of Green On Red and Naked Prey. And then, as you mention, when I recorded there and made 3 albums (the Desert Trilogy!) from 2000 to 2005. What can I say? I like the music that comes out of there, I’ve made some really good friends. Wavelab is a great studio, Craig Schumacher (who runs the studio and co-produced those records with me) is a genius. And the Mexican food? Don’t get me started. I give that city (and particularly my experiences at Wavelab) a lot of credit for giving me a good boost into the second phase of my career.

RTH: You worked with Rick Rizzo and Janet Bean on Suitcase Sessions. How did you hook up with them? I’m assuming that you are an Eleventh Dream Day fan? I am for sure. They put on a helluva live show!

SW: Huge fan. Rick and Janet used to come to a bunch of our shows before they formed their band. One day they brought me a cassette of some of their songs. I remember listening to it on the plane home from Chicago and freaking out. They are one of those bands that had a great burst at the beginning but have kept evolving and getting better over the years. Great band and, yes, great live show.

RTH: I read somewhere that you are “big in the UK.” True? What exactly does that mean? I imagine A Hard Day’s Night throng of female fans chasing you down that street. Yes?

SW: Well, I’ve always been more popular in Europe, which is kinda fun. It’s given me the chance to see a lot of great places. To be honest, the UK is fine but I think my most popular countries have been on the continent–Italy, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Germany, Norway–those have all been particularly good. A woman once chased me down the street but it was because I forgot to pay for my breakfast.


  12 Responses to “A Dazzling Display: Rock Town Hall Interviews Steve Wynn”

  1. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey, both of you guys are funny! Cool inner-view. Townsman kcills better pick up on this — he and I used to cover “Days Of Wine and Roses” in our college band!

  2. bostonhistorian

    Nice work!

  3. Excellent! Love “Trial Separation Blues”

  4. I really enjoyed this — thanks!

  5. Mod and Sammy brought the Surf AND the Turf this morning with those 2 interviews. Very cool stuff.

    I’ve always thought the Fleshtones shared the same issue with NRBQ. They both put on high energy entertaining party rock shows with a lot of humor and excitement. Their records just don’t explode off the grooves the same way the live shows do. Still, the live shows are well worth seeing.

  6. ladymisskirroyale

    I don’t know much about The Dream Syndicate other than the name, but after this excellent interview, I’ll listen up! Thanks gents, this was a very enjoyable read (and listen).

  7. Totally agree: This is an excellent interview, and I will also listen-up to music that will be “new” to me! Thanks for leading us down a new path.

  8. 2000 Man

    I really love …tick…tick…tick and I really love even more The Dream Syndicate’s Complete Live at Raji’s. That might be one of the best live albums ever recorded. It’s just a blistering album.

  9. machinery

    Nice! I basically burned a hole through the Dream Syndicate’s first album and they put on an excellent show back then. Later albums fell off a bit for me by comparison to that one bolt of lightening.

  10. machinery

    Also love the Jim Jarmusch thing!

  11. sammymaudlin

    There’s a pretty big leap from Days of Wind and Roses to their last, Ghost Stories which I also like a lot. To me Ghost Stories was growth step away from Steve’s first solo albums which are amazing. I can totally see how many people would love the first but not the rest. I though was on for the ride and still dig the stuff he’s putting out these days.

  12. BigSteve

    Wynn definitely earns RTH Good Egg status. I think Days of Wine & Roses is a perfect album, but I really didn’t like the follow-up, so I never kept up much after that. I did get Here Come the Miracles, and it’s as good as everyone says. This interview should inspire some further explanation.

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