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Steve Wynn - Interview

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 16 / 6 / 2007

Steve Wynn - Interview


Solo artist and ex-frontman with the Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn recently toured Europe with his side project Danny and Dusty, which also features Green on Red frontman Dan Stuart. After speaking to Stuart, Anthony Strutt now speaks to Steve Wynn about Danny and Dusty's new album, 'Cast Iron Soul'

Steve Wynn was the front man with the abrasive and influential LA cult group the Dream Syndicate, who recorded four studio albums, 'The Days of Wine and Roses'(1982), 'Medicine Show' (1984) 'Out of the Grey' (1986) and 'Ghost Stories' (1988) before finally splitting up in 1989. Wynn went solo and has released 11 solo albums, the most recent of which was '...tick... tick...tick...' which was recorded with his backing band the Miracle 3 and came out in 2005. His most recent release is 'Cast Iron Soul', the second album of his side project, Danny and Dusty, which he formed with Green on Red frontman Dan Stuart in the mid 80's. Danny and Dusty's original album, 'The Lost Weekend' was released back in 1985. Pennyblackmusic caught up Danny and Dusty as they prepared to go on stage to play their first ever European show at Dingwall's in London. Last month we published Dan Stuart's take on the project this month and now it is the turn of Steve, who is back for a fourth interview with us. PB : The original version of 'The Lost Weekend' came out in 1985. I thought that it came out on Zippo Records (which was owned by Elvis Costello-AS) but according to the remaster CD it came out on A&M. SW : It came out on A&M in America, and then Zippo put it out in the UK and then it was reissued by Sid Griffin from the Long Ryders on his label, Prima. ('The Lost Weekend' is currently out of print and has been for a number of years-AS) PB : It seems weird that A&M are still holding onto the tapes for the Dream Syndicate's 'The Medicine Show' (The only Dream Syndicate album not to get a remaster treatment-AS) and have been for many years, yet this first Danny and Dusty album, 'The Lost Weekend', also came out on A&M, but they were happy to let another label put it out. SW : It's not that we can't remaster it. It's that we can't get the rights to it. It's just one of those things, when you deal with a big company like that. They have the rights to it and they own it. PB : The first Danny and Dusty track, 'Bend on the Road', appeared on a compilation album. Do you remember when that was recorded compared to the album ? Was it a long time before then ? SW : It was recorded about a year before the album. PB : At the time in which it was recorded, the Dream Syndicate and Green on Red were at their peak of their careers. 'The Lost Weekend' was recorded in 32 hours. Did you record it so quickly because you had tour plans ? SW : It was recorded quickly because we didn't have a lot of money. It was one of those records, like a lot in my career, which you do because you really, really wanted to get the music down on record, even if it meant doing it for next to nothing. My favourite records that I have made are the ones in which I have gone in with friends and made music really quickly. That album was like that. We did it really quickly. It wasn't a serious big production. It was a relief in fact to go back to making music like that. ('Medicine Show' infamously took months to record-AS). It was done quickly for lots of reasons, money and because the band was clicking and it felt right. We would play a take, and it would be like "That's it. That does it. (laughs)" PB : Did you find it strange that Dan has chosen 'Cast Iron Soul' ? to be his comeback record ? After the recent Green on Red reunion shows, were you surprised when he chose you to make a new record with you rather then Green on Red ? SW : I was suprised. I was very happy when he came to me and said "I want to do another Dan and Dusty" album. I thought "I never saw that coming" but it is great. It grew out of the same reasons as the first one. We were hanging out and being friends, and the record grew out of sitting over lunch and talking about politics, sports and movies just like the first one, and before we knew it we had a bunch of songs. It came together in the most natural way. We are friends again so it made sense. PB : How did you get the name Dusty then ? SW : You would have to ask Dan that. He has always called me Dusty. PB : He doesn't know either. SW : It's one of those things, but it's like "Why, am I Dusty ? My clothes are clean." PB : Was it easier to write this record because I would imagine you always have songs around, whereas Dan had been away for a while and would I imagine be writing from afresh ? SW : It was easier because we are better writers now. We have more to draw upon. We took more time and worked on every line and lyric and that shows on the record. It is because we are better at what we do. The first record was easier too because we were drunk the whole time, so they were both easier in different ways. PB : Whose idea was it to take it this time on the road ? With 'The Lost Weekend' you only ever did two or three shows and just in LA ? SW : There weren't many. We knew when we did this album that it was more of a serious project. We felt we had done a cool record. We wanted to support it. We knew the first record had meant a lot to people, and we were very sad that we didn't bring it over here, so that was part of it. It is an old project but we are playing in Italy and in London for the first time. It's a strange feeling. because unlike those reunion shows by those other old bands, be it the Long Ryders, the Pixies or Green on Red, they played everywhere when they were first together, yet no one has seen the Danny and Dusty show including us. PB : Your last album with the Miracle 3 was '...tick...tick...tick' which for me is your best album, including the albums you did with the Dream Syndicate! SW : Thank you. PB : Have you started the next one ? SW : I have been writing and there could be two this Fall. I'm doing one with Chris Eckman of the Walkabouts in Slovenia. It will be an East European folk with strings type of thing and there will be a new Miracle 3 record at the same time. PB : Anything you would like to add ? SW : You have some great questions there. I'm a mile a minute at the moment because I am so hyped up about the show. We have tried to do this a few times before. PB : And this venue is in your history ? SW : The first day I ever spent in Europe we flew in from LA. I was a young 24 year old, and came from the airport to here and it is now like 23 years later and I have just done the same. PB : Thanks, Steve. SW : Thank you.

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Steve Wynn - Interview

Steve Wynn - Interview

Steve Wynn - Interview

Steve Wynn - Interview

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