Fifteen years after he scratched a lifelong itch and moved to New York City, Steve Wynn has settled in nicely to life on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The relocation also breathed fire into a music career that already had notched landmark albums by his first band, the Dream Syndicate, collaborations with Gutterball and a slew of excellent early solo releases. Once he turned 40, Wynn rolled up his sleeves and really went to work, cranking out masterpieces like 2001’s Here Come The Miracles and 2003’s Static Transmission. Wynn, wife/drummer Linda Pitmon, Peter Buck (R.E.M.) and Scott McCaughey (Minus 5) are set to begin a U.S. tour. Read our Q&A with Wynn. (Also read our 2001 Q&A with Wynn, conducted by novelist George Pelecanos, as well as our overview of the Dream Syndicate and its fellow Paisley Underground bands.)
Steve Wynn: I love when people ask me to name the record that changed my life. That’s easy. It’s the Dream Syndicate’s The Days Of Wine And Roses. I mean, it did change my life more than any other record. OK, next question, then. What is the kitchen utensil that most changed my cooking habits in the year 2009? Come on, I know you’re dying to ask. Well, it’s the KitchenAid Immersion Blender that I had been eyeing online for months. Stick it in anything: soup, vegetables, beans, you name it. It turns something into something else, which—let’s face it—is what songwriters and musicians are always trying to do. I guess that’s why cooking is one of my favorite pastimes when I’m not on tour. Cooking is a very similar creative process to songwriting. You’re making something new out of familiar raw materials. And it’s a good procrastination/distraction device. Oh, and food tastes good.