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Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn makes good in Norway

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Multifaceted alt rocker Steve Wynn plays a solo show at The Chapel. (Courtesy photo)

Steve Wynn has some good news and some bad news. The Dream Syndicate/Gutterball/Baseball Project alum has a great new solo record, “Benedikt’s Blues.” But it’s only available in Norway. (It’s the soundtrack to the latest season of a TV series there called “Dag.”) Yet Wynn’s career revolves around such chance opportunities. In Oslo, he bumped into the guitarist for local alternative outfit Serena-Maneesh, and they entered the studio to record 15 tracks for a future album. It’s the upside of today’s flagging music industry, Wynn says: “You have the freedom to do whatever you want with whoever you want, whenever you want.”

You’ve been spending a lot of time in Oslo. How did you get associated with “Dag”?

“Dag” is a dark comedy about a misanthropic couples counselor who is well-curated in impeccable music taste. And the one piece of art on his wall is a cover of “Days of Wine and Roses” by The Dream Syndicate. So it seemed like a show I was destined to work on. They used a couple of my songs in the third season, and then sent me a DVD of the show and I just fell in love with it. Then the director asked me if I wanted to score the entire fourth season.

How do you compose music for a character like that?

Well, I’ve been that character. [But} it was a new thing for me, and I had all these ideas about the things I would do if I was hired for a job like that. The hard part was learning the rules of engagement – what they want you to do versus how you present it. It was parallel to, yet different from, making a record, but a good trick to learn at my old age.

Do you and your percussionist wife Linda Pitmon have an incredibly musical household in New York?

I made my last record (2015’s “Solo! Electric Vol. 1”) in the same room where I’m talking to you from now. We have a little studio in our pad in Queens, and I’m looking at two drum kits, four guitars, and a bunch of CDs. I mean, you can make “Sgt. Pepper” at home these days. And I’m lucky enough to live with an amazing drummer, so I have an in-house band.

What’s next then?

Everything I have ever done or been in is currently active, even Danny & Dusty (with Dan Stuart). Which is kind of nice. But the focus for the coming year will be a new Dream Syndicate album. We’re going to finish that in March, and it’ll be the first record we made in 28 years. I’m really excited about it.


Steve Wynn
Where: Chapel, 777 Valencia St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. Feb. 15
Tickets: $20
Contact: (415) 551-5157, www.ticketfly.com