Bruce Springsteen was originally hoping to launch the E Street Band's next tour in the spring of 2021 — he now thinks it's going to be much longer than that. During a new chat with Rolling Stone, “The Boss” spoke about his upcoming album, Letter To You, which drops on October 23rd — but also touched upon what the road will look like post-Covid.
Springsteen explained, “My antenna tells me, at best, 2022. And I would consider the concert industry lucky if it happens then. . . I’m going to consider myself lucky if I lose just a year of touring life. Once you hit 70, there’s a finite amount of tours and a finite amount of years that you have. And so you lose one or two, that’s not so great. Particularly because I feel the band is capable of playing at the very, very, very top, or better than, of its game right now. And I feel as vital as I’ve ever felt in my life. . . It’s not being able to do something that is a fundamental life force, something I’ve lived for since I was 16-years-old.”
He talked about how the E Street Band recorded the entirety of Letter To You over five days last year: “It’s the only album where it’s the entire band playing at one time with all the vocals and everything completely live.”
Guitarist Steve Van Zandt likened it to how the early-Beatles albums were recorded, added: “We were doing a song every three hours. We basically cut the album in four days. We booked five days and on the fifth day we had nothin’ to do, so we just listened to it.”
For drummer Max Weinberg, having the entire E Street Band in the studio at once felt like a flashback to the band's early sessions: “It was really like the old days. Just pure musical energy, with the hard-earned musical and professional wisdom of guys in their 70's, or close to 70.”
Springsteen went on to talk about the original E Streeters no longer with us: “The loss of Clarence (Clemons) and Danny (Federici) still echoes every day in my life. I still don’t believe it. I’m like, 'I’m not gonna see Clarence again? That doesn’t sound quite possible!' I live with the dead every day at this point in my life. Whether it’s my father or Clarence or Danny, all those people sort of walk alongside you. Their spirit, their energy, their echo continues to resonate in the physical world. . . A beautiful part of living is what we’re left by the dead.”
Bruce Springsteen continues to create new work in the hopes of further connecting with his core base of fans: “It deepens your relationship with you're audience, y'know, that's been my pursuit since I've started and continues to be so today. Y'know, I'm trying to deepen my conversation about life in general. Things that hopefully matter to me and hopefully matter to them and Martin Scorsese once said, 'The job of the artist is to get the audience to care about your obsessions, and to meet you in the middle, and to see what you have in common.'”