With word coming straight from "The Boss" himself that Bruce Springsteen intends to record a new album with the E Street Band before heading out on tour in 2020 -- no one is more excited than bandmate and best friend, Steve Van Zandt. Springsteen will release his latest solo album, Western Stars on June 14th.

Van Zandt, who earlier this year released his latest solo set, Summer Of Sorcery, told NME: "Well, he said it the other day so I’m hoping it’s true! We’ve talked about various things, but I’m yet to commit to it and we haven’t planned it. But he’s always got plenty of stuff, so we’ll talk in a few months about what he wants to do and he gets first priority for me. If he wants to go out then we’ll go out. I’m booked through November 6th, but we’ve got time to do a new E Street album and then head out on a tour."

Steve Van Zandt told us that Springsteen's recent work isn't that far away from what first attracted him to his earliest songs: "Well, he's still writing at a very high level of quality and that's always inspiring to me. Sometimes it maybe a little more politically slanted or socially slanted than romantically or emotionally slanted -- but, y'know, I don't really judge that way. You go onstage with the script that you have and you do that as well as you can possibly do it. Y'know, that's all I know."

Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul next performs on July 18th at Huntington, New York's Paramount Theatre.

AUDIO: STEVE VAN ZANDT ON QUALITY OF NEW BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN MUSIC