"I have stuff I'm working on that I'm very happy about," Bruce Springsteen said backstage before his June 3rd concert in Milan, Italy, during a rare interview for a story about his European tour in the new issue of Rolling Stone. He was talking about his plans for the followup to the 2012 studio album, Wrecking Ball. "I hate to say, because I don't like to be wrong," he added, laughing. "But I have a lot of material. I still feel like I'm in the middle of the well."
Springsteen, whose European trek ends in Kilkenny, Ireland on July 28th, has already cut new tracks this year, during the recent Australian leg of his world tour. He and the E Street Band – with Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine temporarily subbing for guitarist Steve Van Zandt – spent one of their days off in a studio in Sydney. That was a first, Springsteen pointed out: "We've never had a recording session during a tour in our lives. We did a couple of things that I wanted to put down. So that was very exciting. And being with Tommy was exciting. The band – Steven, Nils, all those guys – continues to be a source of inspiration for me."
"I always used to say, in the past decades, that I wanted to make more records – and I've done that," Springsteen said, noting his recent rate of production: six studio albums since 2002's The Rising. "I struggled through the Nineties. We weren't playing together," referring to the E Street Band, "and I didn't know how we sounded on record. Brendan O'Brien" – who produced The Rising, 2007's Magic and 2009's Working on a Dream – "gave us that gift. It gave us a rebirth and inspired me, I believe, to write more songs. Of course, it was a decade with an awful lot going on in the United States and elsewhere."
Springsteen wouldn't divulge any more specifics on the new album or the songs he is writing for it. But he was certain that the momentum from his year-long touring with the E Street Band will carry over into his next work. "It's ongoing," insisted Springsteen, who has one more confirmed show after the European tour, on September 21st at Rock in Rio in Brazil. "A week or two later, after stopping, I'm in the studio working, making a demo. You stop the performing for awhile, because this level of intensity. . . You need a break from it."
"But this has been a great, tremendously rewarding period of our time together," Springsteen said. "This has been the best ten, twelve years we've ever had."