Bruce Springsteen was driving back from the gym this morning when he called up SiriusXM’s E Street Radio to chat with hosts Dave Marsh and Jim Rotolo. During the ten-minute conversation, he revealed that filmmaker Thom Zimny shot a film where he plays his new record Western Stars from start to finish.
“We knew we weren’t going to tour,” Springsteen said, “so I was looking for a way to get some of the music live to an audience and so we figured that was the best way to do it. We’re looking forward to getting it to the fans when we can.” Springsteen has done no interviews since Western Stars came out on June 14th and this is the first confirmation that there will be no tour of any kind in support of it.
Later in the interview, Springsteen said that he was thrilled by the fan response to Western Stars. “I thought the record was a little off to the left and I really didn’t know quite know what kind of response it was going to get,” he said. “But just walking around and talking to fans on the street and seeing how the record was received was very exciting. It made us look how for we can further that experience for the fans without going out and playing live right now because I’m still working on some other things.” (He never explained what “other things” he was talking about, though earlier this year he said that he’s written songs for a new E Street Band album that he’s going to take out on the road next year.)
— SiriusXM (@SIRIUSXM) July 10, 2019
Springsteen spent much of the brief interview pontificating on his relationship with his audience. “Jon [Landau] and I were talking about this,” he said. “We worked hard over the years and we have built and audience that really follows me where I need to go, and that is something that is so deeply appreciated by me that it’s really something I’m proud of. They aren’t stuck in a rut. They don’t only want to hear specific group of songs. They are really adventurous… It’s a lovely thing and I just want to send a thank you out to my great audience that is out there.”
His mind went back to a moment in late 1972 when he was playing the New York City club Kenny Castaways shortly before Greetings From Asbury Park came out. “A fellow musician who had a very popular hit at the moment [came in],” he said. “There was about 20 people there. He’d seen me with my band down the shore playing to thousands of people and he came up to me and said, ‘What are you doing? What in the world are you doing here?’ But I knew what I was doing there. I was looking to play the long game right from when I was young. I believed if I achieved what I believed was my complete best, there would be an audience there that would eventually respond.”
He closed by expressing great optimism about the future. “It’s a very exciting part of my work life right now,” he said. “I’ve been on the road for a while now. The book’s reception was great and the Broadway stand couldn’t have been deeper or better. It’s just been a nice development along with this record and I’m looking forward to keeping that roll going.”