Bruce Springsteen hasn’t done a lot to promote his new album, “High Hopes,” which came out earlier this week, but in an illuminating interview with NPR’s Ann Powers, which came out Wednesday, he revealed quite a lot.
Here are six fun facts gleaned from the interview, which can be listened to and read here.
*Bruce is a Kanye West fan. A big one: “Kanye West is incredible, you know. I mean, the record-making facility, you know, there's a lot of hours in those records...I saw him on television, he did the song called “Blood On The Leaves” on “Later...With Jools Holland”— it was fantastic... I'm not necessarily driving [to] it in my car, you know. I probably fall back on the stuff that I listened to as a kid or something if I'm driving around. But I do listen. I listen to a lot because there's a lot of information in it and it's just fascinating record-making.
*His daughter turned him on to contemporary country music: My daughter got into a lot of new country music and she would kind of play it on the way to school on occasion and I got into a lot of some of the new guys. I like some of the Toby Keith records, Kenny Chesney...When [Keith] gets the song, when he's at his A game, it's really good... I'm still back with George Jones and Conway Twitty and Lefty Frizzell. That's sort of my go-to, but there's a lot of good young country guys out there. [Editor’s note: Keith and Chesney are hardly “young country guys... each have been at it for more than 20 years.]
*It still comes down to the age-old conflict between fathers and sons: “I believe everything that I've written about kind of comes from the psychology of my childhood in the sense that I lived in an interesting house, you know, and I've said this many times. I lived in a house where somebody was very fulfilled by their work and a house where somebody was very lost in the workplace and struggled very hard to keep their head above water. And it was a house that, you know, it was the finance company that kept us floating month to month just barely, you know...So I saw that happen and it was a bit of, you know, sons and fathers. It's the old thing. Somebody asked T Bone Burnett once what was rock 'n' roll: "Daddy," you know, somebody crying, "Daddy!" The whole sons and fathers thing — it'll never stop. I suppose it's somewhat boring at this point in time but the bottom line is it just is. Funny, when I went to work, you know I've said in the past, what did I do? I put on my father's clothes, really. I didn't put on my clothes. You know, when I began to craft a larger image than the one I started with in the early '70s, I very much crafted it.
He likes hearing his influence on younger bands: I know Brian Fallon from The Gaslight Anthem, he was a fan but he does something, he just manifests something that's completely his. I've played with his band onstage a few times and I love doing it. It's just wonderful. We played in Asbury Park at Convention Hall one night and we did “American Slang” and it was just great. You hear little bits of [your music in other songs] but then they take it to another place. They take it to a place where you wouldn't have taken it, you know. And that's what you hope for...You know, Against Me!, I just heard a song they did, "Black Me Out," it's a fantastic song, you know. And so, any time where you feel you may have dropped a seed or two that someone picked up in any way is, it's just a pleasure.
He dug Eric Church’s massive hit, “Springsteen”: My kids thought it was hilarious. "Dad! There's like a song, like your name is in it!" And it was a good song, too, so it was nice. And I wrote him a letter, I said we all got a kick out of it, you know. It was a lovely song. It was fun.
Expect lots more music: I would like to put something out every year at this point. There's no reason [not to]. The first contract I signed, I was supposed to put an album out every six months. Those were the days...I think I'd like to get an archival series going in some way. I'd like to make things more available through the Internet.