Bruce Springsteen has kept up a blistering schedule these last few years. Between re-issuing and touring behind his sprawling, 1980s masterpiece The River, releasing one of the best rock biographies ever written Born To Run, and plotting out a multi-week Broadway show, his plate has remained impressively full. It’s almost easy to forget that it’s been three full years since he last put out an album of new music.
In a new interview with Variety, Springsteen opened up about his next album — a solo project created without the assistance of the formidable E Street Band — and what fans can expect from it. “[It’s] influenced by Southern California pop music of the ’70s…Glen Campbell, Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach, those kinds of records. I don’t know if people will hear those influences, but that was what I had in my mind,” he explained. “It’s a singer-songwriter record. It’s connected to my solo records writing-wise, more Tunnel of Love and Devils and Dust, but it’s not like them at all. Just different characters living their lives.”
For those thinking that “The Boss” might use his next work to take on the sitting President of the United States, think again. ” It’s not topical at all,” he said. “I’m not driven to write any anti-Trump diatribe; that doesn’t feel necessary at the moment.” Adding, “I never wanted to be just a proselytizer for an ideological point of view. That’s not my job; that’s somebody else’s job.”
“It feels a little redundant to me at the moment. And, once again, I always try to look at what I can deliver that’s personal to me and of most value. The audience has a wide variety of needs; whatever you’re writing, you’re trying to meet your own need, and as I’ve said in other interviews, Marty Scorsese once said, “The job of the artist is to make the audience care about your obsessions.” So I hope I write about the things that obsess me well enough for my audience to care about them.”
Springsteen has yet to offer a release date for the next record, but you have to assume — or at least hope — it’ll come sometime after he completes his run on Broadway near the beginning of next year.