The Bruce Springsteen Interview On The Cover Of The Rolling Stone: “We finally made it back to the band sensibility”
If nothing else, you used to be pretty certain that if Bruce was talking to the Stone it should make for an illuminating ride. It didn’t here at all, and, when Bruce claims this is a return to form for the E Street Band you want to remind him that, live at least, the E Street Band have never been off form. The worst Bruce + E Street gig I’ve ever seen was pretty good. As for the album, supposedly a return to their 70s sound, is hype already disproved by first single “Letter To You”.
From the Brian Hiatt article: “It was really like the old days,” says drummer Max Weinberg. “Just pure musical energy, with the hard-earned musical and professional wisdom of guys in their 70s, or close to 70.” It also happens to be the most classically, unabashedly E Street-sounding album since at least The River. It’s a late-period rebirth of sorts, and it started with thoughts of death.
The theme is: George Theiss, lead singer of Bruce’s earlier band the Castiles, recently died and that makes Bruce the last remaining member, and this lead to Bruce going garageland on us. Hiatt: “When Springsteen learned in July 2018 that Theiss was in the final stages of terminal lung cancer, he chartered a plane to North Carolina to sit with him just before his passing. The whole way back, Diana was told, Springsteen was silent, lost in his thoughts.” I bet he was…
Apparently, Bruce wrote the album in five days and recorded it in four. Because Bruce didn’t do full demos but left the band to help with the arrangements… “We finally made it back to the band sensibility,” says Van Zandt, “where Bruce is comfortable trusting the band again, thinking like a band member again.”