In an interview with Britain’s Sunday Times, Bruce Springsteen said he doesn’t think the Democrats yet have a strong enough candidate to defeat Donald Trump in 2020, and said that he’ll be getting “back to his day job next year,” which includes the release of a long-completed solo album — which he discussed in detail with Variety in 2017 — and hinted at touring with the E Street Band, although there is some confusion over that latter detail.
In the interview, Springsteen, who is winding down his “Springsteen on Broadway” show after 14 months, said the Democrats need a candidate “who can speak some of the same language” as Trump. “I don’t see anyone out there at the moment…the man who can beat Trump, or the woman who can beat Trump,” he said. “The Democrats don’t have an obvious, effective presidential candidate.” Springsteen has spoken out about the president policies during “Springsteen on Broadway” and also during his interview with Variety last year.
While he praised the Democrats for taking back the House in last month’s midterm elections, he said he would “like to have seen a much more full-throated [rejection] of the past two years. We’ve come too far and worked too hard. Too many good people paid too high a price to allow this.”
The tour, however, was less clear. While Springsteen said he will be “getting back to his day job” of touring with the E Street Band in 2019, his rep did not have details and even longtime E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt seemed confused by the news.
“This is very likely a misunderstanding. We will try and get it cleared up. One way or the other,” he tweeted, adding, “We say the same things over and over and over and people choose not to listen. Once again-There are no plans for E Street Touring in 2019 right now. Could that change at any moment? Yes. We will try and get an official statement. Maybe that would help. Maybe not! @nilslofgren
Fellow guitarist Nils Lofgren tweeted, “Only the Boss knows.” That may be the most accurate comment, as Van Zandt said in the past that there were no plans to tour in 2016 either — until there were.
As for the album, Springsteen has spoken for several years of a “solo record” that apparently has been completed since before he launched “The River” tour, his most recent trek with the E Street Band, in 2016. While he hewed to his usual vague description of the album when speaking with the Times — “For lack of a better word, it’s a singer-songwriter album – more of a solo record” — he opened up about it to Variety last year.
“Really, that record is influenced by Southern California pop music of the ’70s,” he said, referring to orchestrated-pop music of that era by “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. It gave me something to hook an album around; it gave me some inspiration to write. And also, 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.”
The album will be Springsteen’s first of new material since 2014’s “High Hopes.”
On Dec. 15, after 236 performances since October of last year, the singer will give his final performance of “Springsteen on Broadway.” But the following night, fans can see the premiere of a Netflix special of the show, which was announced back in July. A trailer for the film arrived this morning, which you can watch below; an album of the show will be released on Dec. 14.