Steven Van Zandt on Bruce Springsteen’s next ‘E Street Band’ record: “He gets first priority”

"Listen, if you have a band it's a miracle so don't take it for granted"

Steven Van Zandt has said that working with Bruce Springsteen is always his “first priority”, amid reports that a new E Street Band album is on the way.

The guitarist, who has performed with the US rock icon since the late 1960s, explained how he has been in touch with The Boss after he previously confirmed that he had written the band’s next record.

“Well, he said it the other day so I’m hoping it’s true!,” Van Zandt told NME. “We’ve talked about various things, but I’m yet to commit to it and we haven’t planned it. But he’s always got plenty of stuff, so we’ll talk in a few months about what he wants to do and he gets first priority for me.

“If he wants to go out then we’ll go out. I’m booked through November 6, but we’ve got time to do a new E Street album and then head out on a tour.”

For his part, Springsteen says he is mulling over “an album’s worth” of material and confirmed plans for an E Street Band tour in 2020.

But next month he will release ‘Western Stars’ – a left-turn of a solo effort that sees the Boss experimenting with Southern California pop music of the ’70s, influenced by the likes of Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb.

Hailing Springsteen’s latest album, Van Zandt said that the need to head out on solo projects can often be a positive learning curve for young bands.

“It’s healthy! I tell young bands the same thing. Listen, if you have a band it’s a miracle so don’t take it for granted,” he explained.

“After a couple of albums or whatever it is, if you wanna do solo things then do them – but always come back to the band.

“Even if it’s every other year. But it’s extremely important to realise that, because you should not take the chemistry of a band for granted. It’s rare and it’s special.”

Van Zandt was speaking to NME at London’s Hard Rock Cafe.