‘Something is continuing to bother me’: Bruce Springsteen discusses his recent burst of creativity

Bruce Springsteen’s most recent music has come in bunches, and it hasn’t followed any larger thematic line. He says there’s a reason for that: These are things that must be written, and in turn must be shared — almost like a kind of therapy.

“I find I’m usually trying to resolve something that’s bothering me internally,” Springsteen tells SiriusXM Radio. “That’s really the thrust. The thrust isn’t a theme. It’s not conceptual. It’s: Something is continuing to bother me, even after all these years — and I am going through my meditation. That helps me move toward a slightly greater degree of resolution, if I come up with something and I’m able to express some of what I am feeling, and then talk to people about it.”

In keeping, Springsteen has issued three full-length albums and a special Record Store Day EP over the last five years — more must than he released in all of the 1990s. At the same time, though, there hasn’t been an overarching message to albums like Working on a Dream or High Hopes, either. Springsteen more often seems to be writing in miniature now, focusing on the message of a single song — and, in the process, getting things, one by one, off his chest.

“That’s really the thrust for songwriting,” Springsteen adds. “It’s very similar to eating, in that there is a part of you that gets very uncomfortable. It’s very important for songwriters, and I’m sure most artists and creative people. There has to be a part of you that is continuously uncomfortable with yourself.”

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