Bruce Springsteen Says Two-Hour Soundcheck Is ‘Fun’

While many musicians consider sound checks a necessary technical requirement prior to playing shows, Bruce Springsteen said he considers them “fun” — which is why he’s happy to spend as much as two hours on them.

In a recent episode of Questlove Supreme podcast, Boss outlined his approach to live performances, saying he was always aware that someone in the audience was attending one of his shows for the first time.

“It started when I was a little kid,” he said. “More than being rich or more than looking good, I wanted to make great music. I wanted to inspire people as I felt inspired. And that’s my life’s work. I want to inspire you with my music as people touched mine heart and soul with their music.”

He added: “On the last tour we played 200 different songs. Once the tour rolls around, the show is regularly different on a night-to-night basis. We don’t just play three and a half hours a night – we’re there in the afternoon. I’ve done two-hour soundchecks just to learn something new. It’s just because it’s fun, and it’s still an honor to play for our audience. And that’s what I insist to the band on a nightly basis.”

Claiming his reputation was “one of the line” at each performance, he continued: “I don’t care how long you’ve been doing it – you have the opportunity to impact someone’s life tonight. It’s someone’s first time every night and I want to play like it was my first night.”

Springsteen has just released a covers album Only the strong survive, which came about because he felt he was “done writing for a while.” He explained: “I made a record with The E Street Band called Letter to you and it felt like I have nothing to write about at the moment. I also like to record and be in the studio, making sounds, so [I thought] maybe I’ll record something I didn’t write.”

He touched on the massive changes in the music industry over the years and lamented the loss of small venues where an artist could develop their talents. “These were the places where you played five hours a night… We learned our craft piece by piece, song by song. It is different today; you have a child in his bedroom; two months later he has the biggest hit in the US on the radio – never played a concert in his life.”

Bruce Springsteen Albums Ranked

Because he spent so many of his formative years carefully crafting his albums, we don’t often think of Bruce Springsteen as a prolific artist. But he averaged an album almost every two years throughout his career.

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