Bruce Springsteen on Donald Trump, and his own depression


So you write in your book “the grinding
hypnotic power of this ruined place and this people would never leave me”. I think you’re
talking about your grandparents’ place where you grew up. But you could be talking about
New Jersey couldn’t you? You’ve never really left New Jersey. Could’ve been! I mean, spiritually or in terms of real estate. Well the only time I left was for a short
period in the early 90’s where we went to LA for about 4 years I think. And we lasted
until my kids were old enough to be in the 1st grade. That was too long. You had to make a choice. Actually I like
Los Angeles. It’s an interesting city. It’s in the desert. You’re surrounded by the
Mojave. You’ve got the St. Gabriel Mountains, the Santa Monica Mountains. You’ve got the
beautiful beaches, and I enjoyed where it was located. And I got a motorcycle, so I’d
take it out into the mountains and the desert pretty often. I miss that about it, I miss
that about living out West. But, as soon as my kids were school age, we had about an 80
member family back home – Irish and Italian. Even when we were in LA we were spending about
half the year there and half the year in New Jersey. We knew we wanted the kids to grow
up around family, in a smaller neighbourhood, where people were used to seeing us, it was
a much more normal environment. School was very normal. The kids got used to seeing you
when they were very young, so they didn’t make a big deal about it. So that’s what
we did. So, you never really left your kind of people,
Irish- Italian, that working class background, that’s who you are. Basically I live 10 minutes from my home town. Where you grew up? Yeah, and 20 mins from the beach. I’m an
old un-reconstructed beach bum. There was something about staying close to those roots
that I felt protected me, maybe protected some part of my music and my work. I was interested
in writing about where I came from. I was interested in the people that were there.
I wanted to continue writing about those subjects and I felt that staying close to home kind
of kept it very clear for me. Because a lot of your songs are about your
family, your troubled relationship with your father, your loving devoted mother, and your
people – if I can call it that – Ok… I mean, you know, working class blue collar,
you know Irish Italian American immigrants. They’re kind of in the news these days because
everyone wants to get a piece of their action for the election. I suppose so you know. I think that what’s
happened is very visible right now. The past 40 years as the deindustrialisation and globalization
has affected a lot of work lives, the issues that matter to a lot of hardworking folks
haven’t been addressed. If I couldn’t be a musician tomorrow and I had to find something
else to do, I have no idea what I’d do. I’d be at a loss. So, your steel mill closes
down, your factory moves south or moves overseas, that’s your life walking away from you.
It’s really a moment where their concerns have come out in front. Sure it usually only
happens when someone wants your vote. Sure But it has happened and so they’re demanding
a response of some sort, and neither party has really addressed their concerns. The landscapes that you write about in your
lyrics, and I’ve travelled through a lot of these places in America myself, I think
they’re heart-breaking. They’re heart-breaking landscapes of urban desolation and despair
and abandonment. And a lot of the people I speak to on these trips, they love Donald
trump. They love him because they think that he is finally hearing them. Do you get that
in your community, in the people you used to know in New Jersey? Can you understand
where that’s coming from? I know some Trump voters. but I think that
he’s really preyed upon in that part of the country because he’s very glib and he
gives very superficial answers to very entrenched and difficult problems. But they’re answers
that sound pretty good if you’ve struggled for the past 20 or 30 years. So, you can understand his appeal? Yeah, I can understand that he’s somebody
with very simple answers to very complicated questions, who sounds like they’re listening
to you for the first time. Do you think the people who like him are racists? No, no I don’t believe that you can generalise
like that that. I think there are all kinds of people are interested in him for a variety
of different reasons. In a way, that part of America has been looking
for someone to talk to them for a very long time, and in a way you did that with your
music. And you write about that very eloquently in your book. But politically they’ve been
left behind haven’t they? I believe so, yes. Are the democrats the answer this time? Is
Hilary Clinton the answer? I don’t know. I think Bernie Sanders has
some appeal. But I’m not sure if there’s anybody out there who really is going to dig
into those problems. Because I saw you playing with Barack Obama
in Madison Wisconsin, I think it was his last rally in his last election in 2012. Massive
crowd. Are you going to play for Hilary Clinton this time round? I don’t have any plans at the moment you
know. It’s only three weeks left in the election. Has she asked you? They’ve been in contact to use a piece of
music or something, which is fine by me. I think she’ll be a good president. I don’t hear undiluted enthusiasm. But you’re not going to play for Trump? No. There are so many fascinating things about
the book. One of the things that was really moving, and of course I didn’t know this
until the book came out, was your struggle with depression. And that for you, concerts,
and I just went to see one the other day, it was 4 hours and ten minutes long. I was
tired sitting down for that long and clapping and singing along. But this depression thing
– you use concerts as a form of self-medication, don’t you? I think that’s how it all started. You’re
young and you don’t understand the different things you’re feeling. You certainly don’t
understand if there’s any chemical imbalance in your make up so, all I knew is when I played
it deeply centred me and chased away my blues for whatever reason. I think there was an
enormous amount of self-realisation in playing and you walked off the stage that night you
knew who you were. And you felt you’d done something constructive. You’re left with
a certain feeling of lightness and a positivity that eluded me in a lot of the rest of my
daily life. So music was really my first refuge against things that were bothering me, so
it did help a lot. But then when you give a concert in front
of thousands of people, tens of thousands of people, you end up on a high Oh yes you do You’re body-surfing through the crowds,
then the low is just that much more dramatic afterwards. Or is it not? It can be. I tended to struggle most when
I was off the road, when I was not playing, and I was not necessarily my own best company.
So, I definitely tend to have a harder time with it during the periods when I’m not
working. During the periods when I’m working I always have the shows to fall back on, and
they always lift you and I’ve never found it to be an issue in my work whether I was
recording or whether I was playing. So, it does cut up a little bit into your off time
and your on time, and I definitely struggle with it a little more when I’m not working. One of the chapters in the book is called
wrecking ball and it was also the title of one of your albums, I gather written after
the Great Recession of 2008. That made you very angry didn’t it? The state of Wall
Street and how Wall Street was not taken to justice? You had a very small group of people who damaged
so many other people’s lives, people I’m friends with, people lose their homes, they
lose their retirement. At the end of the day there was very little accounting that went
on. There was very, very little accountability. So when I went to write that record, that
was deeply on my mind at the time. A sad chapter in American history. Is some of that lack of reckoning accounting
for some of the rage, the real rage that we hear today? I think so And do you think that rage will go away after
this election? No. No. I don’t know how it’s going to
manifest itself but it will manifest itself somehow. Do you think there might be some trouble?
I mean, we’ve already seen some strife on the streets. The trouble at the moment is that you have
Donald trump who is talking about rigged elections. And he has a feeling he’s going to lose
now, which of course he is going to lose. You’re confident. Oh yeah, oh yeah, he’s going to lose. And
he knows that. He knows he’s going to lose. He’s such a flagrant, toxic, narcissist
that he wants to take down the entire democratic system with him if he goes. If he could reflect
on these things maybe he’d have – but he’s such an unreflective person. And he simply
has no sense of decency, no sense of responsibility about him. And the words that he’s been
using over the past several weeks really are an attack on the entire democratic process. And is that dangerous? Yeah it is. I think it’s very dangerous.
He does have a lot of people’s ears. And I don’t think he’s going to go quietly,
gently into the good night. I think he’s going to make a big a mess as he can. And
I don’t know what that’s going to mean, but we’ll find out shortly. I mean if you look at the state of America
today, if you look at the language used in this election campaign, would you say that
you’re ‘proud to be born in the USA’, to quote your most famous song? America is a place that still has an enormous
amount of wonderful qualities about it. I mean, I just love the country itself, I always
have. I think that I have had the critical but creative voice, it’s the voice I search
for in my music, whether it was born in the USA I think the thing about that song is that
there was a critical voice in the verses and yet there was a sense of pride in birthplace
in the choruses, and that’s where I’ve always come from. I grew up in America and
my music is thoroughly American and while I certainly have a lot of criticisms about
where we live, it’s something I’ve also always had a lot of pride in. If your father, with whom you had a very troubled
relationship, was alive today, do you think he would be tempted to vote for Donald Trump? That’s a good question. If he voted at all.
I’m not sure, I don’t know, he’d have a hard time. He was an angry man though, wasn’t he? An
angry, depressed man I think if you just looked towards my music
and you’ll hear the way I created a little bit of an archetype in my songs about him
and it was a little one-dimensional, a one-dimensional portraiture. He had a lot of qualities beyond
the fact that he struggled with his life and with workings. So, he was a much more complicated
character than that. What about your mother? Would she be in love
with Hillary Clinton as a candidate? That’s a good question, I’m not sure.
My mother, who when I was very young, I know was very democratic. She was the first one
to say “Who are we mum?” “We’re democrats, they’re for the working people.” That
was the only political discussion we had in my house when I was a kid. But, she tended
to get a little more conservative as she got old. But she wouldn’t be a trump-voter. Because it’s very tribal in America and
you’re a democrat or you’re a republican, and then that tribal thing seems to become
diluted in recent years. I think that people’s politics are shaped
by tribe, by psychology, by the way you were brought up and nurtured. That’s why I always
say people don’t come to musicians looking for their political points of view. With the
size of my audience, I’m sure that I have people with all different points of views
that come to see us. But don’t you fell at this crucial juncture
– I mean, this is a really important election for America, the whole world is watching,
it’s the only topic of conversation in this town – do you think it’s your duty as
a famous musician, as a lyricist, as a guardian of the America soul, do you think it’s your
duty to get involved politically? Not necessarily. I think that I’ve had a
voice that has spanned over a period of 40 years now. People generally know where I’m
coming from and my point of view. I believe that if you get out there on the stump, which
I have done a few times…I think it’s nice to show some support but I don’t necessarily
believe that musicians turn the tide or have any deep, deep political influence in that
sense. That’s sort of my approach towards it. The trash talk that we heard on the tape the
other day, on that famous tape about women from 2005, he said it’s just locker-room
talk. Do you agree with that? No. It was obviously something that at the
core of his person. You never get that kind of talk on the trailer
or on the tour bus or ? Not really Not really Not like that Not like that Looking ahead, you know, you’ve done so
much. What else are you going to do? What are the things you haven’t done yet? What’s
your bucket list? I just keep doing the same old thing. I mean,
I work, I put my records out, I continue to talk about the things that I’m interested
in. That’s the way I approach my job. I take it day-to-day. You’ve written this great book, so obviously
now you’re going to get the Nobel Prize for Literature like Bob Dylan. I don’t think so. That’s why you wrote it no? Oh yeah sure! Not just for your lyrics but also for a real
book. Youi congratulate him. He’s one of your
heroes Bob Dylan? Oh I think it’s fabulous yeah. I think it’s
really wonderful. I’m very happy about it. Just one more: I watched your concert the
other day, 4 hours and 10 minutes I think I told you. How do you do it? I mean, how
you do keep it up for so long. It’s extraordinary. I always have trouble stopping. Ah, so it’s the opposite. The night has an organic life of its own.
I come out at night not quite knowing exactly where the audience is going to take me or
where I’m going to go. We have such a big body of work behind us. I like to play a lot
of it, my audience comes to hear a lot of it. Plus I want to give people something that they’re hopefully never going to forget.
I want to give them something that feels epic to them. I want to try to push beyond normal
realms of performance. I want people to go home feeling like they’ve had a night that’s
going to resonate within them. We go out to entertain, we go out to inspire, we go out
to stir you with action. So, there’s a lot at stake when I go out onstage at night. I
like that, I like playing for those stakes, I always have ever since I was a young man
and that’s the way I got about it. So you’re going to carry-on touring? Carry
on performing? Can’t stop No sir.

100 thoughts on “Bruce Springsteen on Donald Trump, and his own depression

  • One of America's greatest gifts to the world, and my all time music hero. Been a fan since I was 17 and seen him 24 times.

  • Bruce Springsteen, are you getting too old to be able to analyze a situation that is obvious to everyone else ? Trump will loose the next election ??? It's time you change your tune and support the one President (together with his wife and many more real heros) who are fighting against child kidnapping, trafficking , abusing and torturing and even profiting from the sale of their organs and blood ?????? You have influence over so many young & even older people that you must realise your enormous responsibility to help end the massacres, the lies, the treasons !

  • Love the music
    I wonder what he thinks of President Trump now that blue collar jobs are coming back and America is back on the right track?

  • When I was a young child, my parents had the "river" album and bruce looked so much like my dad I literally thought my dad was Bruce springsteen based on the river album

  • really love the bruces music,but cant understand how he falls into media trap of [trump hateing].just like the rest of them he will be proved wrong?bruce should stop watching cnn and start watching fox.sad to know hes been blinded by the light.

  • I have to wonder what he thinks of Trump today? He's right, a lot of glib responses to hard problems, none of which have fixed anything unless you are one of the few workers the tariffs have helped. I'm guessing he saw through the lies even then.

  • Bruce, your a good guy. And you have a wonderful gift of heart. Remember your opinions are opinions, and you're wrong about a lots of things you think you are so surely right about!

  • Not sure what Trump has to do with the boss they don’t know each other only thing they have in common is both are draft dodgers

  • "Bruce Springsteen has been the voice of America's blue collar workers for 40 years." I don't now how on Earth one could make such a preposterous statement. The fact is, NOBODY has been the voice of blue collar workers. Plenty of voices for minorities, gays and lesbians, and those on the left wing extreme of liberalism such as environmentalists. But for the working man? Fact is, Donald Trump is the first President since Ronald Reagan to reach out to those blue collars, and farmers, and miners, and small business owners with hope for a better future. We all like Bruce and his music; however, he did cancel a concert in Greensboro NC to protest the infamous "Bathroom Bill" passed by the NC Legislature. While no one objects to his support for LGBTQ issues such as that piece of legislation…….and btw, many of us actually agree with him on that specific point……we just wanted to hear his concert. We just wanted to see his show. And we paid good money for those expensive tickets. All he accomplished was several thousand disappointed fans who had done NOTHING wrong and certainly nothing to deserve him snubbing us. So when I see people talk about him being our voice? Nope. I can't go along with that. And that's okay. I'm not mad about it. He's welcome to support whatever popular cause of the week he so chooses to support. But to tell us, who had nothing to do with that damn bill, that he's too good to perform for us? AFTER we already paid for the tickets! Honestly, I think the word for that is "hypocrisy". And for many of us, that is a character flaw we simply can't abide.

  • Love his music, hate his politics. For being a supposed "blue collar" supporter, he knows very little about manufacturing, and which political parties have done what to hurt it, and to help it. Much like many of the union workers themselves. Sad.

  • "You Dont have that trash talk on your train, trailer or tour bus…" Not really, not like that- boy if walls could talk or how about being a fly on the wall of his tour buses

  • HA! he's gonna lose he knows hes gonna lose. well guess what brucey HE WON!! love ya man but you're wrong on a lot of stuff.

  • I grew up in Freehold, NJ too. Bruce is a big hero in our town. He's a great musician but I'm not a fan of his political views. I don't know why every actor, actress and musician have such liberal views. I'm glad he was wrong about Trump getting elected. That concert he did in Philly just before the election didn't help Hillary at all. I wish he would stay out of politics. At least half his fans voted for Trump and don't appreciate his liberal views. He's Italian and so am I. He went to Catholic school and so did I. Too bad he rejected his Faith because no good practicing Catholic can support abortion. And every single democrat politician does. Even up to the day before birth. It's a same he's such a liberal.

  • I really loved your music.You obviously should stick to music.You like so many Hollywood morons are wrong!Trump 2020 That is perfect vision!

  • Bruce shows exactly that those seeking political office are often the least equipped and adequate for the job. Interesting Trump "prophecy" I agree and still see him still as "Gregg Stillson" (Stephen King, "Dead Zone")

  • Love his music, but not a fan of his politics.. I'm a union man and I was a life long Democrat when they were for the working man..What did he say at 10:00..? He's sure Donald Trump was going to lose the election.. Well now we know that the rigged election was an actuality if you watch this video :: https://www.facebook.com/vinnysinisi/videos/2677295625615990/UzpfSTEyMzU0NTYyNjM6MTAyMTY2NjI1MTM1MzUzMzI/ I'm sure he feels different now..

  • I have been listening to the Boss since 1975 "Born To Run". I have always enjoyed his music, concerts and other events. However, I could care less about his political views or he thinks about President Trump or any politician for that matter. In the same regard, I could care less if a President or politician likes his music or not. I for one keep the two as far apart as possible…..politics & politicians ruin good entertainment…

  • hahahaha Bruce.. a genius. But This is why you guys need to sticktoyour expertisel I mean i know the expertise for the entertainment industry is usually liberalism, but usually you get issues wrong. . "he's goign to lose..he know's he's going to lose". wowwww…

  • i was about to stop watching and walk away thinking.. "ok, at least bruce is an 'honest' guy ..meaning he says what he believes in". but then i heard the part about the tape and trump. OH MY GOSH! you show me a secular band of straight guys.who spends a lot of time on the road together oh dam bus.,or whatever that hasnt talked like that.. and i'll show you a bunch of mutes. notice the way he pauses before he answers.. then waters it down "not like that" . so trump lied about what he meant that he was just talking locker room talk.. but bruce has heard things, he talks with the fellas,,but "not like that".. wowww…now i'm walking away thinking.. bruce is talented,,, a genius.. he's a liberal….. but he's also a liar.

  • President Donald Trump is finally DOING something about, and FIXING what Bruce Springsteen only sang about for 30 years.
    This interviewer is a globalist douche bag with a British accent.
    But I still love love love Bruce Springsteen!
    And I am very sure Bruce Springsteen is a Donald Trump supporter by now.

  • How dissapointed the interviewer was when Bruce didnt go into a De Niro esq rant about how Trump was a This and That and he hated him Good for you Bruce You were wrong Both about Trumps character and his winning.
    but you were Gentlemanly about it

  • Yowza, this interviewer is very annoying. Looks like he only wanted to take the interview in a political direction…

  • Sad that as smart as Bruce is he was wrong about the outcome of the 2016 election. Regarding the 2008 financial crisis, the Wall Street elites privatized their profits and socialized their losses.

  • 0:08 "You were talking about your grandparents but you could be talking about New Jersey…" and then 1:33 "…so you never really left your kind of people – I mean, Irish, Italian…" My God, look what happens to people when they go through the Pete Seeger "Little Boxes" of the "elite"'s education system and then speak to an actual creative artist! I am being rhetorical despite my absolute shock and embarrassment at this level of unqualified amateur psycho-analysis of a musician, by the media in our 21st century.

  • Springstein another hypocrite limousine liberal. Cheers for socialist policies while he lives in luxury, flys priviate jets.. YOU HYPOCRITE>

  • Brruuuce Heia Heia you hawe soo Rith about wath you saying!!!me to mening exatly the same as you there!! i can sing with you that helped me much True the way out off depresjon osv !verey Honest innterju Love from mom 71 Norwegian ☺️ Aries jepp

  • He sings depressing songs that lament blue collar hardships. Trump comes along and tries to bring the jobs back that went away. think he would be supportive. has he changed his mind since interview? HE SHOULD! love his music.

  • another got it wrong on Trump. realize this, Trump won because Hilary was disliked by most Americans, only the deep state wanted her, thank the Lord she lost, but she now has been exposed in her wrong doings with others, we will see how Trump does, ….but I love the Boss's music

  • Bruce has good politics, funny that a lot of his fans are Trumpers. If they only listen to the lyrics in his songs instead of just the music, they realize he's one of those lefties.

  • I just don’t see the appeal to being a leftist. Makes no sense to me. Coming from a country that the same ideals democrats have that ruined my country. Terrible.

  • I had no idea Bruce was such a thoughtful man. If I could have one wish it would be that he would have been right about Trumpf losing.

  • Deindustrialization has occurred for the past 30 years and people voted for Trump as a result. The Democrats could care less about displaced workers and that’s why they lost. But he still believes in the Democrats. They have done nothing for working people!
    Vote for Trump! MAGA 2020!

  • Democrats Used to be for the Working People! No longer! Now they only care about Illegals! So I Will Never Vote for them again!

  • Bruce got it right. The glib, fast-talking clown with a bad hair cut made promises he could never keep. Manufacturing jobs can never be wished back, the factories are outdated, the personnel needs to be trained all over again. Its never going to happen. Trump rode a wave and in the words of another great social commentator stands naked.
    "While preachers preach of evil fates

    Teachers teach that knowledge waits

    Can lead to hundred-dollar plates

    Goodness hides behind its gates

    But even the president of the United States

    Sometimes must have to stand naked"

    Time for America to realize it votes for America, not a Person.

  • Oh Bruce, you broke my heart 💔

    How can anyone respect a woman, who stayed with a man, who disrespected her, so badly, so often, in front of the whole world, with girls young enough to be his daughter .. because he had a big $ package ??

    Why didn't she kick his a$$ to the kerb like any self respecting woman woulda done 🤔

  • 10:09 "He has a felling hes going to lose now, which of course he is going to lose." "Your confident?" "Oh yea, Oh Yea, he's going to lose and he knows that. He knows hes going to lose." SURPRISE SUPRISE MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!

  • Oh Boss you let me down! Hillary but not Trump. Hope you’ve opened your mind by now 25/09/19??????
    You should not be fooled by the Democrats.How do you feel about him now.

    TO THE INTERVIEWER.
    Naivety at best! Why do you keep bringing up his background as if the rest of singers and actors were boatneck with a silver spoon in their mouths ! Get over it idiot.

  • We're all proud to be born in the USA and so pleased to still have Bruce around making great music. And man, he certainly pegged Trump for exactly what he is – a flagrant, toxic narcissist with no sense of decency and responsibility that most of us have learned to despise.

  • Love the boss but if you voted for trump you have been manipulated and now you are an ignorant racist. you support the Nazis ….. human rights set back 50 years min

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