Bruce Springsteen reveals performance anxieties
Bruce Springsteen finds playing new music "frightening".
The 67-year-old singer-songwriter is among the best-selling musicians in history, but has revealed he still feels anxious when he has to play new material for the first time.
He explained: "You work on an album in a hermetically sealed environment. One of the most frightening things is playing it for someone else. For the first time you’re hearing it through their ears.
"They’re just sitting there, but you’re hearing the thing totally brand new through their ears. And you’re recognising all its faults and all its strengths. So the thing about coming out in front of an audience every night is that I’m hearing what I’m doing through that audience’s ears."
But the ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ hitmaker admitted music is all he knows and all he is "qualified" to do.
Asked if he still gets the same adrenaline rush from performing on stage, Bruce told the Guardian newspaper: "It varies from night to night but whenever you’re going out in front of a crowd of any size, your body knows it.
"This is what I do. This is the only thing I do. This is the only thing I’m qualified to do. So it matters how I do it at night.
"There’s a lot of anticipatory anxiety which then translates into a raw shot of adrenaline once you’re out there. We come out to press our case very hard, about what we think about everything, I suppose, and life itself. And so it’s challenging nightly."
And Bruce says that after years of appearing in front of huge stadiums audiences, he understands how to perform in that environment.
He shared: "You are initially intimidated by the space. But it’s all mental. You have to be mentally prepared for the larger environment. If you can mentally project yourself to the last row, you’ll be fine.
"It’s all about making that initial connection with the audience. If you do that, the folks at the back will feel it, the folks in the middle will feel it, the folks at the front will feel it.
"If you go out there and you can’t imagine that connection, it’s not going to happen, and then you’re going to have a miserable few hours. That’s when you think, ‘OK. I’m a fraud.’"