INTERVIEW: Rick Springfield

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When you hear the name Rick Springfield, you might associate the man with the 80’s, and you probably think of breakout hit “Jesse’s Girl”. However, over the span of his career, Springfield has released 20 studio albums, including his latest, “The Snake King”, which came out this January. He’ll also be hitting the US Cellular Connections stage at Summerfest on Sunday, July 1st. We caught up with Springfield ahead of the show, which you can check out below:

B&E: Welcome to Milwaukee! You’re touring in support of your 20th studio album. This album has a grittier, bluesy feel to it. How did material for “The Snake King” come about?

RS: Just stuff that was in my head. Things I have been thinking about/pissed off about/worried about and blues rock seemed like a good medium for the lyrics.

B&E: There’s a lot of samples and sound effects that work their way into this album to create an atmosphere. Did that idea come from you or someone else in the process of making the album?

RS: It’s all stuff I downloaded or recorded. I love links, and this album had an obvious attitude and lent itself to sound effects.

B&E: You have a talented ensemble as your backing band on this record. Are there any new additions to the band for this album?

RS: The first album with Siggy Sjeursen, our new bass player. Tim Pierce plays some guitar on this album, but he was in my 80’s touring band. And Windy Wagner did background vocals and it’s the first time I’ve had a girl singing on record since 1985.

B&E: Do you feel that it gets any easier to make a record after making so many, or does it feel like it gets harder?

RS: It depends on the songs. This one was pretty straight forward, and I knew how it was supposed to sound going, in so it was a blast to record.

B&E: Which do you prefer at this point in your career, playing live or being in the studio and creating a record?

RS: Performing live. I love recording new songs, but the live thing is a party that is hard to resist.

B&E: We always love a good tour story. What’s one of the most memorable things that you’ve had happen to you while on the road?

RS: Well just the other day, I got a little upset and punched out the flat screen in my hotel room. They wouldn’t let us take the TV at first, so we had to sneak it out of the hotel in my suit bag. I knew I’d have to pay for it, so we took it on stage that night, and auctioned it off with the money going to a local no-kill dog shelter. We turned a dumb thing into something positive.

B&E: Finally, if you could collaborate with one other artist on the Summerfest lineup this year, who would you pick?

RS: Is Paul McCartney in the line up? If he is…then, him.

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