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Video: Bruce Springsteen Credits Occupy Wall Street For Inspiring Newt Gingrich

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 BROOOOOOCE performing at the Grammy Awards (AP)

 Coming off  an invigorating performance to kickoff the Grammy Awards, Bruce BROOOOOCE Springsteen was in Paris this week to formally introduce his new album, Wrecking Ball, for a select group of reporters. Springsteen gave over much of the press conference to discussing the current state of American politics, and how his “angry patriotism” was reflected in the new music: “Previous to Occupy Wall Street, there was no push back at all saying this was outrageous—a basic theft that struck at the heart of what America was about, a complete disregard for the American sense of history and community.”

Springsteen expects some people may misunderstand the politically charged songs—a mix of folk music, gospel music and the E-Street Band sound—on the new album, just as Ronald Reagan misunderstood “Born In The USA” almost 30 years ago. That’s especially true for the rousing first single “We Take Care Of Our Own,” an ironic song that sums up the broken promises of the country as far as Springsteen sees it. “I have spent my life judging the distance between American reality and the American dream…What was done to our country was wrong and unpatriotic and un-American and nobody has been held to account,” he later told the Guardian. “There is a real patriotism underneath the best of my music but it is a critical, questioning and often angry patriotism.”

Bruce Springsteen: “I Enjoy Artists Who Take On The World!”

Bruce Springsteen’s 17th studio album is his most overtly political yet.

At its launch in Paris, the blue-collar icon reveals why

Bruce Springsteen: 'I enjoy artists who take on the world'

Bruce Springsteen: ‘I enjoy artists who take on the world’ Photo: Rex Features

6:25PM GMT 16 Feb 2012

“You can never go wrong in rock’n’roll when you’re p—ed off,” according to   Bruce Springsteen. In Paris yesterday to unveil his new album, Wrecking   Ball, to the world’s media, Springsteen admitted it had been written in a   spirit of political anger. “My work has always been about judging the   distance between American reality and the American Dream.”

Right now, he suggested, the distance was greater than it had ever been in   his lifetime. With the financial crisis, “an enormous fault-line cracked the   American system wide open and its repercussions are just beginning to be   felt.”

Wrecking Ball is the 17th studio album from America’s blue-collar rock icon.   Befitting troubled times for the working man, it is Springsteen’s most   overtly political collection of songs. The title, he said, reflects “the   flat destruction of some American ideals and values over the last 30 years.   It seemed like a good metaphor.”

While the album is underpinned by a dark fury, in person Springsteen was relaxed, amusing and philosophical. Asked if he felt that his role as voice of protest was a burden, he laughed out loud. “I’m terribly burdened at night when I’m sleeping in my big house. It’s killing me,” he joked. “The rock life is brutal, don’t let anyone tell you different.”

Actually, he conceded, just to be a musician was “a charmed life. That’s why   they call it playing.” But he spoke eloquently about how his family   background, growing up in a household where his father had been   “emasculated” by long-term unemployment, fuelled his interest in the   underlying political causes, describing his songwriting as “having a   conversation with myself”.

Despite the anthemic roar and gutsy drive of the opening track, We Take Care   Of Our Own, Wrecking Ball is not the kind of back-to-basics E Street rock   Springsteen has been essaying in recent years. Reaching into the raucous   roots of his Seeger Sessions, referencing gospel, folk and blues while   bringing in drum loops, hints of hip hop and a raw mix that pushes vocals   high, Springsteen appears keen to build bridges between the past and the   present, finding contemporary resonances in timeless sources.

It also features the last sax solo from his long-time sparring partner, the   late Clarence Clemons. “I met Clarence when I was 22, my son’s age, still a   child really. Something happened when we got close, it fired my imagination.   So losing Clarence was like losing something elemental, the air or the rain.   There’s just something missing. We were lucky to get him on Land of Hope and   Dreams. When the sax solo comes up, its a lovely moment for me.”

There is, in the essence of Springsteen’s oeuvre, a very American sense of   exulting in the heroic underdog, but here there is a blackness to his mood,   fuelled not just by the sense that the dignity of the working man is being   assaulted and undermined, but that such assaults are, perhaps, a politically   inevitable expression of the very character of the nation.

Time and again, Springsteen sets the image of the honest toiler against   “bankers”, “fat cats” and “robber barons”. “An outrageous theft occurred   that struck to the heart of the American idea,” suggested Springsteen. “And   there has been no accountability.”

He does, however, see cause for optimism. “The Occupy Wall Street movement has   been powerful about changing the national conversation. The Tea Party set   the conversation for a while but now people are talking about economic   equality. That’s a conversation America hasn’t had for 20 years.”

There is also a religious dimension to Springsteen’s latest songs. The album   shifts towards the spiritual uplift of gospel music in its rousing finale,   evoking Jesus and the risen dead. “I got brainwashed as a child with   Catholicism,” joked Springsteen, who says biblical imagery increasingly   creeps into his songs almost unbidden. “Its like Al Pacino in The Godfather:   I try to get out but they pull you back in! Once a Catholic, always a   Catholic.”

Springsteen supported Obama’s presidential campaign, and We Take Care of Our   Own has already been added to the Obama re-election playlist, yet the often   bitter tone of the album suggests Springsteen is not impressed with the   powers-that-be.

He admitted, however, that he still supports Obama, who he felt had achieved   some things in a difficult political environment. Springsteen doubted he   would be actively involved in Obama’s campaign, however.  “As an artist, its   better to maintain a certain distance from the seat of power.”

He said the only thing he was really good at was making music. “I enjoy   artists who like to take on the world as well as entertain their audience. I   write to process my own experiences and if I can do that for me, I hope I   can do that for you.”

He did, however, suggest that Obama could have a shot at Springsteen’s job.   “Obama can sing!” he joked, referring to the Presidential karaoke   performance widely viewed on YouTube. “Let’s stick together,” croaked   Springsteen, then laughed at his own poor effort. “He’s better than me! I   can’t sing that!”

Wrecking Ball is released on Columbia on March 5