At 63, 80s rock idol Rick Springfield isnt slowing down.
Over the past few years, hes released his autobiography and a handful of well-received albums, and appeared in roles on the Showtime TV series Californication and General Hospital the soap that helped make him famous. Springfield returns to the area Friday to play a sold-out concert at Old Town Amphitheater in Rock Hill.
He spoke to The Observer about his new album, how he keeps fans interested, and being a teen idol.
Q. The album is called Songs for the End of the World. Were you influenced by the state of the world?
I think there are elements of that the state the worlds in in a lot of those songs. It snuck in because we talk about it on the road. We may be close to a tipping point where there wont be a road ... with all the depleting natural resources and overpopulation. That leaked into the songs.
Q. But the songs arent doom and gloom.
Theyre inspirational. Even though theyre about relationships, theyre positive songs. (Just) because were in a difficult place in the life of our Earth, it doesnt mean (we need to) get depressed.
Q. Do you live pretty environmentally aware?
I always lean that way, but mainly kids and dogs come first. Im a big champion of the planet. I want Earth to win, even if we dont. If Earth loses, we all lose.
Q. Its hard to get fans to listen to new music. Are crowds pretty receptive to yours?
I warn (them) not to leave to go to the bathroom. They tend to stick around. A couple of (songs) are very audience participation, which helps. Its up to the song. I think theyre good songs and work great in the set.
Q. In the recent documentary film Sound City, you talked about how a guy you worked with didnt like your guitar playing. The sound you get out of the instrument is definitely distinctive. How do you make it?
I dont know what that is exactly. I just try to write the best songs I can. When Im playing a lot live, I tend to write more upbeat, guitar-based songs. Were a guitar band. I guess my riffs and style of writing is me. Im very experimental in the studio. I own a bunch of guitars that have a great sound.
Q. You were still considered a teen idol when you were 30. What was it like hitting big with that demographic well into adulthood?
It was difficult. I didnt do interviews with teen magazines. ... The young girls voice is the strongest voice. Theyre the ones that make the most noise generally. (But) Im very fortunate that anyone listened.
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