Steve Van Zandt compares his role in the E Street Band supporting Bruce Springsteen to that of his Sopranos character Silvio Dante and Tony Soprano. Van Zandt, who’s promoting his new solo set, Soulfire, due out on May 19th, was asked by about his role of the confidante who could “completely level” with “The Boss.” He said, “Yeah, he hated it, but I felt it was the responsibility of a friend to do that. I carried it right into The Sopranos.
387931 01: From left to right: Steven Van Zandt as Silvio Dante, James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano and Tony Sirico as Paulie Walnuts star in HBO’s hit television series, “The Sopranos” (Year 3). (Photo by HBO)
My relationship with Bruce was the same relationship that Silvio had with Tony Soprano. Silvio was not afraid of Tony. Bruce and I grew up together, so I’m never going to be afraid of him. You want a buffer in between the leader and the day-to-day problems that a band has. Longtime Springsteen tour director George Travis fulfills that role for Bruce now, but in the old days, I was that guy. I was a very good consigliere.