?uestlove of the legendary Roots crew recently caught up with Rolling Stone to talk about playing with the original boss Bruce Springsteen this past Tuesday. Alongside the E Street Band’s guitarist “Little” Steven Van Zandt and keyboardist “Professor” Roy Bittan, Bruce took to the “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” stage to perform with the Philadelphia Hip Hop mainstay this past Tuesday.
“During rehearsal, when the producer said, ‘Ladies and gentleman, ‘Because The Night’ with the Professor and Little Steven, here’s Bruce Springsteen and The Roots’ – I couldn’t move,” ?uestlove said. “And they were looking at me like, ‘Okay count the song off.’ And I was like, I said, ‘Holy shit. I heard that’…I mean, I’ve done some intense playing on our show, but that was the most intense playing I’ve ever done. He completely surpassed any expectation I’ve ever had for any mythical god of rock figure.” (RollingStone.com)
Bruce and company took to the late show to promote their latest box set Darkness on the Edge of Town. While there, they performed a number of songs, including “Because the Night,” “Save My Love” and strangely enough, Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair.” Quest recalls what is was like to perform with the group, saying that they even added a 32 bar improvisation section during the end of “Because the Night.” (RollingStone.com)
“Bruce and Little Steven were giving me the exact opposite instructions – it was kind of like good cop, bad cop,” he said. “There’s a moment on the bridge where Bruce said, ‘You got to watch Steven’s body language. He will come over, bend his knees — that means to bring the dynamics down. Play to a whisper’…but then two seconds later during the song Springsteen’s looking at me like, ‘Yo man,’ jumping up and down and Steven is like on his knees. My band’s laughing at me because they know exactly, you know, the type of quagmire I’m in right now. One guy is telling me he wants to see blood drawn because he wants me to play real powerful and the other one wants me to bring it down a little bit.” (RollingStone.com)
He also added, “If you look at the last 20 seconds [of ‘Because the Night’], all of us are literally in a circle. It’s like no one else is in that room except Little Steven, the Professor, Bruce, and all seven of my guys. We’re totally disregarding the minute mark and the deadline. I’m surprised they got it all on there ’cause Lord knows we went 32 bars over. We were supposed to end after the end of the bridge, but we just kept going. None of that stuff was expected – the guitar solo.” (RollingStone.com)