Sam Fender: Springsteen comparisons 'just stupid'
Singer Sam Fender is often likened to his hero, Bruce Springsteen.
But attending the premiere of the Boss’s new film, he said he would describe himself as more of a “s**t, northeastern, Geordie version”.
The 23-year-old, who won this year’s Brits Critics’ Choice award and hit the top of the charts with debut album Hypersonic Missiles in September, said he was “buzzing” to be among the guests at the BFI London Film Festival event for Western Stars.
While Springsteen himself did not give interviews, Fender spoke to media on the red carpet and said the star was his “biggest hero”.
But asked about the comparisons that have been made, he said: “That is stupid, I’ve had one album out and I’m like a s**t version of Springsteen.
“The comparisons are just stupid; he is one of the greatest songwriters ever, he’s had 19 albums out and I’ve had one album out.
“I’m like a s**t, northeastern, Geordie version. I’m actually waiting for the court case for when he comes to get us for all of the songs I’ve ripped off.”
Western Stars is a documentary film of Springsteen’s number-one album of the same name, released earlier this year.
It also features his reflections on his life, home videos and footage with his wife and E Street bandmate Patti Scialfa.
Despite Fender’s hometown of North Shields being more than 3,000 miles away from Springsteen’s in New Jersey, the young singer said he could draw parallels in their upbringings.
“My brother got me into him when I was 15 years old,” he said. “I’m from a seaside town, a very blue-collar place with loads of funny comparisons – Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore, that is the obvious one.”
Fender said Springsteen had “made rock n roll intelligent” for him when he was a teenager.
“It was the first time I had ever listened to lyrics,” he said. “I mean, I loved AC/DC and all that, just like guitar music about getting pissed and lasses, but he was the first time that I felt like he was writing rock n roll music that was about my hometown.
“Even though he was writing about Jersey, it felt like he was writing about Shields and I felt like he was writing about my dad and my mother and my brother and all of my friends and all the people that went under in the ’80s in my hometown, never mind Jersey.
“I felt like he was writing about the Geordies and that is what I feel whenever I hear any of his songs.”
Thom Zimny, who directed the film alongside Springsteen, said he sees the film as a love letter to Scialfa.
He also said it “feels like part of a trilogy” following the release of Springsteen’s autobiography, Born To Run, in 2016, and his intimate Springsteen On Broadway show, which finished at the end of 2018 after being extended three times.