Rick Springfield Talks 'Supernatural' Gig, Making a Blues Album & 35 Years of 'Working Class Dog'
"I didn't think anything would happen with it, so it was a big surprise all around," Springfield says of his 1981 breakthrough album.
Rick Springfield is about to give the devil his (or her) due -- both in music and on TV.
The rocker and actor has signed on to play Lucifer in the next season of the CW's Supernatural, and he's looking forward to "playing against type."
"I play this rock guy who gets possessed by Lucifer, because Lucifer has just escaped from wherever they put him last season," Springfield -- whose recent small-screen gigs include some eccentric characters on Californication and True Detective -- tells Billboard. "He's always looking for a human host to do this bad stuff to the world, and I happen to be that human host. It's really fun, well-written. And the effects are insane; the other day I spent two hours in the makeup chair getting ready for this one scene. It's really incredible stuff."
Springfield has no qualms about being part of another successful TV series. "I'd heard of the show, but I never realized how big it was," he says. "I mean, it's been on for 12 years, and it's worldwide. It's got a giant fanbase. Where have I been?"
The Lucifer role, meanwhile, goes hand-in-hand with what Springfield has planned next: a blues album to follow up his latest studio set, Rocket Science, which came out earlier this year. "I love slide guitar, and most people don't know it because I don't really play it onstage," Springfield says. "I play [Hambone Willie Newbern's] 'Rollin' and Tumblin'' in my solo show, and I always get guys saying, 'You should do a blues album.' And I was thinking about writing something as opposed to just doing copies of blues songs that everybody's done. I'm all for expanding people's views, y'know?"
Along with all that, Springfield is also celebrating the 35th anniversary of his breakthrough Working Class Dog album, a Grammy Award winner (for the single "Jessie's Girl") that gave him his first top 10 and platinum album in the U.S. Springfield himself professes to not be particularly sentimental, but he doesn't in any way discount that album's impact and importance on his career.
"It's a great record -- but, I mean, I've listened to a lot of great records that didn't break careers, so it's a gift too. I have great affection for it," Springfield says. "It was a blast to record. We'd go into the studio when Tom Petty was done and we'd record from 3 in the morning until 7, when the next band came in, and make sh-- up on the fly. I didn't think anything would happen with it, so it was a big surprise all around. The first one that becomes a hit is always, 'Oh my God, how did that happen?!'"
And, Springfield adds, "My dog is on the cover, which doesn't hurt either."