Steve Van Zandt admitted that he based his role of Silvio Dante on The Sopranos on the the part he's played for Bruce Springsteen in the E Street Band. Van Zandt spoke to New Zealand's RNZ and explained, “It grew into that quite quickly. I knew what it was like to be the under-boss, to be the consiglier, to be the adviser of a friend. Silvio has looked out for Tony (Soprano) and had that sort of same relationship. My character was probably the only character on the show that didn't want to be the boss, and that's true in my real life also.”

He went on to say, “I never wanted to be the frontman. I know what it's like to be the only guy not afraid of the Boss; the only guy who can bring him bad news and survive.”

Van Zandt, who'll publish his memoir, titled, Unrequited Infatuations, on September 28th, reflected on the changes Springsteen has made since his early days playing teen clubs in and around Central New Jersey: “If you think of a typical grunge guitar player that was him — barely spoke. It's been a remarkable transformation through the years.”

Steve Van Zandt has always felt that rock bonded both musicians and their audience in a way unlike any other form of art: “A band communicates something different than an individual. To this day, rock n' roll is all about bands and pop music is all about individuals. Y'know, I'm not makin' an evaluation on either one; but bands communicate family, friendship — community, y'know? That's what attracted me.”

Steve Van Zandt On Equating Bands With Community :