Still Rockin’: Actor/musician/author Rick Springfield takes our questions _lowres

Photo provided by Kim Jakwerth -- Rick Springfield will perform at L'Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge Friday night.

Recording star Rick Springfield has sold more than 25 million records.

“Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody,” “Human Touch” and the Grammy-winning “Jessie’s Girl” are a few of his 17 Top 40 hits.

An actor, too, the Australian native’s credits include Dr. Noah Drake in “General Hospital” and, more recently, appearances in “True Detective” and the Meryl Streep-starring “Ricki and the Flash.”

Springfield is also the author of an autobiography, “Late, Late at Night,” and the recently published novel, “Magnificent Vibration.”

Springfield, who’s performing Friday at L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge, recently answered some questions for the Advocate.

Your role in “Rikki and the Flash” seems a natural fit. You are in Rikki’s band. Playing the Greg character in the movie, did you act naturally?

Not at all. Greg is a much nicer guy than I am. And he’s a character with lines and written emotions, so the actor has to flesh that out and make it work on screen. If I just acted naturally, I would have bailed the first time Ricki wailed on me. My wife likes my character, Greg, more than she likes me.

Can you tell me about your latest acting role, in “Traces”?

I play an eccentric record store owner named Carl. He’s got a musician friend, Damien (Pablo Schreiber from “Orange is the New Black”). I still have some days on the shoot, sandwiched in between tour dates.

You’ve been both an actor and a musician for decades. Are they pieces of the same pie?

They feed the same need and come from the same place in me.

I recently attended a concert by singer-songwriter Jackson Browne. He didn’t play a number of his best-known songs. Having performed your own hits so often through the years, can you still love to play them in concert?

The old songs are energized by the audience. I wouldn’t play them if they didn’t get the energy thrown at them. That’s what makes them new to me each time. But I also love to play newer music. Because that’s what musicians do: play their new stuff.

Do you have new CD, to be released soon?

In February, “Rocket Science,” my 18th studio album, is coming out.

Can you give a preview of the new songs, offer some descriptions of the musical direction?

It’s 16 new songs with big hooks and, hopefully, something to say. I’ve been listening to a lot of country music. That’s where pop music has gone, to Nashville. “Rocket Science” is not a country record, but it has some of those flavors while still maintaining the guitars that have mostly dominated my work.

How are the new songs sounding on stage?

They work really well with the older stuff, because my band is a monster. Everything is played with power and serious volume. A good hook works.