Craig Finn, the frontman for rock band The Hold Steady, is known for rich, evocative songs in which characters emerge and stories unfold. He writes about characters just trying to find their footing in this crazy world. In fact, Finn said he's always felt he should write a book or short story. But every idea he gets inevitably turns into a song.
"I see pictures when I write the stories," he told "CBS This Morning: Saturday" co-host Anthony Mason. "You know I sort of try to follow into the world."
Finn started writing songs while in junior high in Minnesota and after college decided he wanted to be the front man in a band. He was driven by wanting to write and hear his songs in his own voice.
"I was starting to write and hear it in a way that I knew I can write and deliver these songs in that way," he said.
He was 31 when he formed the Hold Steady. The band broke through with its second album "Separation Sunday" and landed a cover of the Village Voice. Another big moment for the band came when their song, "The Bear and the Maiden Fair," was featured on the hit fantasy series "Game of Thrones."
"The guys who created it were big fans and they asked and we said yes. I will say it put me in touch how big 'Game of Thrones' is. The second it happened your phone just sort of levitates off the table," Finn said.
But even more important for Finn was when the Hold Steady played at a Bruce Springsteen tribute at New York's Carnegie Hall, and Bruce asked Finn to take the lead singing "Rosalita."
"I now have a dog named Rosalita because I got to sing 'Rosalita' with Bruce that night."
Finn still fronts the Hold Steady, but he said his solo work has made him more sympathetic with the struggling characters of his songs.
"They're doing their best and they're trying to do the right thing. And they're still having difficulty keeping their head above water. And I think, you know, in 2019 that's really interesting to me."