In an interview with KLOS morning team Mark and Brian, E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg spoke about the loss of saxophonist Clarence Clemons, “a man whose message of love was real and got out there.”

Weinberg calls it “a monumental loss for all of us” and says that it’s been an emotional feeling, seeing the “incredible worldwide outpouring of love and grief” from Springsteen and music fans internationally.

As Weinberg continues to move forward after departing from his longtime role as musical bandleader for Conan ‘O Brien and subsequent heart surgery, he has some new projects up his sleeve. Tour dates over the past year have found Weinberg shepherding a massive fifteen piece big band through a series of small club and theater shows.

Scaling back, Weinberg is now playing occasional dates with a more cost-effective seven piece lineup. This past weekend, he revealed a new seven piece band featuring former Chicago lead singer/keyboardist/organist Bill Champlin. Initially, the group will play mainly West Coast dates, featuring a mix of material from both Chicago and Springsteen -- Weinberg mentions ‘Ramrod’ and ‘The Fever’ specifically -- plus additional rock and soul covers.

He says the approach will be “high-energy funk rock” and labeled it as “an East-West melding of both of our styles.” The project debuts tonight in Minneapolis with two scheduled performances under the banner of ‘The Max Weinberg Experience.’ In a message posted Thursday, Champlin said “we had our first rehearsal with Max yesterday and we all had a great time diggin' in. Great guy. He has had quite a week, and still had all the music down pat.”

Clemons was honored last night during the BET Awards as part of a tribute to artists that had passed away recently.

Watch Max Weinberg and His Son Jay Weinberg Perform a Drum Duel