The 'A Town Called Malice' bassist has opened up about the condition he has been left with after playing loud music for years with his bandmates.
Tinnitus is a constant ringing sound in the ears and it is possible that it can lead to irreversible hearing loss but he wears a hearing aid "occasionally" to help out with his high-frequency hearing loss.
He said: "I've had tinnitus for years now and I have actually succumbed to wearing a hearing aid occasionally. Back in the days of The Jam, we were a three-piece and we needed to play at full volume to sound as loud as we could. But do that for 40 years and your hearing is bound to deteriorate. I am not completely deaf but I do suffer from high-frequency hearing loss. This is a result of performing at so many live concerts and years of standing next to loud speakers on the stage. It means that I struggle to hear the treble and higher pitched sounds. But wearing a hearing aid has made a massive difference and it’s been customised to provide amplification for only the sounds that I am missing. I am wearing it more and more."
The condition has also made him become more of an "introvert" because he finds it hard to hear others during their conversations.
He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "If I go to a pub or restaurant and I don’t have it in everything becomes a mush. It’s embarrassing because I’ll be trying to have a conversation and if it’s that loud there are only so many times I can say, 'Sorry, I didn’t catch that. What did you say?' After about the fourth time of asking, I get too embarrassed to ask again so I become a bit of an introvert. But having the hearing aid is great, although it will never be as good as my original hearing. I guess it’s just unfortunate and it’s what happens to musicians like me that play in loud bands for 40 years."
The Jam, which also featured Paul Weller and Steve Brookes, were at the height of their fame when Paul disbanded them in 1982 after just five years as a band. During their time together, they released 18 singles and seven albums, with all of them reaching the top 40.
Following the end of The Jam, Bruce began to play with Stiff Little Fingers before going on to put together a tribute band called From The Jam.