By Nick Romano
Updated April 09, 2016 at 08:53 PM EDT
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

After Bruce Springsteen announced the cancelation of his North Carolina concert in light of new law passed in the state that has been criticized as discriminatory to LGBT rights, E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt further expanded on the decision.

“We just felt the issue was just too important,” the guitarist told reporters backstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday. “This really vile and evil discrimination is starting to spread state to state and we thought we better take a stand right now and catch it early and maybe try and stop it. At least set some kind of example for others.”

Mashable reporter Yohana Desta posted video of his statement online.

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Elsewhere, Van Zandt explained to the Associated Press how the band came to the decision to cancel the concert, which was scheduled for Greensboro, North Carolina on Sunday. “Should we go there, make a statement from the stage? You consider those things but then you realize that’s just playing into their hands,” he said. “It’s not going to hurt enough. You need to hurt them economically.”

“It’s a shame that it comes to that, but this thing is spreading like an evil virus around the country,” he added. “And we felt we should try and stop this right now, early. And hopefully other people will rise up and join us. Hopefully other states will reverse the legislation.”

Springsteen announced the cancelation on Friday with a statement posted to his website. “Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them,” it read in part.