The Who Planning New Album + Orchestra Tour for 2019
The Who could easily spend the rest of their days playing arenas and taking home big paydays, but guitarist Pete Townshend refused to tour in 2019 if a new album wasn’t planned.
“I said I was not going to sign any contracts unless we have new material,” Townshend tells Rolling Stone. “This has nothing to do with wanting a hit album. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Who need a new album. It’s purely personal. It’s about my pride, my sense of self-worth and self-dignity as a writer.”
So far, 15 demos are in the can, and Townshend is hoping Roger Daltrey will lay down vocal parts in time for a 2019 release.
The Who will embark on a 31-date U.S. tour this year, with local orchestras joining the band each night. Daltrey insisted on the idea after performing Tommy in its entirety with symphonies last year.
“I’ll be 75 years old in March and this feels like a dignified way to go and do music,” he says. “That’s all we’re really left with. We’re old men now. We’ve lost the looks. We’ve lost the glamour. What we’re left with is the music and we’re going to present it in a way which is as fresh and powerful as ever.”
Townshend adds that one of the band’s big obstacles is that he and Daltrey don’t have a good relationship. “One of the great difficulties here isn’t that Roger and I don’t get on. It’s that we don’t communicate," said Townshend. Over the years we haven’t really developed a dialogue. I don’t think that the fault is on my side. He feels a bit intimidated, perhaps, because I overcomplicate things, but we think very, very differently.”
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