On Thursday, The Who‘s manager, Bill Curbishley, revealed in a BBC radio interview that the band was planning to tour and record a new album this year, and now Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have confirmed the news to Rolling Stone, along with many new details.
The Who will kick off a 31-date North American tour in April that will feature the band playing with a local orchestra at each show, like Daltrey’s 2018 orchestral Tommy trek. The tour will include a spring and a fall leg, with the first concert being at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The group also is putting together a European trek that will likely include U.K. festivals this summer and arena concerts at the end of 2019.
As for the new album, Townshend tells Rolling Stone that he decided he’d only agree to tour if the band had new material to release.
“It has nothing to do with the fact that The Who need a new album. It’s purely personal,” Pete explains. “It’s about my pride, my sense of self-worth and self-dignity as a writer.”
For the project, Townshend has prepared 15 demos that he hopes Daltrey will add vocals to later in 2019. He says the songs include “dark ballads, heavy rock stuff, experimental electronica, sampled stuff and cliched Who-ish tunes that began with a guitar that goes yanga-dang.”
Pete says he’s gotten a great response to his new material from most people — but not Roger.
Daltrey explains, “They’re all great songs, but sometimes I hear them and I think, ‘I can’t add anything to this to make [it] better than what Pete has already done.’”
The label requested that the album be ready by June, but Townshend says a September or October release is more likely.
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