Ian Anderson: "Touring was much easier in 1969"

Ian Anderson: “Touring was much easier in 1969”

The leader of the Jethro Tull Ian Anderson was interviewed by Loudersound. The conversation touched on various topics, here below we report the part dedicated to the band's tour which includes, between April and May, some dates in Great Britain and then, in autumn, extending to Europe including Italy where the Jethro Tull they will perform on October 24th at the PalaPartenope Theater in Naples and on October 25th at the Team Theater in Bari.

You are seventy-six years old. Do you still like touring?

I don't know if pleasure is the right word.

It's like asking Lewis Hamilton if he's enjoyed driving his Mercedes over the last two years. Remembering each of those thousands of words and notes for a couple of hours requires concentration and effort. What I don't like is the time wasted traveling or doing soundchecks, but without teleportation that's life. That's why I travel so much by train.

How much of the tour will be by train, strikes permitting?

I drive home whenever possible because I like to sleep in my own bed, but I usually take the train instead of the car to go to concerts. Except for strikes, I use trains a lot. And unlike much of the rest of Europe, I generally don't have many complaints about the service.

The next tour will be called Seven Decades and will cover the band's entire career.

When you say it covers the entire career, it will offer little snapshots of our history. It might only be one or two songs from each decade because time is limited. The setlist is the best possible compromise given the demands of a tour with a complex video show in different countries, with different expectations. Things were gloriously easy in 1969 because we only had two albums. Things are much more tortuous now. The skill lies in achieving a balance between the highlights and our lesser-known works. For example, “Songs From The Wood” is rotated for a while before being replaced by “Heavy Horses” or “Farm On The Freeway”. It's all about balance.

And what about the possibility of a new studio album? Jethro Tull's two most recent albums, 2022's “The Zealot Gene” and last year's “RökFlöte,” were made in quick succession, albeit after a gap of more than two decades.

They were released in quick succession, although the majority of “The Zealot Gene” was recorded in 2017 and delayed for a variety of reasons, including covid. That means we're talking about a period of about five years… It wouldn't be reasonable to expect a new album before 2028. However, I have a release date of April 2025, so I hope to deliver something by then.