Pete Townshend opens up about The Who's new album

Roger Daltrey has called the upcoming Who album their "best since Quadrophenia.”

Metro magazine asked Pete Towshend about it. He said, "I am fairly certain I will never top Quadrophenia... I wanted more than anything to prove that I can still write songs for Roger’s voice the way I used to in the '60s and '70s, but also that together we could break some new ground. I needed to drop new songs for my own dignity. I gathered about 15 or 16 songs to present to Roger, including two that were rescued from 1966 and never recorded by The Who. There is no narrative. Some listeners to the new songs have said that they can sense an underlying story. That was never my intention...

"I was very careful to make sure – inasmuch as I could – that every song, every melody, every lyric, would provide Roger with a way in. It does seem to have worked out. I was worried for a while when it seemed I’d failed. At first Roger didn’t really feel comfortable with what I delivered. But he did work very hard to inhabit the songs, and his approaches in each case are surprising and unique. Not always what I expected. He has done really good work. There are some amazing vocal moments."

Asked about prospects for releasing Lifehouse, the ambitious concept project he abandoned in the early '70s, he said, "It’s not going to happen, not as a Who album. It may one day happen as a movie. Music was central to the basic film story I scratched together in 1971. This featured partly electronic music as distraction, entertainment, as a political instrument, a way of worshiping and a way to help us be part of a human congregation. Music in Lifehouse is also described as a reflection of the higher schemes of physics, and the underlying engines of what makes us human, and at the same time what makes us believe we are also spiritual.

"A graphic novel is going to be published in 2020, and that explores and develops all of the themes and variations sparked by the first Lifehouse script. It’s a very dramatic and disturbing project that will undoubtedly trigger new interest in the idea. I don’t return to Lifehouse because I need to complete it. I return to it because it is always evolving."

The new album should be out in the fall.

The Moving On tour resumes September 1st at Madison Square Garden in New York.

 
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