Ian Anderson Says He Avoided Doing Generic Music Like The Rolling Stones And The Who

In his recent interview, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson compared his band with the iconic bands The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Ramones. He admitted that he is glad he didn’t make mainstream music like those bands but prioritized creating something unique.

Jethro Tull was formed in 1967 by Ian Anderson, and he stuck with his band while there were a lot of lineup changes. What Anderson did was unique; as a multi-instrumentalist, he merged the melodies of a flute into rock and roll and created different sounds that are also a part of rock and roll. The band wasn’t inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame, which was a controversial topic among musicians. However, according to Anderson, that was not necessary.

Even though he respects the institution of the Hall of Fame, he doesn’t believe Jethro Tull belongs there anyway. He was always happy with creating to satisfy themselves and their fans. Because the band never had a lust for mainstream validation, they went on to create whatever they wanted. Hence, they didn’t reach a groundbreaking success in the beginning.

Anderson commented on the band’s progress and stated that they tried too hard to make it. However, he stressed that he was proud of how they stood up each time they fell and is glad not to try and copy the Stones, the Who, or the Ramones because he would feel ‘restless’ if he did.

Here is what he said about making generic music:

“Then I’d say that overall those years, Jethro Tull tried hard. Some people might say we tried too hard, but it’s better to do that and fall on your face once in a while rather than sit comfortably backpedaling to keep on an even keel. I’d get restless if I did generic music like the Stones or even the Who or the Ramones in the world of punk. I feel I’ve gotta get on and do something that allows me to get close to what I think I can do.”

The band has released 22 studio albums since its formation. Their last album, ‘The Zealot Gene,’ was released this week. Even though it reached success in many other countries, according to Anderson, it wasn’t a success in the US. Anderson described the problem as releasing it in the ‘wrong time, the wrong mood.’