Pete Townshend Explains The Dissidence He And Roger Daltrey Had Over The New Who Album

In a recent issue of Guitar Player magazine, The Who’s Pete Townshend has revealed that Roger Daltrey has a different approach towards their career plan than his, and they have different opinions on the course of the band’s new album.

The legendary rock band The Who released their first studio album after a 13-year break titled ‘Who’ in December 2019 and hasn’t released any new material since then. Before the release of the album, they had announced a tour named ‘The Moving On! Tour’ which consisted of 29 shows across North America and the UK.

‘The Moving On! Tour’ that was announced on January 11, 2019 began on May 7 yet was cut short in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Ten shows that belong to the tour’s Ireland and the UK legs were rescheduled for March 2021, but were canceled in February 2021, a month before it will happen, because of the ongoing conditions caused by the pandemic.

Speaking to Guitar Player magazine, Pete Townshend answered questions about the possibility of a new The Who album. He told the magazine that he has doubts if there will be a new Who album as a result of the old-fashioned way that they work. He said that it takes quite a lot of time to put together the songs they might be working on and pick the appropriate ones to hit the mood of the moment. He mentioned the other artists who write songs, record them, and put them out at home within weeks, but described The Who’s process as an old-fashioned one so it takes much more time to release new material for them.

Townshend then talked about Roger Daltrey’s stance considering their career, saying Roger does not want to sell unfinished and evolving ideas, but he himself wants to take chances as a composer and writer. He also added another dissidence he and Daltrey have, as he thinks getting on the road for a tour could be tricky because they are getting older and the lockdown made them a little bit rusted, however, Roger wants to get out and use his voice. Pete then said that he does not know if he will be willing to tour the way they have been touring before although he was finding it easy back then.

Pete told Guitar World magazine about a new album that:

“As far as a new record, it does take quite a lot of time to put together the 20 or 30 songs that are needed for both Roger [Daltrey] and I and any producer that we might be working with to cherry-pick the ones that fit the times. Because you write the songs, and then two years later you’re putting them all out, and you just hope that you’re going to hit the mood of the moment.

A lot of artists now are writing songs at home, recording them at home and putting them out within weeks. But our process is the old-fashioned way, and it does take a lot of time. So I don’t know, but I am optimistic. And I’m certainly full of ideas.”

He then continued, talking about the different attitudes of him and Roger Daltrey:

“I think Roger doesn’t want to be selling ideas that are either vague or evolving, that are unfinished. But I’m still at a place now where I want to be gambling and taking chances as a studio composer and writer.”

Pete then added, speaking about going on a tour:

“It could be tricky. And I think it’s partly because we’re getting older, and partly because this lockdown has left us flailing quite a bit. I think Roger just wants to get out and use his voice.

And so it feels to me like what he’ll want to do is play catch-up with touring, which is very much what we did after I took a great long sabbatical from The Who from the end of ’82 right through to ’96, pretty much. But I don’t know the extent to which I will be willing to tour the way we have been touring in recent years, although I have been finding it easy and I’ve been finding it interesting.”

Although Pete Townshend revealed some struggles in the path of the album-making process, he still seems optimistic for the future as he is known to have said that he has a lot of pages of draft lyrics for a new Who album back in February, saying he is ready to go in and start if the proper moment comes after the lockdown.