This spring, The Who are hitting the road, with a batch of new material and a full symphony in tow.
The new record will be the classic rock band’s first release since 2006, and according to guitarist Pete Townshend it is the main impetus for their impending 31-date tour.
“I said I was not going to sign any contracts unless we have new material,” Townshend told Rolling Stone. “This has nothing to do with wanting a hit album. It has nothing to do with the fact that the Who need a new album. It’s purely personal. It’s about my pride, my sense of self-worth and self-dignity as a writer.”
Although a full list of dates has not been released, Townshend revealed that the tour’s 14-show first leg will begin at Madison Square Garden this April, followed by stops in Chicago and Detroit. The second leg will kick off in September with shows on the West Coast and Canada.
Similar to lead singer Roger Daltrey’s recent Tommy tour, each show will feature a local symphony orchestra to add extra drama and heft to the proceedings.
And while it’s not necessarily a farewell tour, Daltrey tells Rolling Stone that time is the band’s greatest enemy.
“I think it is always a mistake to ever say ‘farewell,’” he said. “But this will possibly be my last tour. I’m just being realistic about going through the 75th year of my life. I have to be realistic that this is the age I am and voices start to go after a while. I don’t want to be not as good as I was two years ago.”
Read the full Rolling Stone interview with Townshend and Daltrey here.