Pete Townshend Refused to Tour Without New Who Album
He described the material for what will be the band's 12th LP as wide-ranging, although he predicted fans wouldn’t be “overly surprised” with what they heard.
“It was all a bit whirlwind,” Townshend told Billboard in a new interview. “The [tour] contract was signed literally just before Christmas, and the album [contract] was signed just after Christmas. Roger hadn't had a chance to listen [to the material] properly because he had an ear infection, so it was holding, holding, holding, holding. I really didn't think we were going to be able to do the tour or make the album, to be honest. We went up to the wire, and it was a bit tense for a while."
He added that he had "written all kinds of bits and pieces – as always, my approach has been a bit scattergun. It's a pretty wide range of stuff. Some of it's pseudo-operatic, some of it's electronica. There's a few ballads. I've got quite a lot of extreme sample stuff. I don't think Who fans, people who like Who music, will be overly surprised. Quite a few people that heard my demos said, 'What's great about these demos, Pete, is they do sound like you but they also sound new,' so hopefully that's what we'll achieve.
“I wrote songs that I hoped Roger would love – that was really the only prerequisite. I just tried to write songs I thought he could get inside and that would interest him and intrigue him and challenge him. Until those songs were written and demoed and I got them to Roger, we did not have a tour.”
Looking forward to the orchestral shows, Townshend argued, “If we were just doing what we did on the last tour there wouldn't be any point. We're really challenging ourselves with this thing. I think this is going to be dangerous.”