Jethro Tull Future Has ‘No Answer’ Says Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson says there’s “no answer” to the question of whether Jethro Tull will make a return.
The difference between band works and the mainman’s solo outings have become vague in recent years, with his Thick As A Brick 2 album credited to Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson.
For now, he’s concentrating on touring that record and its prequel billed as himself – and he doesn’t know what will happen afterwards.
Asked about the status of Tull, Anderson tells the Miami Times: “There is no real answer to that really. At the moment I’m halfway through touring this album. All the shows that are lined up for 2013 are all the Thick As A Brick tour. So as of yet, there isn’t a need to think through the answer.”
But he adds: “There isn’t a policy to do shows as Jethro Tull, or not to do those shows. It’s only once we start looking at other things that make up a year’s worth of touring that maybe there will be some Jethro Tull ‘best of’ shows here and there. But there’s no definite plan to do that or not to do that.”
Anderson isn’t against the notion of playing a handful of Tull tracks by way of an encore. But he thinks it’s unlikely to happen since his current production, consisting of performing Thick As A Brick followed by Thick As A Brick 2, is already a very long show.
He explains: “In the majority of venues we play we have a curfew – there’s a certain time beyond which we may not play. And from an audience perspective, we’re on stage an awfully long time. It may well be they want to get the hell out of there and catch the last bus home.
“If there’s an overwhelming demand for something extra, we may or may not fulfil that expectation. We are at the mercy of curfew policies, union rules and all the rest of it, so there are circumstances over which we don’t have any control.”
His intention with his current tour is to perform both albums “without cheating.” He says: “The point was to play them as they were written and arranged. I don’t have any problems with the second album because I wrote it carefully to avoid some of the little impasses I created for myself with the first.
“I ended up enthusiastically adding additional vocal lines, flute lines, guitar lines. It’s impossible to do what I ended up doing on the original album, because every so often, everything’s going on at same time. I only have two hands and one set of lungs.
“When those things start coinciding I have to make choices. Trying to find another flute player, for example, was not going to be impossible or desirable because they’d sit around for eighty percent of the time doing nothing.
“So I decided on on a performance person who can do a bit of singing, acting, dancing and some of the vocal lines when my flute lines coincide with them.
“On the new album it’s less of a chore, but to justify having another person around I’ve given him some parts that allow him to have a presence on stage, which the audience seems to enjoy.”