Ian Anderson Weighs in on Possibility of New Jethro Tull Album
As fans who’ve purchased the deluxe edition of the ‘Erraticus’ record know, Anderson’s in a solo state of mind these days; in the liner notes for that version of the record, he wrote: “I think I prefer, in my twilight years, to use my own name for the most part being composer of virtually all Tull songs and music since 1968.” And although classic rock band names are un-retired about as often as they’re put to rest, Anderson recently told Billboard that he doesn’t anticipate changing his mind about the end of Jethro Tull.
“I think that, if we look back on it, it kind of came more or less to an end during the last 10 years or so,” mused Anderson, summing up the band’s last few releases as “a couple of live albums and a studio album of Christmas material.” Although he stopped short of vowing never to resurrect the band, he added: “That might define the last albums under the name Jethro Tull. It’s a body of work I rather think is now kind of historical, since the weight of it lies back in the ’70s and ’80s, in terms of volume. And I rather think it’s nice to kind of leave that as legacy.”
Furthermore, as he pointed out during a conversation with Classic Rock Magazine, Tull’s impressive longevity makes it difficult to assemble a compelling modern-day version of the group. “A Jethro Tull concert isn’t impossible in the future,” he admitted. “But who’s going to be in the band? A lot of them don’t play, aren’t feeling terribly well or are dead. Or, in terms of musical ability, wouldn’t hack it. There are some who it’d be fun to have in the band, but only for a day or two. Then it would be frustrating for both of us.”
It probably doesn’t hurt that Anderson’s feeling pretty good about ‘Homo Erraticus.’ “I appreciate that I am not a likeable guy,” he said, chuckling. Comparing his own recent output to that of his peers, Anderson shrugged: “There are of course many great rock musicians, but a lot of them are boring, repetitive, mindless and imitative. Nine-tenths of the iceberg is pretty sordid stuff, really.”