The Who fans shouldn’t expect a new album from the British rock icons, as even Roger Daltrey doesn’t think it would serve any purpose.
“What’s the point?” the singer said in a recent NME interview when asked about the prospect of new music. “What’s the point of records? We released an album four years ago [2019’s Who], and it did nothing. It’s a great album, too, but there isn’t the interest out there for new music these days. People want to hear the old music. I don’t know why, but that’s the fact.”
Daltrey, now 79, noted that the Who’s fan base runs the gamut “from 80 years old all the way down to 8 years old,” but it would still be difficult to market new material to a captive audience. “We’ve got quite a lot of young people in our audience these days. It’s quite interesting that they’re picking up on our music,” he said. “But record companies, they just don’t do the same job as they used to.”
The Who is currently preparing for a summer U.K. tour where they’ll be backed by an orchestra. “When you hear real strings and amplify the orchestrations with the arrangements we’re doing, the sound is just extraordinary,” Daltrey told NME. He said the difference between using real strings and synthesizers is “like the live equivalent of a vinyl record, as opposed to the CD player. CDs are crap! It’s only when you hear vinyl that you realize how crap they are.”
The band previously employed an orchestra in 2019 at London’s Wembley Stadium, and the performance will be immortalized on the upcoming The Who With Orchestra Live at Wembley album, out March 31.
Despite his disinterest in releasing new music, Daltrey is still keen to experience new things nearly seven decades into his career. The Who will reportedly headline the National Transport Trust Vintage Transport Festival at England’s Fawley Hill in May. In exchange, Daltrey — an avowed train enthusiast — will get to drive one of the locomotives.
“Roger is a massive model railways fan,” a source told The Sun. “When he heard they were looking for a headliner for their vintage transport rally, he offered up the band’s services — but with a special request.” Daltrey, who has a model railway in his home in Sussex, England, will “be behind the wheel of the steam train at some point over the weekend, which really will be a dream come true.”
Daltrey will also headline the Teenage Cancer Trust charity gig series at London’s Royal Albert Hall later this month. The Who guitarist Pete Townshend will also raise funds for the organization with “Can’t Outrun the Truth,” his first solo single in 29 years. The song comes out on March 24 and is available to preorder now.
The Who Albums Ranked
Half of the Who’s studio albums are all classics, essential records from rock’s golden age. But where should you start?