Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson bridges the generation gap with classic rock
Flute-wielding Jethro Tull frontman Ian Anderson, who recently wrapped up a U.S. jaunt, lovingly anticipates hitting the road. Next up on his itinerary is a series of dates in Italy with the Sturcz Quartet and a Christmas show at Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, England.
"I'm always looking forward to tours and it's always kind of fun to be on the eve of departure and have that thrill of preparing yourself, whether it's just packing a suitcase or checking in online to get on an airplane," Anderson told SoundSpike. "[I look forward to] planning the shows. If you haven't done it for a few days, which I haven't, you rekindle that excitement and spirit and energy in preparation for another tour. I suppose if you catch me on a Wednesday night in the middle of a long tour, I might not be as enthusiastic or friendly."
At his concerts, fans can expect a blend of music from his solo career and years with Jethro Tull, who are responsible for the ubiquitous classic rock tracks "Aqualung," "Bungle in the Jungle" and "Locomotive Breath." He calls the set a mixture of some obvious and some much less obvious music from him.
"A lot of it -- I guess about 80 percent of it -- is Jethro Tull repertoire, but not necessarily the best-known repertoire," Anderson said. "Some of it is more obscure stuff that rarely gets played live on stage."
The shows will also feature four or five new tracks that he has penned. Anderson explained he prefers to road test material to give it a chance to marinate before the recording process.
"It's a good thing to do, road testing material in that way, giving the opportunity to modify, refine it and bring it to the audience, who in the way kind of shapes the way that it goes," he said. "I think you learn in the process of bringing the music live. It's a lot more enjoyable than rehearsing it endlessly in a recording studio."
Anderson sees in those performances generations of fans, which he finds thrilling.
"I think there are generations -- particularly in countries other than the U.S.A. -- which are really a new generation of fans that are hearing the music and revering the music of people from their parents' generation," Anderson said. "It's nice to know you're having that impact on people. I hope that in their turn they pass it on to their children too."
As for 2011, Anderson is working on a number of tours in South America, Australia and the Western United States. He is also planning to continue his holiday shows, such as the one scheduled at Canterbury Cathedral.
"I'll also be doing some Christmas shows, concerts in some cathedrals in the U.K.," Anderson said. "I tend to support the restoration funds of our great religious establishments--not that that makes me a Christian. I'm not a Christian. I just like old buildings that smell funny."
9 - Bergamo, Italy - Palacreberg (with Sturcz Quartet)
10 - Vicenza - Italy - Teatro Comunale (with Sturcz Quartet)
11 - Bolzano, Italy - Palasport (with Sturcz Quartet)
18 - Canterbury, England - Canterbury Cathedral ("The Christmas Jethro Tull" with Ian Anderson and Friends)