The Who Plan to Release a New Album and Go on a Symphony Tour in 2019

The trek will feature local orchestras and hit Canada and the U.S.
The Who Plan to Release a New Album and Go on a Symphony Tour in 2019
Photo: Rick Clifford
The Who are plotting a big 2019 return, with the band's Pete Townshend breaking the news today that the group will be going on tour this year and possibly even releasing a new album.

The Who member made the reveal in a new Rolling Stone interview, explaining that the band have 15 demos ready but that they still need vocals from singer Roger Daltrey. Townshend said he hopes that Daltrey will be able to record those soon and have the album out later in 2019. If that happens, it will mark the Who's first full-length since 2006's Endless Wire.

The new Who material is described by Townshend as a mix of "dark ballads, heavy rock stuff, experimental electronica, sampled stuff and cliched Who-ish tunes that began with a guitar that goes yanga-dang."

He added, "I had to bully him to respond and then it wasn't the response I wanted. He just blathered for a while and in the end I really stamped my foot and said, 'Roger, I don't care if you really like this stuff. You have to sing it. You'll like it in 10 years time.'"

As for the tour, Townshend said the Who's road trip will find the band playing with local symphony orchestras, who will accompany them to play songs from classic albums such Tommy and Quadrophenia, as well as other hits and deep cuts.

So far, the tour schedule has not be announced, but it will consist of two legs: one starting on the East Coast in May and another out west in the fall. That initial leg will consist of 14 shows, but the Who will return in September and October to hit Canada and the western U.S., according to Townshend. There will be a total of 29 concerts in North America.

"I'll be 75 years old in March and this feels like a dignified way to go and do music," he said. "That's all we're really left with. We're old men now. We've lost the looks. We've lost the glamour. What we're left with is the music and we're going to present it in a way which is as fresh and powerful as ever."

You can read the full Rolling Stone piece over here.