Fireworks

Welcome to the Rocktopia Interviews Section (* For Members Only)

Interview with Ian Anderson

IAN ANDERSON of Jethro Tull

Interview by Paul Davies.

It was on the 2nd of February 1968 at the world-famous Marquee Club in Wardour Street that Jethro Tull first performed under that name. The group would go on to become one of the most successful and enduring bands of their era, selling over 60 million albums worldwide. The debut album, 'This Was', was released later that same year. Founder, frontman and flautist, Ian Anderson, is rightly credited with introducing the flute to Rock as a front-line instrument...not to mention the codpiece!

Tull are one of the biggest selling Progressive Rock artists of all time and their immense and diverse catalogue of work encompasses Folk, Blues, Classical and Heavy Rock. The anniversary concerts will feature a broad mix of material, some of it focussing on the earlier formative period through to the "heavy hitters" of the Tull catalogue from the albums 'This Was', 'Stand Up', 'Benefit', 'Aqualung', 'Thick As A Brick', 'Too Old To Rock And Roll: Too Young To Die', 'Songs From The Wood', 'Heavy Horses', 'Crest Of A Knave' and even a touch of 'TAAB2' from 2012.

To celebrate this golden anniversary, Ian Anderson will present 50 years of Jethro Tull in eight UK concerts during April 2018 as part of his worldwide touring schedule. Taking some time out of his busy schedule, we catch up with a busy Ian Anderson who reveals living tales from the past and his future plans.


Ian Anderson Jethro Tull Interview

Jethro Tull played their first gig at The Marquee Club in 1968. What are your memories, if any, of that show?


It was actually the fourth time we had played there, albeit under other names in the weeks before. So we knew the venue, the manager and the importance of doing well there to try to build a following as a stepping stone to other cities, other venues.

Who inspired you to take up the flute? It's both a unique and unusual instrument to play in a rock band.

Eric Clapton, in a roundabout way. I was a guitar player in 1967 but realised I would never be as good as Clapton so looked around for another instrument - preferably one that he and the many other great guitarists of the time couldn't play. Better a big fish in a small pool than the other way around.

You have adopted a few 'personas' over the years: The Tramp/Aqualung, The Codpiece wearing Bard and The Rural Hunting Sports type, to name a few. What effect does visual theatrics have in your writing process when 'shaping up' an album/tour?

Not too much at the time. Better to come up with the music first and only then worry about how to present it, otherewise it could become a little overly theatrical.

What are your personal favourite Tull albums and songs that you especially like to play on tour?

Probably pretty much the same favourites as most of the fans. There are some 300 songs to choose from in theory but maybe 100 in practice. My own favourites come and go and I keep rediscovering material from earlier albums which capture my attention and my heart. At least for a while.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine for Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site


There have been many talented musicians that have played their part in Tull over the years. Can we expect any 'special appearances' on this 50th-anniversary tour?

There are some thirty-two other band members over the years so it is a little impractical to factor in some without leaving out others. The four guys with me for the last 12 years have their marbles, their own instruments and their boarding passes. Many of the past members gave up music long ago, or are not able to play anymore. A few, sadly, are no longer with us....

Will you be introducing any songs into the set that you rarely play and still resonate with our times? 'Looking For Eden' or 'Made In England', for example?

Well, they are from a 1983 solo album called 'Walk Into Light' so it would not be appropriate perhaps. But there are a few I intend to play next year which are from the earliest Jethro Tull works, some of which may or may not have a contemporary content.

Having mastered a diverse range of musical styles: Blues, Folk, Classical, Heavy Rock and Prog, which styles challenges you the most?

They all challenge in their different ways: technically, musically, emotionally etc. But I find it quite easy to write music today. The lyrics are always most demanding so I have learned to tackle the words early on and not leave them to later. I found out that that is a bad idea.

My personal favourite Tull albums - I like all of them, in their own way - are the trifecta of 'Songs From The Wood', 'Heavy Horses' and 'Stormwatch'. 'Broadsword', too. What inspired you to develop the overall theme on these albums in which to write the songs?

Three of those four have album title track songs, so that rather directed the course of the rest of the album styling. I usually find that I have a bee buzzing in my bonnet at the time so the direction follows that general idea when I write most of the songs. The others, I have to bend into shape. That has tended to be the case from 1970 onwards.

Looking back over your long, varied and very successful career, you seemed to write songs for albums very quickly. Do you find the inspiration for the writing process comes naturally to you?

I am not really a believer in inspiration. I adopt the notion that you have to go looking for it rather than wait to be visited by the muse. After a fruitless hour or two, something usually comes along. As I get older, the process has speeded up a bit, which is good. I had assumed that it would get harder but the reverse is the case. I definitely find it easier these days to write songs, but not necessarily easier to write good ones!

You must have so many memories from the past fifty years of recording and touring. Anything that stands out that you can share?

Many that I can't share! Or, rather, shouldn't share. I had a violinist once, travelling with the band and crew on the bus and I asked to share with me her experiences of being the only girl on the tour. She replied, "What happens on the tour bus, stays on the tour bus." I thought it best to leave it at that...
But the memories of things happening to me, whether fun or downright embarrassing are never a problem to talk about. Being struck during a show by a used tampon on my bared chest or having a pint of pee poured over me as I walked out to the stage in Shea Stadium come to mind. Rather brings a man down to earth, wouldn't you say?

Is there a chance of newly recorded music to be released to celebrate the 50th anniversary?

I have actually postponed the new studio album to early 2019 to avoid the plethora of re-releases, box sets and live stuff coming out during 2018. I think that next year, uncharacteristically for me, should be a year of looking back and celebrating past times and repertoire rather than unleashing unfamiliar new material on a nostalgic fan-base. We have already recorded half of the songs for the next studio album, which I wrote last January. It is frustrating to leave it for a while but probably best. I just have to hope that no one else comes up with the same title or concept during the next 18 months. Otherwise, back to the drawing board!


Tour dates are as follows:

April 2018

Tuesday 3rd Manchester O2 Apollo
Thursday 5th Newcastle City Hall
Friday 6th Edinburgh Usher Hall
Saturday 7th Liverpool Auditorium
Monday 9th Bristol Colston Hall
Tuesday 10th Birmingham Symphony Hall
Wednesday 11th Cambridge Corn Exchange
Tuesday 17th London Royal Albert Hall

Pre-sale Tickets available on 30th August: http://www.gigantic.com/jethro-tull-tickets-presale-1051 and venue box offices. Tickets are subject to booking fee. There is no support - please see ticket for start time.

Ian Anderson is accompanied by Tull band musicians David Goodier (bass), John O'Hara (keyboards), Florian Opahle (guitar), Scott Hammond (drums) and surprise virtual guests

For more information, please visit:

www.jethrotull.com

 
Ian Anderson Jethro Tull Interview 2

Share this on the web.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

William Shatner - 'The Blues'
13/10/2020 | James Gaden
article thumbnail

One of his best albums to date.


Latest News on Rocktopia

Status Quo bassist ALAN LANCASTER dies aged 72
26/09/2021 | Central Electronic Brain



Alan Lancaster,
founding member and bassist for St [ ... ]


Member Login



Calendar

<<  October 2021  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 3 weeks ago
  • Berny : RIP Alan Lancaster! :(
  • Berny : @Barneypippa: I forwarded your mail to the Fireworks team. You should receive a reply asap.
  • Barneypippa : My magazine (#96) hasnt arrived yet - should have been here last week
  • Rocktopia Te : @bakerstreetish: Pls. check your email for download instructions.
  • bakerstreeti : Hi, I just bought digital download #96. How will I be able to receive/access it? First time on this site. Thanks!
  • zom414 : Have they been posted out yet? Not received mine yet but may have the release date wrong!
  • Johns Band : Received glossy Fireworks 96 and one of best ever. I am still looking at pictures and "Revisit The Gods AOR Festive" should be great. Probably get download from issue 101 to save on space & it is read to me from audio voice. Already got Robben Ford Instrumental album "Pure" great stuff & Freddy King singing & guitar I love, so Bernie Marsden new album I will have on Amazon Prime. If you are into 70's Rock then new Help Yourself 6 CD Boxset + info will be good for you plus expert to pay no more
  • Berny : Fireworks #96 is out now! :)
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Pls. check your email!
  • Paul wiv : I have paid for issue 92 but it hasn't downloaded yet.
  • Berny : @Adamson: Bitte kontaktiere mich direkt, meine Mailadresse lautet «email»
  • Adamson : kann man hier auch auf Deutsch schreiben? denn ich hätte eine Frage?
  • KI2000 : Wow, issue #95 has to be the BEST one so far. Congratulations guys!!
  • Hysteria : GREAT MAGAZINE! Keep on rockin' guys!!!
  • Berny : Fireworks Magazine #95 is out now!
  • Berny : @Paul wiv: Many thanks for your purchase, pls. check your mail.
  • Paul wiv : I have bought issue 89 on download but it has not appeared on my account
  • Berny : @pomper: BOTH of your mails were forwarded to the Fireworks Team, please contact me directly at «email» should you still haven’t received a reply.
  • bpomper : trying to confirm my fireworks 94 order with no answer from team rocktopia??
  • bpomper : i ordered fireworks number 94 but never got a conformation other than my paypal receipt. can you confirm it went out. i have transaction id if you need it
  • Berny : @ALL: Should you have any questions about your Fireworks orders, pls. contact me directly at «email»
  • Berny : Hi @Stuey6666: You are using two user names on Rocktopia. All current orders were assigned to your second account, pls. check your mail again.
  • Stuey6666 : Hi Berny - ordered 4 issues last week - still not arrived - have checked spam etc not there. cheers stu
  • Berny : @Adolfo: I've also just sent you the magazine via WeTransfer. But please check you junk mail folder, the mail was definitely sent earlier today.
  • Berny : Hi @Adolfo: Have you already checked your spam folder? If the mail cannot be found, pls. contact me at «email»
  • Adolfo : «email»
  • Adolfo : My e - mail
  • Adolfo : I don't have any e - mail.
  • Berny : @Adolfo: Pls. check your e - mail for download instructions.
  • Adolfo : I have order the #94 but I can't find the download

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site