Who frontman Roger Daltrey says the inevitability of a new record by the band isn’t so much a question of “when” as it is “whether.” Speaking to the NME, he said that both he and guitarist Pete Townshend have the makings of a new LP should they choose to rise to the occasion. “Pete’s got hundreds of songs so the only question is whether we get around to it,” the vocalist said. “But he wants to make an album and I’m always ready and raring to go. We’ll see.”
Regarding his hesitation, Daltrey said, “I never know what I’m doing next, it’s about what comes through my letterbox tomorrow, but I don’t see why we wouldn’t. My voice is still in good shape. The hearing isn’t so great, but the voice is fine.”
This isn’t the first time Daltrey has speculated on a new album. Last year, he told Rolling Stone that he and Townshend were “hoping” to do a new album. And previously, he said, “Pete’s the kind of guy who could suddenly write a load of songs and he’ll say, ‘Let’s go in and record them.’ And then there’ll be another album. The last one’s, what, ’82 to 2005 – 23 years [laughs]. I haven’t got 23 years now, but you never know.”
This past October marked the 50th anniversary of the band’s start. But Daltrey last year had told Rolling Stone that he and Townshend would not be celebrating the milestone and that the group’s “last big tour” in 2015 was its own thing. Now it seems this new LP, should it happen, would be a fitting celebration in Daltrey’s opinion. “I don’t know, possibly it’ll be this album,” he said. “I haven’t thought about it, to be honest. We didn’t think it was going to last the week, let alone 50 years. We were the Who – we used to break up after every show.”
But while he and Townshend haven’t released a full-length since 2006’s Endless Wire, Daltrey has, in fact, recorded a new album – it’s just with another guitarist. Late last year, the singer teamed with former Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson – who last year announced he had been diagnosed with cancer and performed on a farewell tour – to record an album titled Going Back Home. It’s due out in March.
“We’ve been trying to make this album for about four years and it kept not happening for one reason or another, but when he was diagnosed, I said, ‘Wilko, whatever you want me to sing, let’s do it,'” Daltrey said. “And it’s a great record, really good songs, and it was fabulous making it, so refreshing. It’s going back to what I did in the early Sixties with fast, three-minute R&B songs. No bullshit, just good songs.”
The singer said he would like to perform with Johnson at Daltrey’s upcoming Teenage Cancer Trust concerts this coming March in London. It will just depend on whether or not the guitarist is up to it. Other performers at those shows include the Cure, Suede and Ed Sheeran.