Jethro Tull Comes to CT, Anderson Tells I95 Show We Don’t Belong in Hall of Fame
In support of that album the band is coming to America and has a chunk of dates within driving distance of the Greater Danbury area.
- October 28th - MGM Music Hall at Fenway Park - Boston, MA
- October 29th - Mohegan Sun Arena - Uncasville, CT
- November 1st - Beacon Theatre - New York, NY
- November 2nd - The Capitol Theatre - Portchester, NY
In an effort to support these dates, Ian Anderson agreed to have a chat with us about the album, the tour, life and legacy. Anderson joined the I-95 Morning Show on Wednesday (10/25/23) and we discussed everything from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to his family connection to the Walking Dead TV Series.
Lou: Ethan and I interviewed you about 10 years ago and you left such an impression on me. You were grumpy in the best possible way and I could sense the brilliance coming through the phone and I've been trying to capture a similar level of grumpy ever since.
Ian: "Well there are people who are grumpy in the nicest possible way and then there are people who are just plain grumpy like Bob Dylan or Van Morrison. I try and give a little bit of a twinkly warmth to being grumpy but I'm an expert can you can call me Mr. Grump, make sure you put the Mr. there."
Lou: I read this and I don't know if it's true so please correct me if I'm wrong, your older brother was the administrator of the Scottish ballet and your wife studied ballet for a lot of years, did ballet end up influencing your work in any way?
Ian: "Not directly because my brief flirtation with tights and cod piece actually came about before I met my wife and in fact, before my brother had switched course in his mid-years from being a pharmaceutical chemist to being a theater manager and then managing the Scottish ballet. So, at the time I had that little moment of you know, bulging cod piece. I was never actually a fan of ballet it was just something that came up really because of the practicality of being on the road. You know if you wear heavy duty denims you can't exactly just rinse them through when you get back to your hotel and hang them up to dry for the morning whereas a nice pair of sheer tights, you know they'll dry overnight."
Lou: I read in the late 60's you found your way to the flute when you put down the guitar because you said you'll never be as good as Eric Clapton, is that true?
Ian: "Yeah, pretty much it is true because I think it was in 1966 or 67 when I first heard Eric Clapton and clearly he was way ahead of the rest of those followers. What was even worse was when there were other folks waiting in the wings, people like Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Jeff Beck, these were the hot shot guitar players in London and I thought maybe it's a bit of an overcrowded world and I should look for something else to do for a living and the flute presented itself really for no good reason, just a whimsical moment. I said let's give that a go and see if I can turn that into a rock instrument, which I couldn't really for the first four or five months of owning a flute I couldn't get a note out of the damn thing. It's just nothing happened, somebody told me it's a bit like blowing across the top of a beer bottle and making a note and the penny dropped and I managed to get a note out of the flute and later the same day, another note and another note and soon I had the pentatonic scale and I could play the blues. So, the following day I became a flute player with the ability to play some simple, improvised flute."
Lou: I hate to be predictable but I have to ask this question about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because you have such an interesting perspective or at least I've read that you don't think Jethro Tull belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, can you tell people why?
Ian: "Well I think the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, when it began first of all and I did actually visit Cleveland and donated some things to put in the glass cabinet, but it became very apparent it was very much an American institution about American music about musical Americana that's really what it's about. Jethro Tull, apart from a brief period at the very beginning, in order to get noticed and find a few gigs we were playing music that was based on black American blues. Which at the time which was sort of the underground music phenomenon, particularly in the U.K. I then came to think that I should try and find influences that were not American, that were more European or perhaps classical or folk music or whatever it might be. So I don't really think Jethro Tull belongs in that category of being part of, of course we performed many times in America and in that sense we do have a strong link with America but in terms of the actual nature of the music, no I don't think it's straight-ahead Rock and Roll. It's not the Bruce Springsteen stuff, it's not the world of the great pop-rock bands like Foreigner and it's certainly not part of the tradition of Rock and Roll. I don't really think of myself as being in Rock and Roll. It's sort of folk-rock, yes, progressive rock, yes, you can do something with the word rock so long as you don't have the n' roll part joined onto it."
Lou: Can you tell our audience what your family connection is to the Walking Dead TV series?
Ian: "Well the Walking Dead TV series began with episode one and my son-in-law Andrew Lincoln, that being his stage name, shooting a scene where he has to kill a little girl which turned into a zombie. In fact, I was there that day I just happened to be doing a show in Atlanta. My wife and I went to the set of the Walking Dead on the very first day of shoot and it was the day he had to kill a little girl and he was really worried about it. He went up to the little girl and said I'm really, really sorry that I'm going to have to shoot you in this scene you're in for about ten seconds. She said, she was a heightened 12 year-old, 10 year old actress, whatever she's done this sort of thing before and she said oh don't worry about it I've been killed before on screen. Anyway that was it and Andy went on to do ten years of the Walking Dead as Rick Grimes. He's just finished and is involved in the final editing and there has been a bit of a slow down with the actors strike and COVID and everything that went on but they are finally just wrapping up the six-part follow-up to the Walking Dead where, uh they are just in the final stages now of tweaking, editing for a February release I believe."
Dave: You can let a couple of spoilers go if you like...
Ian: "Well I wish I could but my son-in-law doesn't trust me enough to give me things like what's it called? But we can talk about some of the music, some theme music for the trailer. We did a chat about that, I gave some thoughts to pass along to the folks in the production company regarding the music. I deliberately don't want to know something in case I inadvertently blurt it out to someone like you who I know my secret will not be safe with."
Lou: Did they ask you to consult on some of the music?
Ian: "Not in the sense of providing music. I've been asked that many times over the years but the thing is, I'm just not a collaborator. I'm not a team player, I'm a lone wolf, I just do my thing. As long as I'm in my comfort zone and controlling what I do and how I do it, writing, recording, producing. I have it all under my fingertips whereas if you're writing music for a movie, you are a hired gun. You have to do what it is, they want and provide something that is, it's a special talent that I just don't have. I'm not a team player, I'm not good at working with other people, it's hard enough working with four other people in a band knowing that they never listen to my lyrics."
We did spend time talking about the new album called RÖKFLÖTE and this is what Ian had to say about the project:
Ian: "It's an album touching on the polytheistic belief on Norse mythology and having done an album that was released in 2022, the Zealot Gene which drew upon biblical verse for the genesis of the various songs this one was a deliberate attempt to look at a polytheistic belief. So I started off looking at Greek mythology and then cast a glance towards Roman mythology and then finally settled on the more tricky subject of Norse mythology."
Our chat with Ian was not limited to the questions and answers above. We spoke more in-depth about the new album, learned about how Anderson hopes to be remembered and found out he used to run a successful salmon farm. We conducted the interview in two parts and you can listen to both below.
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