“We’re pushing the age envelope as far as it can possibly go”: Pete Townshend issues update on the future of The Who

“Roger and I know what we’re doing,” says the guitarist.

Pete Townshend playing a gold Strat. He's on stage, and has one hand in the air and the other around the neck of his guitar.

Image: Katja Ogrin / Getty

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Pete Townshend has given his thoughts on the future of iconic rock band, The Who.

The band formed back in 1964, and they are set to release a huge box set, Who’s Next | Life House, featuring 155 tracks this September. As the band approach such a huge release, Townshend has been asked how they plan to continue, if at all.

Some of the songs included on the new release are from the unfinished Life House project (which started in 1969 as a follow-up to The Who’s Tommy), and of course their fifth album (released in 1971) which it later evolved into, Who’s Next.

Speaking to Uncut magazine, Townshend has discussed the future of the band when asked if it was just a recording project, or just a live thing going forward: “Well, recording is tough. We just about managed to get the last record done [2019’s WHO]. It nearly didn’t get made,” he reveals.

“We have no plan. I don’t have a unique vision for The Who going forward. I don’t know whether Roger does. Roger and I probably need to get together to chat about what we want to do. I brought it up a little bit on the recent UK tour.

“Roger seemed most concerned about the fact he’s got a dodgy knee that might need surgery. But he’s singing great and I’m playing as well – and better – than I ever have before. I feel comfortable doing what I’m doing with the band. The interesting thing about our business now is, like the Stones and McCartney, we’re pushing the age envelope as far as it can possibly go.”

Townshend also reassured “Roger and I know what we’re doing,” and rounded things off with the open question of, “who knows what might happen?”

Despite the huge box set providing a colossal time capsule of the band’s journey so far, Townshend doesn’t think it means things are necessarily coming to an end.

The Who’s Next | Lifehouse box set is released on 15 September. Find out more via The Who’s website.

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