Tull's end was 'big shock' for Barre

Martin Barre has described the end of Jethro Tull as a “big personal shock” that left him with a month to reorganise his life.

And although he wasn’t looking for a full-time solo career, he’s happy with the way things have worked out – even though he can’t help thinking about a future reunion.

Mainman Ian Anderson wound the band down in 2011 after deciding his future material would be released under his own name. Since then he’s been touring with his own outfit, while his former guitarist is doing the same.

Barre tells UCR: “I always hate to hear, ‘Oh, you’ve left Jethro Tull.’ I haven’t – Ian wanted to finish Jethro Tull, wanted to stop the band completely.

“It was a big personal shock to finish. Essentially the floor was pulled from underneath me, and I had a month to start from the beginning again. I am free, but I wasn’t looking for freedom. I already had it.”

He describes the process as “very difficult on a business footing, an emotional footing and a practical footing,” but adds: “My neck’s on the line for better or worse, but I quite like that.”

He continues: “I’m a very happy person, and I believe Ian is a very happy person too. The end result is very good, but it has been very tricky.”

Barre has informally discussed the possibility of working with some of Tull’s former members again. “It could happen – it could be good,” he says.

“But really, if you’re going to do that, have Ian as well. Have everyone from every era play two songs, leave the stage. It could be a big, fabulous thing. But it’s just an idea. Maybe a promoter with imagination could pull that together, but I can’t.”

He says of the band that made his name: “Now there is not a Jethro Tull. Maybe there will be in five or 10 years, but probably not. It’s sad, because I see bands like Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and Toto out there having very successful tours.

“They’re very special bands, and they’re enjoying a resurgence of interest from that era. But unfortunately we’re not part of that.”

Barre launched sixth solo album Back To Steel in September, while Anderson released his own sixth title, Homo Erraticus, last year.

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Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.