Pete Townshend: The Who are closer to prog rock than Led Zeppelin

The Who
The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey (Image credit: Rick Guest)

The Who recently announced that they would release their new album Who in November – their first record since 2006’s Endless Wire.

They marked the news with the gritty new single Ball And Chain and revealed a run of 2020 live shows.

And in a new interview with the Dallas News to promote the new record, guitarist Pete Townshend was asked what the biggest misconception about the band or its music was.

He replies: “That we are, in any way, a heavy rock band. We can do it, but we're closer to prog rock than, say, Led Zeppelin.

“On the other hand, there is a part of me that really doesn't give a shit what you think of us. That may be what makes us seem like an old school rock band. We do our best, but if we fuck up, so be it.”

Townshend was also asked if he’s been writing songs about growing old in today’s youth-obsessed society.

He says: “You need to listen to The Who’s next album. I certainly wrote a few songs specifically about what happens when you get old. But funnily enough, I did a fair bit of that the first time I thought I had got old, when I passed through being 30, in 1975.

“I think in writing songs that I hoped Roger Daltrey would connect with, I had to accept that, although we are both old men now, we are very different. So it's the broader issues I ended up writing about.”

The Who will tour across the UK and Ireland throughout March and April next year, where they’ll be joined once again by a full orchestra.

The Who: Who
1. All This Music Must Fade
2. Ball And Chain
3. I Don't Wanna Get Wise
4. Detour
5. Beads On One String
6. Hero Ground Zero
7. Street Song
8. I’ll Be Back
9. Break The News
10. Rockin’ In Rage
11. She Rocked My World

The Who: Who

The Who: Who
The Who return with their new studio album Who – their first record since 2006's Endless Wire. It'll be out in November and feature the tracks Hero Ground Zero and Ball And Chain.

The Who UK and Ireland 2020 tour
Mar 16: Manchester Arena, UK
Mar 18: Dublin 3Arena, Ireland
Mar 21: Newcastle Utilita Arena, UK
Mar 23: Glasgow SSE Hydro, UK
Mar 25: Leeds First Direct Arena, UK
Mar 30: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, UK
Apr 01: Birmingham Resorts World Arena, UK
Apr 03: Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, UK
Apr 06: Liverpool M&S Bank Arena, UK
Apr 07: London SSE Wembley Arena, UK

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.