Jethro Tull has not put out any new material in almost two decades. However, founder, only consistent member, and front man Ian Anderson has kept the music alive over the years by dedicating much of the set list in his live shows to performing it. That said, Anderson has still decided to call it a day with the band and has come forward on why that is.
In a recent interview with Eon Music, Anderson goes into detail on how Tull is more of a legacy than a band and why he has no interest in adding more music to the catalog, saying:
“At this point in the day, I think, it’s a little disingenuous for me to talk about ‘the band’ Jethro Tull, because it means so many different things. In terms of all those people who’ve given their individual input into the band, and given their time, and their passion, and their efforts. When I’m the only guy left from the early days, I think of ‘Jethro Tull’ as the repertoire; I think of Jethro Tull as all those people, but when I’m performing today, I’m performing ‘the music of Jethro Tull.'
If I think of Beethoven, I’m not thinking about ‘the man'; I’m thinking about the repertoire. We say; ‘Oh, I love Beethoven’ – you don’t mean you love Ludwig Van Beethoven; what you mean is you love his music, the repertoire that he left behind, which is what really defines people, at the end of the day.”
I kind of get where Anderson is coming from in terms of the legacy of the music outliving the members of the band that created it. It's like when I play a song from one of my old bands. Just because we're playing a song from a band that I was in, that doesn't mean we're that band. We're just preserving something that was created by a group of people that means/meant something. I also get that he doesn't want to get by on a name when he is the only original member left. That's just a cash in if you do that rather than having any artistic integrity.