Roger Daltrey was unhappy with his paycheck from The Who’s last album, Pete Townshend has revealed in a new Rolling Stone interview.
“I’m not working on the next Who record. I think what happened is that when I did an interview for Uncut about The Who Sell Out, I was asked whether or not I was preparing any material or writing anything. I said, at the time, which is where I was since I did this interview before Christmas, that I had an idea for a series of songs. I’d written a series of essays and I was working on it.
And subsequently, I had a conversation with Roger and flew the idea past him, and he half-liked it, and said it would be interesting to hear when the music comes. And then I started to read things that he was saying in the press, which were very much at odds with the conversation that we had face-to-face. I think we really need to have another proper conversation. Until we have that conversation, I don’t think there’s any real prospect of a Who album developing because it’s all in my hands and I tend to do it, and then Roger comes along and sings the songs.
I need to know that I’m … what’s the word? I don’t want to use the word “servicing.” But I need to know that I’m facilitating Roger’s needs as a singer. There’s only two of us now. And these days, he insists on having music to sing, which he believes in, completely and utterly, that he can get inside. Unless he can inhabit the story of the song, he can’t do a good job. And so it means that I have to, in a sense, work as as tailor. I’m not really that free to write whatever comes off the end of my tape machine.
And so that’s where I am at the moment. I do a have a number of ideas. For the last year, I’ve been working on a variety of things. I did some work with some other artists. I’ve been working on my own piece for The Age of Anxiety based on the novel. I don’t know whether there will be another Who album. It needs Roger to be on it. And I think he was even complaining that he didn’t make any money out of it. I was like, ‘Who does make money out of f**kin’ records anymore?” I don’t know who does. Maybe two or three people, but not many.”
The Who released their most recent album Who in September 2019, their first album in 13 years.