An Interview With Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson On The 2013 Thick As A Brick Tour And July 22 Stop At Ravinia
by Gregory Harutunian
Ian Anderson is best known as the frontman, singer-songwriter, musician, flute player, engineer, producer, and whatever other duties he will tell you regarding the legendary band, Jethro Tull. With more than four decades of performing under his belt, the last decade has seen him step out on his own projects. Distinctly Anderson, the music slides to the more melodic avenues in discovering instrumental nuances to dally with.
His own touring group consisting of bassist David Goodier, keyboardist John O’Hara, drummer Scott Hammond, and wunderkind guitarist Florian Opahle have performed with Ian on his solo dates, as well as having performed at various times as members of Jethro Tull. They all participated on the recent release, “Thick As A Brick 2,” an update companion to the original 1972 release which answers the question,” What ever happened to Gerald Bostock,” TAAB’s supposed writer.
Audiences got to find out firsthand last year, as the original TAAB was performed in its entirety for the first time since 1972 including the weather report and prostate awareness skits, that bookend with TAAB2. The 2013 tour extends the fun stateside through the month of July, concluding with a performance at the Highland Park (IL)’s Ravinia Festival (www.ravinia.org) on the 22nd. British singer Ryan O’Donnell, who has been active in the UK theatrical scene, was added to sing difficult vocal parts. Anderson wants to perform vocals and instrument parts as they appeared on the original THICK AS A BRICK.
A phone interview, conducted with Anderson, touched on the tour itself, the TAAB sequel, and what’s on his plate for future endeavors. What follows is an edited transcript of the conversation.
Maximum Ink: We last spoke three years ago, and I must update the more serious inquiries… what is your favorite color, and if you could be any tree, what would you be?
Ian Anderson: Still gray, a nice battleship gray. As for tree, still an oak. They’re slow growing, slow to mature, a bit grand, solid and decorative. Plus, they are quite useful, if you want to build a ship, sail around, and attack a small country far away, or something like that.