Music has always been a platform for artists to express their opinions and beliefs, but sometimes those expressions can create controversy and confusion. Ian Anderson, the mastermind behind Jethro Tull, recently voiced his perplexity regarding Roger Waters’ political outbursts in recent years. Waters, the co-founder of Pink Floyd, has been known for his outspoken views on various political issues, including the tensions between Israel and Palestine and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
In a recent interview with Classic Rock, Anderson shared his confusion, stating, “I couldn’t understand why someone who’s been doing it as long as he has is seemingly unable to act on the understanding that it’s up to you to convey your ideas in a way that isn’t going to get you a drubbing.” He went on to suggest that Waters’ convictions appeared confused and not based on reality, leading him to go on rants that can be perceived as divisive.
Anderson acknowledged the delicate nature of expressing opinions in certain parts of the world, mentioning his connections in Russia, where communication is closely monitored. He discussed his contact with a media operative friend who has to be cautious with their communication due to potential surveillance. Anderson also mentioned Boris Grebenshchikov of the prog group Aquarium, who is critical of the current regime in Russia.
With regards to the current situation in Eastern Europe, Anderson expressed concern for future generations, particularly his grandchildren, while maintaining a sense of optimism. He said, “I’m not scared for me, but I am for my grandchildren. But you can’t worry about it forever, and I prefer to be optimistic in thinking that Putin is the ultimate bluff meister.”
The interview also revealed a glimpse into Anderson’s past, as he shared that during the original Cold War era, he had contemplated survival plans and doomsday preparations. He admitted to considering escape routes and even storing fuel and weapons. While those days have passed, Anderson reflected on the tense climate that existed during that time.
As Jethro Tull continues their tour in Europe, with upcoming North American dates, the focus remains on the music and the connection with the audience. While political views and expressions can spark debates and controversies, Anderson’s bewilderment over Waters’ outbursts highlights the challenge of conveying ideas without inviting criticism and divisiveness.