The Who has scored a major hit with fans with “All This Music Must Fade” — the lead-off track to the band's upcoming album, titled, WHO, which is set for release on December 6th. During a new chat with Mojo, Pete Townshend, shed light on the new track and Roger Daltrey's initial reaction to it, explaining, “Roger at first was worried about that lyric. He thought I was putting words in his mouth, that I was saying 'You’re gonna hate this song Roger.' But I said, 'No, this is for you to sing, this is your view.' He said, 'Well, I dunno that I feel that, 'cos I’m not a songwriter.' I said, 'Well, imagine that you are. . .' When he heard the first demos, it was like, 'Oh God, what’s Pete up to now?' He’s very suspicious of what I might be up to. He doesn’t want his world to be shaken up. But the idea from my side was to write songs that challenged him, that inspired him and made him think, and I think that’s what happened in the end.”

Townshend was reminded of the fact that he had previously said he was uninterested in recording a new Who album unless Daltrey contributed half of the songs: “That’s still true, in a sense — I was trying to write Roger’s half for him (laughs). Roger doesn’t have a huge amount of patience. He’s a fantastic organizer. He’s a very good dramaturge — he can analyze story and sell a drama. . . So I know what Roger’s good at, but what he’s not good at is writing songs. He doesn’t have the patience. I’m pretty sure he has the intellect — he’s very, very smart and he’s very, very creative. But his voice is his obsession.”

Townshend revealed that not all the songs recorded for the new album made the final cut: “A couple that were rescued from my demos from 1966 have not been included. Those were songs I thought would be fun for Roger to sing. They might be featured as extra tracks on a Japanese (edition of the) album or something.”

Regarding future Who albums from the band, Townshend promised, “If this works out we’ll do another one. I don’t know whether I would spend five months writing, but I might. I’ve really enjoyed it, I’m pleased with it, and I’ve got about 10 outtakes that I can use for other purposes (laughs). I’ve done what I set out to do. And the fact that Roger has come around. . . I don’t think he was expecting me to say, 'Either we do an album, or I’m never touring again,' which is what I said to my manager in the winter of 2018. I wanted the album out in February of this year. Not in November. And we could’ve done that.”

Pete Townshend told us that after five decades of working with Roger Daltrey, he's only recently found the proper way to present his new material to him: “And Roger just said to me several times, 'Y'know, I'll support you in whatever you want to do, let's take some real chances.' And I kind of stamped around the room saying, 'Well that's all very well in words but when it actually comes to it and I deliver him my big ideas, he doesn't want to get behind them, or he doesn't do this or do that . . .' And then actually when it came to it, I realized (that) as long as the work I was delivering him was finished, he would simply make the choice of an editor or a performer.”