Roger Daltrey says one of the goals of his upcoming "Use It Or Lose It" tour is to get his voice in prime shape for the start of the Who's next album later this year.
Daltrey tells Billboard.com that bandmate and Who composer Pete Townshend "is demoing now, and I'll be demoing vocals in December. And hopefully if this tour has done it's job, I'll be in really good form as a vocalist and, who knows, we might make our best work.
"But," Daltrey cautions, "that's a piece of string. That (demoing process) could go on for six months. You just never know."
Townshend has previously acknowledged working on two projects -- a new musical called "Floss" and the Who's followup to 2006's "Endless Wire," which he's said will include some of the pieces from the "Floss" project. Daltrey is mum on the musical ("Without hearing it there's not a lot to talk about, is there?," he notes) but has high expectations for Townshend's latest spate of songwriting.
"The last sort of 20 years or so one of the problem's rock 'n' roll's having is it's inability to grow up," Daltrey explains. "So maybe that's what (Townshend)'s working on now. I've always felt he's one of the few rock writers whose music has grown up and has always been articulate for its age."
Daltrey says he and Townshend also plan to take the Who back on the road in 2010 and are "toying with the idea" of a "Quadrophenia" production similar to the large-scale version of the rock opera the group performed in 1996, and possibly performances of its predecessor, "Tommy."
Daltrey, meanwhile, is planning to start rehearsals in about two weeks for Use It Or Lose It, which kicks off Oct. 10 in Vancouver. He's currently working on repertoire ideas, which he says will include material from his solo albums and film soundtracks, including songs such as "Days of Light" and "Walk on Water" that he's never performed live. There will also be "songs that the Who do, in different ways;" among those are "I Can See For Miles" -- "Which I can do in this (solo) band because we've got all the harmonies" -- "Tattoo" and "It's Hard," which he says might be done "Johnny Cash style."
Daltrey, who's not planning to record or film the shows, says he's also considering an assortment of covers -- including some Johnny Cash material. "I haven't fixed it all yet," he says, "so I don't want to say too much, 'cause then there'll be expectations and people may be disappointed, you know?"