The bandleader broke the news to Rolling Stone while detailing another new project: a book, Silent Singing, that compiles all his lyrics from Jethro Tull’s 1968 debut, This Was, through the upcoming record.
Silent Singing, out in June, is available to pre-order. However, he’s yet to announce a release date for The Zealot Gene; the band began work on the album in 2017 and is reportedly three-quarters of the way through the recording.
“There’s some photographs I took to illustrate particular songs, and there’s even a foreword from that young Gerald Bostock,” Anderson says in a video teaser, referencing the fictional character from the packaging of Jethro Tull’s 1972 LP, Thick as a Brick. “If you pre-order, you’ll get an early bird discount on your choice of three different editions of Silent Singing and the chance to have your name printed in it too.”
You can watch the clip below.
The songwriter told Rolling Stone he began work on Silent Singing during the COVID-19 pandemic, realizing he wanted to have his “correct, accurately transcribed” lyrics in one place.
Anderson also previewed the title track from The Zealot Gene, referencing the line, “‘Bee buzzing in your bonnet / and a wasp right up the bum / a V8 under hood / a cocked hammer under thumb.'”
He added, “It’s about getting your knickers in a twist, we would say. Getting hot and bothered and agitated. I’m not a Twitter guy at all, but ‘we know who’ is the arch Twitterer of recent years, which was both a success and ultimately his downfall. It’s that kind of vehemence or zealotry, which comes with a point of view and wanting to indoctrinate people with a very polarized and divisive view.”
Though The Zealot Gene will be the first official Jethro Tull album in nearly two decades, Anderson has released multiple albums in the interim, including 2012’s Thick as a Brick 2, 2014’s Homo Erraticus and 2017’s Jethro Tull — The String Quartets (with John O’Hara and the Carducci String Quartet).