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Interview
Dear Roger Waters






«The Wall», «Wish You Were Here», «Dark Side of the Moon»: The best songs of Pink Floyd were written by him. Roger Waters avoids the public but he made a rare exception for the Migros magazine.

Hello Mr. Waters. You are now in Athens, the line is hissing extremely.
How is the tour going?

Excellent! It is a pleasure to play these songs with these musicians.
The audience has been amazing so far.


 

It seems to be a musical request program for Pink Floyd fans. Together with «Dark Side of the Moon» the fans will listen to many evergreens.
What motivated you to create this program?

The officers of the Formula-1 race on the 14th of july in french Magny-Cours. They asked if I could perform «Dark Side of the Moon» for this particular event. I thought that was strange request! But: Yes, we could do it. Hereupon we had some possibilities to perform in Europe - and finally the people of Magny-Cours came again and said: : "So, actually we would like to have a complete show and not only the album." "Aha", I said, "okay let's do it".

Which song do you like to sing the most?

It changes all the time. If somebody asks me to sing a song for a few people it will be «Wish You Were Here». The song is something special.

You once said that performances always were «a cramp» for you.
You take it much easier now. What happened?

I think it was the psychotherapy which helped me to take it easier. If you watch old Pink Floyd films you will see that I was a powerful performer at that time. I spead a lot of energy and motivated the others but I was too determined. I feel much more comfortable on stage now and I can look the people in the eyes.

That means that you have more fun to perform now than 20 years ago?

Oh god, yes for sure!

The core of the band which you tour with now is for 19 years together. It is as long as your time with Pink Floyd. Is the connection between the musicians today comparable with Pink Floyd?

Well, as you know it became problematic towards the end of Pink Floyd. Back in the day, I would say up to «Dark Side of the Moon» we had a very close relationship. I associate a lot of affection and respect to my musicians now but it is something different. That is my band and there is no tiny piece of democricy in it.






Does the guitarist Dave Kilminster have to play the Pink Floyd records exactly how they were recorded or is he allowed to improvise a bit?

Dave Kilminster has a lot of respect fort he work of Dave Gilmour. He plays the solos quite similar and on concerts he plays the songs very accurately, especially the songs of «Dark Side of the Moon». The album became almost like a piece of classical music, you know it that well. We accept that it is chiselled in stone and we respect it. It would be wrong to change it and Dave sees it this way, too.


On Live 8 you performed with Pink Floyd for the first time again after decades passed last year. How did you feel?

It was an amazing feeling that apparently we can create the same noise like back in 1973. It was enormous fun to me and I bet you could see it. And if you see that somebody has a good time it transfers to the other people. Somehow, the people were affected after seeing us back on stage together - Dave, Rick, Nick and me. Nick will appear on some show with me by the way. It's Cool!

Could you explain in greater detail what had changed over time regarding the public's perception of Pink Floyd?

 

You know - the tours, the others did when I left the band - confused the fans and this confusion finally disappeared on the Live 8 concert. I think the time when I wrote the songs, Dave sang and played the guitar and Rick made up the chords, were the golden years of Pink Floyd. Live 8 underlined that this picture, which will remain of Pink Floyd, was formed in these years. With respect to everything that came after this - it was different. Different! That's it. On this day in July 2005 many people understood it just there for the first time.

Supposedly 250 million dollar were offered to Pink Floyd for another tour. How big was the temptation?

Live 8 was such an amazing thing that I'd like to do again but only under the right circumstances. For example for charity or for a political cause that we believe in.


On the list of the 1000 richest british people which is being published by «Sunday Times» annually, you are listed on position 716 with 80 million pounds. It’s ironic that you earned the money with songs which support the breakdown of the ruler’s work.

I realize this irony. Furthermore, I accept the criticism which is being practised on the champagne socialists. Aber ich bin nicht bereit, mich ins Haarhemd zu stürzen, um in einer Höhle den Asketen zu spielen. Material values are quite attractive to me by all means. And I'm still quite unsure to say that without the buffer area of the material wealth I built up myself, my life would be narrowed down.

 

My question shouldn't be a criticism. I found it amusing that it is possible to appear on the richest list by infiltrating the system.

I completely understand what you mean (laughs)! To be honest, I'm very happy that we succeeded. It was one of the most important motivations for me. I never made a secret about it. I wanted to earn money and become more attractive!







Is it true that you moved for political reasons from England to the USA?

That is not true. I said, at the most, one time that I could move.

But why the USA? One of your latest songs «Leaving Beirut», shows that you don't like the political climate there!

Complicated story. The point is that an ex-wife moved there and a child. I followed and I like it now. If I chose where I live by the government I like or dislike I would have big trouble. Then, I have to live in the Netherlands or Denmark. As much as I like these countries, I don't know if I could live there. The fact that I don't speak the language for example would isolate me quite much.

Back to the music - which of your work satisfies you the most?

«The Wall»! That one was the most complete work. Then «Dark Side of the Moon», «Wish You Were Here». Great records. And after Pink Floyd «Amused To Death».

What about the early work?

Yeah - I love many songs by Syd Barrett. Echoes, too. I don't like the other things that much. We were a young band who worked very hard. We crafted, crafted and crafted until we found our own voice through «Meddle» and «Echoes» and created «Dark Side of the Moon».

Do you think current bands get the chance to take their time and tinker on the work?

I don't know if today's young bands are that patient! All these years we earned almost nothing. We lived quite modestly!

Is it true that you are working on 2 new albums?

That is true. I don't want to say anything about it but that I have a lot of songs together. I'm so busy with the tour now that I can't make up my mind about it.

[ SM | MM | Hanspeter Künzler | RW | RS | AA | Gabriel ]






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