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Two new indepth Roger Waters interviews Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Following Roger's arrival "down under" to kick off his 2007 tour, he is clearly raring to go, and firing on all cylinders! Two fascinating interviews with him have appeared in the Australian and New Zealand media, which having talking at length about touring, new music, politics, religion, and the whole "Pink Floyd reunion" thing...

The first of the interviews appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. At a time when religion seems to be the key motivator behind most things in the world now, Roger has clearly been spending much time making up his own mind about the subject.

"I think the Holy Scriptures are superstitious nonsense. I think more and more the empirical evidence goes to support that view. It's great that people like Dawkins are actually writing very easy to read and coherent expressions of my point of view [he chuckles] so I'm pleased about that. So, yes, you're right, [religion] is absolutely central to all I do now."

The interviewer makes the point that there is something to be said for the cliche that as you get older you start realising you wasted too much time and energy with hating and anger. "There is no question that that is true," Waters says. "Part of the reason I'm here is that since I started touring again in 1999 the connection that I feel with the audience - which is something that I was never interested in, never had anything to do with in the days of the Floyd - is something that I not only enjoy immensely but I concede has enormous value for me. And for them [in the audience] actually."

The full interview can be read over at www.smh.com.au.

Roger WatersThe other interview appeared on Television New Zealand's Close Up programme, with Roger being interviewed at length by Mark Sainsbury. Roger is in a very expansive mood, and the conversation makes for fascinating reading.

Things kick off with a discussion of what music interests Roger these days. Naturally, this turns to classical and opera music, and to the recent performances of Ca Ira.

Waters: "It's a big orchestra and a big chorus and lots of kids singing and eight soloists and we've done several full productions now in eastern Europe.

"The Poles latched onto it first because it's about revolution and it's about freedom and change and it's about an attachment to the ideas of right and wrong and it's anti-authoritarian and rather anti-church. I think for some of those reasons they thought it would be a good way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of the workers' uprising against the Russian occupying forces in 1956.

"And from there it's gone on and there's going to be a full production in Moscow in March and another in St Petersburg in May. So it least it has a life which I'm enormously happy about."

Roger then explained that, irrespective of what sort of work he was doing, he enjoyed it and throws his all into it. On the 2007 tour, he remarked "I'm still working on it. I'm changing it all the time and this afternoon we're going to start rehearsing with the band and I've got a tonne of ideas of what we should do different. We've already done this show 80 times or something. We're going to do it another 62 times this year and it's sort of automatic.

"So whether I'm working on the opera or whether I'm doing this or whether I'm writing something, it's not an intellectual exercise. It's just 'oh now I'll do that and then I'll do that'. I'm having an absolute blast. I mean this tour that we've been doing is terrific fun. The band is great.

"I don't know if people know this but the story behind why we do the whole of the Dark Side of the Moon was brought about by the French Grand Prix organisation last summer called up and said "We want Pink Floyd to do Dark Side of the Moon at ze French Grand Prix" (French accent) and everybody was saying f*** off you're insane and they went "oh what about Roger Waters" (mock French accent) and they said 'well dunno we'll ask him'. And so they did ask me and I thought 'oh what a strange idea but I thought why not? I can't think why I didn't think of that myself a few years ago!'

"It's a piece I'm really attached to and then they asked if I'd take Nick Mason so I said 'Hey do you want to go and do Dark Side at the French Grand Prix. And he is an enormous aficionado of motor racing anyway so he said 'yeah I'd love to' so we did it.

"Then it seemed daft for it to be a one-off so I said hey let's do a couple of festivals in Europe and then that turned out to be 20 dates in Europe. And we thought 'oh well, we are up and running, we might as well go to the States. And then it was great, it was such good fun."

Looking to the future, he noted: "I've got tonnes of songs that I've written and half recorded and whatever and there's a couple more albums in the old dog yet and I will make them at some point. But they need to be coherent in some way. I am stuck with my attachment to the idea that records being whole pieces of work that have a beginning and a middle and an end so the concept album as it's sometimes rather derisively called is a format that I'm pretty well stuck with."

Roger talks of his political background, and of his family and upbringing. His loss of his father is equated to the inclusion of his son, Harry, on tour with him, and he talks of how good that is.

With his continued work on other projects, such as The Wall On Broadway, and his work to try and help those suffering in other countries (see our recent story about him sponsoring a Senegalese village) he talks of how he'd still like to rekindle the feelings experienced when he, Nick, Richard Wright and David Gilmour reunited for the Live 8 concert. "We're great pals again now and that's a gift for our declining years or to put it another way - as we move into our prime! Pink Floyd can be anything you want to anyone you want. Who knows? The Floyders might get back together and do something else... who knows."

So you're not opposed to that? "No, of course not. I'd do it in a heartbeat. I don't think Dave wants to do it all. I think he sort of regretted Live 8 a bit so who knows [Mark: why?] Well because it was his band and suddenly it wasn't any more. Suddenly this is what it was, this is the sort of thing it actually is - it's Dave and Roger and Nick and Rick. And he said afterwards it would have been just the same if Roger hadn't been there, but it's not the same."

But you could work with him again? "Sure, why not? I think it would be great. I mean I thought even doing those three numbers that evening was great. And the recordings of it afterwards sounded pretty good. But if it ever happened, and I've no idea how it would happen, it would just be very problematic."

Waters does warn that with all the activity he has ahead of him, that fans should take advantage of the current schedule of shows. "Yeah I think it's probably the last chance I think to see [the Dark Side Of The Moon show]. Who knows, I might tour some time in the future but when I get to the end of this, which is July 14, I've got so much other work to do it will be a long time before I go out on the road again. And whether Pink Floyd will ever do any gigs or not, I have no idea."

The full transcript of this fascinating televised interview can be read over at www.tvnz.co.nz. Our thanks to all our friends in Australia and New Zealand who wrote to tell us about these two interviews - we really appreciate it!


 

 
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