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Home arrow Interviews arrow David Gilmour interviews
August 13th 1978 - Ciao 2001, Italy Print E-mail

Translated by Nino Gatti for Brain Damage.

Aldo Bagli (AB): I would like to know the reasons for recording a solo album. Maybe because inside the Floyd you didn't succeed in expressing yourself as you wanted?

David Gilmour: Not quite, as you know, the activity with the Floyd has always been intense. We aren't allowed to disperse our strength, with some rare exceptions, this would seem stange, but to play in a band like ours, besides getting the satisfaction, also means a lot of responsibility. For example, there is the paranoia that the next album has got to be better than the previous. Also in Pink Floyd there is a contrary situation, it needs to have in each possible moment a right idea. After Animals we said, we must have a long period of rest. Each one can do anything he wants without any problems.

AB: Therefore things are quiet, there aren't real motivations or polemics?

David Gilmour: No, because I've just said that during my period of rest, I prefer to do my work. Remember that we are together for a long time, both in misery and in wealth.

AB: How can you explain the kind of music you have made for your solo album?

David Gilmour: I think that there isn't a lot to explain, and the creative act is something that can't be repeated. When I was making these songs I thought about the music, today it could be different. It's not that I'm not satisfied with my own work, but the real reason is that today I have more information than six months ago, and I've had greater experiences, and so on. I don't believe totally in those who say, if I had got to record that album again, I would make it in the same way. There would be some change, even if imperceptible, but it would be.

AB: But you have the same expressive calibre of your band.

David Gilmour: That is a question that is very hard to give an answer to. Maybe there are different arrangements. I don't know. There is only one certain thing, whoever listens to my album doesn't have to delude himself that he is listening to a Pink Floyd album. There is no sense in recreating the atmospheres in this as you harmonise as a whole with the complete band.

AB: Have you the feeling that it was strange in the recording studio, in a different situation from the other times?

David Gilmour: Only one thing, I recorded it a lot faster! All together (Pink Floyd) we want complete perfection. When I am alone I prefer an immediate composition. Don't misunderstand me, a lot of people will think that my album is superficial, this is because I've tried to recover the simplicity that is snubbed and ill-treated by everybody. When I am home, I sometimes grab an acoustic guitar and begin to play, aimlessly. Well, my recording was born from a crazy desire to express myself, wanting to be as natural as possible.

AB: Now what are you going to do?

David Gilmour: I'm going to follow the example of others, I want to have a rest, devoting myself to my private life. We'll see, in 1979, we'll return to the recording studio.

AB: Why so late?

David Gilmour: We aren't machines that every year we must bring out a good record. We have our limits. We think that the music is a creative point.

AB: And a tour?

David Gilmour: That we can't answer. So no comment!

AB: Why?

David Gilmour: Because every possible comment has arise to too many interpretations. So we prefer not to disclose ourselves.

Second interview, same date and publication

Giorgio Rivieccio (GR): Why have the Floyd, just after releasing a record seperated and disappeared from the music scene, without giving any interviews or concerts?

David Gilmour: When we weren't famous we bombarded the music press with our interviews, now there is no need. The records speak for themselves and let you listen to us without needing promotion.

GR: Are you happy about how Pink Floyd are today?

David Gilmour: I must say that sometimes I'm afraid that the band treads on schemes that are too far exploited. I would like for example to occupy new musical spaces, to explore new horizons. But it isn't easy when the heads that think aren't one, but four. However I'm convinced that Pink Floyd can go on a bit longer. However, we go on with the music because we are convinced about this. Nobody could prevent us from stopping everything. We have earned enough, ah, and then we enjoy ourselves a lot.

GR: Have you always enjoyed yourselves a lot, playing?

David Gilmour: Not at all. Some time ago it was different. Once we thought only to earn money and to become famous.

GR: And then?

David Gilmour: Then there was Dark Side Of The Moon!

GR: After these years, do you still like Wish You Were Here?

David Gilmour: It's strange, but I can't yet give a final judgement about that album. It was a very hard album to compose. The success of Dark Side conditioned ourselves in an exasperating way. For this reason, it is sometimes violent and full of strength. Finally we wanted to occupy ourselves.

GR: The album is dedicated to Syd Barrett, one of the founders of Pink Floyd, isn't it?

David Gilmour: Yes, especially the piece called Shine On You Crazy Diamond. It has been the nucleus of the record. From there we started to compose the other pieces.

GR: From the beginning, however, you had in mind the central idea of the record; was this the same for Animals?

David Gilmour: No, in this case, until the end, we didn't know what we were going to do. The idea about the animals came while we were recording the last things. Roger thought of it, noticing that the lyrics of the songs were similar. So he changed something in Dogs that was once called You've Got To Be Crazy, and in Sheep, that was once called Raving And Drooling. However, it has been a positive factor, because in this way we all had the opportunity to share in composing the record.

GR: Certainly Roger Waters is the brain, the mind of the band...

David Gilmour: Well, I think that is so. I never succeeded in writing proper lyrics.

GR: And what did you do for your solo album?

David Gilmour: I managed three pieces on my own, for the others I had the help of somebody.

GR: Who?

David Gilmour: A piece has been composed by Ken Baker, and another one by Roy Harper. It's incredible but during 33 years I never wrote proper lyrics. In my album I had to choose exploited subjects, in fact, a piece talked about death, and another about sentimental disappointment. Maybe it is banal, but that's the way it is.

GR: However, in general you are satisfied?

David Gilmour: Yeah, above all because the album has allowed me to get estranged from the Floyd's music. The band, especially during the show, is like a monstrous machine. In fact, sometimes the technology exceeds the feelings. Sometimes we seemed to loose control. In this case, only relying on the technique, there isn't any real purpose of the music. Maybe looking at it in this way, we have exaggerated a little.

 
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