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Home arrow Interviews arrow David Gilmour interviews
September 2002 - La Repubblica, Italy Print E-mail

David was interviewed by an Italian journalist for "La Repubblica", an Italian newspaper, in the middle of September 2002. It was translated by Stefano Vecchi, who has kindly let us share his hard work with you.

"David Gilmour In Concert" is going to be released soon; it is a DVD with almost all of his show last year at London's Meltdown Festival. 56 year-old David Jon Gilmour's got 8 children, an out-of-control paunch and a cloudless "despise with disillusion" in regard of who rules the world, who confines "common sense and art in a dark corner".

But he's still got those blue eyes, which belong to that guitarist who, in the January of 1968, joined a band called Pink Floyd. And also his enthusiasm is the same when he admires the miracles of his new software which will allow him to "reproduce the sounds of bows like I've always wanted: I've never been understood by an orchestra!!".

He speaks Italian but he doesn't admit it. His eldest daughter, 26 years old, lives in Rome. Many of his best friends are Italian. We went to his floating studio: a legendary boat called Astoria, bought in 1986. An enchanted place. He sings "Smile" for us with his guitar (his brand-new song present on the DVD), then he plays a few notes from Wish You Were Here.

HAMPTON (London)
David Gilmour: Do you see that little island? That's Taggs island. We played there, in the middle Seventies. The years when someone hadn't given up yet. Someone still believed things could change.

Q: And you gave up?

David Gilmour: No. I still haven't given up. I wouldn't be there between those buttons. There are some people with whiter hair than mine who notice me and ask me strange things, that aren't so strange if you think about them. Some days ago a guy asked me: "So, how long will it take?" and I replied "Sorry, what are you talking about?" "The new Pink Floyd album, of course! Can you do it? We're all waiting for this damned album!" We laughed and talked about football. He was an Arsenal fan like me.

Q: Excuse us, but we also want to know: when's the next Pink Floyd album?

David Gilmour: Well, I change my mind and feelings about it at least once every year. A year ago, in an interview, I was angry and I said that it was a forlorn hope. Now I think: why shouldn't it be done?

Q: Maybe with Roger Waters...

David Gilmour: Unfortunately I haven't been speaking with him since 1987, but I've got no anger now in his regard. He got angry with me one day and he never came back on his decision. I don't know what could have happened.

Q: A fact is that Roger Waters hasn't given up, either.

David Gilmour: Yeah, a man like him only gives up when he dies!

Q: But what do you exactly mean with "give up"? Don't you believe that music can change the world any more?

David Gilmour: No, I mean don't believe in what you're born for. We are not able to do many things in life... As regards music, no, music didn't change the world, and it never will. But it can stop bad people from their plans. It could frighten those who believe themself omnipotent. In the 60's we really believed in it. But then, watch what happened...people from our generation had to suffer more than our enemies, and the world is still the same. A joke.

Q: So?

David Gilmour: So I write, tell stories, I try to do my best with Polly and my children and I try to understand something more about myself through them. This is not giving up. And so it is to believe that there isn't only a progress civilisation. If it was so, I would be as "lefty" as Blair is. And frankly...

Q: And where's your "left" now?

David Gilmour: Oh I don't know. I only know that if Bob Dylan has also in part eaten his words, it means that Tony Blair is not alone, that Bush has some friends also in his enemies' houses, and that's why there is a left which supports war and "dollar and oil" oligarchy interests and now lives for the eleventh of September.

Q: Would you write a song for that day?

David Gilmour: If I tried, I wouldn't be able to. Both sides of the war are doing massacres.

Q: Why did you only do two solo albums?

David Gilmour: I'm lazy and I've got 8 children. I'm more a "recording father" than a "recording artist".

Q: What was music for the young David Gilmour, entering Pink Floyd?

David Gilmour: Twenty, twenty-two hours a day of life lived 'till the last breath.

Q: Were you afraid of substituting your friend Syd?

David Gilmour: Yes, even if we thought about him as a "home-writer", while I would only have helped on stage. But it became unworkable.

Q: When you wrote Dark Side Of The Moon, did you have the sensation that you were about to change rock music forever?

David Gilmour: We were strong and snotty. You usually answer no, we weren't aware of this; and instead I say yes, we were. We understood that we were doing something which was going to change our lives and then the world around us.

Q: Much money, but no corruption?

David Gilmour: Oh yes we were corrupted. Corrupted because for a while we thought we could do anything. Money eats up something inside you.

Q: But Pink Floyd stood up nevertheless.

David Gilmour: Until Animals. then, maybe because of that poison of corruption, we blew up. Every one of us blew up in his personal way; the period of The Wall was our worst period. We had lost the meaning of our work.

Q: What was the best age?

David Gilmour: From Atom Heart Mother to Dark Side: in those years Roger started to write wonderful words.

Q: And how was it to play Pink Floyd stuff again, after seven years?

David Gilmour: Smooth. Full of life. You see water out there? Pink Floyd inspiration has something to do with water.

Q: But you played them in a folkish way...really different from the originals.

David Gilmour: Original doesn't always matter...it depends if one has given up or not...

Q: You have lots of Italian friends. Was Antonioni a friend in the Zabriskie Point years?

David Gilmour: A great person who asked us a soundtrack for a movie in which he didn't want any soundtrack. I never understood what he wanted to do with our work...well actually I never understood what he said!!

Q: So what are you doing now?

David Gilmour: A new record next year and I'm going to see Arsenal tomorrow.

 
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