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May 25th 1975 - Ciao 2001 Magazine Print E-mail

Los Angeles, 25th May 1975, for Italian publication Ciao 2001. Translated by Nino Gatti for Brain Damage.

Armando Gallo (AG): The Dark Side Of The Moon sales have exceeded, and are still exceeding incredible figures. Were you ready for this, and do you know the reason for this terrific success?

Nick Mason: No, at the outset I didn't expect this. Looking at it now, there are two particular reasons for its success. First of all the album went out at a particularly right moment. The album has some well composed songs, that go together well in a situation that can be described as conceptual, even if that isn't the case. The second reason for the success of the album is that when it became such a success, people bought it because of that. When people buy about six albums a year, Dark Side is one of them, because for different reasons, one of them for example is to test a new hifi.

AG: Dark Side was recorded over two years ago, and during those years you spent a lot of months in the studio without making a new product. Is it hard for you to propose a follow up after such a phenomenal record?

Nick Mason: No, we haven't made a new record because Dark Side is still selling a lot, so EMI isn't pressing for a new product. Finally we have worked with ease, stopping ourselves on some things and excluding some pieces, which we would record if we were under pressure. But now we have the right material and we have recorded it; the album will be ready in June.

AG: You have recorded the first part of what is your present live show set, haven't you?

Nick Mason: Yes, a part. The third piece will be on the album (Shine On).

AG: Could you tell me the title of the piece about Syd Barrett?

Nick Mason: We haven't got the titles yet, they are only temporary names at the moment.

AG: How much, in the piece, is about Syd?

Nick Mason: Roger has written the piece, and maybe he could tell you something better, but he doesn't want to speak with journalists! [laughing] Well, at the start it was entirely about Syd, but since that time it has changed, in that points which want to describe in general what happened to Syd, the way people liked the way his madness occurred, his voluntary isolation, it's a sad piece, and a deep moan.

AG: At one time the Floyd didn't want to talk about Syd, when now you are making a song dedicated to him; why?

Nick Mason: Perhaps because now we can do it. Syd was indeed without doubt the instigator of the first Floyd. At the beginning he wrote almost all of the songs, he was the creative fulcrum of the group and the Pink Floyd to Syd meant Interstellar Rock Music. But the public don't accept the change, and I think that Dark Side has proved that the Floyd aren't Interstellar Rock Music and that they haven't been for years, and now that a lot of things have been explained, we think that we can do a piece dedicated to Syd without any fear of incomprehension.

AG: There are some songs on Dark Side which are regularly programmed in discotheques which, not a long time ago, weren't exactly right for Pink Floyd. Does this worry you?

Nick Mason: No, I'm as glad as I am when mothers and fathers buy our records. Logically we don't play music for that reason, but for ourselves. Perhaps for this reason we spend a long time to record, because it is hard to satisfy ourselves. For the public this is the same thing, and perhaps we have found the right relationship. In many countries Money has been issued as a 7" because of its length as a single and because it is a rock and roll number, but we didn't record it to be a 7".

AG: Talking about this evening's show, there is something that has struck me, the contrast between the first and the second part of the show, and the terrific visual show at the back of you. Have you ever thought about dressing for the show? I think that you are the only band in the world that doesn't have stage dress.

Nick Mason: This is because we are convinced that to dress for a show can't help the music we perform. While the images and the lights help you to perceive the music, the public see the images on the screen, and haven't the time to divert themselves, we almost force them to share what we are doing.

AG: Who is responsible for the wonderful film scenes?

Nick Mason: Peter Medoc, who is a cinematic producer, this is the third film that we use, some is in the preceding two films, the rest is Peter's creation. We are very satisfied with his work.

AG: Last question: Steve, your manager, said to me that you haven't talked to the press during all your tour. Why - and why have you allowed me to interview you?

Nick Mason: There aren't a lot of honest journalists. They often arrive with questions ready to quash your work, and I can't accept that, because my work is for the public, not for journalists. I can't get anything interesting from an interview. I've allowed you to interview me because I'm in a particular mood. I know you, we have spent many wonderful days in Italy thanks to you and the Italian concerts [Brescia 19th June 1971 and Rome 20th June 1971] gave us a lot of faith in you, if you reflect it was the beginning of our second successful period, and a good beginning to leave with good memories. For the sake of old times? Maybe this is the reason, and besides Ciao 2001 seems to be an honest and great magazine.

 
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