Two new Roger Waters interviews online
Written by Matt   
Sunday, 04 May 2008

Whilst on the US leg of his 2008 Dark Side Of The Moon tour, Roger Waters has undergone a couple of fascinating interviews with the local press. Talking about such things as the current concerts, live footage - from recent shows AND the original Wall shows, and recording new music (including a benefit single with Eric Clapton on guitar), the interviews are definitely worth checking out, and we have details of both below...

First, we were pleased to hear from Mark Brown of the Rocky Mountain News, who got in touch with details of his extensive chat with Roger, who was in West Palm Beach recording a benefit single.

The first question asked was about the short and fairly unusual set of tour dates for 2008, and what inspired the shows. Roger: "What happened was I had no plans to do any gigs this year. A friend of mine in Argentina was organizing a gig in Buenos Aires for ALAS on May the 7th. They wanted me to do my whole show down there. I had meeting with him and agreed to do it. In the meantime my manager in London said to me 'One week before that Coachella is on and they'd like you to go and do the last day there.' It seemed ridiculous not to do that. So I agreed to do Coachella. I'm sorry, this is a bit long-winded. Then the charity gig got moved to the 17th of May. Suddenly it wasn't just a few days. So they said to me 'I don't know if you remember but Denver was sort of upset that you didn't go (in 2007).' I remembered seeing lots of fan things on sites saying 'Oh, he's not coming here.' So I said 'Why don't we take it to Denver? That still leaves some time to fill in - do you want to play Texas?' I said 'I do, I really want to go with Leaving Beirut to Texas.' So they put in a couple of there."

On the subject of his new material, he said: "I have a ton of songs I've written. I keep meaning to get around to going in the studio and making it into an album. But the recording I'm involved with in the moment, I wrote a song for ALAS. Although I'm not longer doing the gig... I have recorded a 13-minute piece for them. In fact I'm in West Palm at the moment and Eric Clapton has very kindly agreed to record a solo. So I'm recording him tomorrow or the next day. We'll be working with the Venezuela Youth Orchestra in another two weeks... that's the recording I'm doing at the moment."

Talking about the Live8 reunion, he said it "was quite extraordinary. Even at our advanced years we all still seemed to be able to play a bit and sing. I thought those songs we did sounded great. It was very moving for me personally to hear those four musical voices joined together again onstage. And equally very moving to experience the enormous waves of love that were coming off the field at us. It was just fantastic. I loved it."

Mark asked if he would consider releasing music from the vaults like the 1974 BBC broadcast. "I think it's all out there on bootlegs. I'm not that interested in it. I have started work on the original Wall shows. We already mixed the music and it came out but I own all the film. We did do a multi-camera shoot on videotape back in 1980. We also have some 35mm footage as well. I'm looking at all that at the moment." On the oft-quoted comment about the poor quality of the footage, Waters replied that "it's not unusable. It's not great but it's not unusable. I will find my way through it and make something that is very watch-able, I hope. We'll see."

On the subject of The Wall, Roger also talks about the status of the planned Broadway production. He talks of the work that has been done on it, and says that "we may be looking at fall '09 or spring '10. This stuff, trust me, takes a long time. It's a long, complex process. But the work isn't going to go away. It's nearly 30 years old now, which is young, as we know, for a piece of theater. It's not going anywhere. People aren't going to suddenly be entirely disinterested in The Wall. They'll be no less interested in two years time. I'm content it should be allowed the time to grow and come to a proper fruition as a proper piece of work for the theatre."

To read the full interview, including Roger's views on the current social and political feeling in the US, and some extensive discussion of how recording his music has changed over the years, visit the Rocky Mountain News website.

The other interview was conducted for the Dallas Morning News, and the interviewer, Thor Christensen, kindly got in touch with the details.

The focus of this interview is on Roger's realisation of how he views his life, particularly relating to his time with Pink Floyd (and the associated struggles and arguments in his later years in the band). "Things do change," said Roger. "We all have to own up to the fact that we carry a dark side. I'm very happy to stand up and say, ' Mea culpa.'

"I was deeply angry and unformed. And I was hypercritical of the way audiences were at rock shows, which provided the first inklings of The Wall and the idea of building a wall to cut the audience off."

The article notes that Roger eventually gave up his grudges after reading studies of how the brain works. "I discovered the ego will invent memories that suit it. Like most rock 'n' roll bands that split up, there were terrible arguments in Pink Floyd about who did what and when. And it's a huge comfort now to know that nobody's memory is reliable. It certainly explains a lot."

He said that another mellowing factor is his fiancée, filmmaker Laurie Durning: "I've got a good woman now and that's a big help," he says. "I've been saved."

Of the Live8 reunion, he noted that "It was quite extraordinary, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I know Nick would, and I'm pretty sure Rick would. But I think Dave is largely disinterested in the idea. He's content to be on an island, which is fine. I applaud anyone who follows his gut feeling."

The interview can be seen in full over at the Dallas News website.