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Home arrow Interviews arrow Nick Mason interviews arrow February 1st 2006 - Deutschlandradio
February 1st 2006 - Deutschlandradio Print E-mail

Deutschlandradio's Kultur, 1st February 2006. Translated for Brain Damage by Ulrike.

For a limited time, the full interview can be heard on demand, through this link.

Dieter Kassel (interviewer): He's been there right from the beginning. When studying architecture Nick Mason met Roger Waters, they created a band, which a few years later surprisingly was named "Pink Floyd". For over 40 years he has been the drummer of this band. And now, after all these years he has written a book, with over 300 mostly private pics and with a lot of moving and funny stories covering the history of the band. And now he is joining us here on "Deutschlandradio Kulutur." Welcome Nick Mason!

"Inside Out - My Personal Portrait of Pink Floyd" is the title of your book. For whom did you write it? For true and loyal fans, who have been buying the first records of Pink Floyd 40 years ago, or for young folks, who might be thinking "The Division Bell" had been the first Pink Floyd album?

Nick Mason: I´ve written the book for all kinds of different people, partly for the old fans, but it´s also a book for younger folks, amongst them for my kids and the kids of the other band members.

Would you have liked to tell stories in your book but you couldn´t remember?

Mason: There are a lot of stories, which have fallen into oblivion, however, not only my memories are covered in the book, I also talked with other people and asked them: Am I right? Did it happen this way? Did I miss something?

David Gilmour and Roger Waters read the manuscript before it was published. What have their reactions been to the book?

Mason: In my mind they had no objections to the majority of the book, however they might have had problems with the description in the book in which way who had been contributing what... There isn´t always enough space to show enough appreciation of everyone.

Of course your recollections cover a lot of stuff the public had not known about. In the 1970s Pink Floyd intended to publish an album without any instruments, made only with the sounds of household appliances. Did this ever happen?

Mason: We began recording, that is true, and we were working hard on it, but we didn't finish it. It's kinda sad, that nowadays you are able to complete all the stuff within an afternoon, that we had been working on for months then. Today there are sequencers, a lot of electronics; in other words, in those days we only had crude equipment compared with today, when you only have to push a button.

As a drummer, which kind of kitchen equipment would you have been playing then?

Mason: We had a lot of drums effects already then when recording; the bass drum had been like sawing into a block of wood.

In the mind of many, the big Pink Floyd albums have been created during a drug befuddlement. However, when reading the book, the reader is getting the impression that the recording had been a lot of hard work, with a lot of concentration; in plain English: quite a sober process.

Mason: I have to agree, it's been just like that. The recording of the albums is a very technical process, the creation process had been sobering as well. Imagine how many overdubs we made, and then it's quite clear that it had been nothing but a sobering procedure. If you are claiming the recording had been done under the influence of drugs, I have to say, that that wouldn´t be an effective way of working.

If you were 16 or 17 years old today, do you think you would be making the same kind of music?

Mason: Actually, I'd be too old and tired now to be able to try to make this kind of music once again. But I believe that there is a lot of space to develop this kind of music. You are always thinking, all is over, and rock'n'roll had to endure this kind of criticism already, 50 years ago. But as a fact of the matter there is always something new, unusual and strange someone might be developing and publishing.

For a limited time, the full interview can be heard on demand, through this link. Our thanks to Ulrike for the translation!

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