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Home arrow Interviews arrow Roger Waters interviews arrow February 13th 2002 - Sueddeutsche, Germany
February 13th 2002 - Sueddeutsche, Germany Print E-mail

Roger Waters, former head of Pink Floyd, is on a solo tour. Alexander Gorkow meets him in London, with an unexpected end

The wind whistles, the clouds are building, the sky looms large. But the sky is far away.

Down here things look different. In the underground a thick is located, to that as Pokémon disguised themselves and reads picture. A baby cries and kotzt an old man on the shoes. The old person releases. Then someone releases because of the old person, and the old person holds their tongue.

One of the better pieces of Pink Floyd is called "One Of These Days". Only the wind, then Roger Waters whistles on the bass around as on a steel stand, then the whole chapel is polished with a leather loosely, and David Gilmour arrives on the steel guitar like an ice skate. Briefly before it disappears, a metallic, robotic voice says the beautiful sentence: "One of these days, I am going to cut you into little pieces."

In the office a few days ago, the mobile telephone rang. At the other end: a gentleman from London.

The gentleman: "You wrote an E-Mail a long time ago, asking at that time for a single discussion with Roger Waters..." - yes, but that was really a very long time ago. That was in New York, as Mr. Waters was in concert at the Madison Square Gardens...

Don't mention the war!

"Now, as you know, Roger gives only a few, quite strictly controlled interviews. Do you want to still hold the conversation?" - Strange, Mister, I was only a few weeks ago at David Gilmour's concert in London...

"Really." - Really?

"You are scheduled from 12 o'clock tomorrow in the Berkeley, Knightsbridge. Ask no questions about Pink Floyd. Roger is happy to meet you." - Why is this?

In the lobby of the Berkeley Hotel, where the Lapsam Suchong tea is served, it smells smoky. A lady appears, the colleague of the manager of the telephone. Roger Waters should be in presently. The lady: "Don't panic! Good questions will result in good answers being given. Do not mention the names David Gilmour, Rick Wright and Nick Mason. Remove the words Pink and Floyd from your vocabulary. You are clear over the fact that the discussion will be terminated otherwise."

In the elevator one thinks of John Cleese as a hotel boss in "Fawlty Towers". As the German guests arrive. And his character's constant refrain: "Don't mention the war!" Grins! But do not laugh now!

Alpha animals

Humans are like their eyes. This could be seen with David Gilmour and Roger Waters, who are no longer able to break down their own monumental nightmare "The Wall". Since 1980 they had only controversy. 1985 separated Waters and the others in the band. The probably most hate-filled and - based on the lawyer costs - most expensive separation of the young entertainers. A war of alpha animals, which saw themselves forced into co-operation and compromise by the record company, which they did not want.

The former Pink Floyd guitarist and singer Gilmour has warm and somewhat practice-substantial eyes, he looks with a discussion into the distance. The former Pink Floyd Bassist, main author and singer Waters has exhausted and ensuring eyes, which fix the interlocutor incessantly.

Waters talks three times as much as Gilmour, and one can say: contrary to Gilmour he holds the branch. He has toured for three years at immense cost and gives first-class solo concerts, which are in addition, for being afraid, because the one in charge is 58 this year. Birthday commitments do not stop, picture-rich in its old and new wounds herumzustochern.

Since it sarkastisch is, but rarely ironically, and since he, if he quoted from which own work quotes, it beaten up since beginning of the irony-addicted 80's of journalists. Only: as in two years ago on the USA tour of his show, in that the old heartbeats, which thundering the war fliers and the geplapper of the television people rush by resounding and mix themselves with the Elegien on the stage still to something breath-taking: all concerts were sellouts. Toward the end of the tour Waters stood in a heaving Madison Square Gardens and was surprised.

He is not a Prophet!

London, The Berkeley. He sits there in good jeans, a good shirt and very good leather shoes. He does not look any longer as cubist as in the old photos; the large nose, the large eyes, the large mouth; the years have been friendly to him, and his features have softened.

But he still has this fragile psychology, in addition a well-practiced accurateness in the discussion, so that the consonants slam quite prettily in the Hotel room. For example, if he says prophet, and that he is not, even if others it the subordinated. If he grumbles about rubbish, that it from the television against-pours, and how heavily it falls him to switch this garbage off to bear and how heavily it falls him in addition, this garbage at least with ease.

Musical cinemascope

He carries himself heavily, he has back pain. He says "Excuse ME" and calls his manager on the telephone: "I don't need a doctor who is joking ME around! What I need is heat!" Heat treatment. At the "Wall" this would have had its place between "Run Like Hell" and "Waiting For The Worms".

It is exactly 30 years ago that Pink Floyd in the London Rainbow Theatre presented "Dark Side Of The Moon". The people were total from the little house. The Vereinsamung placed in the musical cinemascope of the plate to the schau Waters' topic always remained. In the comparison to February 1972 is however not today its trailer shank from the little house. Those are completely normal people. From the little house is rather the remainder of the world.

Therefore Waters' stories of the religious sound as from the capitalistic fundamentalism, moral from the animalistic hunger of the old and new Economy, from the picture and self escape of a belaemmerten mankind into drop-multicolored media in the meantime so amazingly.

He says: "It is absolutely fantastic and great that the world markets sold nothing other than paper over years, paper, which just for nothing, for not one value, rubbisssh!" And that humans knew it, and that it plays however no role, which humans know, but only, what they believe. And it, that would have been nailed for it before 30 years still to the wall, says that Nietz was right: "you must let these enormous blisters, which are filled with shit, grow simply. If they are zerplatzt, something new develops. But I do not have desire to demand something new. I participate only gladly, if the blisters with the shit explode."

It leans thus in the meantime rather against Naomi Klein as at its early errs become friend Syd Barrett.

He says, one is to understand oneself him simply as a kind painter. It paints large pictures, that is now times its style, "oil on canvas, if you want". Therefore still the whole expenditure, many the light, the whole theatre of the sounds, cinema for hearing. It paints pictures such as Francis Bacon, which gave the holy one on ground connection Fratzen. But Waters places again and again flower miniatures, quiet songs beside it. One may find that sentimental. Or affecting. Result: One finds it sometimes sentimental in the Oberstuebchen, and in the chest area affecting.

Where did it arrive on its journey? "with me. And off the stage: with the simple things. It may sound heuchlerisch: But I saw lucky humans in my life more, if I kept myself away from the Celebrities."

He means it very, very serious!

He lives with his family in a country house at the river in Hampshire. He has worked for some ten years on an opera about the French revolution, for which Sony Classics asked him. He has worked for eight years on a new solo album. "It will someday be finished, I can stop, here a little, there a little, one must so a plate time give not find out, where it wants."

It is not badly meant: Thus young musicians do not talk today any longer, then Hippies, it much, talk very serious mean. Whether he can explain himself in the meantime that one seemed like it - with this will and these conceptions of the world and the things - to its closer environment ruede and compromiseless. "Ruede no, compromiseless. Those, barrier ' is my history. Differently that could not be done. Only so it could be told. Whom by the way mean you with closer environment? You do not know my volume, with which I am now for three years on route, mine. Ask those times whether I am rueder humans!" Then it looks finally also times into the distance. As Gilmour. Then again into the eyes. And then he smiles.

He spent (in vain) enormous sums, in order to prevent the fact that the guitarist David Gilmour, with keyboardist Rick Wright and the drummer Nick Mason, were touring under the holy name Pink Floyd and mainly playing the old songs, from the end of the 80's, to the middle of the 90's.

He has really not talked with any of the three since 1985. The shy Rick Wright it is said, has undergone psychoanalysis. After a Waters concert a few years ago in the USA Wright collected up all his courage and went back stage. They shook hands, Roger said to Wright a few nice things, and he hardly answered Waters. After two minutes Wright was outside again. Incomprehensibly. But don’t mention the war!

It is quiet for a few seconds in the room. Still a few seconds. Then Roger Waters says suddenly: "I met Nick Mason yesterday evening for dinner." Ooops!

The socks! The socks!!

It was like this: they saw each other some weeks ago in the Carribean. Coincidence. They worked together for 35 years, but they did not see each other for 17 years since. "I thought suddenly: why all this shit?" And then? "Then we met. We arranged to meet again in London. Yesterday we met." And? "It was nice, very long, really fine!" The old times? "Safe." Will you two work together again? Quietly he says something, which one translates best with "Och noe". And again he smiles.

I didn't say Pink and I didn't say Floyd. It began thereby. One looks at oneself the man still times. And with a mark one sees that he does not only wear a good, but inconspicuous pair of jeans, a good, but inconspicuous shirt and very good, but inconspicuous shoes. But also: pink socks.

Jesusmaria! There he proceeds for the first time for 17 years to talk with his old buddy from Pink Floyd. Then it goes into the history of the band. And the next morning he selects pink socks. Touched by your presence, Mr.Waters!

In came one of the managers. Looking somewhat warily into this journalists face, he asks: "Did he tell you?" Yes, Sir!

The manager sighs. Outside it pours as out of buckets. No wind, no clouds. Only rain. Sometimes there are large appearances in London in the sky. But often also at the soil. Roger Waters concerts in Germany: Erfurt (17.5.), Cologne (18.5.), Oberhausen (20.5.), Hanover (22.5.), Munich (4.6.), Frankfurt (5.6.), Berlin (9,6.) and Stuttgart (17.6.).

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