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Home arrow Interviews arrow Roger Waters interviews arrow February 7th 1987 - BBC Radio London
February 7th 1987 - BBC Radio London Print E-mail

Preliminary introduction, outlining the plot of the film, "When The Wind Blows".

Anthony Denslow: ...And it features a wonderfully evocative soundtrack. Roger Waters, the man who's writing came to dominate Pink Floyd in their later years, has written the haunting final song. Pink Floyd are no more and their name is in dispute with Waters not wanting it to continue. And much of his writing has displayed an awareness of the possibilities of the holocaust, and in this rare radio interview he's been telling us more about his involvement in the film and his attraction to the story.

Roger Waters: I thought it was brilliantly written, and very funny, and filled a hitherto empty slot in English literature. I was brought up on the possibility, and went on all the Aldermarston marches and did all that when I was a kid. So it has been a great, grave concern of mine since I was, what, fifteen or sixteen years old.

Anthony Denslow: You were actually a paid up member of CND were you?

Roger Waters: I was, yes! I was chairman of the Cambridge YCND for a couple of years before I went away and did other things.

Anthony Denslow: Often making a total mockery of Government survival plans, do you think this film actually says anything? Does it have a message do you think?

Roger Waters: I think that's it's main message. I mean, it's main message is you shouldn't believe everything you read in Government papers, or anything that you believe without really checking into it yourself first. And I think it points to the fact that some of the things we are being told now may well not be the whole truth about the situation as it exists, and that it would be foolish to be too trusting of the powers that be, in particularly areas like this.

What's interesting about the world that we live in at the moment, now, it seems to me that because of the explosion of telecommunications, it becomes in fact this is the central theme of the work that I am doing on my own at the moment. For instance, you can use television now to sell. It can be used as a tool for the market forces if you like, also, it seems to me that it makes it harder for the powers that be to hide stuff from the individual. So, if you are an individualist, or believer of the idea, which is what the film is about, the individual as victim of the forces of evil, either in the market place, or international politics, or dogma that he has no control over at all, or that is wrong, then it seems to me that the explosion of telecommunications may actually have, or could possibly help, the individual in that confrontation. And that is actually the thrust of the work I am doing on my own album that I'm making at the moment, is that hopefully that it will be expressed more clearly and the songs and music of that.

Anthony Denslow: What about the mood of the music you were trying to create here? What was the mood, the atmosphere, you were after?

Roger Waters: The one that is the most successful is the scene at the end of the film, where they die; which was the thing I had the most trouble with, and is also the thing that is the most successful. In terms of the score that I did. In fact, I should credit one of the keyboard players I worked with, a guy called Matt Irving, who, when we were...when I was starting to think about it, he said to me - a very penetrating remark - he said: "Remember Spinal Tap?" A Scots accent. "Remember Spinal Tap?" And I tried to remember Spinal Tap, where the guy is sitting by the piano and saying, "This is a little tune that I've...der, der, der...and it's a sad song, and it's in D-Minor, the saddest of all keys." So what we did was we did, that was our starting point, that D-Minor. It had to be in D-Minor, while Jim and Hilda passed gently away. It's a strange piece, and it's all in D-Minor.

Anthony Denslow: You are actually, and have been over the years, been very good at writing very sombre and dark pieces like that haven't you?

Roger Waters: Yes, one or two good bits here and there! I think it's much easier to write tragedy than it is to write comedy, but I think I may be coming out of that period now. There was a lot of tragedy in my professional life for a number of years which has now passed, and also the music I'm doing at the moment is much more kind of "up" and hard edged. I tend to slip very easily into making loooonnnggg, waffly pieces, and I very much, with the work I'm doing, stuff that's chunkier and a bit more hard edged.

Anthony Denslow: Were you at all aware of an image that Pink Floyd had that you are eager to get away from now?

Roger Waters: No, no, no. I would hope that, and I know that for a lot of people, because they write me letters, that the way they perceived or what they thought was maybe important about the band, was that however we actually went about making the records, it felt real, it felt as if it was actually intended and committed and it wasn't an attempt to pick out a market. However badly it may have been done it was actually real feelings coming out of real people. If that is what it was, then that I absolutely hope to continue.

Anthony Denslow: I suppose your musical career has been interrupted by this legal wrangling you have with Pink Floyd? With the same name anyway; what's the state of play there exactly?

Roger Waters: That I can't comment on, but, well I can comment on the first bit, and no, it hasn't been interrupted; I'm right at the end of making a new album and I have every intention of going back on the road, probably next autumn (1987). So, it hasn't interrupted anything, my creative flow, at all. It means I have to spend a certain amount of my life talking to lawyers, but I'm not prepared to comment on the...

Anthony Denslow: And the future, can you see yourself remaining very much as a solo artist now?

Roger Waters: Me and the Bleeding Heart Band, yes. Oh yes, I'm enjoying it now more than I have for fifteen years. Oh yes, I'm having a terrific time. So yes, I've got masses and masses of material. I'd like to do more movies.

Anthony Denslow: Do you still harbour such grand theatrical ambitions as you had with Floyd?

Roger Waters: I'm terrified to admit that I do! [Both burst out laughing] I think that the possibility exists that the piece I'm working on now, might well be a movie. A sort of Post-War drama. Mind you, I think it's much better than that!

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