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Home arrow Interviews arrow Roger Waters interviews arrow March 15th 1985 - Rock Over London
March 15th 1985 - Rock Over London Print E-mail

Recorded 15th March 1985, for broadcast 7th/14th April 1985

Rock Over London (ROL): Roger, welcome to Rock Over London

Roger Waters: Thank you.

ROL: First of all, if we could take about your tour you're going to be doing, is it the same show you did over in Britain?

Roger Waters: Yes, it is more or less, we added in a couple of numbers, but apart from that, it's the same.

ROL: Yeah, because there is a story in the papers here this week that you weren't too happy with the way those shows were received.

Roger Waters: Yes I know. I saw that story, isn't it stupid.

ROL: [laughs] Is that not true?

Roger Waters: I may have said at some point that I was disappointed at the way the tickets sold initially. I wasn't disappointed with the way the shows were received. It was wonderful, particularly the shows at Earls Court were great.

ROL: How do you think they compared to some of the old Floyd shows?

Roger Waters: In terms of the response?

ROL: Yes.

Roger Waters: I think it was very similar.

ROL: Yes...

Roger Waters: At the final curtain.

ROL: Yes, did the album do as well as you were expecting? The Pros and Cons album?

Roger Waters: No, I mean it didn't sell as well as I expected it to, no.

ROL: Hmmm. Any theories as to why that might be?

Roger Waters: No. It's not really something I care to speculate on.

ROL: Yes. Is that important? Whether an album sells as well or not?

Roger Waters: Well, yes and no. It's not nearly as important whether I like it or not, whether I think it's a good piece of work. If I put out a shoddy piece of work and it sold wonderfully, I would be less happy than a good piece of work and it not selling.

ROL: Yes.

Roger Waters: I mean it's a strange issue because there's nothing you can do about it anyway. You can't go chasing sales; well I can't. I'm sure some people do but there's no question of me doing that. All I can do is go on doing what I do as well as I can.

ROL: Yes.

Roger Waters: And hope the people like it.

ROL: You're going to be doing another album this year aren't you?

Roger Waters: Yes.

ROL: And will it be a similar sort of album to the Pros and Cons album?

Roger Waters: I've been making some demo's and it's coming out sounding a lot harder.

ROL: More rocky you mean?

Roger Waters: Yes, I suppose it is. Whether or not it'll turn out to be worked around a basic theme or concept I don't know. I expect it will in the end. Certainly the songs that I'm writing seem to have some thread running through them all. I'm not quite sure what it is yet!

ROL: Without trying to sound cynical, this is actually quite prolific for you. An album last year, a tour now and another album coming up.

Roger Waters: Yes.

ROL: What brought about that change?

Roger Waters: Well [startled] I'm really enjoying myself, I suppose, in a way that maybe I haven't in recent years anyway.

ROL: You mean you weren't really enjoying it on the last few Floyd albums?

Roger Waters: I wouldn't say the last few. The Final Cut wasn't a particularly happy experience for any of us I don't think. Though I like the record, but yes, it's certainly much happier now that I'm out from under the great umbrella.

ROL: Do you think the other chaps feel the same way perhaps?

Roger Waters: I don't know, you'd have to ask them that.

ROL: Are you in contact with any of them at all?

Roger Waters: Not a thing I care to discuss really.

ROL: So really the Pink Floyd days are completely over for you now.

Roger Waters: I think so, yes.

ROL: Is there any chance of working with any of the guys individually perhaps, or anything like that?

Roger Waters: I wouldn't have thought so, no. We all have things that we want to do. Nick's just made a movie called "Life Could Be A Dream", which I went and saw which was very nice, which I think is coming out on the TV quite soon. And Dave's thinking of making another album soon, so I think everybody's busy.

ROL: Do you get a lot of people pressurising you to put the Floyd back together?


Roger Waters: Sorry, where were we?

ROL: Well, we were just talking about what the other chaps were doing, weren't we? So it was Nick who has got the film coming out. Do you know what anybody else is up to?

Roger Waters: Well, I think Dave's making an album.

ROL: So, in the tour that you're doing in the States, how many old Floyd songs are you doing?

Roger Waters: I do Welcome To THe Machine, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Money, If, Wish You Were Here, Pigs On The Wing, Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert, Southampton Dock, Gunner's Dream, In The Flesh?, Nobody Home, Another Brick In The Wall parts One and Two.

ROL: So that's quite a helping of old material isn't it?

Roger Waters: Yes.

ROL: Are they your favourite Floyd songs?

Roger Waters: Well, they're all songs that I wrote, which seems sensible, with the exception of Wish You Were Here, which is Dave's riff, but it's one of my particular favourite songs, so I put that in anyway.

ROL: So how many of your own new songs are in the show?

Roger Waters: Well, just the Pros and Cons Of HitchHiking; there's none of the material I'm working on at the moment in the show. I don't think live concerts are a very good place to showcase brand new songs.

ROL: What have you got in the way of special effects or lighting? Anything new in the show?

Roger Waters: Well, it's in two halves. In the first half, that is the old songs, and the second half there's Pros and Cons. The first half I use the old circular screen format, which we used in many Floyd tours, and I'm using some of the old Gerry Scarfe animation, and some Peter Medoc used for Dark Side Of The Moon shows. In fact, quite a lot of old stuff. And the second half of the show opens out visually, and we're using much, much more screen, a back projection screen 100 foot by 30 foot, with 3, 35mm cameras behind it, I mean projection and in front of the screen is scenery and is meant to create a 3D illusion although it is flat scenery, of the bedroom within which the record, Pro's and Cons story takes place, and so the second half of the show is usually much larger.

ROL: Did all those ideas come from you originally, or did you have other people working on that?

Roger Waters: Well, yes, the original ideas all come from me. Having said that, Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park, who are the guys who did all the design work for The Wall when we did The Wall shows. They did design the way to put the ideas into practice, if you like. So where the projectors go, and how it works, and how the scenery is and so on and so forth, was a collaborative effort with them, largely their work.

ROL: Is it important for you to put on a big presentation, a big show like that?

Roger Waters: I think in sports arenas, yes. I have a hankering to work in much smaller places where I quite like to do a show that is almost all in the dark, where one can control the sound more, and where it's comfier for people to sit. But, I like shows which are carefully put together, when visual aspects are carefully taken care of.

ROL: Do you think perhaps in the future you might do a tour that takes in smaller venues?

Roger Waters: I might, who knows, yes I might.

ROL: How far ahead do you plan, what might you be doing, sort of after the album for instance?

Roger Waters: No, not in terms of touring or live work, or anything like that.

ROL: Is there a possibility that you might do some more film work?

Roger Waters: Yes, that's a real possibility.

ROL: Anything specific?

Roger Waters: Well, I've a very old friend of mine in Los Angeles has been asking me [pause] Hang on a minute.

ROL: No problem.

Roger Waters: [Long pause] Sorry, what were you asking me?

ROL: The film.

Roger Waters: Oh yes, well I have a friend in Los Angeles who used to be a promoter there and who now works for APS, one of the agencies, who's been asking me if I would be interested in doing a soundtrack, and finally a couple of weeks ago I said, yes, alright, so we've made an agreement to do it. He's beginning to turn me around I believe. So it'll be interesting to see if anybody bites. I'd really like to would be really nice to be working on somebody elses project, and only be, trying to enhance somebody elses work by the use of sound and music rather than having to start from scratch and do it all myself.

ROL: Because in the early days of Pink Floyd you did do some film soundtracks didn't you?

Roger Waters: We did, and they were, that was really good fun. Barbet Schroeder, we did a couple of movies, and we did a film for Antonioni as well.

ROL: Do you still listen to any of the old Floyd albums?

Roger Waters: No I don't, no.

ROL: Is that because you think you have out grown them, or...

Roger Waters: No, I mean when I occasionally do, when I had to listen to a lot of them when I was putting this show together, because the only way that I could find out whether I really liked the songs and wanted to do them or not was to go back to the old albums. My response to them was mixed. Some of it I think has held up really well, and has really stood the test of time, and some of it sounds dreadful.

ROL: Do you think that some of them sound a bit self indulgent?

Roger Waters: Atom Heart Mother is a good case I think for being thrown into the dustbin and never listened to by anyone ever again!

ROL: [Laughs] Why that one in particular?

Roger Waters: [Laughs] I don't know! It was pretty kind of pompous, it wasn't really about anything. I like the ones that are about something, on the other hand, Echoes, which is an early conceptual piece, I still really like.

ROL: Do you listen to much current stuff at the moment?

Roger Waters: Very little, because I've been rehearsing the band and my mind is full of that. When I come home, I listen to cassettes with that on, but having said that, I have been listening to in the car on my way to Shepperton and to, god! What's it called now? The new Van Morrison album? [Pause] Sense of Wonder! Which is wonderful.

ROL: Is he a favourite of yours?

Roger Waters: Not really, no. He's somebody I've always had on the periphery of my vision, and I've been kind of interested in, I've admired his stance to the music business, and, but no, this is the first album that I've given any careful consideration to.

ROL: Really?!

Roger Waters: I love it!

ROL: Are you just discovering him for the first time then?

Roger Waters: Yes.

ROL: Any sort of other things in the charts, or have you a fairly dim view of things that are in the charts? [Laughs]

Roger Waters: No, by no means at all. What's in the charts that I like? I don't know. Paul Young. A great boy. I think he sings very well. A lot of it I take a dim view of, but we don't want to go into all of that do we?! [Laughs]

ROL: Of course not, no. OK, Roger, listen, all the best with the tour anyway...

Roger Waters: Thank you very much.

ROL: And thank you very much for coming on Rock Over London.

Roger Waters: Alright, thanks for having me.

ROL: Thanks Roger.

Roger Waters: Thanks.

Roger puts the phone down and a long silence follows...

ROL: Awwww....Ahhhh.... [GIANT sighs of relief] That alright??

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