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Home arrow Interviews arrow Roger Waters interviews arrow May 26th 2006 - Poland web portal
May 26th 2006 - Poland web portal Print E-mail
Written by Marek Grzesiak   

Translation of an interview with Roger for web portal, May 26th 2006, done byMarek Grzesiak

Q: Tell us about your impressions from Poland. This is probably not your first visit here?

A: That's right, I was here two, hang on - four years ago, in 2002. I remember that it was a very windy and rainy day. Fortunately it wasn't raining during the concert. I went with my band mates to a bar to see the England football team playing a World Cup match. I don't remember the score nor what was going on, on the pitch, but I remember all the wonderful, friendly people.

Q: Are you a football fan? So are you preparing for the next World Cup?

A: Yes, I am a football fan. But now I am preparing for the Champions League match at the Stade de France, because I am an Arsenal fan - it will be a great day. [The interview took place before the final]

Q: When we make mention of France - you are talking about the French Revolution in Ca Ira. Do you think that society needs a revolution from time to time?

A: Certainly, without a doubt. Sometimes the society must rise up. Every human being every day faces the challenge of choosing the dark or the bright side.

Q: Many people in our country have got unpleasant associations with "revolution", thinking mainly about the October Revolution.

A: As we all know, not every single revolution proceeded smoothly. It's necessary to understand that sometimes the only way is to accept the "ancient regime", but then human rights are not taken into consideration, or you can live in the system, where heretics went to the stake for different views.

Sometime bloody revolutions are necessary to change social structures. Not every man can be like Ghandi, I'm afraid.

Q: As you know, in Poland we've got bloodless revolution.

A: Yes. The "Solidarity" movement is an example to the rest of the Europe, to the rest of the World.

Q: I heard that you like Andrzej Wajda's movies and reportedly "Popiol i diament" ("Ash and diamond") inspired you on The Final Cut album? Is it true?

A: Yes. These two movies - "Kanal" ("Sewer") and "Popiol i diament" - had a significant impact on me when I was very young.

Q: And what did you like in those movies?

A: Someone gave me a copy of that movie yesterday, so I would be able to refresh my memory. There's a thrilling aura in "Popiol i diament". I don't remember much of the plot, but still - after 40 years - I can recall single scenes and takes. For example the bar scene, when one of the main characters sets shot glasses on fire, or the final scene, when our hero is shot down and wind moves his white clothes. I perfectly remember the face of that actor who reminds me of James Dean [Zbigniew Cybulski - M.G.].

And the "Kanal" - that is a moving/touching story about the resistance movement in Ghetto, the Warsaw Uprising. [A common mistake - the Ghetto Uprising was in 1943 - 7000 Jews were killed. The Warsaw Uprising was in 1944 and nearly 200 000 Poles were killed, the "Kanal" is about the last one - M.G.]

The movie had an enormous influence especially on young people.

Q: Let's go back to the music. Who do you feel you are - a rockman with a guitar, or a highly regarded classic music composer?

A: I don't distinguish it like that.  Simply I like to write music, to express myself, my feelings. The music is very important to me, as a matter of fact it is important to everybody, because it expresses mathematics of the Creation. I don't think about the Creation because I'm a supporter of Darwin theory, I believe in evolution.

But it was Pythagoras who said, that we had read mathematics of music. As I understand it, music is the way which lead us to the beauty of natural history. It gives us an access to the thing we could call the soul. It's a very spiritual matter for me.

Q: I asked this question because for me you always were a kind of musician, who tried to depart from noisy rock music to more complicated, progressive music. You are not a kind of Keith Richards or Mick Jagger, who always plays the same.

A: It's not a choice. I always use a comparison with the painter at the easel who doesn't choose who he is. You are who you are. The pictures you are painting - in my case this is music - are the expression of who you are. But it's not an intellectual deliberation in a way of "now I'll do this or that". Keith Richards cannot wake up some days saying "I'll write a sonata today" (laughs). He's not a person like that, he's different.

Q: What's your inspiration - now and yesterday? Has something changed?

A: I don't think that anything has changed. All my life as an musican, all my career is a search for connections between people. In the "Echoes" song there are the words:

"Strangers passing in the street /
By chance two separate glances meet /
And I am you and what I see is me /
And do I take you by the hand"

and so on, where it is emphasized. When I make a connection with you, I make a connection with myself. When I understand the connection with you, I understand the connection with me. When I am killing you, I am killing myself too.

I think it's all about my belief in this truth. My inner revolution consists in being more empathic with someone else's feelings. My task in life is to try to eliminate my inner fear, which prevents me from being myself. I think all my work is about it. About me and my fear, and about other people who are in the same situation as me.

Q: In my opinion people from your generation, including rock musicians, are more serious than today's. You are the person, who tries to talk about important matters, asking questions. Don't you think that the main goal for contemporary art is fun?

A: I won't comment because I haven't got an opinion on that matter. But I wouldn't say that, because you cannot generalize. At the starting point of my own career they were saying the same. But I know that there are people with similar inspirations, hopes, fears and ambitions which I had when I was 20. I know that they exist because they often send me their work. They can hit the big time, they can establish contact with similar people, but they may not achieve it as well. But I know they exist and they try. I take my hat off to them.

You cannot say that the whole generation is taking care only of fun. That's not true. Maybe in the last few years it has become harder for them to make it the top, to showbusiness. MTV is to blame too, because there is quite a lot of music which is easy to sell. In my opinion the new generation is growing up, a generation who wants to go to the clubs to listen to live music. There are many bands playing their own music live and not giving a damn about being on TV. Their audience is still growing, slowly but surely, month by month, year by year. We did it the same way when we were young.

Q: So the point is to find them.

A: Exactly - so that audiences and bands could find each other and grow together. And when the artist really has something important to say, then the generation finds his voice. It's the way we discovered John Lennon, Neil Young, Bob Dylan. Because they had something important to say, we understood that and it moved us.

Q: When I was watching your Live 8 show my wife said that, unlike other performers, you were really playing live.

A: Except for the orchestral part in "Comfortably Numb", all the songs we played live. On Live 8 I've got the feeling that our songs were better than others (laughs). The Who show was spectacular, but I'm really sad about Keith [Moon] and John Entwistle. But it was an unforgettable concert. It's really wonderful that we could meet and forget about those unpleasant things from the past.

Q: So the story of Pink Floyd with Roger Waters is closed?

A: No, it cannot be closed because I will play with some of them. In Magny-Cours, New York, London and Los Angeles I will play with Nick [Mason] the songs from "Dark Side Of The Moon". I didn't invite Rick and Dave because they are now busy with their tour, but it's alright.

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