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Home arrow Interviews arrow Roger Waters interviews arrow October 17th 2005 - MSN Webchat
October 17th 2005 - MSN Webchat Print E-mail

MSN: Welcome to MSN Live! This afternoon we are pleased to welcome recording artist Roger Waters whose latest project is “Ca Ira” an operatic history of the French Revolution. Roger may best be known as the co-founder of the iconic band Pink Floyd. Roger, welcome to MSN live. “Ca Ira” is French for “It will go.” What does that mean to you?

Roger Waters: Literally it's the future tense of Ca va, as in the French saying, "It will go."

Visitor's question: What do you think about "Wish you were here" cover by Limp Bizkit with some new words?

Roger Waters: I think they did it for 9/11 but I didn't know they changed the lyrics.

Visitor's question: Did you cross any stumbling blocks or areas you had hard times with during composition of your latest accomplishment Ca Ira?

Roger Waters: Yeah, there were one or two stumbling blocks. When I had translated the French into English I felt the need to write some new scenes and enhance the narrative and I was concerned the original author wouldn't want his original work changed. He was so good about it, Etienne Roda-Gil said to me, "You know, Roger I think it's better in English anyway." (laughs) So it wasn't a stumbling block in the end.

Visitor's question: Is there any artist that you would love to perform with? Or one artist in particular that you really love to jam it out with?

Roger Waters: I always enjoy working with Eric [Clapton] who was in my band in 1985. I also worked with Don Henley, but these are friends of mine, and I'm trying to think of somebody. I'm a big fan of singer songwriters like Neil Young who are loners and sometimes hard to imagine working with. I find it hard to answer that question, I don't really jam with people so it doesn't enter my mind when it comes to fun. Fishing, sex, but jamming, no.

Visitor's question: When do we get a chance to see and hear you live in Argentina again?

Roger Waters: Wow, I was just there in 2002! I had a great time in South America. Argentina was fantastic. Definately not in '06 but I'm seriously looking in '07. A big tour with the Northern and Southern hemisphere.

Visitor's question: What about a Ca Ira presentation at "place de la Bastille" in Paris?! I live next to it! It would be awesome!

Roger Waters: It would be great to do a production there, I am doing one in Rome Nov. 17th and 18th this year, and if I do one in Paris, a better place would be Place de Concord.

Visitor's question: How do you define Happiness?

Roger Waters: I think that happiness resides somewhere between the extremes of personal, religious, and political. I think happiness resides where we understand someone else's point of view and needs. Happiness resides where we are not lost in the solitary dream.

Visitor's question: According to tradition operas are handwritten on music paper. In an interview a few years ago, you said you scripted Ca Ira with a computer program. Where does tradition start and where has it to stop from your point of view.

Roger Waters: The tradition is unimportant in my point of view, it's whether the music moves you or not. It doesn't matter if it's hand written on paper or on music software. I work in a software system called Logic which is a wonderful system. I don't think the means to the end are relevant. You have to hear the music before you can write it down, whether you use a swan feather or a computer, it seems irrelevant.

Visitor's question: What is the last book you read?

Roger Waters: I guess the last book I read was by Ian McEwen called "Saturday." And I've been dipping into a book by Jeffery Sacks who is a professor at Columbia who is working on world poverty and everyone should check him out and see the work he's doing.

Visitor's question: When did you first get into music?

Roger Waters: When I was 14 I had an aunt who gave me a guitar and it was an accoustic, steel strung guitar and I tried to learn but it hurt my fingers too much so I gave up. Then in college I bought a classical guitar and it had better strings and I began to play then. I was studying Architecture and I used Letracet letters to write on my guitar "I Believe to my Soul" because I loved that song by Ray Charles.

Visitor's question: Congratulations on your opera, it's beautiful, and moving. I'd like to know, if you could change one thing in the world, meaning absolutely anything, even about the past, future, present, humanity or youself, what would it be?

Roger Waters: I guess I wish the world was a kinder place. I wish we human beings had more empathy for one another. That would be a good thing.

MSN: How much research into the French Revolution did you do to prepare for this album?

Roger Waters: Well, I bought Robert Carlisle, this is a long book so I looked into something easier and I bought a pictoral history and it had letters and documents from people and I got an interesting impression of those 5 or 6 years and when I wanted more detail I would go back to Carlisle.

MSN: What kind of music are you listening to these days?

Roger Waters: Yesterday I was driving back to New York and we were listening to Ray Lamontagne, and the whole album is good but the song "Trouble" is fantastic. I have just recently discovered this guy, he's got a fantastic voice.

Visitor's question: When and how did you learn music composing?

Roger Waters: It just sort of happened. I don't think it's something you are taught, you hear it in your mind. You either have a desire to express yourself and you do. Maybe there is something about the way the brain is constructed that lets you organize the mathmatics of music so that others can understand. There are many people out there, I'm sure, that want to express something, but can't so I don't know where it comes from. Having said that there are techniques you can learn and technical steps you can take.

Visitor's question: What was the highlight of your career so far?

Roger Waters: I don't know, in the recent past I guess the "Live 8" show - those few minutes were very cool to be back on stage with the band. It was a very cool moment.

MSN: Roger, thank you for joining us today on MSN Live! From all of us here at MSN Live, best of luck with “Ca Ira.”

Roger Waters: Thank you very much for paying attention, now and before, and whenever. It means a lot to me to see fans that care about what I do and understand it and are interested in asking me questions. I just want to thank you all.

Interview presented here for archiving purposes only; not all sites retain all their content for future reference. Also, the live webcast of this interview was restricted to certain countries, due to safety blocks on MSN Chat in a number of territories to protect children.

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