In a new interview, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason opened up about the iconic group’s late original frontman, Syd Barrett, and the mixed emotions that come with listening to Barrett’s tracks.
In a conversation with UCR, When asked about his feelings about listening to Barret’s songs in the current day, Mason said:
“I think there’s a lot of mixed emotions with the whole Syd thing. Because in some ways, he was so smart in so many ways. I think there’s a bit of sadness now looking back on it – and a little bit of guilt,” Mason explained of Barrett’s departure from Pink Floyd in 1968 due to mental health issues.
He continued, “Not really guilt, but we handled Syd very badly. We had no idea – and still don’t really know – what the real problem was, whether it was LSD or whether it was something in his character anyway.”
“Or whether, in fact, he was probably clearer than we ever perceived and he just didn’t actually want to be in a band, necessarily,” Mason added.
“While we thought if he didn’t want to be in a band, it was a sign of madness – because we were all at that point, absolutely committed to doing it.
“But I think he maybe just thought, ‘Well, I’ve done that. I don’t really want to do any more of it.’ But instead of just going… we should have probably let him go much earlier or separated from him earlier. But as I say, we had no idea at the time,” he mused.
Syd Barrett was a member of Pink Floyd between 1965 and 1968; he left due to struggles with mental health that he battled until the end of his life in 2006.