In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Roger Waters, member of Pink Floyd has spoken about the band, how they manage to stay relevant, new film Us + Them, his relationship with David Gilmour and even Mick Jagger.
Below is but a snippet of the full interview between Rolling Stone’s Kory Growe and Roger Waters.
You can read the full interview here, which goes into full depth with Roger Waters on his experiences touring, collaborating and making music.
In this snippet, he explores his relationship with David Gilmour, and delves into how in the Trump era, the band have managed to stay relevant.
Kory Growe from Rolling Stone: There’s a close-up in the film of you at the start of ‘Time’ where you’re playing a tick-tock sound on your bass strings. Is that how that song started, making that sound?
No, the tick-tock thing came about probably from just the idea of, “Hey, let’s use clock sounds,” so they’re just deadened strings on repeat. But the impetus was the narrative in the song. For me, personally it’s a very important song. I wrote that when I was 29 years old, so the bits in the song where it goes, “No one told you when to run/You missed the starting gun,” it’s about my experience of being 29 years old and certainly going, “Fuck me. It’s the middle of life. I’ve been told that I was preparing for something.” Eventually I figured out what it was, and it was probably something to do with earning a living and having a family and blah, blah, blah.
But suddenly I realised that I was aimless. The reason it’s a good song is because it describes the predicament of anybody who, growing up — if we’re grown up at all — suddenly realises that time is going really, really fast. It makes you start to philosophise about life and what is important and how to derive joy from that. And whether we should let the pigs and dogs spend all our energy trying to fuck other people and steal from them or whether we accept the truth of this fact: If you help another human being, it brings joy to your life. And the act collectively brings more joy to your life than to act selfishly. It’s as simple as that.
I imagine that song means something different to you than when you wrote it nearly 50 years ago.
I’ve been talking today with Sean [Evans] about this tour that we’re going to do next summer, and I was saying, I’ve been thinking about a title and which songs to do. There’s a song in a demo for a piece that I’m recording, and it’s, “Time keeps slipping away.” I think it’s because we’re all dying under the attack from the homicidal sociopaths who have all the money and all the power and run the media and the propaganda system and lie to us constantly and try to keep us at each other’s throats so they can maintain the system.
The problem with that is they will kill us all. They’re killing us all now. That’s one thing that the kid from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, is saying. We’re running out of time very, very fast. So more power to her. And more power to the anti-war movement and climate-change movements, who are fighting a valiant battle to try and get the walking dead, who unfortunately are most of the people — certainly in the United States of America — to wake up and understand that their lives and their children lives are not just under threat, they’re almost certain to be over.
I’m sure you were happy to hear that when David Gilmour sold his guitars this year, he donated the money to fighting climate change.
Oh, bless him. I think that’s a good thing. Good for him. [Pauses] I wish he’d let me advertise this movie on the Pink Floyd website. It’s not allowed. He censored it, and I’m not allowed to announce anything on it.
When was the last time you spoke to him?
We spoke in June. We had a big meeting where I came up with a big peace plan that has come to nothing, sadly.
I’m sorry to hear that.
I know you are. I bet all Pink Floyd fans are sorry to hear that. They all hoped that we could kiss and make up and everything would be wonderful in a cosy, wonderful world. Well, it wouldn’t be all that cosy or wonderful for me, because I left Pink Floyd in 1985 for a reason. The reason being that I wanted to get on with my work.
Well, thank goodness I’ve been able to get on with my work. Work is its own reward. I was very happy to see in the Variety review of the movie that they managed to connect the dots between Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, [Waters’ solo album] Amused to Death, and Is This the Life We Really Want? That was gratifying. Anyway, let’s not go there any further. I’ve said more than I should.
Recently, Miley Cyrus covered Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’, which you can check out here. Wonder what Roger Waters would say to that.