Nick Mason shares insight on Pink Floyd legacy

Nick Mason shares insight on Pink Floyd legacy

While Pink Floyd’s first album in 20 years, The Endless River, represents an end to the band’s recording career, drummer Nick Mason shared some insight into the band’s legacy.

By (AP)

Published: Mon 17 Nov 2014, 9:10 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 8:22 PM

Dave Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright at the Live 8 concert in 2005.- Agencies

Dave Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Richard Wright at the Live 8 concert in 2005.- Agencies

Should I call up a job recruiter?

“I’ve never understood it,” 70-year-old Mason said of the band’s longevity. “I keep being prepared to go out and find a proper job ... but some very curious things happen when the three or four of us play together. We produce something that we don’t truly understand, but it works and it means quite a lot to quite a lot of people.”

More like Herman’s Hermits and less like Guns n’ Roses

Mason met former founder Roger Waters in school in 1963, but had simpler designs than the rich soundscape the band eventually created. “We started out as a pop group. We wanted to be on television, meet girls and all that stuff,” Mason said.

He described Pink Floyd’s success as eventually “finding a way of working that worked for us.”

Stephen Hawking, Pop Star

On The Division Bell, Stephen Hawking lent his synthesised voice to the track Keep Talkin and reprises his performance on The Endless River with Talkin’ Hawkin. Mason joked about why the physicist returned to perform on the new release. “What I think was that Stephen Hawking was really pleased to have a new career as a pop star,” he said.

Dark Side of the Moon: Defying the Generation Gap

Considered one of the best-selling albums of all-time, 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon remained on the Billboard charts for more than 700 weeks. Still, Mason says he was “pretty surprised” by the album’s success.

He cites the timing of its release, the album cover design and support from Capitol Records as contributing factors. That, and the “great lyrics from Roger that were as relevant to a 15-year old as they were to a 50-year old.”

Shot Down by the Sex Pistols

Mason recalls the band embarrassingly labelled as “prog rockers” and in the late 1970s being scorned by the punk music movement.

“I think Johnny Rotten had a T-shirt that said, ‘I Hate Pink Floyd’ at one point.” He attributes the band’s survival throughout changes in the musical landscape to “always staying slightly outside of the mainstream.”

Not Every Song Inspired by Syd Barrett

Mason debunks the idea that Roger Waters wrote many songs based on founding member Syd Barrett. “Syd was a catalyst for Wish You Were Here, absolutely. It was sort of a poignant moment that focused attention. But I think a lot of Roger’s writing is much more sort of global and much more about his life. I would say it’s almost autobiographical than specifically related to Syd.”

Roger Waters, Friend or Foe?

“Playing with Roger I would have to say was always good. The relationship with a bass player and drummer is very special. Of course, there were differences later on,” Mason said. “I’ve made some smart remarks over the years, but he is still one of my oldest, dearest friends, and a man I’m always pleased to see.”

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