'Wall' anniversary tour ahead
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody
Roger Waters has kept up a steady performing schedule, and this fall, he's launching a big spectacle with a 30th anniversary tour for Pink Floyd's "The Wall." But fans won't be hearing any new music from Waters — he hasn't put out an album in almost two decades.
That's not because of a lack of creativity, Waters insists.
"I have a ton of songs," he said in a recent interview.
"Some of them are recorded, and some of them are half-recorded, and I keep promising myself that I'm gonna find a collaborator and work on them and put them together in some kind of coherent form," he continued. "I suspect I will do that in the near future. But it's strange how time keeps clicking away. And each page turns faster then the last, in my experience."
The 66-year-old Waters spoke with The Associated Press about "The Wall," politics and more.
There had been talk about bringing "The Wall" to Broadway. Is that still going to happen?
That's still very much in the cards. I have been working on and off for the last year or so with an English writer named Lee Hall, who has become greatly celebrated over here and in London, because he wrote "Billy Elliot," which is one of the most successful musicals out there at the moment. ... Lee's become a close friend of mine, and I'm touching wood but we think we've finally found a director that we want to work with, so that's another project that's in the pipeline. We're on the fourth or fifth version of the book, and trying to write some laughs into it. My one disappointment with the original rock 'n' roll show that we did, and to some extent with the movie as well, there weren't just not many laughs in it. ... Humor is a very important part of my life, so part of the reason for wanting to do a production on Broadway is to express the funny side of the characters.
Green Day's "American Idiot" is in the vein of "The Wall." Plan to check out the Broadway play version?
It would be remiss of me not to check it out. I don't know the work very well. I am not a very good audience. ... My taste in music is very broad, but it's not very much popular music that I listen to. But when I got this invitation, I did check out some bits of Green Day, and you know, there's some very strong melodies in there.
What were your inspirations for "The Wall"?
My early manhood was troubled by all kinds of feelings of inferiority, and inconsequence. I was that guy at parties who dressed in black and stood in the corner and scowled at people. Very often those attempts by the young to be cool are just because they're absolutely scared. I certainly was. The writing of "The Wall" was part of a process that I used to free myself from some of those neuroses and some of those fears. Fear is a very pernicious element in many of our lives ... (It) is in lots of ways similar to the fear that is engendered in nations and ideologies. ... We build up these defenses and the fear that we establish about the other, anybody that's not us.
What is your impression on the political divide in the United States?
The United States is very insular and parochial, and resists the idea of seeing yourselves the way others see you, the way you seem in Europe, and the resistance is enormous, I think, to taking a straightforward look at this stuff. ... Obviously many, many American citizens are aware of these problems in society and how deeply important they are. ... I remember my mother, who traveled here before the second World War, used to say to me, "Americans are so friendly, and so generous," but she also said, "And so naive." But I think there's a huge well of wanting to do good and wanting to help, but it is subverted by the power of commerce.
It's always asked of you, so we will ask it again — any chance of another Pink Floyd reunion?
David (Gilmour) is completely disinterested in anything like that. After Live 8, I could have probably gone for doing some more stuff, but he's not interested, so it is what it is.