.

Nick Mason: I Can't Let Go of Pink Floyd

Drummer hopeful for another reunion

September 28, 2011 8:00 AM ET
grammy museum nick mason pink floyd los angeles
Nick Mason during 'An Evening With Nick Mason' at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
Mark Sullivan/WireImage

The principal creators of Pink Floyd's masterpiece The Dark Side of the Moon all spoke with Rolling Stone senior writer Brian Hiatt for our latest issue, on stands and in the digital archive on September 30th. In this interview with Nick Mason, the drummer expresses his disappointment that his former bandmates are mostly unwilling to reunite.

In your mind, does Pink Floyd exist only as a former entity? I mean technically, you and Dave are still Pink Floyd.

I think it’s one of those things where I’m not quite ready to say it doesn’t exist anymore. And, you know, it might be I’m a sad person and just can’t let go of something, but it’s just that feeling that, you know, who knows? I suppose I live in hope that there might be another Live 8 or something like that. I don’t seriously expect anyone to suddenly announce that we should get back into studios and knock out an album. I’m quite keen on not saying it’s all over. It’s partly to do with me hating the idea of conceding any sort of retirement. I’ve always held the door open. I absolutely know that David [Gilmour] wouldn’t want to do anything at present but, you know, people change. In a year’s time, a few years' time, whatever.

I assume you had a chance to listen to some of the remasters and some of the outtakes.
I certainly have. I’ve had to start leaving the room I’ve heard them so often.

When you hear Dark Side itself now, after all these years, what do you hear that you couldn’t hear when you first completed it?
I think, actually, I listen to it and think how I’m pleasantly surprised by how technically good it is. And how smooth, how well it’s put together, I suppose. You know, it’s lasted really, really well I think. And I sort of get some pleasure from that. It’s interesting, because I tend to be very critical. I would never willingly put on any of our old material, you know.

It’s fascinating to watch Live at Pompeii, which includes live footage of your band from 1969, and you made this big leap from that free-form stuff to the very composed music on The Dark Side of the Moon. How did that happen?
Dark Side was the last record where any music was played live prior to the recording, which I guess was sort of relevant to it. But I think that that was one of the things that was actually a five-year history of doing exactly that. Every song on Piper at the Gates of Dawn was something we had played live. And the studio version was inevitably the cut-down version. So I think we got quite sort of geared to that as an exercise. You know, "Interstellar Overdrive" was by far the shortest version  ever recorded.

Related
Surviving Members of Pink Floyd Revisit 'Dark Side,' Band Tensions
Roger Waters Bringing the Wall Tour to American Baseball Stadiums
Alan Parsons on 'Dark Side': 'Roger Knew Something Great Was in the Making'
Storm Thorgerson: How I Designed the Cover of 'Dark Side of the Moon'
Erykah Badu, Billy Corgan and More on Legacy of 'Dark Side of the Moon'
• Video: 30 Years of Pink Floyd in 17 Minutes

Behind the Scenes of Pink Floyd's 2011 Reunion
Inside Pink Floyd: Rolling Stone's 1987 Cover Story
The Madcap Who Named Pink Floyd: Rolling Stone's 1971 Interview with Syd Barrett
The Dark Side of Pink Floyd: The Illustrated History of the Band's Last Days and Bittersweet Reunions
Rolling Stone Readers Pick Their 10 Favorite Pink Floyd Songs
Photos: Roger Waters Rehearses For the Wall Tour
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Pink Floyd, 'The Dark Side of the Moon'

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Bleeding Love”

Leona Lewis | 2007

In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com