David Gilmour has kept a pretty low profile since wrapping up his On an Island tour in 2006. But The Endless River, last year’s surprise, mostly instrumental Pink Floyd farewell album, gave the singer-songwriter some momentum that led him to finally complete his upcoming solo disc, Rattle That Lock, out September 18th. The LP is a loose concept album about the thoughts and feelings a man has during the course of a single day, and musically, it’s a fluid and atmospheric work reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s post–Roger Waters albums.
We spoke with Gilmour about the making of the album, what fans can expect from the supporting tour and whether or not Pink Floyd has any sort of a future.
Did you intend on taking such a long break after finishing the On an Island tour in 2006?
No, I didn’t really. I meant to get back to things, but life happens and certain things got in the way: raising children, the trials and tribulations of parenthood, being supportive to my wife in her writing endeavors. She’s got a brilliant book coming out called The Kindness. And sometimes, it takes the momentum a little while to get going. I really intended to get one done much quicker than this, but here we are. I’m allowed to take some time off at my age. And like last time, I’m intending to get another one out much quicker next time.
How did this one come together?
It’s come together over a long period of time. When I’m at home and the kids are at school and [my wife] Polly is working, I can go into my studio here and get on with some work. But it’s quite slow and leisurely, not very driven. And over a period of time, you realize that you’ve actually got a lot of material, and you try to focus on what you’ve got. It’s a lot of disparate pieces of music, and you turn that into an album. That last process began a couple of years ago, but I had to take a couple of months out when Pink Floyd did the Endless River project. But then I came back to it and have been fully focused since then.
How did the idea come about of having the album take place during the course of a single day?
It’s nice to have a focus and tie things into some sort of form to make it have a cohesion. It’s a loose thing about what you might be thinking or doing at a certain time of day. But it’s not very strict. It’s just always good to have some sort of theme running through something.
How much of the central character is based off of you?
Well, two of the lyrics are written by me, and there’s three instrumental tracks also written by me. Five of the other lyrics are written by Polly, who sometimes does manage to get into my head. Other times, she’s liberated to just be the narrator of a story. That’s the case in “The Girl in the Yellow Dress,” which is a jazzy-flavored track that she wrote like she would a story in a book. It fit so well with a piece of music I had written.