Pink Floyd drummer says ‘we must always have toured The Dark Side of the Moon for longer’ | Music | Entertainment | EUROtoday

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Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets playing

Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets, with Guy Pratt and Gary Kemp, play dwell in Canada (Image: Getty)

Those early albums embody the music of Pink Floyd’s first singer, Syd Barrett, who left in 1968, dropping out of music altogether 4 years later. A reclusive determine till his demise in 2006, it is unclear precisely why Barrett walked away from music.

“When Syd wrote for the band, the first six months of Pink Floyd were very happy,” displays Mason, now 80. “Then it got very sr sad, as Syd more or less dropped out. The problem is, we’re still not 100 per cent sure what happened.”

Barrett experimented closely with LSD, which is believed to have contributed to his departure. Mason ponders: “I think LSD is definitely a part of it. It’s possible Syd took a particularly strong form of LSD, which affected him permanently. Also, something that seemed unthinkable to us is that Syd had maybe simply had enough of being in a band. He’d originally come to London from Cambridge to be a painter and he wanted to get back into painting instead.

“We could not consider anybody in a profitable band would not need to keep on being part of it, and that performed some half in Syd’s unhappiness.”

Mason firmly believes Barrett’s misery would have been handled a lot differently today, saying: “No one actually used the expression ‘psychological well being’ 55 years in the past. We simply had no concept find out how to assist Syd out. As Syd turned extra sad, our answer was to take a day without work – and that was it.” Following Barrett’s departure, guitarist David Gilmour and bassist Roger Waters became Pink Floyd’s joint lead singers.

The band’s career soared, but the two musicians’ relationship became increasingly tense until Waters quit in 1985. They’ve fought a bitter war of words ever since.

Mason remains friends with both Gilmour and Waters, with the latter joining Saucerful Of Secrets onstage at a New York show in 2019 – “A really particular second,” he notes – while Gilmour gave the drummer a box of old Pink Floyd demo and effects tapes to help get Saucerful Of Secrets reacquainted with their earliest music.

Of his old bandmates’ enmity, Mason says: “It’s a disgrace, however perhaps that strife is what produced good work. Without that strife, perhaps these albums would not have gotten made the best way they did.”

Nick Mason Saucerful of Secrets

Nick Mason’s current band is Saucerful of Secrets (Image: Jill Furmanovsky)

One of rock’s undeniably classic albums, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon has been lauded as a masterpiece since its 1973 release. From its iconic sleeve of a refracted pyramid onwards, it was immediately seen as a landmark album and has sold an incredible 45 million copies.

Yet there’s one aspect around Dark Side Of The Moon that Pink Floyd’s drummer would change: Nick Mason wishes the band had toured it for longer.

Wanting to keep their creative chemistry flowing, the four-piece went back into the studio just eight months after its release,to focus on 1975’s follow-up album, Wish You Were Here. Having released the acclaimed concert film Live At Pompeii the year before Dark Side Of The Moon, Pink Floyd also failed to make a movie of the concerts celebrating their 1973 classic.

Even to this day, it frustrates Mason, who tells the Daily Express: “We ought to have toured Dark Side for longer.What we also needs to have completed was to movie that tour. Given what we did with the Pompeii present, it will’ve been nice to movie Dark Side in the identical approach. We nearly rushed that album, as a result of we wasted quite a lot of time getting Wish YouWere Here into form.”

Today, Dark Side remains their most famous recording, and Mason is a calm, clearheaded authority about Pink Floyd’s place in rock lore. With their famously turbulent history, the drummer is the only person who played in the band from their first psychedelic adventurers in the mid-1960s until they stopped touring in 1994 after their final, grandiose album,The Division Bell.

Pink Floyd were one of the first bands to play stadiums, but Mason admits: “At a stadium, you’d at all times have a bunch of individuals on the again who have been both on medication or enjoying Frisbee. We liked enjoying anyplace unique and among the massive exhibits in America have been actually thrilling for us.

“We’d always had a great French fanbase, so the French influence in Montreal made shows there something special.”

Those huge exhibits are a distinction to the drummer’s present Floyd-related band, Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets.

Since 2018, Mason has toured the band’s earliest music, as much as 1972’s Obscured By Clouds album, with a band comprising Floyd’s longtime touring bassist Guy Pratt, ex-Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp, keyboardist Don Beken and Blockheads guitarist Lee Harris.

They are embarking on a tour of theatres, as Mason explains: “I’d be more than happy to play to 90,000 people and it’d be silly to pretend I don’t want to do stadiums anymore. But one of the great joys about playing a theatre is you can engage with an audience all at the same time.

“I get an actual sense of deja vu with the Saucers, prefer it’s 1967 once more, as a result of I’m onstage with musicians who’re all having fun with the identical factor, enjoying to an viewers all having fun with it concurrently.”

Although he’d been happily retired, a Pink Floyd exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum in 2017 made Mason realise how much he missed being on stage.

“I actually loved engaged on that exhibition, nevertheless it was lacking one thing for me,” he says. “And that one thing was enjoying music, quite than speaking about it. The 5 of us in t -t r n th o the Saucers, we’re like a really aged model of The Monkees.”

Choosing to focus on playing Pink Floyd’s earlier music allows them to showcase the band’s more experimental side, including influential songs such as Interstellar Overdrive, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun and the 25-minute long Echoes.

Mason explains: “We’re ready the place we are able to play about with these tracks. There is not the expectation from audiences that we’ve got to play songs as they’re on the data, which I feel you’ve got when you get to later albums like Dark Side and The Wall. That earlier materials is far freer.”

The feud, he reveals, has had its darkly comic moments, such as Gilmour’s good luck message to Mason before Saucerful Of

Secrets’ first gig in 2018. “David’s message on that first evening stated, ‘Wish you luck, break a leg – ideally Roger’s,’ ” he recalls.

Since the death of keyboardist RickWright in 2008, Gilmour and Mason can record together as Pink Floyd. In 2022, they made the single Hey, Hey, Rise Up! with Ukrainian singer Andriy Khylvnyuk, to support the Ukraine Humanitarian Fund following Russia’s invasion. Gilmour’s son Charlie is married to Ukrainian artist Janina Pedan.

Mason explains: “David actually needed to do one thing about Ukraine. He requested if I might play on the tune, so it might be a Pink Floyd effort. I used to be very blissful to assist out.”

Despite being happy to support Gilmour, Mason considers the real end of Pink Floyd to have happened in 2005, when the classic lineup of Gilmour,Waters,Wright and Mason reunited for the giant poverty relief concert Live 8 at Hyde Park.

Mason admits: “Hey, Hey, Rise Up! was good, however I’d quite the top of Pink Floyd was Live 8 – all 4 of us doing one thing for the great of mankind.”

Describing himself as “a staff participant”, Mason’s neutrality meant he was often the calming presence in Pink Floyd. He’d dropped out of studying architecture when the band got signed, but laughs: “In the again of my thoughts, I believed we would do the band for one or two years, then I’d return to varsity. It was apparent we have been on to one thing greater as soon as we broke America about 5 years in. That’s when it turned obvious that, no, I would not be going again to varsity.”

American audiences’ unfamiliarity with Pink Floyd’s experimental roots is another reason Mason enjoys touring Saucerful Of Secrets. “When you tour America, they nearly assume Pink Floyd began with Dark Side,” he says. “We have been so underground, we have been mainly unknown there till 1972. Our earlier catalogue is very different – nearly three or 4 bands in a single.”

The drummer admits being uncomfortable with putting his name in Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets.

He reveals: “The common feeling was that it was essential to have it there, to elucidate what and who we have been. It was most likely the precise determination. Once individuals are used to us, we simply name ourselves ‘The Saucers,’ so you do not have to maintain shouting my title.”

Mason’s current band might even record brand new music, as he hints: “It’s one thing we would take a look at, however not but. Gary particularly is a good author, so it is one thing that may come up additional down the road.”

That Mason is still looking to the future shows how far he’s come since considering his career options. “When I began enjoying drums, rock music was considered completely ephemeral,” he adds. “My oldest buddies who went into careers like banking, they’ve all lengthy since retired. It seems bands can final lots longer than you deliberate for.”

Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets excursions from June 11 to 29. See for full dates and gross sales. Mason’s reissued solo albums, Fictitious Sports, Profiles and White Of The Eye, are out now.