Since 2018, Pink Floyd co-founder drummer Nick Mason has celebrated his band’s first days, with a focus on pre-band.The dark side of the moon Squeezing is like a five-piece dish of secrets.
In the midst of their second US tour, the group—Mason, guitarists Gary Kemp (Spandau Ballet) and Lee Harris (The Blockheads), bassist Guy Pratt, and keyboardist Dom Beken (The Orb)—celebrated the contributions of the late Pink Floyd members Syed. Barrett and Richard Wright on stage earlier this week in Chicago, tearing up a guitar-fueled piece on “One of These Days” to open the show.
Mason joked about a tour postponed due to the pandemic that was initially scheduled for 2020, recalling Pink Floyd’s 1968 appearance at Kinetic Playground, a former small nightclub in the city. The northern side. “Anyone remember that party?” The drummer joked on stage at the Chicago Theatre.
Guy Pratt, who performed alongside Mason during the Pink Floyd tours in support of The passing moment of the mind And the split bellRoger Waters, intervening on bass and vocals, shining on lead vocals during “If” while Kemp spills on “Candy and a Currant Bun,” highlights during a nearly two-and-a-half hour performance featuring a newly paraphrased playlist.
“America for a rock and roll band — even if it is old — is still the promised land,” Mason said over the phone. He continued, “We have now changed the song list and are presenting a revised show.” “For the people who attended the show last time, we revamped and extended it — in particular, the Echo work, which, for me, is a kind of transition from Pink Floyd with Syd to Pink Floyd with David, Roger and me and Rick.”
I spoke with Nick Mason about returning to the stage within American theaters, as part of the Saucerful of Secrets Tour of North America that runs through November, celebrating the arrival of Syd Barrett and the multigenerational Pink Floyd. Below is the text of our phone conversation, slightly modified for length and clarity.
I know you did some European dates this summer. How did it feel to finally be back on stage after the past two years?
Nick Mason: It’s really exciting. It has been two very strange years. I tend to say to the audience, I’m not sure who’s more excited here tonight, us or them.
When I saw offers The dark side of the moon or the wallIt’s clearly the kind of production that doesn’t really allow for any degree of experimentation or improvisation on stage. In this setting, with your band, does it give you the opportunity to experiment a little?
NM: I think it should be very important. We are not a Pink Floyd tribute band, a Roger Waters band, or a David Gilmore tribute band. So, I think we maintain our identity by operating in a completely different way.
What’s nice is that it pretty much aligns with what we were doing in 1967 – most of the songs were a chance to kind of turn the song on and then take off a little bit.
To some extent, I feel that sometimes Syd Barrett’s contributions can be overlooked by the segment of fans out there who focus on one or two albums. How important is it to celebrate Side during these shows?
NM: Significance is a kind of funny word. But I think it’s nice to celebrate, I think, really Pink Floyd’s beginnings.
I think, in particular, this is important in America. Because I think a lot of people here kind of see Pink Floyd as something he started with The dark side of the moon. Europe is a little different in that respect because we’ve been working there more. So there is more knowledge I can tell about early work.
But it is inevitable that with the band’s success, a lot of the early music was dropped to be replaced by existing albums or the music we were playing.
Entering venues like this, American theaters, you can see your bandmates on stage – they aren’t blocked by props. You can see almost every fan. How does an experience like this after so many years on the court affect what you guys do?
NM: Oh, that’s great. Sometimes it would be nice to do a playground for the sake of income. (laughs) But, on the other hand, it’s great to interact with the audience. Like I said, it’s not just the band members that I can see, I can see them in the back of the hall quite well. This is completely different.
The stadiums are great and give you the opportunity to do all kinds of things. But you never paid attention to the whole field. There are always a few people who do drugs and play frisbee in the back.
While you guys don’t necessarily change these songs drastically, you’re paraphrasing them quite a bit. How important is it to do this and constantly find new ways to push music forward?
N.M.: I think that’s the balance we hope to get right, which is for the songs to be known to people who know their details privately but also to people who might be less familiar with them.
There’s not a lot of improvisation etc but there is a certain kind of freedom that we definitely won’t have now and Pink Floyd hasn’t been for many years in terms of doing the big parties etc.
You’ve spent a few years now working together and refining the way you present this music. In the process, you’re also exposing fans to a new side of someone like Gary Kemp for example, which people might only know because of his work at Spandau Ballet. What was it like working with this band?
NM: It’s great. Gary is perhaps the best example. But when you look at the mix of influences we have on stage with Lee from Ian Dorey and The Blockheads and Dom Beken from The Orb, I think it makes it a great kind of melting pot for early Pink Floyd play.
How did you start sort of reworking the setup menu a little bit for this tour?
NM: We reworked it during the European Tour this summer. There is no substitute for doing your exercises on stage as I always think. More ideas are coming up next. Now we have changed the song list and we are doing a revised show. In fact, what we do is start “One of These Days”. This is what we used to end up with. So we’re kind of suggesting to people who might have seen us two or three years ago, that we kind of start where we left off.
For the folks who attended the show last time, we revamped and extended it — in particular, the Echo act, which, to me, represents a kind of transition from Pink Floyd with Syd to Pink Floyd with David, Roger, me and Rick.
Pink Floyd had a rare luxury to reach different generations. How does it feel to see that play every night from your seat on stage?
NM: It’s great. I think, for us, that big thing where parents every now and then brings kids is a lot of fun.
Feeling that you’re not just a nostalgic band and that music has some significance in the 21st century is one of the nicest things about going out with this band and touring.