Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason Reveals Secret To Performing Syd Barrett Era Songs In New Interview

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press

What I really like is going back to the idea of actually improvising,” Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason shares in a new interview with Prog.

The drummer is, of course, discussing his work with Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets, a project dedicated to performing the early material of Pink Floyd.

In the interview, Mason reveals that his band is a reaction to the endless stream of Pink Floyd tribute acts.

There are people carefully studying every mistake I’ve ever made and recreating it,” he contends.

It’s not that I want to stop them, but I still have that rather pathetic notion that rock music is an opportunity to express yourself,” Mason, who turned 76 yesterday, shares. “It’s this liberating thing, a bit loose and a bit wild, an opportunity for lots of new ideas, so in many ways, I’m more comfortable when people take something and rework it.”

Later in the interview, Mason reflects on Syd Barrett’s contributions to Pink Floyd, many of which feature prominently in Saucerful’s live set.

“[Piper at the Gates of Dawn’s] ‘Bike’ is actually great fun,” he shares, “but ‘Bike’ is a funny one where there’s no way you can freestyle off it. It’s a particular song in its own right, but the way we do it is a slightly harder version and that’s true of probably ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘See Emily Play’.”

To some extent, they need to be done as the singles,” he adds. “[But] don’t hold me to account when you come to a show and we do a 20-minute version of ‘Arnold Layne!”

We’ve only done four shows,” he adds, “it’s not very many really. We’re still forgetting things.”

Having performed in England and across Europe in 2019, Mason will continue to tour the project in 2020.

You can read the full interview here.

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