Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Recalls ‘The Wall’ In New Interview
Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press
“I had a sense that I had a monster on my hands when I did a little sketch on the back of an envelope of the basic theatrical idea of building a wall across a rock ’n’ roll arena to separate the band from the audience as an expression of alienation,” Waters shared. “I thought ‘F*** me, what a brilliant idea.‘”
When asked if he would call The Wall a rock opera Waters didn’t think so.
“That’s something that journalists make up,” he mused. “Unless [The Who‘s] Pete Townsend made it up for Tommy. But I doubt it. It sounds more like critic terminology to me than writer terminology.”
Waters then turned his mind to the continued resonance of the album with fans some 40 years after the record was first released.
“I think people recognize that it’s not acting,” the former Pink Floyd artist said. “It’s true… I think people recognize that The Wall, among many of my other works — it’s true of Dark Side of the Moon, as well, and of Wish You Were Here and of Animals and of Amused to Death and Is This the Life We Really Want— people recognize that this is an expression of my take on what it is to be human.”
“It may be that I’ve used my craft as a musician or even as a writer to form it,” he then continued, “but it’s direct. And dare I say it, all great literature or all literature, certainly, that survives is always semi-autobiographical. You can’t write anything that communicates to other people through music or word or language that will last unless the connections you’re making with humankind are real and unless you really care about them. You need to be a slave to your emotions in order to be a decent writer, in my view. And I think people recognize that.”
His interviewer then inquired as to whether Waters still related to any of the material from the album, to which Roger confided he still connected with ‘Comfortably Numb‘.
“Certainly in New York where I live,” he stated, “when you’re wandering about the streets it’s like the walking dead. So they have become ‘comfortably numb’ and being ‘comfortably numb’ — or uncomfortably numb — is the situation that most of us find ourselves in.”
Waters also revealed that he had completed a new song and that his next run of arena tours may be his last.
You can read the full interview here.