Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Takes Aim At The Music Industry In New Interview

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press

A music industry veteran of more than five decades, Roger Waters is no stranger to the dark side of show business.

Pink Floyd’s ninth album Wish You Were Here was largely a comment on the dehumanizing aspects of showbusiness the band faced in the wake of the massive success of The Dark Side of the Moon.

In a new interview with the Austin Chronicle, Roger Waters explains how the current state of the music industry stands at odds with any humanitarian goals.

Asked whether music can help stem the tide of racism, human rights abuse and murder, Waters is skeptical.

No,” he contends, “I don’t believe it is or can. The only thing that is the equalizer here is whether one is lucky enough to either have inherited or to discover empathy with your fellow human beings. So, I think music is really neither here nor there.”

But most people in the music industry either couldn’t give a fuck about other people,” Waters levels, “or it never crosses their mind. Or it does, but they’re scared to say anything because it speaks against the status quo… It’s a desperately rotten, corrupt system and you’re causing untold misery.

Will [these issues] ever get addressed?” Waters, 76, commiserates, “I have no idea. I won’t see it in my lifetime, but I hope they don’t destroy the planet before a generation of younger people come along.”

Roger Waters also shares his own views have very recently put him at odds within those within the music business.

People in the music industry,” he suggests, “who I won’t name because I respect their confidence, have written to me and said, ‘You’re crazy. This is the end of your career. You can’t fight the Israeli lobby.’”

Well, I’m happy to say they’re wrong,” he adds. “The stories I could tell you about what they attempted you wouldn’t believe, but luckily we’re still in the business and I will not be muzzled.

The former Pink Floyd visionary also suggests that while fans have criticized the more pointedly political tone of his recent recordings and live performances, his songs have always carried a political message.

If you look at my work since then, it’s all about this,” he contends, “Nothing happened suddenly. It’s all about this. It’s all through Dark Side of the Moon. It’s all through Wish You Were Here. It’s all through Animals. It’s all through The Wall and then it’s all through The Final Cut. It’s all through Pros & Cons [of Hitchhiking], all through Radio Kaos, all through Amused to Death, and it’s all through Is This the Life We Really Want?”

It’s all through all of my work,” Roger Waters states, “It’s not a surprise.”

Read The Austin Chronicle’s extensive interview here.

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