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Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason Waxes Nostalgic About ‘The Wall’

Nick Mason
MJ Kim, Getty Images

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason hadn’t listened to the band’s demos for ‘The Wall’ in over 30 years — but hearing those sessions again in preparation for the recently-released ‘Experience’ and ‘Immersion‘ box sets brought back a lot of memories.

In a recent interview, Mason discussed the groundbreaking shows the band performed in support of ‘The Wall,’ the comparatively cordial relations these days between Roger Waters and David Gilmour, and the recording sessions themselves.

“It’s sort of nostalgia in a way, because you forget how crude the initial idea might be, but how the initial idea is absolutely carried on through the entire process … It’s a skeleton that turns into a human figure. All you need is one pass to hear it, and you go, ‘Oh yeah, I remember that.’ It just immediately takes you back … to the occasion you were working on it, a particular moment in the studio or whatever.”

Mason believes that having these demos available to the public will shed new insight into an album that has been discussed and analyzed continuously since its original 1979 release.

“Watching something being constructed, whether you’re passing a building site or whether you’re watching an artist at work, is fascinating, and I think that’s the enjoyment. Sometimes you can hear elements in the original demo that you wouldn’t recognize unless you’d had them pointed out, so that you do get greater depth because you’ve seen the foundations of the piece.”

As for the famous rancor between Waters and Gilmour, Mason said it’s not gone, but it’s manageable.

“I think the sort of issues that engaged Roger and Dave in particular, and their differences in how they wanted to work or how they worked with each other and whether Roger feels sort of stultified by working in a band situation, they don’t just melt away. That is how it is now, and it doesn’t just revert to, ‘OK, we’ll be the Monkees again, going about having a great time together and waving our floppy hair about.’ [But it's] civilized.”

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