Roger Waters says he and his former Pink Floyd bandmate David Gilmour are “not mates” and “never were”.
The two musicians have had an acrimonious relationship since Roger quit the group he co-founded in 1965 back in 1985 describing them as a “spent force creatively”.
In the wake of his departure, bassist-and-vocalist Waters sued his former bandmates, guitarist Gilmour, drummer Nick Mason and late keyboard player Rick Wright, to stop them from using the Pink Floyd name which was a battle he ultimately lost and now accepts was “wrong” to start.
Since his departure, Waters has only performed with Mason and Gilmour back in 2005 at the Live 8 charity concert in London, and during his own performance of ‘The Wall’ at The O2 arena in 2011 on a rendition of ‘Comfortably Numb’.
Although the legal row damaged their relationship, the 73-year-old musician insists he and 71-year-old Gilmour – who joined Pink Floyd in 1967 before taking on songwriting and vocal duties in the wake of original frontman Syd Barrett’s departure in 1968 – were never close friends during the 18 years they spent in the band together making iconic albums and touring the world.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph newspaper, he said: “Dave and I are not mates, we never were and I doubt we ever will be. Which is fine, there’s no reason why we should be.”
Further discussing the Pink Floyd dynamic, he added: “I love Nick. And he loves me. We were always close. But you can be creative without being friends. David and I did a lot of great work together, which wouldn’t exist without both of us being there.”
Waters was responsible for tackling politics and subjects such as mental health and isolation on the band’s acclaimed albums ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, ‘The Wall’ and ‘The Final Cut’ – the latter two mainly being conceived by the rocker.
Despite him giving Gilmour credit as a creative individual, the rock legend is adamant he is a more talented musician than him and Wright – who passed away in September 2008 at the age of 65.
He said: “The music is hugely important to me. It may sound daft to say, but over the years I maybe haven’t taken quite enough credit for it. I think the idea that Rick and David particularly tried to sell me in the band, when I was a young man, was that I was a bit of a headmaster but I shouldn’t bother myself with music because I wasn’t musical. It’s absolute crap. I’m twice the musician either of those guys ever were. I just am. I’ve got it in me.”
Waters is getting ready to release his first solo album for 25 years in June, entitled ‘Is This The Life We Really Want?’, which he has recorded with Pink Floyd fan producer Nigel Godrich whom he has credited with paying “homage” to the group’s signature psychedelic sound on the record.
Waters has also helped put together ‘The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains’ which is to open at the V&A Museum in London from May 13 to October 1.