Nick Mason Aims to Bring Pink Floyd-Themed Supergroup to U.S.
He formed the supergroup with the intention of highlighting Floyd’s early work, and they played their first shows in May then announced a European tour. The lineup includes Spandau Ballet’s Gary Kemp and Lee Harris of the Blockheads, with Pink Floyd collaborators Guy Pratt and Dom Beken.
“What I underestimated was the enthusiasm, not of the audience, but of the band,” Mason tells Billboard. “Pink Floyd was always enthusiastic, but not like this lot is now. Everyone wants to do everything: 'We want to go to America.' 'We want to go to South America.' 'What about Peru?' [Laughs.] It's like a travel agency.” He added: “But I'm absolutely delighted. I’m really enjoying it.”
He said of the audience reactions: “I think we found a niche for ourselves, which is to do something that is not being done by everyone else, by the tribute bands or by Roger [Waters] or David [Gilmour]. It's a real return to some of the improvised sections and the atmosphere of the songs. The tendency in this day and age is to try and recreate things perfectly. We bring imperfection.”
Mason admitted it hadn’t been as easy as he’d expected to re-learn Pink Floyd’s early material. “Being an eternal optimist, I thought it would just come straight back to me,” he said. “Sadly, I was wrong. Once you start examining Syd [Barrett]’s work carefully it’s quite often more complex than you expect. It's not necessarily written like so many pop songs with an eight-bar section and the middle eights and whatever. It's quite often a completely different set of bar counts to what you're expecting. And that, in a way, was fun and challenging to get at the feel of the song, but not necessarily feel that we had to sound exactly like Syd or like David or whatever.”
He confirmed that naming the group after Pink Floyd’s second album was a “quick way of explaining” their intent. “What I didn't want to get caught up in were a lot of people going, 'Well, why don't you play ‘Comfortably Numb?' or 'Why don't you do something from The Wall?' I think the name itself indicates where we are and what we're doing.”
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