A very interesting article for Floyd fans, I should guess. Rick Wright speaking of their plans and wishes at the time, including their plan for another name for the “Dark Side Of The Moon” album.
Floyd: Wright on cue
By Steve Peacock
One step forward, half a step back; well, not back exactly, but you have to watch that you don`t lose something important in the process of moving on. It`s easy to do under the pressures of the rock and roll business, easy to find yourself going not forward, but round in ever-decreasing circles.
The Pink Floyd seem to be one band who are constantly aware of the dangers, always vowing to make time to stop and think hard about the next move, to give themselves room to take stock occasionally. It`s not easy – this year they`re managing to take the first real holiday they`ve had for three years – and there`s always the conflict over whether to push ideas to their logical conclusion and risk becoming too narrow, or to keep starting again.
For instance, they`ve been experimenting with quadraphonic sound systems for years now, and it`s got to the point where they can say they`ve got their concert set-up working pretty well – quadsound, lights, effects and music.
The obvious next step, as Rick Wright points out, is to extend what they can actually do with the machines they have: “It still could be improved a lot – not the actual equipment, but what we put into it. There`s still an awful lot we could do. At the moment, we`ve just been able to use tapes and effects in quad, and now I`d like to be able to have the whole band playing in quadrophonic, so that the stage is no longer the centre of the sound.”
And that of course brings its own peculiar problems; like there can be up to a second`s delay between playing a note and hearing it come back through the far speakers. That makes playing anything in time rather difficult, and Rick says one solution might be to have everyone wearing headphones on stage. But then you have to bear in mind that that would lead you into a fairly drastic change in the band`s approach to live concerts. – almost bringing a studio to an audience, rather than the usual rock and roll division between technique in the studio, energy on stage.
“It`s just a bit worrying sometimes – you can get very involved with sound and equipment and so on, which is a really good thing, it`s really exciting to work with, but at times I miss the simplicity of just going out and playing. At times you`re so worried about everything working, about whether everything`s going to come in on cue, that the actual performance can suffer, and I think it does with us sometimes. Occasionally, I feel I`d like to go back to just having a stage and us playing.
“I`m not trying to put down what we do, because I think it`s really good that we should be trying to do it; it`s just sometimes I feel it`s overwhelming us. I don`t know how the others feel, maybe it inspires them to play better, and it does me when it`s working well. But sometimes I look at our huge truck and tons and tons of equipment and think `Christ, all I`m doing is playing an organ`.”
That aside, the other constant problem faced by the Floyd – and many other bands – is that of finding the time to develop their ideas as much as they want to. It`s the old problem of finding a way to stop the roundabout – tour, album, tour, album, tour – for long enough to keep out of the rut, and it`s ironic that as the Floyd have become more and more successful, so they`ve had less and less time to themselves. The prospect of having July and August completely free of all committments, the first such break for three years, is highly attractive.
“I just feel like I`ve been rushing around not knowing where I am, living in hotels, in planes, on American tours – it all got highly confusing, doesn`t do your head any good. I thought I`d get away for a couple of months and not think about the Floyd at all – well, I will of course, but I`ll have the freedom not to think under all the pressure.”
Before they go, they have next month in the studio to record their next album “Eclipse” – which is the piece they did on the last tour, originally called “Dark Side Of The Moon”, until they found out Medicine Head had called their album that: “and also Eclipse is a better title for it.” When they come back, there`s an American tour, and – at last – the long-projected ballet with Roland Pettit.
“He`s decided to use “Eclipse” as the music for that. We`ve been talking with him about doing something for years and years, and he`d bring up an idea and then decide not to use it. It went on and on until we practically gave it up as a lost cause, but we sent him a tape of a live performance, and he said it was what he wanted. So we`ll be doing that in Marseilles with him, and hopefully a French tour as well.”
Which means that the rest of this year is pretty well accounted for. Before they go on the road next year though, and certainly before they play in London again, they want to take enough time to get together a new project, this time incorporating film into their stage performance. “With Eclipse it`s very important to be able to hear the words, and it works very well in England and America, but playing it abroad they just don`t understand what`s happening – obviously not because they don`t understand the words.
“So the next thing we want to do is to use film, so that it`s an international thing – it`s visual so everyone can understand it. But then once you start getting into film it takes a lot of time and a lot of money; I don`t know how long it`ll take but I hope we`ll be able to set aside enough time early next year to do it.”
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Steve Marriott and Alexis Korner, John Lodge (Moody Blues), Joni Mitchell, Eddie Davis, Quintessence, Richard Thompson, Osibisa, David Essex, Chris Farlowe, Todd Rundgren, The Watersons.
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