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Nick Mason Didn’t Want New Band To Become A Pink Floyd Tribute Act

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Pink Floyd’s co-founding drummer Nick Mason made sure that his side project, Nick Mason’s Saucerful Of Secrets, wouldn’t become just another tribute act. The Saucerful Of Secrets setlists are comprised of all early Floyd material, predating the 1973 classic, The Dark Side Of The Moon, with a heavy emphasis on the band’s early era and the work of the band’s original guiding force, the late-Syd Barrett.

Mason, who is the only member of Floyd to perform in all its configurations, told Rolling Stone, “I think really just looking through the catalog and thinking, ‘There’s some great songs here and there’s some sort of heritage.’ I wanted to get away from having to do the perfect rendition of old songs while very politically steering myself way from becoming the ultimate tribute band. A tribute to myself felt very uncomfortable. It needed something. It was a bit of ‘Let’s try and get the sort of feel of some of that early music without slavishly trying to learn every detail of it or indeed match the tempo of it specifically,’ or whatever.”

The shows — both in England and North America are a far cry from Floyd’s late-career massive stadium show productions: “Stadiums are very flawed in terms of being able to engage the entire audience. But in a theater, you can absolutely do it. It feels like an occasion and the occasion is entirely about the music that is going on at the stage. The trouble with a stadium is that you’ve got about 50,000 fans and another lot of people doing drugs and playing frisbee at the back.”

Although Mason, who co-owns the Floyd name with David Gilmour, didn’t need to, he informed both Gilmour and Roger Waters about the the project, explaining, “Yeah. I thought that would be good manners. I don’t think it was a matter of getting permission or anything, but what was great was that they were really encouraging.”

When pressed as to whether Waters might make an appearance at a show somewhere down the line, Mason said, “Yeah. He said that he might come and guest for a song or two, but I’m not holding my breath on that. We can worry about guest stars when we are a bit further down the line.”

Mason was asked if fans will ever finally see a deluxe box set of Floyd’s 1977 Animals album: “Yes. I think it will eventually happen. It’s just sort of slow because of differences of opinion about how to do it or what to put on it, but I’m sure it will eventually happen. Of all our albums that have been re-released, that’s the one that would benefit the most from a sort of reworking.”

Nick Mason played a hands on role in Pink Floyd’s recent reissue series, told us that the band felt that they owed it to longtime fans to give them every bit of what was releasable in the recent “Immersion” reissue series: “There still are so many people who are interested not only in the actual record that was turned out, but how it was made and the influence on it and the sort of mistakes along the way — and in some cases, how it was developed afterwards. And we thought, if we’re going to do this, we might as well do it once and for all. Y’know, we will not be repeating this exercises. So we decided to bring everything we possibly could out of the vaults and get on with it.”

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