Roger Waters has outlined the plot behind his upcoming solo album, which he’s recording with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.
Last year the former Pink Floyd leader described the work as “challenging” and “scary,” and revealed that it was based around the question: “Why are we killing the children?”
Now he’s added more detail on his concept, parts of which will be revealed during his 2017 tour.
Waters tells Rolling Stone: “We’ve got some really good work in the can.
“I had written a radio play with about a dozen songs in it. It was the story of an old Irishman who is babysitting. The thing starts off with a two-minute monologue of discontent – ‘Our children and grandchildren, ceaselessly bent over their computers, I fucking hate this, I fucking hate that.’
“You eventually discover that he’s babysitting. He goes in to look after the kid, and it’s his granddaughter. She is having a nightmare, and the nightmare is someone is killing all the children.
“He says, ‘No, they’re not. They haven’t killed any children since the Troubles.’ And the kid says, ‘Not here, Grandpa. Over there.’ The grandfather promises they will go on a quest to find the answer to this question: Why are they killing all the children? It is a fundamentally important question.
“So I wrote this whole thing – part magic carpet ride, part political rant, part anguish. I played this to Nigel. And so we’ve been working.”
He adds: “I’ve also been falling in love, deeply in love. So the record is really about love – which is what all of my records have been about, in fact. It’s pondering not just why we’re killing the children. It’s also the question of how do we take these moments of love, if we are granted any in our lives, and allow that love to shine on the rest of existence, on others.”
He says the radio play was “completely thrown out” in the process of developing the album, but he aims to have it made separately.
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And he believes there’s an upside to the problems faced by the modern music industry. “There are no constraints on records now because nobody pays you anything for them,” he says.
“So everything’s off the table. I feel for young musicians, knowing that all of your work will be stolen, and nobody wants to pay you.
“It also means you can say anything you want. Well, I’ve always said anything I’ve wanted anyway.”
Waters is working on the stage theatrics for his Us + Them tour, which follows his later outing with his The Wall show in 2013. He says: “You have to forget about The Wall, because you can’t do bigger or more complex.
“The spectacle is an interesting thing, because I can say I invented it. The Wish You Were Here tour had some of that, and the Animals tour in 1977. And then there was The Wall. After that, everybody did spectacle.”
Asked whether he believes his modern audience is as “politically open and comitted” as in Floyd’s early days, Waters replies: “It’s quite clear that this is not the case.
“Unfortunately, the Trump exceptionalism, all of his racist rhetoric, is feeding an electorate that feels defeated. But it’s not the foreigner who’s defeated you. It’s the one percent that owns everything.”
Roger Waters 2017 Us + Them tour dates
May 26: Kansas City Sprint Center, MO
May 28: KFC Yum! Center, KY
May 30: St louis Scottrade Center, MO
Jun 01: Tulsa BOK Center, OK
Jun 03: Denver Pepsi Center, CO
Jun 07: San Jose SAP Center, CA
Jun 12: Sacramento Golden 1 Center, CA
Jun 14: Phoenix Gila River Arena, AZ
Jun 16: Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena, NV
Jun 20: Los Angeles Staples Center, CA
Jun 21: Los Angeles Staples Center, CA
Jun 24: Seattle Tacoma Dome, WA
Jul 03: Dallas American Airlines Center, TX
Jul 06: Houston Toyota Center, TX
Jul 11: Tampa Amalie Arena, FL
Jul 13: Miami American Airlines Arena, FL
Jul 16: Atlanta Infinite Energy Arena, GA
Jul 18: Greensboro Coliseum, NC
Jul 20: Columbus Nationwide Arena, OH
Jul 22: Chicago United Center, IL
Jul 23: Chicago United Center, IL
Jul 26: St paul Xcel Energy Center, MN
Aug 02: Detroit The Palace Of Auburn Hills, MI
Aug 04: Washington Verizon Center, DC
Aug 08: Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center, PA
Aug 09: Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center, PA
Sep 07: Newark Prudential Center, NJ
Sep 11: Brooklyn Barclays Center, NY
Sep 12: Brooklyn Barclays Center, NY
Sep 15: Uniondale Nassau Coliseum, NY
Sep 19: Pittsburgh PPG Paints Arena, PA
Sep 27: Boston TD Garden, MA
Sep 28: Boston TD Garden, MA
Oct 02: Toronto Air Canada Centre, ON
Oct 03: Toronto Air Canada Centre, ON
Oct 06: Quebec City Videotron Centre, QC
Oct 10: Ottawa Canadian Tire Centre, ON
Oct 16: Montreal Bell Centre, QC
Oct 24: Edmonton Rogers Place, AB
Oct 28: Vancouver Rogers Arena, BC