Roger Waters trends on twitter after calling Joe Biden a war criminal on TV

Roger Waters gesticulating during CNN interview
(Image credit: CNN)

Ever-controversial former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has made something of a social media splash after appearing on CNN's Smerconish show at the weekend. 

During the broadcast, which is hosted by columnist and commentator Michael Smerconish, Waters made a number of claims that either delighted or dismayed fans, depending on their points of view. 

The interview took place a month into the North American leg of Waters' current This Is Not A Drill tour, and saw a wide-ranging number of subjects covered, include the war in Ukraine, Taiwan's relationship with mainland China, and the Pink Floyd fans who attend his shows but don't share his political views. 

Smerconish began the interview by asking Waters why he included Joe Biden in a montage of "war criminals" that feature in his current live set.

“Well, he’s fuelling the war in the Ukraine,” Waters responded. “That is a huge crime. Why won’t the United States of America encourage [Volodymyr] Zelensky to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war?”

Smerconish countered that Waters was looking at the situation backwards, blaming Ukraine for being invaded, but the singer disagreed, referring to the "action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border," comparing the situation to a hypothetical one in which China put nuclear missiles into Mexico or Canada.

After Smerconish responded to suggest that China are currently "too busy encircling Taiwan" to consider such a move, an agitated Waters took the host to task.  

"They're not encircling Taiwan!" he exclaimed. "Taiwan is part of China. And that's been absolutely accepted by the whole of the international community since 1948 and if you don't know that, you're not reading enough. Go and read about it."

Waters also talked about the introduction to the This Is Not A Drill shows, where a warning is displayed that reads, "If you're one of those 'I love Pink Floyd, but I can't stand Roger's politics' people, you might do well to fuck off to the bar right now. Thank you, and please enjoy the show."

Waters said that the message was a way of "setting things straight" before going on to say that, "It also encourages a lot of the people who've come to the show because they have listened to everything I've written since, you know, 1965 or wherever I started writing songs. So, they do know what my politics are and they do understand where my heart is and they understand sort of why I'm there."

Watch the interview below.

Roger Waters - This Is Not A Drill tour

Aug 16: Washington Capitol One Arena, DC
Aug 18: Raleigh PNC Arena, NC
Aug 20: Atlanta State Farm Arena, GA
Aug 23: Miami AmericanAirlines Arena, FL
Aug 25: Orlando Amway Center, FL
Aug 27: Nashville Bridgestone Arena, TN
Aug 30: New York Madison Square Garden, NY
Aug 31: New York Madison Square Garden, NY
Sep 03: Kansas City Sprint Center, MO
Sep 06: Denver Pepsi Center, CO
Sep 08: Salt Lake City Vivint Smart Home Arena, UT
Sep 10: Portland Moda Center, OR
Sep 13: Edmonton Rogers Place, AB
Sep 15: Vancouver Rogers Arena, BC
Sep 17: Tacoma Dome, WA
Sep 20: Sacramento Golden 1 Center, CA
Sep 23: San Francisco Chase Center, CA
Sep 24: San Francisco Chase Center, CA
Sep 27: Los Angeles Staples Center, CA
Sep 28: Los Angeles Staples Center, CA
Oct 01: Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena, NV
Oct 08: Dallas American Airlines Center, TX

Tickets are on sale now

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.