Questions and Answers with
Question: Did Astoria have any security problems during the recording of "The Division Bell":
DG: No, no real problem. There was a story in the English press but it was an invention, in fact. It wasn't real at all .... it was just some TV station in England thought they'd get a good little yarn out of it, and they set up a camera on the opposite bank of the Thames and pointed it at us, and they came to the door and, and we said, 'No, we're not - We don't have anything to discuss.' And so they then got a - their reporter in a wet suit and stuff, and he swam off in a river somewhere, towards a houseboat somewhere, and pretended that it was ours. And I think they made some little tape up or something. I don't know -I don't know exactly really what happened. I never even saw the story on-air, but....it's not us. I mean, they never actually got to our boat with microphones or anything....Sorry to dispel the rumour, but it's actually not true.
On creating "The Division Bell":
DG: We started off by going into Nick's studio, Brittania Row studio in London, in January 93 with myself, Nick, and Rick, and Guy, the bass player from our last tour. And we just jammed away at anything for two weeks, just playing anything that we had in our heads or that we made up on the spot. And then we took all that over to Astoria and started listening to all the tapes and working stuff out. We found that we had 65 pieces of music...which we worked on all of to a certain extent, and then we started adding these things - We had a couple of sessions which we called 'the big listen' where we listened to *all* these 65, and all the people involved with it voted on each track, on each piece of music as to how popular it was with them. And so we then arranged these 65 pieces of music in order of popularity amongst the band, and then we dumped 40 of them, and worked on the top 25, which in fact became the top 27 because a couple more got added in.
And so the process went on from there with us working away on all these pieces of music and gradually either merging pieces together or scrapping them until we finally were down to about 12 to 15 things that we all kind of liked. And in the end one or two of them went by the way, and we were left with eleven on the album, I think.
Regarding one of the rehearsals prior to the Division Bell tour:
DG: We were working in an aircraft hangar, and the mixing console and the... is outside the doors of the hangar, and the stage and stuff is inside the doors. And at some point someone decided that it would be a good idea to close the doors, and the huge, huge electrically-controlled doors sliced through all our multi-core cables, which is a bit of a nuisance.
Like choices, interpretations are left up to the fans:
DG: I like them [fans] to wonder. I like them to explore the words and see what it means, and I like them to work the stuff out for themselves....I'm not going to give people an easy time of it. They've got to - you know what they say, 'The more work you put in, the more you get out.' That's very much [true] for the audience. Hopefully more pleasure will be derived by people who put more into the listening to this thing than would be if I explained my point-of-view exactly on everything. Everything is there in the words and music.
About the song 'Marooned':
DG: It had the scent of the sea about it, this tune, ever since, you know, probably from the sound of the guitar doing the whale-type thing. We called it 'The Whale Piece' for ages. 'Maroon' came up as a colour at one point in discussion for some title of something. 'Maroon' became 'Marooned' and it seemed to fit that tune. Titles is a long, difficult thing sometimes. And that one seemed to fit. And then we played it up a little bit at the end, putting wave noises and seagulls at the beginning to set the mood a little bit before it goes into it. There's no particular huge significance to 'Marooned'; it's just an appropriate title.
Regarding the saxophone on 'Wearing the Inside Out':
DG: On the last tour, we had Scott Page on the saxophone - great sax player, lovely guy. This time it didn't really look as if we were going to be doing as many songs with saxophone on the tour, from the way I was thinking about the tour. Funnily enough, at Christmas I got a Christmas card from Dick [Parry] who I hadn't seen for years, and who'd given up the saxophone entirely and I think was unemployed, living in a village near Cambridge, doing nothing. I knew that years ago he had sold his saxophones and gone into being a farrier, shoeing horses. And he had apparently given that up as well, and he had bought himself another saxophone a year or so ago, and he just sent me a Christmas card. I rang him up - I didn't even have his phone number for us. I just rang him up to say 'How are you doing?' He was talking to me about it and I had been thinking about what to do about saxophone on the tour because we weren't going to need a lot of it, but we needed some.
I asked him if he felt like auditioning for coming on the tour, to see if he still had his chops together, and he told me that he thought he was playing better than he'd ever played. And I got him down to the boat to have a little audition. And he played about three phrases and myself and Bob [Ezrin] said, 'Fine, he's still got it. Screw this auditioning business. See if we can stick him on something.' And the only place that seemed really appropriate was the opening for 'Eureka' - do, uh, not for 'Eureka.' For 'Wearing the Inside Out.' Sorry, I'm talking old titles. The only one we could think of that would be really appropriate for sax was 'Wearing the Inside Out,' so we put him on it. Boom, he's got that tone. It's fantastic. You can recognize it straight away. And so he's on the tour with us as well.
The guitar solo on 'Wearing the Inside Out':
DG: Funnily enough, I never really liked the guitar solo on the out. Everyone else said they did like it, but I wanted to dump it and do something else on there, 'cos I thought, 'God, I've got too many damn guitar solos again. They're all over the bloody record.' I didn't think that one was so good, but lots of people like it, I guess. It's grown on me a bit.
About 'Take It Back':
DG: It's got really nothing to do with my personal life, believe it or not. [laughs] But I'm not going to tell you what it *is* about. You're gonna have to work that out for yourself. [laughs]
I had an idea for a song about a specific subject that came from a book I was reading, but I'm not going to tell you what the subject is or what the book is. You'll just have to work it out for yourself.
On 'Keep Talking':
DG: I was worried about how people would see that I had taken something from a commercial and used it in a song in sampled form, but then I thought in the end, 'fuck it' really. It's great. It's powerful. If it moved me that way... it's interesting.
On rumors that the Floyd would work with Roger Waters again:
DG: There's been no approach or contact. Anyone that says anything different, that purports to know anything from the inside, is talking rubbish. We haven't discussed it, and there's absolutely no likelihood of that happening at all.... People are very keen on this idea. Only one person's got to say the slightest thing and it becomes a big rumour, you know? People are very... understandably, they're very keen on the idea of it all being happy families again, but I don't think it's very likely.
A lot of very good work came out of our time together, and a lot of very, very good words Roger wrote. It's understandable that people would have an affection for some possibility of going back the heyday, if you like, of our career. It's an irrelevance to me. You can't go back, and we wouldn't.