An interview with David Gilmour

To mark his 71st birthday, here's our cover story from 2015

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Next year, David Gilmour turns 70. From his seat in Astoria’s studio, he admits he’s not yet given much thought to how he’ll mark the occasion – “Maybe we’ll have 20 or 30 people round for a bevy, I don’t know,” he shrugs. “Mortality is something I think a lot about and always have,” he continues. “It was frightening when I was young. At my age now, I’m no longer fussed about it. It’s lost its fear for me, pretty much.” Of course, Gilmour has more immediate business to attend to. “I finished this album yesterday,” he says with a smile. “And I’ve got another record on the go. Rattle That Lock came out of a font of stuff so I don’t think it’ll be that long before another one comes out. Maybe at the end of the tour I’ll just want to collapse and feel like an old man again. But I’ve got the best part of another album stewing away.”

Considering there were six years between Gilmour’s first two solo albums, 22 between the second and third and nine between On An Island and Rattle That Lock, this feels like momentous news. “These songs have been on the go for the last few years,” he explains. “There are one or two really old ones. One is probably 20 years old. It’s still trying to fight its way to the top of the pile. It will one day. We will see how good they get to be in a couple of years time. As for Rattle That Lock, I don’t want to overplay things, but I think it’s the best thing I’ve done. Probably ever. It’s very easy to be deluded, but I think it’s very good.”

For the time being, Gilmour admits his next assignment will be planning his September tour. He dusted down 1972’s “Wot’s… Uh The Deal” for the On An Island tour, so can we assume he’ll go rummaging through the archives to see if there’s any more rarities that he can dust down for this tour? “I might completely rearrange one or two old songs,” he admits. “We shall see.”


Is there a song that always reminds you of Syd?

“‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’ is about Syd,” he says. “Every time that I’ve sung that song, I’ve thought about Syd. You have to think about what you’re singing, you can’t just troll the words out. You have to work harder if someone else has written them – which I’ve grown skilled at, having spent so much of my time singing Roger’s words.”

Talking of Roger, is there a song that reminds you of him?


“‘Money’. I’m not talking about any connection to the lyric. Just the quirky 7/8 time reminds me of Roger. It’s not a song I would have written. It points itself at Roger, rather.”

Now Pink Floyd is officially over, what part of it do you miss the most?

“I was taking earlier to you about the early moments,” he says quietly, running a hand through his tight crop of white hair. “We were not exactly equals, because things aren’t ever quite equal. But in terms of the band dynamic during that era, there were moments where magic happened. I suppose you could say I miss those. But there’s not much about it that I have disliked or haven’t enjoyed. At the same time, there’s not much of it that I miss. It was 99% a great experience, and we wouldn’t want to talk about the other 1%. That’s been done.”

The April 2017 issue of Uncut is now on sale in the UK – featuring our cover story on Björk. Elsewhere in the issue, there’s interviews with Deep Purple, Chrissie Hynde, The Magnetic Fields and we look inside legendary LA venue The Troubadour, while our free CD collects great new tracks from Grandaddy, Laura Marling, Real Estate, Hurray For The Riff Raff and more. The issue also features Alison Krauss on her best recorded work. Plus John Mayall, Jaki Liebezeit RP, Procul Harum, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Creation, Buena Vista Social Club, Elliott Smith, George Harrison, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Sleaford Mods and more, plus 131 reviews


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