Australian Pink Floyd's "Roger Waters" on the Future of Musician Holograms

Categories: Q&A, Show Preview

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Zoom Management/Australian Pink Floyd
A Saucerful of Secrets, The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, -- Pink Floyd and its albums are so world-renowned and integrated into pop culture that even if you don't like their music you can't help but have a level of respect for it. And if you don't for some reason [talking to you, Sex Pistols fans], then you should check out the Australian Pink Floyd when they float through town this Sunday.

Because whether you're a die-hard, candy-flippin' fan or just want to know what they were talking about in Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, this tribute band does way more than just, well, pay tribute.

The Aussie Pink Floyd have sold over three million tickets to concerts in 35 countries, and are so good they were even asked by David Gilmour to perform at this 50th birthday party. Since 1988, this group of Floyd fans have honed in on what makes Pink Floyd's music so loved: the pure, visceral feeling behind it.

Up On The Sun talked with vocalist/bassist Colin Wilson about his favorite Floyd album, being one of the first bands to use 3D on stage, and the future of touring hologram artists.

What is your favorite Pink Floyd album and why?

Personally I think it would be Animals, since it was the first Pink Floyd album I ever bought. I'd heard of Pink Floyd before I bought it, but it was the first in my collection. It is slightly harder, more of a rock album than the other ones. It's the one that originally appealed to me, the one I still love to listen to and I also love playing the songs from that one.

That is a great album. What is the most challenging thing about representing the band as a whole, and your individual character, even after honing skills since you joined in '92?

I think in the beginning the most challenging thing was convincing people that we could actually do a good job of recreating Pink Floyd music. Then further down the road, it's always been a challenge to put on a big show. Pink Floyd fans expect to see a big show. Before, it was a challenge because of the money it takes but also if you're playing in smaller venues it makes it hard to set up on stage. I think now, we have the luxury of employing really great people who worry about that for us. But as a band, the going challenge is to get the actual feeling of the music correct. It's not that difficult to get the notes right or the arrangement of the songs, but it's quite hard to get the feel of the music correct, which is a big part of Pink Floyd, and a big part of what the audience needs to hear.

What do you think is more important for a tribute band: keeping the legendary performance and music alive for the old fans, or garnering new fans?

I think there's a responsibility on us to help new fans of Pink Floyd to hear music they haven't heard before, you know, some of the old stuff that new fans haven't heard, so spreading the word of Pink Floyd. But I also think there's an obligation on our shoulders, for the older fans, to fulfill everything they're looking for. They come to see us for a lot of nostalgic reasons, to recreate memories of seeing Pink Floyd years ago or memories of when they first heard those albums. It's one of those where as long as we fulfill that, the audience will keep on coming back to see us, which is why they've been coming to see us for twenty-plus years now. I'm sure once we get it wrong, people won't come to see us anymore, and there won't be a market for us anymore.

When you personally are performing, do you try to get in the mindset of Roger Waters, or do you just see yourself as completely paying tribute to him and the band?

I don't think any of us really try to hone in on the persona of the Pink Floyd band members, but we do get completely absorbed in the music and that's getting back to the thing about the feel of the music. You can't play completely off of the motions and expect it to sound right, you kind of need to lend yourself to it and get completely absorbed.


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