While David Gilmour and Nick Mason maintain that Pink Floyd‘s new album The Endless River marks the end of brand-new music from the group, its archives may yield more unreleased material down the road.
Plenty of previously unreleased Floyd material surfaced during the group’s 2011-12 reissue campaign — which included expanded editions of The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall — as well as this year’s deluxe reissue of 1994’s The Division Bell, and Mason tells Billboard more may be looming.
“There’s always a sort of discussion going on about what we could do,” he says. “And it tends to be one of those things that I think is probably more driven by the record company than us. But we’re always open to their ideas.”
Glaringly missing from the reissues, of course, is 1977’s Animals, which Mason says is overdue for a sonic overhaul.
“I know both Roger [Waters] and David have at times mentioned they’d like to have a remix of Animals, which technically is perhaps one of our less well-recorded records,” Mason notes. “I think we’d just probably clean up some of the tapes and just sort of review it and see whether it can be enhanced. And if one was doing that, one might have a look at whether there’s anything else to be done on it. But no one’s got that down on their work schedule at the moment.”
Mason, meanwhile, has turned his attention toward the visual side of Pink Floyd’s catalog. “I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years putting together an archive of video and film footage, and I think it’d be an interesting thing to [release] at some time,” he reveals. “There’s been an abundance of movies recently, or video, on bands and the history of a band. Our problem is we go back so far to the point where no one recorded things; maybe there’s some Super 8 stuff and a few early television appearances and things like that, which are fun. The biggest problem is when we were touring in the ’70s, we never filmed or recorded the show, which would have been really nice now to have a look at those original Dark Side shows. So there’s a funny old mix of stuff, but I think there’s enough to do something really entertaining, eventually, when there’s time to work on it.”
Mason says he and Gilmour are planning to release some videos to support The Endless River, including material from the 1993-94 recording sessions for The Division Bell, where most of the new album’s material started. (A trippy promo video for “Louder Than Words,” below, was released on Monday.) “We had the equivalent of GoPro cameras in the studio quite a lot for the actual recording sessions,” he says. “So we’ve got some rather nice, black-and-white, one-position camera stuff of us actually playing this [music]. It’s proof positive that we were actually all in the same room together at the same time.”
The Endless River is the last Pink Floyd music recorded with the late keyboardist Richard Wright, who died in 2008. (Gilmour says he has some other material with Wright that may surface on his next solo album.) Mason acknowledges that the new album is a fully intended as a tribute to their fallen comrade, but adds that the mostly instrumental material very nearly came out as part of The Division Bell 20 years ago. “We talked about doing this sort of double album here; one half would be songs and the other half would be a sort of ambient track or tracks, which at the time were sort of fairly fashionable. But we never got around to finishing it. I think we probably got a tour booked, we were running out of time, and it just felt like, ‘Let’s get on with it and shelve all that,’ and I don’t think we ever had a plan for it. And then over a 20-year period, various people at various times said, ‘You really ought to do something with that material.'”
Gilmour has dismissed the possibility of any Pink Floyd live dates out of hand, meanwhile, and Mason says he’s resigned to his bandmate’s decision — although not without some degree of lingering hope. “I’d love to [play shows], but I really don’t think there will be,” he notes. “I think David has sort of done Pink Floyd. I think we’ve probably used up all the material we had, and I think that at this stage he’s keen, really, to head out and do more solo stuff. And I think without Rick it would now be very difficult to do very much. And I think if we went out again, we’d have to do what the fans want, which would be the giant show with all the staging, the whole damn lot, and as much as I love it I absolutely know it’s something Dave does not want to.”