By Charlotte McLaughlin and Alex Green, PA
Roger Waters has re-recorded The Dark Side Of The Moon without the rest of Pink Floyd, saying of the original album: “It’s my project and I wrote it.”
The veteran rocker also described Ukraine as “not really a country at all” and “a patchy sort of vague experiment”, during an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
Over the last week, the 79-year-old has traded barbs with former bandmate David Gilmour and the guitarist’s wife, lyricist Polly Samson, after the latter attacked Waters on social media and accused him of antisemitism, which he denies.
— Roger Waters (@rogerwaters) February 6, 2023
Waters then made a surprise virtual appearance during a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday, where he “condemned” the invasion of Ukraine but also criticised the “provocateurs” he claimed had prompted the Russian invasion.
Speaking to the Telegraph about his forthcoming vinyl release of The Dark Side Of The Moon, Waters said he had “no idea” how to get around copyright issues for the album, which reached number two in the UK charts in 1973.
He said he remade it “because not enough people recognised what it’s about” and what he “was saying then”.
Waters also said: “The Ukraine… is a deeply divided country. In fact, it’s not really a country at all, it’s only been there since Khrushchev, 1956. So it’s a patchy sort of vague experiment.”
He added that he is “very happy with Barbados”, a former British colony, which became an independent state in the Commonwealth in 1966 and then became a republic two years ago.
Asked for an example of a time he has changed his mind due to the evidence, he said: “Yes, an article I wrote about three months ago calling Vladimir Putin a gangster… That may have been unfair.
“It may be that he’s leading his country to the benefit of all of the people of Russia.”
Roger Waters - a taste of pop culture in the Security Council this morning. Mr. Waters in his own words has had morning “revelation” in addition to apparent momentary lapses of memory. Pigs might fly, as they say in the UK, when there’s no chances at all for something to happen. pic.twitter.com/d6kYPsFgcQ
— Sergiy Kyslytsya (@SergiyKyslytsya) February 8, 2023
Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985, launching unsuccessful legal action against the other members to stop them using the band’s name without him.
The influential prog rock group – Waters, Gilmour, Nick Mason and the late Richard Wright – reunited for Live 8 in 2005.
At the Security Council meeting on Wednesday, to discuss the situation in Ukraine, Waters appeared virtually, saying he was representing “the feelings of countless brothers and sisters all over the world”.
Reflecting on the war, he called for a ceasefire and said: “The invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation was illegal. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
“Also, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was not unprovoked. So I also condemn the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms.”
After his address, Ukraine’s Security Council delegate, Sergiy Kyslytsya, reminded the room that Pink Floyd were banned in the Soviet Union after they condemned the country for invading Afghanistan in 1979.
Mr Kyslytsya said: “It is ironic, if not hypocritical that Mr Waters attempts now to whitewash another invasion.
“How sad for his former fans to see him accepting the role of just ‘a brick in the wall’, the wall of Russian disinformation and propaganda.”
Formed in London in 1965, Pink Floyd’s best known albums include The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall.
A statement from Waters on Monday said he was “aware of the incendiary and wildly inaccurate comments made about him on Twitter by Polly Samson which he refutes entirely” and that he was “taking advice as to his position”.