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Roger Waters says David Gilmour and Richard Wright were “snipe-y because they felt very insignificant” in Pink Floyd

Roger Waters
(Image credit: ALFREDO ESTRELLA / Getty)

Roger Waters, the former Pink Floyd bassist, songwriter and vocalist, has said he was in “toxic environment” during his time with the progressive rock giants.

Speaking to Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast, Waters made the comments as part of a larger discussion about the band’s legacy, revealing that he was not confident in his musical abilities during the his time with the band.

“I always felt insignificant and somewhat inept,” says Waters. “It’s more recently, over the years, I’ve come to realise that actually I have quite a sophisticated musical brain. That I notice things that other people don’t notice.” 

Waters also says that it was not until he left the band that he started to understand why he felt that way at the time.

“I think it’s very important that I got away when I did…” says the musician. “I was in a very toxic environment. I was around some people, well, David and Rick mainly, who were always trying to drag me down. They were always trying to knock me off whatever that perch was.”

Maron then prompted Waters to explain how his bandmates did this.

“By claiming that I was tone deaf and that I didn’t understand music,” alleges Waters. “[They’d thought] ‘Oh he’s just a boring, kind of, teacher figure who tells us what to do, but he can’t tune his own guitar.’ Stuff like that… They were very snotty or snipe-y because they felt very insignificant at that point.”

Somewhat surprisingly Waters later insists, “I’m not putting them down, but those years we were together, whatever it was like socially, there is no question that we did some really good work together and we all contributed.”

The fallout of Pink Floyd’s classic line-up has been well-documented, but it seems this is one situation where time has not been a great healer. David Gilmour has insisted there will never be a reunion, while earlier this year Waters took to Twitter to share some prospective liner notes from the recent reissue of Pink Floyd’s Animals, alleging that Gilmour wanted them removed in order to “claim more credit… than is his due” for the album.

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.