HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: December 2011. We talked with Guy Pratt, who was bass player in Pink Floyd! Guy except of being in Pink Floyd from 1987 to 1994, he is one of the greatest modern bassists and has played with David Gilmour, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Michael Jackson, Robbie Robertson (The Band guitarist) and Madonna. He is married to Rick Wright’s daughter, Gala. Read below the interesting things he told us:
Which are the current projects you’re currently involved in? Are you doing any recordings this period?
No, I just came from a tour in South America and now I’m resting. I ‘m not doing any recordings. I’m waiting to go on vacation on Christmas holidays.
Where? In the U.K?
No, I will go to Brazil.
How you decided to perform as a stand-up comedian? How important was your father’s influence in this subject?
I was a touring musician and all the musicians have great stories to tell from touring. I don’t know if my father influenced me in this part. He was an actor. He played roles. I don’t play roles, I don’t like that. I like telling funny stories. So, I don’t know if my father influenced me.
Was it a surprise for Pink Floyd fans seeing you doing “My Bass and Other Animals” show?
Yes. I suppose Pink Floyd fans who came to see Pink Floyd’s bass player, watching me telling stories would feel surprised (laughs).
You recorded toured in 2006 for David Gilmour’s “On An Island”. How was working after a decade with such a great musician?
You know, we’re very good friends with David. We didn’t miss each other. I really enjoyed “On An Island” tour. I think it was the best tour in my life. I toured with David and Rick, it was like the old days. There was a family element in that tour. I really liked it.
I know David is recording this period. Will you participate in his next album?
No, he isn’t recording this period. I think I will participate in his next album. But you know, I don’t record much bass with David.
I know. He plays most of it.
Do you remember how you first got the offer to play with Pink Floyd? Did you audition for this position?
Yes I did audition. David knew me from the period I was playing with The Dream Academy and with Bryan Ferry. David has played with Bryan..
Yes, I know (David was the only Pink Floyd member who played in Live Aid in 1985, where he played with Bryan Ferry).
I auditioned, but not for the bass. I auditioned for the vocals.
How much pressure did you feel from fans and press when you were in Pink Floyd?
There was no pressure at all. Fans keep asking me, especially during the last years “how was replacing Roger Waters?” I didn’t replace Roger Waters, I was a side musician. I was just a bloody bass player (laughs).
Do you have happy memories from the period you worked with Michael Jackson?
I wrote about this in by book (ed: “My Bass and Other Animals”).I didn’t meet him.
I didn’t meet him. He was hiding behind the desk in the studio and he was telling to his bodyguards what to play. He was pretending that he was absent.
Wow!! In 2008, you recorded bass for “Whole Lotta Love” with Jimmy Page for Beijing Olympic Games . Was it a strange experience for you recording a Led Zeppelin song?
Yes, I recorded it . No, it wasn’t a strange experience. We recorded in Studio 2 at Olympic Studios as a three piece (band), live. Just like the original.
Do you remember who was the drummer?
Of course I remember (laughs)!It was Geoff Dugmore (Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Killing Joke, Tina Turner drummer).
Who are your influences as a bassist?
I don’t think that someone particularly influenced me. I liked as bass players James Jamerson (legendary Motown bass player), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Andy Fraser (Free) and Norman Watt-Roy (The Blockheads).
Looking back, do you wish you could do less session work and you could have a permanent band (except Pink Floyd)?
No (laughs). I didn’t want to have a permanent band, because if I was in a permanent band, we would have lasted about 4-5 years and then who knows what would have happened..
Do you think analog recordings are warmer and more soulful that digital ones?
I think the perfect thing in a combination of these two styles of recording: half analog, half digital. I prefer the early days of digital recordings. I prefer drums and bass being recorded in tapes. The best, I think is to match the analog and the digital way.
Do you think as recording companies are collapsing, bands should focus in doing more gigs?
Yes, I think this is the best thing you do as a musician. When, I was young, playing music was the only way to express ourselves as kids. Now, the young people have more things to do: Films, etc. Now, there are plenty of choices. You can watch everything.
If you are living in a civilized country. In Greece for example, we haven’t seen The Who.
Yeah, you’re right. Really, you haven’t seen The Who?
Yes. The Who have never played in Greece. Rolling Stones have, Pink Floyd have, The Who no.
I played in Athens with Roxy Music in 2006. I think I’ve played with Bryan Ferry as well.
Do you have any music dream to fulfill? To play with someone you haven’t played yet?
Yes, with Pete Townshend from The Who.
I think you have met him.
Yes, I’ve met him, but I haven’t played with him. I’d like to play.
Are you working this period with old friends like Bryan Ferry and Phil Manzanera?
With Bryan, not. I’m not his favourite this period (laughs).
These things happen in music.
Yes, these things happen. I was about to tour with Phil Manzanera, but finally it didn’t happen now. We will tour next year.
Do you remember the show you did with Pink Floyd in Athens Olympic Stadium in ’89?
Of course, I remember it. We had a great time in Athens. I think the band spent about five days in Athens. I wasn’t there, I went to visit my grandmother to Cyprus. I think I spent 1 or 2 days in Athens.
Rick Wright spent long periods in Greece. Are you visiting Greece?
You know, Rick was spending two or three weeks every summer in Greece, in Lindos. No, I don’t visit Greece. I’ve been in Greece but I don’t visit Greece as often as Rick did.
Hope to meet you in case you ‘ll be in Greece. Thank you very much.
Thank you too, my friend. Goodbye.
A huge “THANK YOU” to Guy Pratt and to Mike Leigh!
Buy his book “My Bass and Other Animals” here