Fresh off his politically charged performance at the Desert Trip music festival in California, Roger Waters says he’ll launch a 51-city North American tour next year.
The Pink Floyd co-founder said he started work Wednesday on a new multimedia show called Us + Them that will include new music from an album he’s set to finish next month.
The 73-year-old singer-songwriter dazzled audiences with his October 9 Desert Trip show that featured custom animation on a 240-foot-long digital screen and a quadraphonic audio system built for the event.
Waters says Us + Them will be “a story that’s about whether love trumps everything.”
“It’ll be more about love,” he told The Associated Press. “Because my new record, it’s got the first love songs I’ve ever written, I think, on it.”
Still, Waters says he can’t help but be political because of his parents. He said his mother was a communist and humanitarian and his father was a war objector until joining the fight against Hitler in 1941. He was killed in 1944.
“For a son, that’s a powerful story,” Waters said. “I think it would be very hard for a man like me with parents like that not to have the courage to stand up and say what’s right.”
Waters has drawn ire for his support of the Palestinian-led BDS movement, which calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel.
He asserts, however, that he’s “in no way anti-Semitic and I never have been and I never will be.”
“I’ve got nothing against Judaism as a religion — well any more than I have against any other religion, being a radical atheist.”
Waters is passionate about the cause of displaced Palestinians, which he calls “an absolute humanitarian catastrophe”. He said he’ll speak on the subject at UCLA on November 30.
Soft-spoken throughout most of this interview, Waters becomes more vocal and animated when he talks politics and other issues, including Black Lives Matter, which he addressed in his Desert Trip show.
He also rails against the military-industrial complex and the banks, which he called “high rollers in a game of chance.”
All of these concepts could be incorporated as visual and sonic elements in his new show. He’ll collaborate with the same artists as for the Desert Trip shows. Audiences can expect a multimedia experience with quadraphonic sound, and he may use the massive video screen from Desert Trip.
“If I can afford to take that theatre to stadiums around the world, I probably would, but we will see it in a much more developed theatrical context,” he said, supporting “however I tell the story about our need to love one another across international borders and across any argument that there might be.”