“It’s because I agree with [Obama],” says Waters, who is working on a new album in a New York recording studio. “There is no ‘us’ and ‘them’; it’s an illusion. We are all human beings and we all have a responsibility to support one another and to discover ways of wresting the power from the very, very few people who control all the cash and all the property.”
That notion that we’re all in this together is one of the major themes the former Pink Floyd singer and bassist will highlight on his upcoming arena tour, also dubbed Us + Them, which kicks off a North American leg in May. He’s promised a spectacle worthy of following up his blockbuster The Wall tour for the trek, and it will feature a mix of older songs with a taste of some new songs, since the tour coincides with the release of a new Waters solo album, Is This the Life We Really Want?, which he says also addresses concepts similar to the tour.
The singer, age 73, says the tour and album fall in line with the sense of discontentment that he’d previewed when he posted video of himself performing the Animals track “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” in Mexico City last October in front of projections of Donald Trump juxtaposed with the word pendejo (“stupid”). “I was wanting to make a strong point of my disapproval of the Donald and everything that he stands for before the election,” he says. “Sadly, it didn’t seem to have quite enough effect. I wrote a long speech that I was gonna make at Desert Trip, but I didn’t because it would not have been good theater. I’ve still got that speech written, and I think I might post it at one point.”
Ever outspoken, Waters is ready to take his message of humanity on the road and play it before giant audiences, even if it alienates a few fans along the way. “Out of the 80,000 people at Desert Trip, I’m guessing maybe 1,000 got up in disgust and walked out of my performance – I don’t know for sure,” he says. “But there was a very small number people who were upset that I was lampooning the nincompoop.”
In a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone, Waters talks about the intersection of his musical and political views.