Dave Kilminster: “I Didn’t Know Who Roger Waters Was”

Dave Kilminster: "I Didn't Know Who Roger Waters Was"

Roger Waters‘ guitarist Dave Kilminster recently sat down with Ultimate Guitar to talk about joining the Pink Floyd co-founder’s band.

You’ve been playing with Roger Waters since 2006. How did you start playing with him? how did he contact you? And how does it feel like to play with Roger Waters? What was it like at the beginning and how does it feel now?

My manager actually told me that Roger was looking for a guitarist. He’d been contacted by [guitarist] Snowy White, who he kind of knew.

So Snowy had contacted my manager. He didn’t know about me, he just wondered if Martin knew any guitarists. So he came into the studio – he was already excited and he said, ‘I’ve just heard that Roger Waters is looking for a guitarist.

And my first question was, ‘Who’s Roger Waters?’ I had no idea…

I mean, I obviously knew who Pink Floyd were, but I didn’t know the names. Other than Dave Gilmour, obviously.

So he said, ‘We’re looking for a guitarist for a…’ I think it was originally gonna be something like a six-week tour. Maybe 10 weeks. Very, very short.

And at the time, I had some dates with Keith Emerson in my calendar right in the middle of this six-week period. So I said, ‘Well, obviously I can’t do it. I already said to Keith that I’ll do this tour.’ It was five or six days, it wasn’t very much, but when you commit to something, when you say you’re gonna do something, you don’t just jump ship when you get a better offer. So I didn’t think anything about it.

And it was about two or three days later that I got an e-mail from Keith Emerson‘s manager, just saying, ‘We’re not gonna do those couple of days.’ So I’m thinking, ‘That’s a sign that I should be going and doing this.’

So I went along. I did a recording first, which apparently they loved. They wanted to hear me playing. I think I recorded some ‘Wish You Were Here’ and I did the ‘Comfortably Numb’ solo. There wasn’t a lot of time. I think they have been looking for quite a while. A few weeks.

Read more: Interview with Dave Kilminster

Were these solos supposed to be identical?

Yeah, that’s the kind of impression I got. That’s what Roger likes. When you hear ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’ for example, to him that’s like a classical piece. So you don’t go in and start re-arranging things and changing solos and stuff. That is music, so that’s what you do.

So that’s kind of what I was hired to do really. Snowy wasn’t really that sort of guitarist. Neither was Andy Fairweather. I mean, they’re both amazing, they do their own thing. When you let them do their own thing they’re incredible. But actually replicating other people’s stuff is a different skill.

So that was my main job I guess – just to keep the fans happy, if you like.

What is it like working with Roger Waters? Is he demanding? Is it difficult to work with him?

It depends. If you can’t do what he wants you to do, then it’s very difficult. But we’ve gone along great since the beginning. He’s a perfectionist, which I love. He works very hard, he’s very demanding.

But I’m also a perfectionist and I’m trying to play better every single night. I’m trying to make it sound better. He’s trying to make the show better. So it’s a great working relationship. I’m very happy to be a part of this, obviously.

Something like ‘The Wall’ was just incredible. This is a very different show now, but doing ‘The Wall’ for three years – that felt like you were doing something historic in a way. It almost felt like you’re making history as you were going along. So this is a very different show.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: