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‘Punk music was coming up to be a major force…’ Nick Mason shares inspiration behind Pink Floyd’s Animals

Nick Mason believes that ‘Animals’ is Pink Floyd’s punk album.

The prog rock band’s 1977 LP has been remastered by producer James Guthrie and re-released as ‘Animals 2018 Remix – Dolby Atmos’ and it is the first time the album has been available in that surround sound format.

For the project, Nick revisited all the tracks and has concluded the punk explosion that happened in America and the UK in the mid-70s influenced what he, guitarist-and-singer David Gilmour, bassist-and-vocalist Roger Waters and late keyboard player Rick Wright wrote.

He said: “By our standards it’s very stripped back, for sure. It’s interesting to think about that period and what was going on at the same time. I think we were all influenced a little bit by the fact that punk music was coming up to be a major force. I think people were generally pretty down on prog rock so I think we picked up a little bit of that and that actually would’ve made a difference.”

Pink Floyd recorded and self-produced ‘Animals’ at their Britannia Row Studios in London throughout 1976 and early 1977, and at the same time Nick was producing punk band The Damned’s second studio LP ‘Music for Pleasure’.

The 80-year-old drummer admits he was influenced by the polar opposite approach in the studio by singer Dave Vanian and his bandmates.

He said: “One of the things that was going on about the same time in that studio was ‘Music For Pleasure’ by The Damned that I was involved with. I think we were inevitably influenced by that sort of thing and held back on endless overdubs and layers.”

Making a joke about the musical differences between Pink Floyd and The Damned, Nick quipped: “The Damned actually made the entire album in the time it took to set the drums up for Pink Floyd.”

Mason hadn’t listened to ‘Animals’ in its entirety for decades, but he found a new appreciation for the LP when he listened back to it for the remix project.

Speaking at a playback of ‘Animals 2018 Remix – Dolby Atmos’ held at London’s Battersea Power Station – which was used for the album’s cover which depicted a pig flying over the building – he shared: “It sounds silly to say it but I really enjoyed it, more than I expected. It was really interesting, I hadn’t listened to that album for 40 years. I was very impressed with myself, particularly.

“It was really interesting and there were so many elements to it that I’d completely forgotten about. A lot of Rick’s playing and the melodic structure of it. It’s far more sophisticated than I remember.

“I’d forgot how dark the record is. Lyrically and musically.

“I think it was always seen as an album that was made in a slightly different way and didn’t quite seem to fit in with the other things we’ve done either side of it, but I thought it held its own.”

‘Animals 2018 Remix – Dolby Atmos’ is available now on compatible digital platforms, Blu-ray, CD, LP (with gatefold artwork), SACD and Deluxe Gatefold formats. The Deluxe Gatefold version includes LP, CD, audio Blu-ray, audio DVD and a 32-page book.

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