Billy Howerdel On Roger Waters’ Vocals, ‘Sort Of In-Tune But A Bit More Insane Asylum Singing’
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters-led period and the David Gilmour era have divided their fanbase into two. While they are both talented vocalists, it seems like Billy Howerdel has sided with David Gilmour. In a recent interview with Everyone Loves Guitar, Billy Howerdel revealed his thoughts on Roger Waters’ vocals, which he described as in-tune but insane asylum singing.
Throughout the musical career of Pink Floyd, Roger Waters was an authoritarian figure who wanted to have the last word. When he left the band in 1985, David Gilmour began to front the band. While Waters has been praised for his wide vocal range, many Pink Floyd fans appreciate David Gilmour’s soft and atmospheric vocals. Apparently, Billy Howerdel is one of them.
“David Gilmour was always the one that gave almost an unspoken permission to be like, ‘You didn’t need so many notes,’” said Billy Howerdel about David Gilmour’s singing techniques. “It was the space between the notes; it was the way you play. The quantity versus quality kind of argument – and there’s no right answer. It’s just whatever you’re wired for, whatever touched you.”
He went on to say, “And for me.. I mean, I played ‘The Wall’ mostly. ‘The Wall’ was the record that I liked singing. That was one of the first records that I liked to sing. Roger Waters, even more so. It was kind of weird, and I don’t even know how you describe his vocals, but somewhat unhinged, sort of in tune but a little bit more insane asylum singing. But David Gilmour’s playing was a steady foundation, admirable. Nobody could talk sh*t about David Gilmour. I’ve never heard anyone do it. He’s amazing.”
So, Billy Howerdel said that David Gilmour has a special place in his heart as he made him realize that one doesn’t need so many notes while performing a song. Howerdel noted that he mostly sang ‘The Wall,’ one of the Waters-era albums, and described Waters’ vocals as unhinged, in-tune, but more chaotic. However, the musician prefers Gilmour because his playing has a steady foundation.