David Gilmour on the state of his art

-- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 4:56 AM ET

David Gilmour isn't waiting for music's Next Big Thing.

He's waiting for music's Next Brilliant Thing.

Gilmour, one of the masterminds behind Pink Floyd, admits he has been waiting for quite a while. But he has not lost faith.

"If something f---ing brilliant comes along, then it will be f---ing brilliant and we'll love it," Gilmour, 60, told the Toronto Sun.

"There's no right reason why it shouldn't come, and it will come one of these days. And it will be something very surprising."

Ah, but will we be smart enough to recognize it when it does come along?

"You will," Gilmour said with absolute assurance. "That's the great thing. Unlike the coming of the lord, it will be unmistakable."

Speaking of religious experiences, devoted fans of Pink Floyd as a unit and Gilmour as an individual undoubtedly will be making a pilgrimage to his concerts at Massey Hall tonight and tomorrow.

Gilmour is touring in support of his recently released solo CD, On An Island, which is a top seller in Canada and in various countries around the world. But despite the chart success, Gilmour doesn't feel very connected to the current music scene.

"God, I listen to so little music these days," Gilmour admitted. "There's all sorts of stuff coming along, but I generally find I listen to something on the radio and I think, 'That's really nice,' and then I buy the album and every song is exactly the same. No variety. Also, they obviously put the best song out first, and it's usually the only one that's good.

"I'm usually disappointed by most new records that come out. But the latest one from your compatriot Neil (Young), Prairie Wind, that's a nice record."

Not nice enough to earn an album-of-the-year nomination at the Juno Awards ... but that's a rant for another day.

"It's the old folk, I'm afraid, that I like," Gilmour said. "There's not much that comes along that really makes me want to listen to it, out of the younger people that should be carrying this mantle these days."

One would assume Gilmour, who always has resided in the more "serious" hemisphere of the rock-and-roll world, would be appalled by the American Idol-ization of music. But that trend doesn't rile him, because he doesn't see it as anything new.

"I don't think it matters a damn," Gilmour said. "We sort of have one general, overall heading, which is called 'pop music' or something. And we're all under that same banner. But there always has been garbage.

"If you look back at the charts from when I was a kid, when you think about this supposed golden age of the glorious 1960s, if you look at the charts, there was a lot of crap. There was (breaking into song), 'Sugar, sugar, honey, honey.'

"There always was what you would have called bubblegum music back then, and there were always talent shows. We had one called Opportunity Knocks that went right back into the '60s.

"So we have a nervous co-existence."

That nervous co-existence on the weekly sales charts notwithstanding, Gilmour is thrilled On An Island is doing so well, despite earlier proclamations that he essentially makes music for himself.

"Oh, don't misunderstand ... I'm absolutely thrilled it's doing well, and I want it to do well," Gilmour said. "It's just that I know the best stuff comes when you're trying to please yourself.

"If you want to go with formula stuff, there are ways of doing that. But I'm not good at it. It would be pointless. I work from little moments of inspiration that come from me, and I can't become someone who does things any other way."

Gilmour knows he's extremely lucky that the way he "does things" always seems to find a loyal audience.

"I've been gifted with fantastic fortune," he said. "I lucked into this band (Pink Floyd) -- and they lucked into me, it has to be added. But you know, I was given some sort of gift for melody. From where, I have no idea. But I'm very, very grateful.

"I sit back and thank my lucky stars every day."

And David Gilmour will be even more thankful -- as we all will -- when the Next Brilliant Thing comes along.


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