RWO EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH HAL WATERS

Hal is of course Roger's son and he is currently
on tour with the band 'Ozric Tentacles

Am I correct the Ozrics tour is the first time you've played live in a band since the 'In the Flesh 2002 tour?
Hal: It's the first time I've played rock music in a band since then. I've been playing jazz with my bass player which is my first love. We are trying to find a drummer to complete a trio at the moment.
What have you been up to in-between, I remember you saying you had been accepted into a music school?
Hal: I have been studying at Guildhall School of Music, which is just an amazing thing to do and I'm learning some really important lessons, both technically and musically. Something I've learned recently is the use of space in music, more specifically in solos, which form a large part of jazz music. John Coltrane said, "It's not the notes you play, it's the notes you don't play and the space in between". That always cracks me up because he plays more lengthy runs than any other player, but the message is still a very valid one.
India (Roger's daughter) has said in recent interviews she has actually composed songs with a guitar, have you also penned your own songs?
Hal: Yes I have, I have composed a few standards with no lyrics. A couple of be-bop tracks in a Charlie Parker vein and a number of swing tunes. They are more exercises really, I express myself primarily through improvisation not based on any set chord structure. That way you can only rely on what you know and feel at that precise moment and not anything that has been set down in stone previously.
Can you foresee a time in the future when you might form your own band?
Hal: As I said I have a bass player who is great and we spend a lot of time together. He is a good player to be around, we have a lot of fun just the two of us but do play with many other people as well, various different drummers, guitarists and saxophonists. I was very lucky to find him and the search for the drummer that feels the same way continues.
How did you get the Ozrics gig?
Hal: I've known John for about five years or so and had done a gig with him, a side project of his called Champignon and friends. It's mainly turkish music, John on flute, Paz (ozrics bass player) on bass, Seaweed (ozrics keyboard player who I replaced) on synths and myself on rhodes. So, through John is the answer to that one.
I would imagine there is more room in the Ozrics music to play free form; do you have a license to go off on a keyboard tangent as it were?
Hal: Certainly more so than with my old man ! A large part of my job with the Ozrics is to take lead solos with various different synths. Most of these solos are usually played over fairly short (say 16 or 32 bars) time frames in one key. There is one tune we do called celtic jam which came out of an improvisation that Stu (ozrics drummer) and myself happened upon one night down at Eds (ozric guitarist). This has become part of the set and is very free form, there is a lot of scope for development of improvisational ideas.
How does the 'Ozrics tour differ from that of touring with Roger in 2002?
Hal: Ha ha, organisation.
I noticed in 2002 you were more than willing to get behind the drums during sound check and you played guitar during 'Dogs. How many instruments do you play and which is your favourite?
Hal: I don't really play anything other than piano. I have a very basic idea of how to get around on a kit and with a guitar but don't play either regularly.
If the Ozrics could be described to an era of Pink Floyd I guess it would be the early years, would you agree?
Hal: Early years of Floyd or early years of Ozrics ? Either way I don't really see that much similarity between the two. Lack of lyrics for a start. Both bands are considered psychedelic but musically they are both very different. Floyd tunes are primarily song based, meaning someone with a guitar could play them by themselves, sort of like Bob Dylan or Neil Young. That just isn't possible with Ozrics tunes.
For someone who has never heard of the 'Ozric Tentacles how do you introduce them?
Hal: By playing Strangeitude to them.
How long have you been a fan of the Ozrics?

Hal: About six or seven years.
Many people may not be aware that the band have been around for 20 years, and certainly in the early days would mention Pink Floyd when describing what they do, it must be a little strange having you in the band now, is it something they've talked to you about?
Hal: Not really in that context, no. We joke a bit about my old man and where I come from but it's not strange at all. They are all very cool guys who don't really seem to care about my lineage which is just the way I like it.
The US dates see you taking in some lovely parts of America; do any of the venues stand out for you?
Hal: I'm really looking forward to playing at The Allgood Music Festival with Medeski, Martin and Wood. They are a piano/hammond trio. I listen to a lot of their music and love John Medeskis playing. They are all about Coltrane and Monk and play a load of tunes that I love to play. would love to play a tune or two with them ! I'm also looking forward to seeing Steve Kimocks band because I'm a huge dead head, having played in a Phish/Dead cover band for a few years.
After the US dates are there any dates planned for mainland Europe and will you still be involved?
Hal: Only time will tell..........
We've heard via PP Arnold that Rogers starting a tour of the US in July of next year are you aware of this? Have you been asked to play keyboards again?
Hal: I've been told to keep my mouth shut :)