Roger Waters has expanded on his politics in a new interview.
The Pink Floyd co-founder and prog rock legend is plotting a new tour, and his politicised stage show has caused headlines. Alongside this, a series of utterances – both in interviews, and on social media – have sparked widespread controversy, including an open letter to the Ukrainian first lady, Olena Zelenska.
Sitting down with Rolling Stone, Roger Waters was probed on his political beliefs. The interview contains a number of inflammatory statements, including his belief that Russian war crimes in the ongoing Ukraine war are “lies, lies, lies” fed by “Western propaganda”.
He says: “Don’t forget, I’m on a kill list that is supported by the Ukrainian government. I’m on the fucking list, and they’ve killed people recently.… But when they kill you, they write ‘liquidated’ across your picture. Well, I’m one of those fucking pictures.”
In another quote, Roger Waters appeared to lay blame for the war at the feet of NATO, and Western forces, as opposed to Putin’s expansionist policies. “It’s an unnecessary war. And those people should not be dying. And Russia should not have been encouraged to invade the Ukraine after they tried for 20 years to avoid it by suggesting diplomatic measures to Western governments.”
Elsewhere, the piece touches on his views on the state of Israel – his new stage show features pigs emblazoned with the Star of David. “I’m absolutely not antisemitic, absolutely not,” Waters says. “That hasn’t stopped all the assholes trying to smear me with being an antisemite.”
He doesn’t, however, automatically support the right of Israel to exist – part of the UN’s definition of anti-semitism. “Saying Israel does not have a right to exist as an apartheid state, any more than South Africa did or anywhere else would, is not antisemitic,” he responds. The musician insists he is criticising “the fact that they are a supremacist, settler colonialist project that operates a system of apartheid.”
Rolling Stone have posted full audio of the interview, which can be found on the title’s website.