Nick Mason started his Prudential Talk by speaking about his life before becoming a musician – he said that training to be an architect helped form the band. He initially completed his degree in architecture but “fell in with a bad lot” to form Pink Floyd with a few names from his course. Being a student then helped in terms of funding and jokingly said that, they “were sort of a government funded initiative”.
Nick said that Ginger Baker has had an “enormous influence” on him becoming a drummer. In his early teens, he was in a band and a member had already brought a guitar, so that left him with “reduced opportunities”. Forming a group usually comes first before learning how to play instruments. For young Nick, music lessons were non-existent so “everyone were self-taught and learned during the job”.
When discussing the craft of being a band, Nick said the most important thing is confidence. Pink Floyd were fortunate to have “confidence in the overall shape of the band rather than just the individual” and the friction of working together is “one of the reasons why some of the good work gets done”.
Nick attributed Pink Floyd’s success to the group’s ability to entice their fans by creating spectacular visual effects during their concerts. The idea of utilising light became a big part of their performance especially when they became a professional group as they had “found a niche”.
Nick shared his passion for motorcars. He revealed he has a collection of around 40 cars, mainly older cars that have certainly rocked up in value. Growing up in a family who loved cars, particularly racing cars – he admitted to a retirement soon after a recent accident while racing and believe that “that was the marker to slow down.”