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Nick Mason Discusses the Secret Message in Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’

Nick Mason
Andrew Hone, Getty Images

Ever wonder what might have motivated Pink Floyd to insert a little bit of backwards masking into ‘The Wall’? Drummer Nick Mason offered the answer during a recent interview.

Speaking with Sonic Reality regarding the hidden message in the song ‘Empty Spaces,’ Mason revealed that the band got the idea from the occasional bursts of public hysteria stemming from allegations that other artists were hiding subliminal messages in their work. Although those accusations sometimes caused the artists in question a lot of legal headaches — for example, Judas Priest, who found themselves under fire after their music was blamed for a 1985 suicide attempt that ultimately ended in two deaths — the members of Floyd weren’t taking things too seriously when they made the decision to slip in a secret message of their own.

“At the time, people were always looking for messages in albums,” Mason explained. “So we thought: ‘Oh, well. We better do one.’” And although ‘The Wall’ isn’t exactly known for being a laugh a minute, this is one moment that offers a bit of comic relief; when played in reverse, the backward-masked bit says “Congratulations. You have just discovered the secret message.” Asked whether there was any sort of deeper meaning behind it, Mason offered the obvious answer, chuckling, “It’s complete nonsense.”

Next: Top 10 Pink Floyd Songs

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