Nick Mason, the founding member and drummer of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, has talked about the band’s original frontman and co-founder, Syd Barrett, and confessed his honest opinions about his tragic death.

During a recent interview he gave to UCR, the iconic drummer Nick Mason has opened up about the sorrowful loss of the Pink Floyd family. Admitted that he has a lot of mixed emotions about Barrett, Mason said there’s a little bit of sadness and guilt in the band members.

Nick Mason confessed that Syd was so smart in so many ways, yet, they handled him very badly. Having no idea about his health problems or character, Nick said that they thought if he didn’t want to be in a band, it was a sign of madness back then.

Syd Barrett, the legendary vocalist of Pink Floyd, was known for his English-accented singing, literary influences, free-form writing style, and whimsical take on psychedelia. Barrett was musically active for less than ten years.

In April 1968, Syd Barrett was ousted from the band amid speculation of mental illness and his excessive use of psychedelic drugs. In 1972, Barrett left the music industry, retired from public life, and strictly guarded his privacy until his death. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2006, at the age of 60.

Here is what Nick Mason said about Syd Barrett during the interview:

“I think there’s a lot of mixed emotions with the whole Syd thing. Because in some ways, he was so smart in so many ways. I think there’s a bit of sadness now looking back on it – and a little bit of guilt.

Not really guilt, but we handled Syd very badly. We had no idea – and still don’t really know – what the real problem was, whether it was LSD or whether it was something in his character anyway.

Or whether, in fact, he was probably clearer than we ever perceived and he just didn’t actually want to be in a band, necessarily.”

He continued:

“While we thought if he didn’t want to be in a band, it was a sign of madness – because we were all at that point, absolutely committed to doing it.

But I think he maybe just thought, ‘Well, I’ve done that. I don’t really want to do any more of it.’ But instead of just going… we should have probably let him go much earlier or separated from him earlier. But as I say, we had no idea at the time.”

You can check out the rest of the interview here.