Carlos Santana: I’m immortal
London .- The Mexican Carlos Santana is already considered a guitar god. Therefore, it is not surprising that the veteran guitar master in his album reinterprets the immortal classics of rock history, including “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin and “Smoke On The Water” by Deep Purple.
Also included in the album “Guitar Heaven: The Greatest guitar classics of all time” is a tribute to John Lennon, when on the 30th anniversary of his death he includes the Beatles hit “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Just beginning his European tour, Santana spoke with dpa in London:
dpa: “Where is guitar heaven?
Santana: “You can feel it perfectly when you listen with great satisfaction to the garden of Eden. I learned a lot from the happiness that comes when you overcome fear.”
dpa: “Why is fear so present in many musicians today?”
Santana: “Because all media outlets are based in fear. Violence, fear, violence, fear. It’s boring. In life there is much beauty and poverty. I listen to the words of geniuses like Einstein, who said that fantasy is more important that knowledge. Thanks to that fantasy, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis and Louis Armstrong have managed to become immortal. Some opt for fear; us musicians, we focus on love and happiness, they are more creative and powerful. The leitmotiv of fear is search without the possibility of finding something. ”
dpa: Through love and happiness you too will become immortal.
Santana: “I am immortal. When I see myself, how people treat me, it seems unearthly. Many children look at me as men looked up to my father. He had been deified. He died in 1997 but they are still talking about him. I do not want to sound like an egomaniac, but my sound can be recognized from the first chord. One thing is popularity, and another that people love you. I want to remain a child of God, not a guitarist king of latinamerican rock.
dpa: But with 100 million records sold and 13 Grammys, you already are.
Santana: “That’s all the same to me, it does not affect me. I do not care what the public thinks of me during the concerts. My daughter tells me that when I’m on stage I look different, and with another energy. At home there is no Santana. I live free and truthfully. It’s very healthy to be a person rather than a personality. And I do not want to have a psychiatrist.”
dpa: According to your daughter when you are on stage you are different. You close your eyes and look up to the sky. What are you thinking of when you play?
Santana: “I think about not thinking. In not thinking like a machine on stage (…) I breathe deeply and I just trust what I have learned. If anything, I think of juicy chords.”
dpa: As a boy your father gave you a violin. Are you influenced at the time of playing the guitar? Sometimes it seems as if you are playing the violin with the guitar.
Santana: “What a lovely compliment. I like the melodies and a violin bow can keep a note for a long time. Both the violin and the trumpet, sometimes you have to keep long a note to deepen it. It’s like when you love someone and when you see them again after a long time you give them a big hug. The notes are like people. Sometimes you have to visit them. ”
dpa: On your new record you include the greatest guitarists of all time. Why are we looking back so much now?
Santana: “Those times have a lot of weight. The 60’s were a leap in human consciousness. Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Che Guevara, Mother Teresa, they led a revolution of conscience. The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix created revolution and evolution themes. The music was like Dali, with many colors and revolutionary ways. The youth of today must go there to find themselves. ”
dpa: Do you ever find yourself in Lady Gaga?
Santana: “In the 60’s we also had our own Lady Gagas. There is music for entertainment and music for comfort. Nothing is wrong with that, everything has its reason for being. It does not matter whether it’s Lady Gaga, Kiss, Alice Cooper or David Bowie or Elton John: they all enter the hearts of the people, and thus are equally strong.”