Spirit Talk with Carlos Santana

By: Kayceman

Carlos Santana
The Earth-shattering impact of Carlos Santana on the music world is well known - Santana's 1969 self-titled debut sold over two million copies, the landmark 1970 follow-up, Abraxas, sold over four million units, that "Soul Sacrifice" at Woodstock, the multiple Grammy awards, his signature guitar tone, the night he turned S.F. upside down with Trey Anastasio. This is all old news. What we gain from this intimate, extensive conversation with Santana is a look beyond the stage into his deep spirituality. We not only get a closer look at his God-given talent, his recent high-profile collaborations on Ultimate Santana (released October 16, 2007 on Arista) and his history growing up in Mexico, we also get a glimpse of Santana the man. Carlos Santana is not like the rest of us, he was touched by something greater. He is propelled by spirits and is in touch with parts of the universe few of us will ever know. Santana is a giving, kind, gentle and very open soul, all of which becomes apparent as he opens to JamBase.

The Spirit of Sound

JamBase: I wanted to start with the idea of spirituality. Where does your sense of spirituality come from? It always comes across so strong in your music.

Santana: I guess I knew, even before my mom and dad told me, that there was a divine purpose. When they took me to church and I was a kid, a child, a lot of that stuff didn't make any sense to me, although I knew that God wasn't Santa Claus. It wasn't fictitious or it wasn't Peter Pan, there was some kind of connection with a Supreme Being. It's almost like when you hear a song before you actually play it. So, I started searching. Especially after the first wave of the Woodstock and the Abraxas [album], and you know, we hit really hard. For some reason I found myself craving a hug from God. So, I started playing John Coltrane's music and listened to Martin Luther King's speeches and Mahalia Jackson, and what everybody else was doing. You know, we all did it together, the stuff you get into when you get your first royalty checks. Then you go crazy buying motorcycles or drugs or chicks or whatever, you know? And I was feeling that I needed a different kind of hug than a physical hug. That's for me where it began, where I knew that God was very intangible but at the same time very present.

JamBase: As a musician, how do you go about trying to sort of transfer that idea into your guitar and your music?

Carlos Santana
Santana: This is really, really a great question because this is the same thing that, whether it's Eric Clapton or Trey Anastasio, where all of us are connected to this absoluteness and totality. Sometimes the mind gets in the way and then we start thinking that we're this or we're that or that we're separated. The way it translates is that you take time to feel your heart. For example, your imagination is like a muscle. If you take the time to just sit down and just close your eyes and imagine things, it's like a muscle you develop. That's why it's good to turn off the TV once in a while, and maybe not even read for a while. Just sit with yourself and get beyond the monkey chatter and beyond the fishbowl with a bunch of fish. Then you get to hear this voice, this voice that sounds very different than all the other accusing voices or guilt voices, or guilt, shame, judgment, condemnation and fear, which is how religions program men to feel less than worthy of God. Once you start hearing this voice it's like a voice that is very soothing, very gentle, and is very non-accusing. And then you hear the music. You hear that music of John Coltrane or Bob Marley or Marvin Gaye that was going on. You start hearing the music from the other side, the music that is very good for humans because it brings a certain sense of unity and harmony. It reminds you, Aaron, that you and I, we're angels, that we traded our wings for feet. You know, we're beings of light. And then you hear the music. Then the music starts flowing through your heart and through your fingers, and then people know that. For example, when Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood did that song, "I have finally found the presence of the Lord." You start hearing songs. And George Harrison, "Within You Without You," or "My Sweet Lord." You start hearing all the other songs that transcend rock & roll or Billboard. Yet they get in Billboard, but they have a different kind of message. It's sunny even when it's raining when you hear those songs. To me, spirituality is very different than religion. I got to have it.

JamBase: Sort of inline with that - and I do agree that there's a great difference between spirituality and religion - but we live in a day where the idea of God is being used in some very compromising ways. We're seeing people killed in the name of God, and we're seeing our planet being raped and the future as we know it could very well be in peril. These are difficult times for a lot of people. Do these ideas and these facts influence your music today? Are you thinking about these things when you're composing or writing or playing?

Santana: Yes. If you listen to the whole CD of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, he talked about it very clearly. For me, my reality or my perception of this reality is that any government or president who hears the voice of God and it tells him to go kill people is not God. It's Godzilla.

Yeah.

Continue reading for more with Carlos Santana...

 
My dad taught me that there's a way to connect sound [and] resonant vibration immediately to the listener's heart. For me, it's just fun discovering how to activate myself and activate them to a spiritual joy.

-Carlos Santana

 

If you listen to real God, God is about compassion and mercy and unity and harmony. There is not future without forgiveness. That's the first thing humans of all religions need to learn. I know that if we would send planes where there's conflict, with brothers and sisters, if we would send planes instead of bombs, if we would send blankets and food and soap and medicine and kindness and kind eyes, I know for sure that it would work way faster. Like Doctors With No Borders. Fear begets fear. For some reason our government is invested in making every day Halloween without candy. And so I don't buy it. I don't buy the fear thing. I know that people who believe in Allah or Krishna or Buddha or Jesus, they have the same needs that you and I have, which is a need to trust, which is unity with God. When you don't trust and you have fear you're not in union with your own God. If you take one thing from this interview, just one thing alone, this is it: There's only two energies in this planet, love and fear.

Carlos Santana by Jay Blakesberg
We're afraid that somebody will get nuclear power or nuclear weapons, yet we have all of them. We have enough to destroy everything, but it's okay that we have them, but we don't want them to have them. So there's a certain kind of hypocrisy about the so-called Christian Fox Network stations and Republicans, people who use God to achieve power. The ultimate result of fear is control. When you're not in fear you know that it's pure arrogance to think that one bomb can stop time, like Bob Marley said ["Have no fear for atomic energy 'Cause none of them can stop the time" - Redemption Song]. There's a legion of angels who, when they get an order from God, Mother Nature lets off a tsunami wave or earthquake or volcano. And Mother Nature, it's not that she wants revenge, it's just that she squirms. And when she squirms she's not conscious of how many people die or whatever. To Mother Nature it's just self-protection. My perception about where we are today is that this is the time where you, with your interviews and what you ask, you get to help ignite and activate light back into the brains of people and then you rearrange the molecular structure. That's what Derek Trucks is doing. That's what we do because we both come from Coltrane. I know he listened to Coltrane a lot, and Coltrane's main function with his music is to awaken humans to a higher consciousness. We tried that with the hippies, and he [Coltrane] was one of the first ones, like The Beatles, whose ultimate goal was to uplift, transform, and illuminate the consciousness of people, all people, because of what was happening in Vietnam. Some hippies sold out. They came to San Francisco with fake mustaches just to get free drugs and sex and free food. But there's real hippies still - American Indians, the first people of the land, and there're still musicians who are deeply invested in utilizing their music.

Sort of taking that idea to the stage, you referenced Clapton and Trey Anastasio, and also Coltrane, who I never had the opportunity to see. I recently was listening to and saw the footage of "Soul Sacrifice" from Woodstock. There's a clear sense that there's something larger happening, that you're not even playing the music but that something is going through you. I get that same sense when I watch Clapton when he's really doing it, and Trey as well. For somebody like myself, that's what draws me in. Those are the moments that keep me coming back. Because it doesn't always happen, it's not every night even, is there a way as the musician that you can sort of make this easier, allow this to happen? Is there something that you can do on stage that allows this greater power to come through you?

Carlos Santana
Yes. Thank you for asking that. I believe that doctors wash their hands with anesthesiology so the germs in your hands don't go inside the body that they're operating on. So, as I've said before, music goes deeper than the knife. So, we meditate and pray fifteen minutes before we go onstage, as a group, those ones who are receptive. It's not mandatory. I notice that after we do it the music becomes more than the notes or chord changes or melodies. It becomes, I guess the best way to describe it is a wave of light that assaults the place, and from the first note people get up without [having to say], "Hey, how you doing? Get up," or "Hey, everybody say yeah." You hit one note and everybody gets off their seats, they start looking at each other and then they got chills. You see women crying and laughing and dancing, and you go into this kind of holy revival. And they're not faking it, man. They're possessed because you're possessed. I'm very grateful to God that I have seen this many, many times, that the band goes into this from the first note and then we go, okay, this is going to be good. That's the barometer, and we know that a two-hour or three-hour concert is going to feel like fifteen seconds, because the first thing that happens when something spiritual assaults the place [is] time disappears, gravity disappears, issues disappear. There's a t-shirt that says, "We don't have any problems. We just think we do." The problem starts with the mind. If you take an aerial view of this planet, there's actually a lot of beauty, a lot of promise, a lot of possibilities. You see the innocence and the purity of children as a whole in the planet. Once we land and we're in New York in the traffic jam, you see the other stuff. So for me, music is like that. You take an aerial view of what you're playing, and you can be in it but not of it. It's kind of like going to Los Angeles but you're not affected by all the plastic stuff.

Thank you for asking these questions. These are the questions that I ask Desmond Tutu, Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King. These are the questions that, for me, make a difference. You can do something from your heart, make a difference in the world and still be profitable. Just give it back because you can't take it with you.

Continue reading for more with Carlos Santana...

 
It reminds you that you and I, we're angels, that we traded our wings for feet. You know, we're beings of light. And then you hear the music. Then the music starts flowing through your heart and through your fingers, and then people know that.

-Carlos Santana

 
Photo by Jay Blakesberg

Improvisation to Collaboration

Thinking about the progression of your music, if you look at the earlier work we were discussing there's a lot of focus on raw guitar excursions. If you look at some of the newer stuff like Ultimate Santana and Supernatural, there seems to be somewhat of a move towards a more mainstream, poppier sound with more vocals and collaboration. I'm curious how you see that dynamic and what sort of led to this stylistic change?

Carlos Santana by Jay Blakesberg
I got instructions around '98, '99 that this angel named Metatron was going to take me into a place, a new arena in radio that I'd never been before. From '72 to like '97, I wasn't on the radio and I just played music that I wanted to play, which was hanging around Alice Coltrane or Wayne Shorter or Pharaoh Sanders. That music wasn't getting on the radio, so I had years and years and years of knowing what that's about. All of a sudden, I got different instructions to be gracious, grateful, patient and [to] stay open. And that people like Clive Davis [founder of Arista Records and current CEO of RCA Music Group] and Lauryn Hill and Eric Clapton, everybody was going to come over, and they did. All of a sudden everybody started calling, and when we would call some of them back they would say, "We want to work with you," or "We know we need to work with you because every time I turn around your name is in front of me. It was like God telling me to work with you."

And that was like Eric, Lauryn Hill, Dave Matthews, anybody, Rob Thomas [Matchbox 20], they were all saying the same thing. They never played my music on the radio, and all of a sudden I get in a cab and I'm blasting. So, my instructions were once you get into the center of the arena tell the world, invite everyone, to create a masterpiece of joy out of their life. Don't be slipping and sliding and shucking and jiving. My instructions through all of this was not to be concerned what people think, because people are going to say, "Oh, you sold out." I get a chance to be 60-years-old and to work with Kirk Hammett [Metallica], Yo Yo Ma, Justin Timberlake, Andrea Bocelli, practically anyone in the world from Buddy Guy to anybody who wants to share their heart with me. Why would I complain? All I have to do is just open my heart because they're bringing a song to me. Whether it's Chad Kroeger [Nickelback] or Rob Thomas, I mean, they write a song at home for me. All I have to do is be gracious and patient and grateful. Where I am right now is with the Ultimate Santana. It gives me a chance to do this. I'm also working with just instrumental music, no vocalist and just the music that I have done in the other 30 years. That's going to come out next summer. We also jam in the middle of the set. We allow like half an hour to just, no script, just go, just because we love Coltrane and we love Pharaoh Sanders. So, how bad it is for me, man? I get to have my cake and eat it too!

In terms of performing live, you did mention that there are those 30-minute jams. Do you still get the same thing - whatever that thing is - do you still get the same thing out of doing that you did 35 years ago?

Santana
Oh, yeah. It's like your first French kiss - it's always awkward, it's always new, it's always innocent, it's always fresh. There's something really beautiful about uncertainty. Or as Wayne Shorter calls it, "backwards leapfrog into the unknown." If somebody invites me to jam, whether it's Widespread Panic or whatever, man, I can jam. I can definitely go there because I do this sort of thing so much that I'm actually craving to just get onstage with Derek Trucks or Robben Ford and just bug out.

You're clearly one of the most important guitarists that we've ever seen. Has your approach to the guitar changed at all as your career has developed? Have you seen what you do differently? Do you see new options? Has the manner in which you play guitar changed?

No. My objective is to make a melody a real hug. A real, real hug, or as Wayne Shorter would say, "Don't go around the block. Get inside the sheets. Really visit the note." They tell me I play a lot of Dorian scales. The only Dorian I know was a girl at junior high school, that's about it. Like Buddy Guy, I don't really pay too much attention to the theory of music or chord changes or this or that. I can hear the melody and whatever you put in front of me, and I think that's enough. I'm not saying that ignorance is bliss. It's just that Wes Montgomery and Louis Armstrong couldn't read a lick, man. But there it is.

Continue reading for more with Carlos Santana...

 
We know that a two-hour or three-hour concert is going to feel like fifteen seconds, because the first thing that happens when something spiritual assaults the place, time disappears. Gravity disappears. Issues disappear.

-Carlos Santana

 

The Future: Electric Church Music

When we were discussing the past few albums, about how you sort of received a message influencing you towards that direction, do you have any sense what the next ten years might bring us?

Carlos Santana
Yes. The music that I want to play is music that is all-inclusive, music that will be able to continue to bring the walls down, like Berlin, to go to Cuba and play there with the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, music that has the rhythms of Africa, the melodies of Europe. For example, there's something really victorious when you go "da, da... [sings "La Marseillaise"]." When you play music from Sun Ra, which is really bug-out music, like a supernova exploding in front of you and you hear angels and beginnings and endings. Stravinsky and James Brown and Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix with feedback, all of 'em, there's a certain music that sounds like 2001 [2001: A Space Odyssey] when all the colors assault you and you're going like a gazillion miles an hour and, at the same time, you're standing still. You know what I'm talking about?

I do, yeah. Absolutely.

That's the music that I want to play around the corner, along with On The Corner [by] Miles Davis. I'd like to work very, very soon with Bill Laswell. I'm hearing the music already. This one is very solid and is very kingly, very royal, very regal. It's influenced a lot by Manitas de Plata, a flamenco guitar player who was like the flamenco John Lee Hooker, very raw. I want to play music that's kind of like celestial hymns. Jimi Hendrix was going that way because he was calling it electric church music. Duke Ellington, before he died he had the Bible on one hand and sheet music on another, and he was doing sacred concerts. I'm just following the script that is given to me, and after a while you can only do what you do. Then, God calls you to do something else and play music that would bring a commonality to all humans and back into their own light.

Our conversation has really revolved around this idea of spirituality, and you've discussed how you quite literally, it sounds like, hear guidance or feel guidance from something above or something bigger than ourselves. There have been times in my life where I've felt that push. Do you have any sense for why you're so open to that? I think that that may exist for everyone but maybe there's noise that doesn't allow us to hear it. Do you know why you're able to receive that message when some others aren't?

Carlos Santana
I was born with a hunger and a thirst to not let go of God's hand when I cross the street. For example, I never play music for money. I never play music to pick up chicks. I never play music to do anything like that, to be famous in show business or entertainment. I just wanted to be adored because people adored my father. When I was five-years-old and saw how women and men and children and old people just adored my father's eyes and his voice and his violin. I just said, "That's what I want. I want to be adored like my dad." And he taught me how to, with the violin, how to talk to birds. He would go like, [whistles]. He goes, "Watch this. Mira, mira." He grabbed the violin and he played, [and] he'd do certain things with the bow and the violin, and then these birds come over and start looking at dad, moving their heads back and forth. Then they start whistling back what he was saying. When I was five or seven-years-old he did that to me. He freaked me out. It's like he showed me the code. There's a way through sounds to communicate with birds and people and plants and just, "Here's the code, man." Here's the universal tone, which is who I am. I am a universal tone like Bob Marley and Coltrane. In one note, people know who I am.

Absolutely.

My dad taught me that there's a way to connect sound [and] resonant vibration immediately to the listener's heart. For me, it's just fun discovering how to activate myself and activate them to a spiritual joy, to celebrate and not to think like a villain or a victim.

You moved from Mexico to San Francisco. I live in San Francisco and I've lived here for a number of years, and I have felt more at home here than any place I've ever been. I wasn't born here but it is my home. You've obviously stayed in the Bay Area for a long time, do you feel like this area has affected your music? Has it affected you as a person?

Absolutely. The Bay Area is not even the United States. The United States can't stand San Francisco because we think outside the box. We're the ones that say the world is round and they say the world is flat. We are the Atlantis of the Bay. There's more artists than con artists per block, per person. The Bay Area, since I've been here, gravitates to consciousness revolution - The Black Panthers, the hippies. The United Nations was founded here in San Francisco. So, yes, I feel very blessed to live in the Bay Area because there's more artists. Plus, in San Francisco or the Bay Area people don't walk around auditioning for a part, man. We passed the audition. In L.A. everybody's sucking their cheeks and trying to be discovered. We don't want to be discovered. We know who we are, and we like it.

Do you think that music has the power to really change the world, to reach beyond the people who are passionate about music? Can music change the world?

Carlos Santana
Yes. I will bet you anything that if you put selective music by spiritual musicians on elevators and shopping malls there would be less Columbines, there would be less postals, less rape, less crime. When you're stuck in an elevator and you're ready to go postal and you hear "A Love Supreme" or "One Love" or "What's Going On" or "Blowing in the Wind" or "Imagine" you can't fucking do anything stupid anymore.

You're right.

It won't permit you, man. Your molecules obey the sound of divinity. If you just compile a CD [of] "What's Going On," "Imagine," "One Love," "A Change is Gonna Come," Sam Cook, you know, and you play it in shopping malls continuously I bet you anywhere in the world people would stop fighting and stop stealing and stop raping, because molecules obey the sound of divinity. That's just the way it is. Just like, excuse the expression, when you're 17-years-old and you see something beautiful and you get excited, all the blood rushes to your penis. I'm talking about physical molecules. I'm not talking about the sex or the squirming, the giggling, stupid stuff. I'm talking about the order [of things]. There's a sense of order in this planet. If we would consciously go to Seattle, where they program the Muzaks of all the elevators and hotels in the cities, and say, "We want you to try this just for 24 hours. Just play this kind of music, these 27 songs," you would see an incredible difference in human being behavior.

This spawned another thought. We were talking about some of the collaborations that are easier to get onto the radio than fifteen-minute jams from the '70s. I mean that stuff isn't going to find its way to the radio. Do you think that that was potentially part of why you went in that direction or part of why you were told to go in that direction? Because if we can get your music on the radio - and I don't mean to downplay the quality of that music, it might not be my favorite but it's still quality music - do you think that getting that, returning to the radio, can sort of get that to more people and potentially make somewhat of a shift?

Well, in the words of Malcolm X, "By any means necessary." As long as it's with grace and without brutality, you should assault the senses of the listener. My instructions are get on the radio, work with Clive Davis, work with J. Lo, work with Justin Timberlake. You will have a chance to play with McCoy Tyner and Trey Anastasio and all that. We're all children of God, anyway. But, if you get a chance get on the radio. Prince himself told me, "Because of you, I get to play more guitar." For a while they wouldn't play guitar on the radio, man. There wouldn't be no guitar solos on the radio. The sound of Prince's guitar or Eric Clapton's guitar or Derek Trucks' guitar, it's all about choices. I don't know if Derek wants to get on the radio. Some people don't want to get into radio. They want to stay, quote-unquote, pure. Miles didn't have a problem playing "Human Nature" or "Time After Time," and Coltrane didn't have a problem playing "My Favorite Things." So, why should I get a little snobby and shit about thinking that my stuff is too good to get on the radio?

JamBase | Holy Spheres
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Comments

yemmw Thu 11/8/2007 05:53PM
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yemmw

Chad Kroeger rocks my world

derekjones starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/8/2007 07:24PM
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fantastic dialogue and a very important thread. And i love the quote: "molecules obey the sound of divinity". Thank you Carlos and thank you Kayceman.

phunkle starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/8/2007 07:51PM
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phunkle

Great interview. Thank you both

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 05:24AM
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guitardave starstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 08:51AM
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guitardave

Carlos is the real deal. Its a testament to the sad state of pop radio that a giant such as he has to play with Nickelback and Matchbox 20 to get on. It would be easy to bash him for selling out (but who wouldn't want to sell 10 million albums in one shot?) I think there are many people, though, that may hear a song like "Smooth" and will go back and seek out "Se A Cabo", "Jingo" or "Samba Pa Ti".

sunnbear starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 09:09AM
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sunnbear

One of my fondest memories is Carlos jamming with Jerry and the Dead in Calaveras. What a trip! He is an acceptional human being.

USCTrojans4Life starstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 09:12AM
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nsafay Fri 11/9/2007 09:50AM
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great. here we go again.

DrownedInSound starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 10:05AM
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DrownedInSound

Overrated guitar player?! are you kidding me? That's a joke right, some sort of sarcasm i don't understand? One dimensional? Latin-freak outs like "Soul Sacrifice," "Abraxas," jazz-fusion mastery with McLaughlin on "Love Devotion Surrender," even pop stuff that most of us may not care for? Jamming like a mad man with Trey, Panic, Clapton... Overrated and one dimensional? Please tell me that's a joke? There are those as good, but i would have a hard time saying anyone is flat-out better than SANTANA! wow... overrated... now i've seen it all.

nuke_ticketbastard starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 10:29AM
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i hear you drowned in sound , ihave to wonder if many of the people commenting here have ever seen santana live in concert before? it is truly a monumentous experience...

and i have to assume that MILES GONE & GUITARDAVE got bored in the first paragraph and did not read the entire article , based on their comments?

why did he play w/ those people , selling out , getting paid ? the article addressed all those things! did oyu guys not understand or what?

carlos santana is above these types of petty speculations... are you not grasping the idea that he is putting forth which is that love is the answer?

peace

Tim9 starstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 10:29AM
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I strongly second you on his work with McLaughlin. I also can't believe there isn't an "organic trance" group named Metatron.....yet.

jr2037 Fri 11/9/2007 11:03AM
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jr2037

Abraxas is life changing.

radioboy Fri 11/9/2007 11:18AM
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ClaypoolFunksMe starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 11:45AM
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I appreciate Carlos speaking from the heart, and I use his words as a deep wisdom which we should all attempt to see for what it is... honesty... the truth. All of this incredible music that, like he is attempting to get across, speaks directly to the soul, to our molecules, to our very essence, could not exist without a divine hand. I do not believe that this is all just one big coincidental jumble of chemicals... theres more to it, and this is what Carlos is trying to get across here.

Now, I myself do not like the pop trend, but I can see where he is coming from... its about unity. Although i don't like the music of Nickleback or Rob Thomas or Justin Timberlake, these musicians could all actually be alot deeper then us jazz freaks care to admit. I don't think Carlos would be working with them unless he believed they had character and purpose. By playing with them, it is getting more people interested in actual good music beause hopefully some people buy supernatural and then pick up III or Caravanaserai shortly thereafter and get to know what reality is.

Overall, the world is getting fucked... your government allowed 9/11 to happen for its own greedy purposes and have used it to limit our freedoms and introduce draconian measures that may one day kill all of this... anything enlightening. So before this happens, pay attention and make sure that you know whats going on, or else you might just be sucked into a fascist culture just like the germans of the 1930s and 40s did. Get real, investigate 9/11.

nuke_ticketbastard Fri 11/9/2007 12:35PM
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on selling out:

any artist at all recording music w/ any other artist at all- NO SELLOUT

any artist doing what robert plant did when he appeared IN a coke commercial - SELLOUT

jus my 2c

geeray starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 01:23PM
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Great interview man!

Dig how Carlos mentions Pharoah Sanders more than almost any other jammer... the bestest!!!

Now we just have to get a few gigs with Carlos and Phil Keaggy sorted out...

Can it happen?!?!?

=o)

HOPEFULPHAN starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 01:28PM
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Guil starstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 01:35PM
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Carlos is one of the greatest guitarists of all time and owns the most recognizable tone of any musician alive. Although I don't enjoy his recent work and collaborations as much as his earlier work, Carlos has earned the right to follow his own path as he sees fit. I have seen Santana live many times including some epic 4-5 hour shows back in the Eighties and the transcendent performance with Trey's band at the Warfield. I hope to see Carlos return to those free-flowing times and focus on playing his guitar, but I am glad that he has found a way to reach more listeners.

guitardave starstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 01:36PM
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guitardave

I did read the entire article and appreciated Carlos words. I also called him "the real deal" from the outset. You should have read my post more closely because it acts in defense of his pop leanings. I even said it is useful in hopefully exposing the man's back catalog to younger audiences. Its more of an indictment of Clear Channel / Live Nation Radio which has managed to homogenize the airwaves across the entire country.

Runde starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/9/2007 09:00PM
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Runde

beautiful interview. thank you kayceman.

thelostsailor starstarstarstarstar Sat 11/10/2007 08:09AM
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Thanks for this. Virtually everything Carlos says is as magical as his music. Of any interview you could conduct with any musician, who could provide more meaning in (mere) words?

The Force is strong with this one....

muzic123 starstarstarstarstar Sat 11/10/2007 10:28AM
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I appreciate Santana's openness. He plays from the heart. Watching his videos on Youtube-I see comments saying "I feel better after hearing this song." Music is a powerful force. Santana wants to lift the human spirit. I admire that. As far as his collaborations with the pop crowd, etc., any great artist wants to share what he has with those around him. He has a way of lifting these groups of late to higher levels. That is a mark of a true great artist. A great artist isn't afraid of negativity toward them. I noticed he doesn't get a lot of play time on the radio. Its their (radio) loss. However, they cannot manipulate him in such a way that he loses his fan base. I been to several concerts, which are always packed. You go Carlos!

jaghabpv starstarstarstarstar Sat 11/10/2007 01:34PM
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jaghabpv

i cant believe you people say his music might have been good back in the day! music is timeless, why would it be good then but not now. and to the person who said carlos could learn a thing or two from trucks... trucks is still young as shit and has a lot to learn, not to say he isn't a great guitarist. i would love to see santana and trucks that would be awesome.

all i have to say is wow. i cant believe you people could really talk trash about santana

radioboy Sat 11/10/2007 01:54PM
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music is timeless because of recordable formats, it's good then and now, but now sucks, most of you people are always explaing things as if you are on some inside track, anyone who is creative and is an artist. There are alot of sleeping people in this world and he exploits it, he is a very efficient guitarist.period.

cuttyfives Sun 11/11/2007 09:47AM
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good article...people rippin santana..wow. this guy is amazing, his sound is very unique and his pop stuff aint all that bad. selling out is an opportunity, i would "sell out" in a second to get money. What kind of idiot wouldnt?

roberto767 starstarstarstar Sun 11/11/2007 11:10AM
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roberto767

The Warfield DVD with Trey was pretty damn sick... and Trey has kinda done some cheesy collaborations (e.g. Bo Bice, Kid Rock, Matisyahu). What's the difference?

Flat5 Sun 11/11/2007 07:51PM
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Flat5

wow! milesgone exposes his ignorance. i always thought he was smart...guess not..

well, great job kayceman! although, you forgot to put sam cooke's name in bold print, ya know, like you did with widespread panic and derek trucks. other than that, job well done!

THoff46 Sun 11/11/2007 10:27PM
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Randle starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/12/2007 07:43AM
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Randle

Thank you for the insightful interview. Carlos you are a beam of light.

Jamshyd Mon 11/12/2007 12:49PM
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Whoa! HOPEFULPHAN's comment was pretty ridiculous. Derek Trucks give Carlos Santana lessons!?!?!?!? Carlos was melting Derek's face when Derek was still in diapers. Trucks would have so much to learn from Santana. Like learning how to be passionate about your music. I liked Derek Trucks the first time I herd him, his name was Duane Allman and he was a million times better. I can understand Santana loosing some "true" fans with Supernatural and so forth. But do you forget who else was on that album? Eric Clapton. Do you wanna talk crap about him selling out? And Santana still has one of the best rhythm sections out there. Dennis Chambers and drums, and the bass player played with Miles back in the late 80's. Just because hes reaching to a wider audience doesn't mean he looses talent or meaning in music. Obviously HOPEFULPHAN doesn't know any about either of the two.

clarkwgriswold star Tue 11/13/2007 07:00AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 04:35AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

Flat5 .. If you enjoy carlos with nicklelback good for you!!

I do not care for that aspect ok??

Carlos rules, he is a legend.. good god man.. you act like I bashed every aspect of his career!!!!! Lighten up. dude...

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 04:42AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

sometimes people are so sensitive here, u cannot say one damn thing that is negative with out someone saying you are close minded or ignorant or whatever.. I am 37 years old. I have heard all of this mans material.

The one thing I could not swallow was the nickelback collaboration.

this is my opinion.. it does not make me ignorant ok??

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 04:42AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

now I will lighten up too :)

HOPEFULPHAN starstar Fri 11/16/2007 02:43PM
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milesgone i couldnt agree more. people kiss ass on here like they think the artists actually read this website. im sure even if they did they wouldnt care what anyone says. for me santanas style or jams as he calls it are too repetative. lets not forget all his 1st hits were covers. jingo, evil ways, oye como va, and black magic woman.

Hammyabeer starstarstarstarstar Sun 11/18/2007 12:32PM
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Anyone who reads this interview and isn't engulfed by it's message and truth is missing it entirely. Thanks to you both. The 60's was just the wakeup call. The time is now. Peace, Love, Unity, Respect.

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire Mon 11/19/2007 04:27AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

I hear that Carlos may just get his wish to perform with Derek Trucks onstage as the dTb may be opening some 2008 Carlos Santana performances.

DaKracken starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 10:09PM
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I love the hippie dippie cosmic speak as Carlo's has experienced so much and influenced so many lives yet he is still optimistic and down to earth. The idea of collaborating with current artist and being humble about Rob Thomas or Chad from Nickelback writing a song for him and feeling honored by that speaks volumes of the mans character. Everybody who dug "smooth" won't relate to a classic album like Abraxis but it opens a portal to that universe and Carlo's welcomes you to the jam regardless.It is so immature to trash mainstream artist like Chad/Rob/Vanessa Carlton for their commercial success. How many of you jam freaks think you have to ability to connect with an icon like Carlos create a memorable melody and have millions of other people respond by purchasing the music. Everybody who likes a simple pop song are not cluelesss sheep-my father in law (who is 75) likes to play supernatural whenever I come over and it is nice just to sharethat with him-don't think I can get him playing air guitar to soul sacrifice but I'll take what I can get-a common connection. The connection Carlos strives for supercedes trends or demographics-he wants to bring joy to peoples hearts and that is the sign of a true artist.

Derekmk Tue 11/20/2007 01:48PM
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Wow, this is perhaps the most important article I've read on here. Thanks so much for it and the questions you asked. Carlos hinted (don't know why he didn't elaborate) on hearing and connecting with the divine which is your higher-self and other beings. You are God! It's not through psychedelics (you can learn from them, sure), but meditation. Sitting in silence, you'll see and hear things you never have before. Self-sacrifice and love. Do more than speak out..create change. Thank you Santana. Love you!

guitardave starstarstar Thu 11/29/2007 01:51PM
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guitardave

No matter what he puts out, he smokes the shit out of that Paul Reed Smith.

His shows are always great. The man is so passionate about music its unthinkable that he'd ever "mail it in".

BlowsAgainsttheEmpire starstarstarstarstar Wed 1/16/2008 08:08AM
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BlowsAgainsttheEmpire

Looks liek there was a reason Carlos mentioned DT. Glad that he picked great support. And agree with him about being to snobby for airplay. Wish DT would bite the bullet and go mainstream some. It certainly wouldnt kill him or his band or their music and may actually open them up for great things.

BROTHERHOOD805 starstarstarstarstar Fri 6/27/2008 12:13AM
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BROTHERHOOD805

Since I started listening to Mr Carlos Santanas music its been a great change for me i went from hip hop to rock because Mr Santana is a amazing person and he inspire a lot of people including me. and i like all his interview music and quotes it has a meaning to it and i like santana open minded and he has nothing to hide he keepin it real. my favorite music of his is Oye Como Va Black Magic Women Maria Maria Into the night and lots more