A really fascinating interview with Santana. Getting into a broad range of topics from the powerful force that is music and its ability to move human beings and break down social and political barriers to his own sense of spirituality and how it’s an essential part of not just the music he creates but music in general.
The consummate artist, Carlos Santana lowers the boom and goes deep with the wisdom of his words.
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.