For Latin rock fans, it's a surprise that the original Santana band has reunited for the album entitled "IV". In addition to Carlos Santana, 2016 keyboarder Gregg Rolie, drummer Michael Shrieve and percussionist Mike Carabello as well as guitarist Neal Schon are also in the game. Only drummer José "Chepito" Areas is not included, just like bass player David Brown, who died in 2000 at the age of 50. Instead, "IV" was joined by some interesting younger spitballs, whose elan rubbed off on the older colleagues. Anyway, Gregg Rolie is enthusiastic during the conversation, as if he had fallen into a fountain of youth.
eclipsed: Santana in the original line-up - was this surprise coup planned a long time ago?
Gregg Rolie: Not at all, it happened very spontaneously. We have always been in contact with each other in recent years. But everyone had their own projects going on, for example I played in the live band of Ringo Starr. Neal Schon got the ball rolling when he announced that he and Carlos wanted to set up a joint project. Next, we realized that Carlos would only be willing to do this if the other living members of the legendary Woodstock line-up also joined in. We didn't take two pleas.
eclipsed: That was 2013?
Rolie: Yes. The first rehearsals took place in the same year, we were immediately again a heart and a soul. And when time allowed, we met to work on new pieces and to jam intensively again and again. And suddenly we had an album of 75 minutes together, which is now available. We ourselves are still quite surprised by the matter. But the magic of once upon a time is back, is obviously never extinguished, that much is certain for me.
eclipsed: You never doubted that this thing wouldn't work out anymore?
Rolie: No, I never had that. Instead, I promised right away, when it became concrete, that we would start the old machine again. That's connected to the old hippie mentality: You always think positively at first and see what happens in the end. If something doesn't work, at least you've failed with dignity. By the way, Carlos and I have been great friends again since we got back together in a band. It wasn't like that for a while, we'd lost sight of something. But to make music together, that's what connects us so much.