Old master Carlos Santana is not thinking about quitting: With "Blessings And Miracles", the 74-year-old continues to pursue ambitious goals that are not only musical in nature. "Love & peace" - something else has never interested the Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter Carlos Santana. With this hippie message, which is as simple as it is universally applicable, he has reached an audience of millions - and it is, of course, also the linchpin of "Blessings And Miracles", the 26th studio album by his band Santana. On the occasion of the release, eclipsed had a conversation with him about self-realization, space tourism, LSD trips, police violence and the power of music.
eclipsed: Carlos, what is "Blessings And Miracles" about for you?
Carlos Santana: I gave the album this title because it is about two things that we as human beings need to make better use of. Some people believe, for example, that only Jesus, Mother Teresa, the Pope or the Dalai Lama can give blessings. But everybody can do it, for example with a turkey on Thanksgiving - not only in America. And we should never stop doing it. Because blessing something means using its energy to lead people to a place where they can celebrate their own light. That's where music plays a crucial role: it's the catalyst. That's why John Lennon was right about "Imagine": imagination is an incredibly important tool. John Coltrane in "A Love Supreme", Bob Marley in "One Love", Bob Dylan in "Blowing In The Wind" or Marvin Gaye in "What's Going On" also invoke this. They realized that music has the power to make people feel divine.
eclipsed: More than any organized religion?
Santana: Definitely. The world's religions are nothing more than multinational corporations selling fear. Yet God is light and love - and anything that is not light and not love is more like Godzilla. Whereas the greatest miracle or blessing I've personally experienced was being able to meet people like John McLaughlin, Rob Thomas or Eric Clapton. I mean, I started out really small: I was an immigrant from Tijuana who made a living as a dishwasher. But I believed that one day I would be on stage with B.B. King or Tito Puente. So the biggest miracle for me is that you can make your dreams come true through willpower alone.
eclipsed: Musically, you are very versatile this time and oscillate between jazz, Latin influences, R&B and hard rock - almost like a Spotify playlist. What do you want to tell us or prove with that?
Santana: I play with whatever comes to mind. I have fun, but I pursue that seriously. (laughs) After all, I'm a multi-dimensional "Mexi-CAN" with a capital C-A-N. Thanks to God's blessings, I have a wide portfolio of styles and influences, and I'm always hungry for more. So I'm not a technical idiot - I'm interested in and proficient in many different things. That's what separates me from the politicians running around out there.