Damo Suzuki


Friday 6th July 2018

Name, where are you from?
Damo Suzuki, originally from Japan, by accident I'm living in Germany, for almost half a century.

Describe your style?
Satisfaction/originality (when I wear it... it becomes part of me).
No freakout (I don't need much attention).
Material (natural material, not chemical, also no big name brands).

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I had a special moment, and this is still my favourite 'concert'...

In the early '90s, I travelled to West Africa with a rucksack. In countries like Guinea, you have to pay a transit charge when you pass through villages and on one day I passed through many villages, so I had to pay a transit charge 20 times or so. I mean it's peanuts the amount of money, but it all goes in the pockets of policemen, so I refused to pay at the bank of the Niger River.

Earlier in the day, I exchanged my French Francs to Central African currency. The Police (or maybe military) came with machine guns and took all the money that I had just changed - I was almost pissing in my trousers. Fortunately, I had bought a ferry ticket to cross the river already.

I arrived at the bank of the other side of the river when I saw a man with a musical instrument, I asked him If he can play some music for me as I had just had a bad experience and wanted to feel better. He understood me, and he sang along with a deep bass voice to the bass instrument.

It was good music, but a few minutes later housewives who were washing clothes in the river joined this man (a blind man), and a little later he was also joined by the kids who were playing in the water. They all made a circle around me, 30 or 40 people singing for me, sitting in the middle of the circle.

This was the best musical experience I ever had, nothing compares to it.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
I don't have to go back through history, I find every show so interesting, creating music with ever-changing local sound carriers (musicians).

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Jesus Christ as I believe in him.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
I don't like to compare this and that, the most amazing time for me is when I'm with other sound carriers and the audience, it's not a geographical place, it's a plan we all create in time and space at that particular moment. Everybody who is there is involved.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
All my sound carriers around the world and the audience.

Damo Suzuki is best known for being the lead vocalist of German Krautrock band CAN in the early '70s. A documentary about his life is currently in the works, and you can find out more about it at www.energythefilm.co.uk.

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