Indy: You recently released a pair of archival CDs, Ultimate Santana, which includes the hits, and Multi Dimensional Warrior [U.S. release date: Sept. 30], a two-CD set of lesser-known material. But you've seemed more eager to talk about the tour as a chance to share a spiritual message than as a way to promote any album. What message do you want to bring people with your live show?
CS: My highest aspiration is to invite people, and hopefully they will accept it and become it, for them to re-establish the perfect being that they all really are. Don't buy into, "You're not worthy of God's grace, and you're a sinner and you're stained." Don't buy into that bullshit, because it doesn't serve you or God or anybody ... Go with love and re-establish the perfect being that you know you really are.
Indy: Let's talk some music. You are said to have a new instrumental album almost finished that's called Shape Shifter. How does it compare musically to Supernatural or your early albums?
CS: It's very different from all of them. It touches upon music that is not heard on the radio. It touches on music that has nothing to do with bathtub, or hot-tub, jazz. This is very, very raw. At the same time, there's a lot of melody and a lot of energy in it.
Indy: I would think there is a certain amount of pressure, because of your recent success, to be commercially minded. How hard was it to get the powers that be to buy into the idea of an instrumental album?
CS: Well, I'm not a teenager. I'm 60 years old, so I don't need people's approval. I do what I will and I will what I do at this point. People will go along with it or they'll step out of the way.
At Englewood's Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre, Sept. 13.