Born in Japan in 1950, young Kenji “Damo” Suzuki left the archipelago in the late 1960s for good and spent his teenage days wand ering around Europe. While busking on Munich’s streets he got discovered and instantly “employed” by German Krautrock band CAN in 1970, which he joined as singer for 3 years. After a decade of spiritual pause without any music and overcoming cancer, he returned to music again in 1983 and is restlessly touring the world and improvising with various band s and local musicians, the so-called sound carriers, as ‘Damo Suzuki & Friends’ and later ‘Damo Suzuki’s Network’ eversince. This network is an assembly of sound carriers to communicate with each other and the audience, as this communication is the main point in and most important reason of making (live) music for him, wherever he goes.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
My mother who gave me my life, Christ and God. Without those energies I’d never exist.
How and when did you get into making music?
It’s fallen like a stone from the sky. I was not expecting to make music at all. It would be OK with painting or making film, even OK with playing soccer, or something else if there is passion, longing and desire. I would make just anything.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
To this kind of Q, I cannot find any answer.
1) I don’t hear that much music to compare. (Comparing one and other is not my thing)
2) Taste will be change time to time.
What do you associate with Berlin?
That was a poor idea to set Berlin as capital city again. Germans wanted to have the glory period of Berlin again. They are sentimental and live in nostalgia. Generally, I don’t like a capital city that is the biggest city of the country. All those politician should be in small cities, better put them in the middle of nowhere. At the moment, Berlin is kind of the booming town in Europe. Culture will die because of politics and economy.
What’s your favourite place in your town?
At home. Especially when I’m back from a tour. Finally I can cook healthy stuff. If you’re eating out everyday after while you get bored, also it’s not that much healthy and tasty.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Then, try to find music.
What was the last record you bought?
I don’t buy for a very long time.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Everybody is welcome if she/he has an open mind and creates time and space out of the moment together with other sound carriers.
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
As I told you, I don’t like to compare, everyday is different, different space, different sound carriers, and different audiences. It’s not my part to answer this, ask the audience.
How important is technology to your creative process?
It’s not a matter of importance. Everybody has a bit of technological labour. We have to live with and I don’t care.
For booking and other stuff I work with Internet access. So, that allows me to have much freedom and to be a one-man company.
Do you have siblings and are they proud or jealous of you?
I’ll ask them next time I see them.
Damo Suzuki – A day with Damo
Damo Suzuki’s Network – Over the Air (Movie-Trailer)
Links: DamoSuzuki.com | Interview with Damo Suzuki by Digital in Berlin