Paco De Lucia

This is an exclusive interview with Paco De Lucia.
It happened on April 29th., 1996 in Hamburg, Germany


Whose idea was the re-union of the 'Guitar Trio' ?

The re-union ? John and me, we see eachother usually at the end of the year at my house in Spain and we spend together the end of the year. So, the last time we were together, we decided, why don't we play again, because we didn't finish. We just cut it, before we expire, you know. So, it was like that and now we are recording a new record.


John told me, that you asked him sometimes to play with him. Also after he played his classical concerts, you asked him to write something for you both.

That's true, because John is a good musican; a great musican and I like, how he compose very much.

Had anybody of you to be convinced to play with this trio again ?

No, nobody had to be convinced. It was only to find the right moment, because all the three of us have work and concerts all the time. So - to find a time, where nobody has to play, that was not easy.

So, what is the concrete reason for this re-union ? You know, great things use to happen only once.

The first reason is, that we want to have a great time. But you're right, the second time never will be the same. But ... we are the same people, older, but the same people. If we did play before, it was great ... why not now again, if we are the same musicians ... with more experience.... maybe less energy, but more experience and more taste, I think.

On the tune 'El Ciego', which is on John's latest CD 'The Promise', we can hear some birds behind the guitars. Does that mean, that we can expect some 'acoustic effects' in your music and not only guitars ?

Till now I didn't listen to the record. To incorporate new sounds like birds or laughing ... it's an idea of John. I only played the tune in the studio, I made the music to the notes and the rest made John.

You were called the 'fastest guitar trio in the world'. So .... what do we have do expect, when you're on tour again ? Will it be another race of sounds, melodies and rhythms ?

Maybe you can expect the 'oldest trio of the world'.... (laughing)..... I don't know. We have to see, what happens; what gonna happens now. We have to do something new, but ... when we'll be together, we'll see.

Will there be new compositions as well and will you play the old tunes ?

Yeah, for the record, there will be new compositions. And for the tour, we maybe can play some old songs, I don't know.

From your point of view.... where have been the developments between 1980 and today ?

For the jazz-music, I can't say, because I'm not a jazz-musician. I can only tell for the flamenco. And in the flamenco there has been a development, which is really important. Like the concepts and the harmonies, like to be open and to listen to other music.
See, when I was a kid, my father use to say, that I have to listen not to other music but to flamenco. So now, all the young guys, they know Miles Davis and so; they know everybody. And they listen to all the musicians; so they are much more open now. And all that without loosing the essence of the flamenco.

Does that mean, that if you're playing your parts in the trio, you're more improvising or stay at the traditional side of the flamenco?

No, I never play traditional flamenco, when I play with the trio. Never. I play a kind of fusion, which is comfortable for us. But I play more in their way, than in my way. I don't play flamenco, when I play with them, because I can not tell them to play 'buderias' or something like it. It's impossible; because they don't know, how to do that. You need to grow up with the flamenco to understand and to play this music. It's not easy. So it's much more easy for me to go to their play.

But still you will integrate some elements of the flamenco to your play ?

Of course; my freedom, but not the music properly. The techniques, but not the music. Of course, when I play, the sound is flamenco, because I'm a flamenco-guitarplayer, but the music, that is no flamenco.

You're playing with the 'guitar trio' and you're playing with your septett. Is that good for your music, or good for you as an artist to go into two directions ?

Of course it's very good, because I open my mind and don't get the routine. Routine is the reason, why I started to play with those musicians like Chick Corea, or John and Al. I want to do something different, not to get into the routine to play flamenco all the time. Also it was that I could learn new harmonies and concepts and to incoporate them in to my music. And this is never ending process. The ending is, when the energy has stopped and says 'NO MORE'.