Carlos Santana still takes hallucinogens

Carlos Santana credit:Bang Showbiz
Carlos Santana credit:Bang Showbiz

Carlos Santana views taking hallucinogenic drugs as "like a meditation".

The 74-year-old guitarist admitted he likes to "visit [himself] from another angle" with mind-altering substances because they help him to find something "different and new" about himself.

Asked if he still indulges in hallucinogens, he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "I wouldn’t call it indulge.

"I call it visiting myself from another angle. Indulge is like if you eat too much carrot cake. I don’t do that.

"I dive into a place where I can discover something different and new with emotion, feelings, and passion, like a meditation.”

However, the 'Smooth' hitmaker wouldn't recommend playing music after taking drugs.

He said: “It’s not easy. I wouldn’t recommend it.”

The Santana frontman was still unknown when he took to the stage at the legendary Woodstock music festival in 1969 and admitted the performance was "extremely scary" because he had just taken mescaline, which The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia had given to him, not long before set times changed and he was told it was his slot.

He recalled: "I was in an altered state at Woodstock.

“It is extremely scary to be in front of 150,000 people and the neck of your guitar feels like an electric snake. All I’m thinking is, ‘God please help me stay in tune and on time’.”

Despite being regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Carlos makes sure he practises every day and insisted he still has things to learn.

He said: “I don’t practise scales and chords, I take a walk on the neck of my guitar with John Coltrane or Stevie Wonder. What I’m diving into is learning how to go deeper and deeper into the note, so that you cannot not feel it.

"You can take a melody outside of time and gravity, then it enters eternity. That’s what real musicians do.”