Graeme Thomson

‘Germans thought we couldn’t play’: Irmin Schmidt, of musical pioneers Can, interviewed

The sole survivor of one of the most influential bands of the 20th century discusses taking risks, playing badly and ignoring the Brits

Clockwise from top right: Michael Karoli, Damo Suzuki, Irmin Schmidt, Jaki Liebezeit and Holger Czukay of Can, one of the most influential bands of the 20th century. Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

‘The records are only half of the picture,’ says Irmin Schmidt, founder member of the great German experimental collective Can. ‘Live [performance] is the side of ours which actually has still to be discovered. For many of the people who came to our concerts, it was much more important in building up the legend than the records, because it was something extraordinary.

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