I believe in human beings, and in particular the advancement of knowledge. I suppose I believe that there is a perfect balance in all things – whether that’s how many calories you’re taking in, or how you’re relating to the earth – and that as knowledge improves, we come to know what the balance is.
I grew up in Spain where everything felt dogmatic – the religion, the politics. At some point I got to thinking about all the cultures that existed before or that we had destroyed – from Mesopotamia to Native American tribes – and I came to realise that no one religion has all the answers. That means two things: For one, no single religion is true. The biggest thing that turned me away from religion was realising how few answers it had to the kinds of things that mattered to me: about excesses of CO2, about how to live more sustainably. And you could say that when the world religions were being formed they couldn’t have known these things. But they were formed during agricultural upheaval, so they could physically see the world around them being transformed and sometimes for the worse.
But I also think every single religion has something to offer. I like what Christianity has to say about how to treat your fellow human being. I like what some indigenous cultures say about how we connect to nature.
I’m actually particularly inspired by a lot of indigenous culture. I play with a Spanish-influenced reggae/ska band and our lyrics are quite activist about how to reconnect with nature. When we first played we used to dress to represent different indigenous groups that we felt had a better connection with the natural world. But then we began to feel as if we were appropriating their cultures. And so now we try to act as a tribe of our own making, with makeup representing our own beliefs.
The process of coming to believe these things was gradual. But certain people do really influence me. One that comes to mind just because I was listening to a podcast recently is Alexander Humboldt. He foresaw even at the time the Amazonian rainforest was first being destroyed what kind of an impact it would have on the planet.
I guess if you were to give my philosophy a name it would be ‘nature’. I believe in nature – from the tiniest grain of sand to the whole universe. I believe that every tiny movement of a particle here will influence something somewhere else in the universe. And since I am made up of matter, this has an impact on me too.
Everything about the way I live my life contradicts what I believe. Because if you really want to live a life with the smallest possible CO2 footprint, the smallest possible waste, zero use of plastic and so on, well then you have to go and live in a hut in the forest. But I choose to live in the world. Why? Partly it’s because I think it’s pointless to go and live in the forest and just let the world keep going the way it’s going. But I have to admit that it’s also partly because I need constant stimulation. I could just get bored!