Damo Suzuki, Can Singer, Dead at 74

Damo Suzuki, the The Japanese singer who was frontman for krautrock legends Can, has died at the age of 74.

The German group announced Suzuki's death on social networks on Saturday; Although the cause of death was not provided, Suzuki had been battling colon cancer for a decade and revealed in a 2022 documentary that he had previously been given a 10% chance of survival.

“It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing of our wonderful friend Damo Suzuki, yesterday, Friday, February 9, 2024,” Can said in a statement. “His boundless creative energy has touched so many people around the world, not just with Can, but also with his network tour spanning every continent. We will forever miss Damo's kind soul and cheeky smile.

The band added: “He will be joining Michael, Jaki and Holger for a fantastic jam! “, referring to members Michael Karoli, Jaki Liebezeit and Holger Czukay who preceded Suzuki in death.

Suzuki was a teenager when he left his native Japan and began busking in Europe. By chance, he was performing on a street in Munich, Germany, when he was spotted by Liebezeit and Czukay and invited to join Can on stage that evening; Can's original singer, Malcolm Mooney, who appeared on their 1969 debut monster movie – had already left the experimental rock group.

In 1970, Suzuki officially joined Can, first appearing on their Soundtracks song “Don't Turn the Light On, Leave Me Alone” before serving as lead vocalist on the group's now-classic series of albums: 1971's. Tago Mago1972s Ege Bamyasiand the years 1973 Future days. On the first two LPs, Suzuki's free delivery and seemingly fluid lyrics—for example, on “Halleluhwah” he recites the names of the album's other songs—punctuated the krautrock grooves.

“I don't like playing the same piece over and over again”, Suzuki said the Guardian in 2022. “Repetition is boring. Each performance must be a unique experience.


“Damo Suzuki mumbles, sings and screams throughout Kraut-boogie-gobbling workouts like 'Vitamin C' and 'I'm So Green,'” rolling stone written when Ege Bamyasi landed on our list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Following Future days, Suzuki left Can after marrying a German woman and converting to Jehovah's Witnesses, devoting the next decade to the religion. After leaving the church, he returned to music in 1983 with a project alternately called Damo Suzuki's Network and Damo Suzuki Band. Although Suzuki remained musically active until his death, he – unlike Mooney – never joined Can in their occasional reunions over the following decades.

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