Christian Meier releases a new song after two decades, recalls his beginnings in Arena Hash and reveals the story behind “Quédate” | INTERVIEW | deja vu | LIGHTS

With the same passion and dedication of the first time, Christian Meier returns to its musical roots after two decades. He takes up the sounds that inspired him in his early days to create “Déjà vu”, a powerful rock proposal in which his knowledge acquired in youth converges with the tools, experience and maturity of today.

READ ALSO: Christian Meier on his role as a heartthrob: “That stage ended a long time ago… it was beautiful while it lasted” | INTERVIEW

“I always did rock, I grew up doing rock, it’s the music I like. I made my first album (‘I don’t remember who I was’) when I was 23 years old. The only person who supported me in that project was Miguel Reátegui, a keyboard player who ran his own digital studio in Balconcillo, with whom we recorded ‘Carreteras mojadas’”, says Meier Zender.

During the quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peruvian artist found the right medium in music.or to accompany and comfort his followers in times of social isolation and loneliness. An initiative that rediscovered him with a facet that he kept relegated for several years.

“When we were all left incommunicado, when we were prohibited from visiting our relatives, as an act of generosity, it occurred to me to create content for all those people who could not leave their homes. The first thing I did was call the guys in the band that accompany me when I go live. I told them to record some of our songs, then make a video and share it with our fans. I set up a small studio in my house, I kept composing and making demos. Finally, when I decided to record this new music, I contacted Germán Villacorta to take charge of the production. He is a Peruvian producer who in the last 25 years has dedicated himself to recording bands like The Rolling Stones, Ozzy Osbourne, among others”, narrates the national artist.

-The last production you did with your own songs was “Once noche”, in 2002, why did you wait so long to record again?

Because I was busy doing other things that didn’t allow me to do anything else. In 2003 I realized that I couldn’t do two things at the same time, I had a series of obligations: a married couple, three children, I had to work. I’ve pretty much done it all in music. Until that moment he had already recorded two albums with Arena Hash and three as a soloist, he had toured throughout Peru thousands of times, played in bars in Barranco and Miraflores, nightclubs in the cones, and massive concerts of 40 to 50 thousand people. One day I got to play in front of 100,000 people at El Silencio beach together with El Tri and Pedro Suárez Vértiz. After that I decided to take a break and pursue acting full time.

-A facet in which you consolidated internationally.

I was not wrong to take that step because more interesting things began to arrive, to make productions for Telemundo, until I became El Zorro and I stayed there, in that maelstrom of developing a career that, yes, gave me a name internationally. In recent years I’ve been taking things easy, I wanted to get out of that vicious circle of work that I have and do more things that fulfill me. Now I work less than before.

-Is it true that you acted in “Gorrión” to be able to finance your first album?

At 22 years old, being in Arena Hash, I graduated as a graphic designer, but I continued working with the band. Parallel to this, I wrote songs like “Quédate” and “Carreteras mojadas”, which I recorded in a recording studio. The owners of that studio told me that I had to behave with something, so I looked for a way to earn money. One day I saw in the newspaper that they were going to do “Sparrow” and I called the production to see if I could get the job. I didn’t know how demanding it was, I just knew there was good money there, and I owed good money.

-Is the introduction of “Déjà vu” similar to that of “Carreteras mojadas” part of a strategy?

It is curious, they have similarities, but nothing was forced or thought. It is true that it has the cadence, but the tempo is a little slower than the original of “Wet Roads”. It was going to be a two chord song and it ended up being a three chord song, I wanted it to be simple, played in eighth notes. what i did with “Déjà vu” is what I would have done 25 years ago, if I had had the time, money, support and infrastructure that I have today.

Christian Meier recorded
Christian Meier recorded “Déjà vu” in a studio in Los Angeles. The lyrics were born during the pandemic. (Photo: Federico Imperiale @imperialefederico)

-What was the premise of “Déjà vu”?

To find out who we are and what we want, we have to go back… dig up our roots and see what they were made of. That was the premise. If I wanted to write new music again, I had to go back to the genre that inspired me to do it in the first place. To know what we want, who we are today, we have to do a personal retrospective and see what we are made of. So the metaphor of going and looking somewhere for that which shaped us was translated a bit into the story of the video.

-Is this single going to be part of an album?

I don’t know if I will release an album, but what I will do is release singles from time to time.

– Do you plan to do promotional tours, present yourself on a stage?

I would very much like to play live again, that is the goal; although it’s not something I’m thinking about right now because I think people have to listen to the songs first and fall in love with them.

-Tell me about the video clip, who was in charge of directing it, where was it recorded?

I was in Los Angeles when I decided to do it, and producing there is probably easier, but more expensive. The first thing that occurred to me was to call the team with which I recorded the short film “Terminal”. I told them: ‘I want to make a video produced by you and directed by me’. We did it in a single day, we started at noon and finished at 4 in the morning, but the result was good. I think we have made an attractive product, which will not disappoint.

Christian Meier returns to record a composition of his after 20 years.  (Photo: Federico Imperiale @imperialefederico)
Christian Meier returns to record a composition of his after 20 years. (Photo: Federico Imperiale @imperialefederico)

-Your son Stefano appears in the video clip.

He accompanied us throughout the filming as a production assistant and when I needed someone to act as the driver of the car behind me, I told him to imagine that he was in Lima stuck at a traffic light, with people crossing, vendors and vans. He made it perfect.

-How do you remember your musical beginnings in Arena Hash, at 17?

It was fun. At first we did things almost like playing, in fact my joining the band was almost like doing them a favor, because they asked me to play the keyboards for some songs they were doing in a studio. They told me to play what I knew, then I went home and after a while they called me to tell me that we would meet because we had to take photos for the album cover. I think that’s when the band was born. I remember that we said that we wanted to be like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and really the only thing we were looking for was for the weekend to come to play and they would pay us. At that time everything was in cash, we left with our pockets full. At 18 we had fans, money to travel, to live. There was no reason not to enjoy it. Without realizing it, he formed us for what we did next.

-About “Quédate” you wrote on Instagram: “What if it was never a love song, but rather the last wish of someone from their deathbed?”. What is the truth behind the story of that topic?

I don’t want to break people’s hearts, because everyone has their own interpretation. “Stay” was composed at the farewell of a loved one who is in the last moments of his life. It is the request, the prayer of a terminally ill person who knows that he will not wake up the next day. There are many people who see it as a love song, and it is valid, because art must be interpreted as each one feels it. The authors write the songs inspired by something, but finally the receiver has all the freedom to create his own story.

Do you have acting projects for the rest of the year?

I have a series ready for Amazon. It’s called “Ana”, about the life of Ana de la Reguera. I also finished filming “Are you coming or am I going?”, a Spanish film that opens this year, and we are putting together a new project for a film with whom we made “My brother’s wife”.

-How would you describe the moment in which you find yourself?

As a moment of peace and happiness, which has been constant in recent years. Time and maturity have been worth it to reach this state of fullness. The pandemic did terrible things to some, but to others, like me, it brought wonderful things. The pandemic caused my children to come to Los Angeles to live with me. The fact of having created a solid career now allows me to enjoy life, rest, have time for myself, and say no when necessary.

-You are also giving yourself time for the love of a partner.

Sure, I’m giving myself time to be happy in every way. Being out of the public eye also helps. We don’t have to be famous 365 days a year, just the promotion week.