You started singing at a time when national rock was prevailing. Why did you choose the romantic ballad?
It was a natural choice, it seems to me. Melodic pop belongs to that great fan of national rock. I always felt comfortable writing love themes, but not just romantic. The important thing is to do it with poetry, with depth, with wave.
How do you value romanticism in this moment of social networks and applications, where an increasingly frequent date is decided by sliding your finger on the phone, giving a like or a dislike?
Some codes have changed, of course. Today a couple separates with a WhatsApp message and through an application they set up another new relationship almost simultaneously … (Laughter). I still believe that you have to sit face to face to resolve conflicts or to declare yourself. Some poetic codes have been preserved through time, otherwise, I would not be singing those songs that continue to move.
Nostalgic for other ways to bond?
It is not nostalgia. All forms are valid. What matters is love. Sincerity, commitment.
How is the relationship of the new generations with your music? Is the public renewed, as they say? What experience or anecdote could you tell in that sense?
Yes! The public is renewed. The bond with my music is passed from the older sisters to the younger ones or from mothers to daughters and from fathers to sons as well. I have a lot of anecdotes. A funny one: at Aeroparque, waiting for a flight to depart, a man with his 12 or 13-year-old son approaches him and says: “Look who’s there!” and the boy, no poor idea! … “It’s César« Banana »Pueyrredón !!”. The son with a surprised face says “César« Banana »Pueyrredón ??”. “Yes !!!”, says the father, and the boy finishes “Who is it?” … (Laughter).
What do you think of the advancement of other styles like reggae or trap, for example?
Like many other musicians, I vote in the Gardel Awards. And there I come into contact with all the music nominations that I don’t frequent as much as urban music, trap, and all that. And I listen a lot! And I find many interesting proposals. I am not so attracted to reggaeton. When guys like Fonzi or CNCOs do it, for example, everything rises in rank. But unfortunately our radios are flooded with songs of the type “Bajate la pollerita” or “Mové el culito” … The guys like me who learned to compose with lyricists like Luis Alberto Spinetta, Litto Nebbia or Miguel Cantilo, among many others, don’t we can accept this low level, even if it is good for dancing.
What do you consider to be your greatest success and why?
I’m going to go a little further than naming songs like “Knowing you” or “When you love someone.” My greatest success is having imposed a poetic and profound pop ballad on national rock. When I recorded an album in Miami and talked about this issue with Latin musicians and producers there, I confirmed the great admiration they have for us because Argentines make rock and ballads in Spanish with a different wave and expressiveness.
Your wife may have gotten used to what your songs generate by now, but have your songs ever caused you conflict?
No … no conflicts. But some kind of look like “and this song to whom have you written it?”. It is not so much because of the songs … the problems come more because of the attitudes of some girls who say or write things a little played.
There are songs that leave their mark on a personal level. You made a generation dance with the slow set in the discos and more than one couple must have some theme of yours as a symbol of their relationship. What do you think of that dimension that music acquires as a mark in the deepest emotions?
Love is something very important in everyone’s life. Music is a tool, a vehicle to express a concept that develops and becomes an artistic object that moves. Songwriters handle this way of molding a work that amalgamates words, sounds, chords and we try to say it with expressiveness and balance. Making music is generating and sharing a feeling with others. It is what is said and how it is said.
There are also other songs that are references to an era, as in your case it can be “All night with you” or “Knowing you”. Under what circumstances did you write them? How do you get inspiration for themes that people finally appropriate and incorporate as part of their life or their memories?
“A whole night with you” we wrote it with the Greek Scoufalos, a brother who has already left us … He has no history back. I remember he brought up the idea of the melody and started writing something like “I want to find a friend.” The song sounded very romantic to me and I instinctively suggested him like this, rhyming so as not to lose my spirit, “a whole night with you” and he looked at me, was amazed and said: “You’re right, follow along.” “Knowing you” I did write it for a colleague from the first year of college, when she was studying Composition at the UCA. Inspiration comes from many sides: from my own stories, from true but foreign stories, although later I sing them in the first person as if I were the protagonist and also from phrases and situations that are around, but they are made up stories. When the song reaches the listener, the cycle is just completed there. It comes out of me, leaves the nest, becomes depersonalized, flies alone and settles in people’s hearts.
Is there a song that you thought was not that good and ended up being a hit? What reflection can you make about that?
There are several songs that it was not that I thought they were not so good. On the contrary, I knew they were good but I had my doubts if people would accept them. One was “Closer to Life” which gave the album its name and even competed with “When You Love Someone”, which was the romantic hit from that album. My reflection is that I played to present a non-romantic, more philosophical song that spoke of life, dreams, hope, God … of love, but more as an energy that integrates things and That arose from a personal experience with my wife. And people accepted it. And from there my horizon widened to write even more songs that were not just romantic couples.
If it exists and if you want to reveal it … what is the secret to composing a good song?
There is no secret or formula that determines success. It is not like a factory that manages to make a type of chocolate that people buy for years and years … In music tastes change, one changes and evolves, the radios change, new artists appear, new proposals. You have to respect the style, be true to their style and accommodate a little to the sound of the time. What I try to do is a song that is not mellow, that is not vulgar, that is poetic, and that can survive fashions because its codes and its message are still valid! Of course, one relies on special resources and tools to achieve that balance in the form of the song. But that is part of very specific techniques that it takes a long time to explain in an answer that is not only read by musicians. But of course there must be emotion to express the song and that is not a learned technique.
What inspires you from this very complex time, with pandemic, estrangement and unknown anxieties until now, to continue composing and working?
I think that my good humor, my positive and optimistic look saved me from the darkest and most depressing moments that we all went through. Nobody imagined that the isolation was going to last so long and also that the work perspective would be so disturbed. Today we all learned how important communication is to feel alive! And what I rescue the most is how the support of the fans or followers multiplied. That back and forth with people kept me always active and it has been extraordinary! The only song that came out in this pandemic was “Don’t Cry … Don’t Cry” inspired by my grandchildren Aurora and Xavi. It is a reflection on the world that we are leaving them. It was like I felt that the arrival of these new little ones on the planet is a sign that the future makes sense.