After 16 successful years with the Chilean band La Ley, Beto Cuevas has finally gotten the chance to express himself through a different art form: acting. We saw him on the big screen in La mujer de mi hermano and Borderland, movies that mark the successful beginning of a promising career.
The 40-year-old artist currently lives with his wife and two children in Los Angeles, where he’s working on new projects, among them the launch of his first solo album. He chatted exclusively with us about life after La Ley.
How did you get your start in music?
In ’88, I went back to Chile to get in touch with my roots because I moved to Montreal when I was 3 years old. Over the course of a few months I met people who got me involved with the group and opened me up to the possibility of trying out singing. I really liked singing. It was a fantasy that I had in mind, more like a game. I would sing in the shower or plug in a microphone to listen to my voice. It wasn’t something that I really saw myself doing. When they gave me that chance to try out with La Ley, I accepted because it scared me. When things scare me, I face them instead of hiding from them. They gave me a book of songs, I went back in two weeks, and the rest is history.
Tell us, what happened to La Ley?
After many non-stop years with the La Ley – because we never even thought about taking a break and we were always working, making an album, recording it, promoting it, going on tour – we decided to take a break as a group to work on side projects. I started to work on my album, which I’m thinking about releasing in 2008, but aside from that, I’ve had time to focus on my art, my paintings, and to make three movies.
Do you think the band will get back together?
You always have to conserve a little energy for the possibility of going back. I think it would be good to get together when we want to see each other and play. We felt like doing other things. We didn’t want to see each other; we wanted to miss each other. You could say that you’re broken up or that you’re fighting, but the possibility will always be there, and I’d rather be honest and leave the door open, so I don’t have to contradict myself later. It could be an interesting experience for us, but in the end for the fans who want to see the group together.
Tell us about your solo album…
I started to work on it two years ago but not seriously until a year ago. Sometimes when you don’t have a deadline, the level of creativity is different. I built a studio in my house, designed for me to use. I want to put out a disc in April or May of next year. There are songs that are very melodic, like more symphonic, and others have more guitar. In the end, if you strip yourself down, you make songs that have feet and a head, which sound good like that.
You’re a painter, singer, actor, writer and director. You’re very talented…
Let’s just say that in that sense I’m a restless person. As for talent, I guess I have enough to feel good while I’m doing it and not be a joke, but I feel like I still have a lot to learn, and that’s why I do it.
How was your experience playing a priest in the movie La mujer de mi hermano ?
Really cool (he laughs). The role was actually written for me by Jaime Bayly. I liked it a lot because I got to enter the world of priests. It was something that forced me to prepare diligently for. I went to Mexico and interviewed priests for a week, even asking them things like if they masturbated. It was really interesting and helped me create the character of Padre Santiago. I played the role of a homosexual priest, and although it’s unspoken in the movie, people understood the subtext.