Bonde am­bi­tion

Funk, metal, rave, pop – this Brazil­ian three­some brings them all to­gether in one en­ter­tain­ing pack­age, writes Jim Car­roll

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

PE­DRO D’ey­rot has one sim­ple wish: “I’ve told my man­ager that I want to be­come a per­sona non grata with Ryanair so we’ll have no op­tion in fu­ture but to fly with a proper air­line.” The Brazil­ian and his Bonde do Role band­mates has had a few eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ences fly­ing around Europe with ev­ery­one’s favourite low-fares air­line. He, for one, has had enough.

Still, the chances are that the latest bunch of Brazil­ian mis­chief-mak­ers to hit all the right notes will be do­ing a lot more fly­ing around Europe with what­ever air­line will have them. With a party-hearty de­but album about to be re­leased, tour­ing, fly­ing and get­ting wo­ken up in your Copen­hagen ho­tel room by a jour­nal­ist on the phone is set to be a com­mon oc­cur­rence.

Once you hear or see Bonde do Role, the and he had been do­ing that for more than five years and not get­ting a re­sponse. But when this Amer­i­can guy comes along and does ex­actly the same thing, ev­ery­one goes crazy about him.

“We then went away and did a song which is Daft Punk over baile funk, which we still do to this very day. It’s about th­ese Brazil­ian guys go­ing to France and rip­ping off Daft Punk.”

Once that mis­un­der­stand­ing was out of the way (“Diplo just laughed at us”), Bonde do Role signed first to Diplo’s Mad De­cent la­bel for the US and then to Domino for Europe. Press at­ten­tion quickly fol­lowed. “The first time we re­alised there was some­thing go­ing on was when we got a fea­ture in Rolling Stone mag­a­zine. That was big – we went ‘ooops’.”

The easy bit was writ­ing the songs. “We fig­ured out that when we used the more ob­vi­ous sam­ples in the live show, like Europe’s The Fi­nal Count­down, that we re­ally con­nected with peo­ple so we had to go away and write our own songs which did the same thing with­out sam­pling. We­wanted to come up with the same kind of cheeky Iron Maiden sound with­out re­ly­ing on sam­ples. I think we did a good job.”

The lan­guage they use also sets them apart. “It’s a kind of slang used by Brazil­ian trans­ves­tites,” says D’ey­rot. “When elec­tronic mu­sic first hit Brazil, it was viewed as a re­ally gay thing. I used to be a proper cliched clubber with a glow­stick and pink hair. If you walked around like that on the streets of Brazil, peo­ple au­to­mat­i­cally as­sumed you were gay and you took a few beat­ings be­cause rea­son for the fuss be­comes clear.

of the prej­u­dice some Brazil­ians have Truly, they have more life, en­ergy,

about peo­ple who are dif­fer­ent. cheek, at­ti­tude, imag­i­na­tion, ri­otous

“The two groups got to­gether in the sounds and down­right fun un­der their

1990s when the club­bers be­gan to go belts than a whole clat­ter of their peers put

out to the gay clubs be­cause that was to­gether. A night out with them – or a

where the good mu­sic was and you night in with their album, Bonde do Role

were also safe. For some rea­son, the with Lasers, which stuffs a dozen

trans­ves­tites had their own slang. So tracks into a blis­ter­ing 30 min­utes – is

when the un­der­ground kids came ridicu­lously good for your health.

along, they ab­sorbed the slang and beWhen D’ey­rot and his fel­low Bonde

gan to use it.” mem­bers (Ma­rina Vello is the other

Strangely, one place where Bonde do front­per­son, with Ro­drigo Gorky

Role don’t feel much love for their mu­sic tak­ing care of the DJing and

is at home. “There’s a lot of prej­u­dice sounds) first came to­gether, there

about what we do in Brazil,” D’ey­rot says. was no big plan. “It be­gan as a

“We don’t get any ra­dio play be­cause there joke,” he ad­mits. “We didn’t take it

are no un­der­ground ra­dio sta­tions or se­ri­ously, we just wanted to make

shows. You have to pay for air­play. Not fun of ev­ery­one. We didn’t care

even CSS get played on the ra­dio or the about any­thing.”

TV. We get good press, but ra­dio and TV, All three had pre­vi­ous mu­si­cal form.

which you re­ally need to get to the big­gest “I used to have a re­ally, re­ally bad hard-

mass of peo­ple, don’t want any­thing to do core band as a kid,” ad­mits D’ey­rot, “and

with us.” I used to DJ hard techno as well. It de-

Their time will come. “There are loads pended on the drugs I was tak­ing. Gorky

of bands in Brazil who have been try­ing to used to have a bossa-nova band, he was in

copy The Strokes for the last five years. an Oa­sis cov­ers band with this guy from a

It’s only now that peo­ple are pay­ing at­tenBrazil­ian soap opera, one of those child

tion to CSS and un­der­ground mu­sic like us stars, and he was DJing too, try­ing to be 2

be­cause peo­ple are talk­ing about us Many DJs. Ma­rina used to have two or

abroad. We might be cool in Brazil in five three riot gr­rrl bands.”

years’ time.” D’ey­rot and Gorky were the first to hook up, go­ing on to snare Vello with high-oc­tane tracks that were part baile funk, part metal, part rave and part art-pop.

The next step was a meet­ing with Diplo, the in­flu­en­tial US pro­ducer and DJ, who took a shine to the trio and their mu­sic af­ter a shaky first en­counter.

“Diplo came to Brazil to DJ and he played this tune which mixed baile funk with Daft Punk, and the crowd went crazy. But Gorky went mad be­cause he was a DJ

“The first time we re­alised there

was some­thing go­ing on was when we got a fea­ture in Rolling Stone mag­a­zine. That was big – we went ‘ooops’.” – Pe­dro D’ey­rot (right) with band mem­bers Ro­drigo Gorky and

Ma­rina Vello

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