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