Published Jul 29, 2008Since the release of their celebrated 2006 eponymous debut, Brazil's Cansei De Ser Sexy have gained fans from across the globe, a lucrative spot for an iPpod commercial, a new drummer and have lost an uncommitted bassist and a thieving manager. Here's a clip of CSS burning the scoundrel in effigy for your viewing pleasure. Through all this, they've become notorious for their manic shows and have found time to record their second album, Donkey, which hit shops on July 22. Produced by bassist Adriano Cintra, Donkey was recorded in Sao Paolo and finds the band aiming to capture the energy and rawness that defines the CSS live experience. Exclaim! caught up with gregarious singer Lovefoxxx (nee Luisa Hanae Matsushita) to gab about the record and personnel changes.
What have you been up to?
We came back a few days ago from three shows in Germany. We're always touring.
How have the dates been so far?
Germany was a bit weird because they just love their heavy metal. We've played some shows with our new songs. We did a small MTV tour and it went pretty well. People were not thinking the new songs were too weird.
How have you felt your new songs have been received by the people who go to your shows?
I think it was just like the same vibe. It's not like they went from summer to winter. Of course it's not going to have the same impact as songs that people really like like "Off the Hook" and "Alala" and of course "Let's Make Love." I can't wait for people to know our songs. I just can't play those songs anymore - the old ones.
Over the past year, you played a ton of shows, and the only time you took off was to record. Why do you give yourselves such a heavy work schedule?
It's because the release of the first record was just a mess. It first came out in October in Brazil and then it came out in July 2006 outside Brazil. It wasn't really a release because there were a lot of tracks already on the internet. And then, we used to have a manager [Eduardo Ramos] - he ripped us off and he left us with lots of debt and it was very very fucked. And we needed to release the new record like this otherwise we would lose the momentum and all this fucking stuff.
How did he rip you off?
I don't want to get so much into these details. But he managed to rip us off. But we were so naïve, we were so inexperienced. We thought he was a friend of ours, and we thought he was just like a bit messy, that's why we were not getting paid, but actually he was a psycho. He was horrible. But now I'm very happy because he suffers from kidney stones. [Laughs]
How was the writing of the new record different from how you wrote the first record?
Adriano writes all the songs, and I write the lyrics. The main difference between this album and the first one is that when he was writing the first one he did it while he was working at his old job. In between jobs he would make some songs. But now if we are on tour he would always grab the guitar and do some demos. Also when we did the first one we had no idea how we were as a band how we would sound. I think the first album was like a producer's dream. Not a dream he was like just getting crazy on the computer. To play the songs [live] we had to rearrange everything, because we couldn't play them because there were so many layers on the first one. With this one we really wanted to do something closer to what we already do. I think that if you are somebody who comes to our shows a lot, I think the first record sounds even closer to Donkey live that we play live because it doesn't sound nothing like how it is recorded. We sound like a band and I think the first record doesn't sound like a band. I'm very glad Donkey sounds like a band.
Was it a conscious decision to make Donkey sound more raw and more rock-oriented?
Adriano wrote the songs, and I'm just copying what he said. When he was making the songs we were so stressed last year because, erm - you know why - and he was just listening to old stuff he used to listen to when he was a teenager like Sebadoh and Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. and the Pixies and I think that really influenced the way that he wrote. He writes thinking of who's going to play like for the girls. We never made a decision.
Ira [Trevisan, ex bassist] said she left the band because she wanted to pursue other interests like her interest in fashion. She said her priorities changed. From your perspective, were there any other reasons as to why she left?
Music was never a priority for her. She never played the bass well. In November we started recording the new tracks. She just couldn't play the new bass lines. Adriano had to make them so much more simple and it was very frustrating. When she would play it would sound like crap, it would sound like a fart. At least she was very decent because she said 'I don't want to keep you guys from evolving so I'll just leave.' This is why she left because she couldn't play bass. And I'm very glad she left because one of the reasons why we didn't do anything new last year was because of her. She was always pushing us back and it was very annoying for me.
Have your expectations changed from the first record?
The thing is, I didn't have expectations the first time around. I have some expectations now. I already know what's going to happen throughout the year. The expectations are based on this. Of course, there are record label expectations, but I don't want to know about them because I don't think it would help.