Monday, December 7, 2009

Interview: CANSEI DE SER SEXY - Not Tired, Just Sexy

Tuesday, February 05, 2008 

Like a bunch of kids mucking around in a sandpit, Cansei De Ser Sexy (trans. 'got tired of being sexy') found each other, made their own fun and decided to take their sandpit to stages the world over, picking up an ever growing legion of playmates along the way. Renown for their sizzling electro funk, name-dropping song titles and potty-mouthed fun-obsessed performances, CSS guitarist and keyboard player Luiza Sa is the first to admit that this band are about good times first, musicianship second. "The day we started the band we started a party. We love to party, our life and our work connect with parties so much; every show is a party...and then there is a party afterward! That's our lives, at least on tour." With their last Melbourne shows effortlessly lingering in the minds of those who were lucky enough to catch them, CSS are soon to return with a batch of songs taken from their forthcoming album, an album that Sa describes as 'more organic' than the first.

"The recording is going good. It's more sophisticated than the first one. We're spending more time trying to make a better production than the first. We played so long, for two years, that we became more of a band, so the album is sounding more like a live band than the first one. That one was held back a little bit - not trying to sound rock - it was tighter. This new album it feels like it has big rock tunes - even the synths are more organic. The first album was made in [chief songwriter and producer] Adriano's place, at home almost entirely. Now we are recording at Tremor, which is our label here, they have a studio and it's a very nice place to record...we're not really musicians, we're becoming that." Though the band are growing up, the increasingly professional surroundings aren't taking their toll on the music, if anything, it's making them bond tighter, indeed, as soon as they have a chance for a holiday, Sa and bandmate Ana head to New York together. "We became family after some - I don't know - 50 tours. We became exactly like family and our relationships haven't changed. We still have fun and go out with each other all the time. Our relationship with the instruments and playing has changed, we're just different people now, it's not like we lost who we are. Our relationship with the language changed too, the lyrics will be more deep and less phonetic, more deep and meaningful," laughs Sa in a way that allays any fears CSS have forgotten how to have fun.

Writing in a second language has seen CSS marginalised by some as sex-obsessed Brazilians when, as Sa explains, this is far from what they thought they were doing when writing their first album. "We didn't even realise there was so much sex on the album until we started being interviewed. We were like: 'No, no it's not talking so much about sex,' then we went back and re-read the lyrics and we were like: 'Yeah, there is alot of sex.'" she laughs. "You probably feel because it's your language that every time we say 'fuck' or 'bitch' or 'sex' you feel something that you used to feel. For us it's more like the movies, it's the sound, it's not that serious and it's not that heavy; we would never sing that in Portuguese. I don't think the new album is gonna be so sex-inspired, but I don't think the first one is so sex-inspired either. It's funny, maybe everyone has this idea because they speak English, but for us it is more about a time in life, more about excitement than sex. I think it was the place we found each other, and we had an amazing time and made our little world."

It's this CD-as-party quality of the album which has seen it so readily act as social glue to other groups of friends around the world, celebrating as it does, music, celebrities, fake attitudes and sassy fun. Writing songs that do that, says Sa, is very dependent upon where you are. " Everybody has a different creative place, I find it hard to create on tours, inside a bus or something. I think this time inside a studio is very healthy. I like music in a lot of ways so I like music indoors too. I love shows too - even after a million times you know! But it's good to live the other side of it and work the songs and to feel them and to see them grow." Given the significance of writing in English to the band, will there be any songs in their first language? "No. It's kind of hard to work Portuguese to be fresh and not so intellectual, so poetic and so serious. Portuguese is a beautiful language, and it's hard to write in Portuguese, plus we speak in English all the time together."

When last in Melbourne they had one of the best times during their two years of touring. "I really love Melbourne!" says Sa, lighting up. "We have this friend Romy Macromantics, she's very cool and we have other friends there too. We love Australia - that was a great journey and we'll be happy to go back. We ate at Cookie too, that was great." Another highlight of those two years would have to be the well-reported story of the band living up to their song Meeting Paris Hilton, an experience that still stirs plenty of giggles. "It's so funny how much feedback this story can make! You make a song and this song is going to follow you forever. It was funny, it was right before our Coachella show so a lot of people were there and we were very into the show mood. And she was very nice and that was it. She was arrested like a week later. She was very sweet and very nice, that was really funny for me. I looked at her and Peaches and J. D [Samson, of Le Tigre] and they were all dancing to us at the side of the stage, and Courtney Love was somewhere and so were all these famous crazy people and actors...and then I started laughing so much, I was like: 'This is so funny!' it was like you were in a dream. And then I started enjoying it a lot and dancing a lot. I loved that show." Backstage at V Festival should present no problems then.

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