Seven things you didn't know about frontwoman of Brazillian outfit
Kim Taylor Bennett
Quirky Brazilian electro-new-rave band Cansei de Ser Sexy (aka CSS) launch new LP La Liberación this week. We spoke to the band’s infectiously enthusiastic 27-year-old frontwoman for a deeper insight into her psyche.
She has an old-fashioned side. ‘I really enjoy writing letters. It’s funny, whenever I write a letter they reply to me with an email and I’m like, “No! You’re not playing the game right! You have to write me a letter back!” No one ever does. I have nice envelopes and wax seals. I always photograph the letters I send, because when they get there you forget what you wrote.’
She has 10 tattoos, including a big one on her side of a tree trunk with an axe in it. ‘I love tree logs. I don’t know why. I have a thing for wood. That sounds wrong and right at the same time! I like wood textures and I always draw trees. I wanted to do a tree-log tattoo, but I thought it looked a bit weird. But I also love axes, sharp stuff, knives, swords, so I added that to break up the shape – nothing against the wood!’
The band adore US filmmaker John Waters (Hairspray!, Serial Mom). ‘We met him! One day we were playing in Baltimore and he said, “Hey girls, knock ’em dead. I know you will.” The thing I like about his body of work is that it doesn’t have a message. I don’t like that people feel that everything you do needs to have a message. Just doing it is message enough.’
She’s an emotional sort. ‘Once there was an event that happened in my life and I cried for a whole week non-stop. I was in the gym, crying; on the bus, crying! People don’t know how to handle themselves around a person who is crying. It was kind of an experiment because they get extremely uncomfortable. My mum is like that too. We call it “melted butter people”. When the feeling is too strong – anger or happiness – I cry!’
She ended up living in the red light district in São Paulo for two years. ‘It was a big drug area. The kids really scared me, I was really s****** my pants when I was around them, but I would look them in the eye and give them respect and I became their friend. Nick Cave lived on the same street when he came to São Paulo. That street, Rua Augusta, is like the reality of Brazil because it’s such a contrast between rich and poor. It starts off downtown where it’s poor but getting better, then crosses the Paulista, which is the postcard image of Sao Paulo, and then goes on to the really rich part.’
She nearly died recently. ‘Last year I was in the earthquake in Chile. I thought I was going to die. The building was shaking and making this horrible noise as if the building was made of bones and the bones were cracking. Everything was falling down, the drawers were opening. I couldn’t even walk straight. I always had the feeling that I wouldn’t die until I was really old. I kept thinking, I have so much to do! It can’t happen!’
She had a pretty intimate relationship with her posters. ‘When I was 13, I had posters of an animé character called Dragon Shiryu and he was like my first boyfriend. I was so in love with him. I thought I would go to China and find a guy just like him and we would do kung fu and swim in the lake. I used to draw myself as another character and I’d draw us making out and doing many X-rated things – and hide the drawings in a special folder so my mum wouldn’t find them. CSS’s new LP, Le Liberación, is in stores now.