Words by Sergio del Amo / Photos by Laura Moreno
A few days ago we found out, via Facebook, that Cansei de Ser Sexy would shoot the video for “Hits Me Like A Rock” in Barcelona. So we set ourselves a goal: to follow the Brazilians around during the shooting and ask them about “La Liberación”, their new album, which is due out on 21st August and will be their first on V2 / Cooperative Music. After putting our best Columbo raincoats on and sharpening our senses enough to find out where they were staying, we spotted them on the beach of the Olympic Port. There they were, busting some hip-hop moves in front of the cameras.
The four ladies of the hedonist electro-rock combo (their man Adriano Cintra stayed home) were under the direction, for a couple of days, of Bea Sanchís in shooting the visuals for the track, which is a duet with Bobby Gillespie. But where was Bobby? The Primal Scream frontman doesn’t appear in the video. However, the cameos come from several dancers (selected on several social networks) who teach the girls from CSS how to dance funk, shuffle and swing.
With the temperatures running high and the heat dehydrating us, the band raced against the clock in order to get the natural light at the different locations being used. They went to the Raval neighbourhood, Sants, and the nearby town of Badalona. But don’t think that, as Woody Allen did in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”, the purpose of the video was to be a postcard for tourists. Rather the opposite, in fact. In shying away from the typical tourist routes, the last stop of the day (before shooting some scene at a cyber café in the Gràcia neighbourhood) was a small gym full of bigorexic athletes like the ones we see in reports from the beaches of the girls’ home country. Time flies and they still had a few hours of work ahead of them… But we did get the chance to kidnap the lovely Lovefoxxx for a minute so she could tell us why they were shooting the video in Barcelona, and while she was at it, also let us in on a few details of the upcoming album. Here it is.
What have you been doing over the past three years?
In 2009, we decided to take a break. That year we only did five gigs: in Japan, Morocco, Poland and Portugal, apart from the ATP we were invited to by The Breeders. Last year we started to think about the new album, so we’ve made the most of our free time.
So far we’ve only heard “Hits Me Like A Rock”, your duet with Bobby Gillespie. What are the main differences between “Donkey” (Sub Pop, 2008) and the upcoming “La Liberación”?
I would say it’s more optimistic. Maybe it doesn’t do it all the justice it deserves, but the songs are more joyous and have great energy. 2010 was a great year for me, one of the best years of my personal life. You can hear that on the album. We recorded 24 tracks and picked 11 for the record. We always wanted to record a load of songs and then pick the best ones. I don’t know why we hadn’t done that earlier, but this tracklist is much more coherent in comparison to our previous albums.
How did you get in touch with Bobby Gillespie and how did you do the track?
The first time we spoke to him was at a festival in Brazil, in 2004. Later, when we went to play in the UK, we ran into him several times and he remembered us. Since then, we’ve shared the bill with them on many festivals and, maybe by coincidence, their dressing room was always very close to ours. We became friends, not intimate friends of course, but we stayed in touch. Bobby is always giving us advice. I had already worked with him on “I Love To Hurt (You Love To Be Hurt)” for their album, “Beautiful Future”. When we were writing “Hits Me Like A Rock” I thought of him, so I sent him an email and invited him to join us. He accepted happily and he sent me his vocal parts via Yousendit!
Ratatat are also collaborating, on a track called “Red Alert”. What can you tell us about the song?
Ratatat did a great job with hip-hop. They have two incredible mixtapes and I’ve been a fan for years. One night we shared the stage with them in the UK and when they finished I said I would love to work with them. After a huge amount of emails, we finally managed to get together. Originally, the track had little more than a guitar and a piano at first, and we turned it into some kind of rap.
If you had to describe the new album in a few words, which would you pick?
It’s hard to do that, but I think it’s a vital mix of everything we’ve done so far. Our music is eclectic, from pop to punk. It still is, though these songs are the reflection of the great time we’ve been having in the past few months.
Why are you shooting the video in Barcelona?
It’s the second time we’re doing a video here. Bea Sanchís, the director, wanted to do it in Brazil, but it was hard to find a producer. To do it in Sao Paolo would be much more expensive and since we have a limited budget, we couldn’t do it. The album has some Spanish influences, so it made sense to come here. Barcelona is a city with a beach, unlike Sao Paolo, which is just a city.
The video shies away from the typical tourist-like postcard images?
Totally. Bea knows very well what she wants. Like her, I prefer atypical images and locations, like a basketball court or a small park. The shadows of the trees look great on camera.
Did you call the album “La Liberación” because you feel freer than ever?
Coincidentally, the word is the same in Portuguese and Spanish. Some lucky people can work in what they’ve almost dreamt of, but that doesn’t mean that they feel free to do what they want. Last year, freedom and happiness came together for us. Hits Me Like A Rock Cansei De Ser Sexy were in Barcelona to shoot the video of “Hits Me Like A Rock”. We sought them out to see what was going on, and speak to Lovefoxxx to get the details of their upcoming new album, “La Liberación”, first hand.