ACL Interviews: CSS

Austin Town Hall caught up with guitar players Carol Parra and Ana Rezende of CSS after their bands killer set Saturday at ACL Festival. We discuss their favorite American foods, why Brazil is struggling in the soccer world and what the iPod commercial meant to them. Check out the entire interview with CSS after the jump.

ATH: Music in the US seems like it’s beginning to move away from the dance sound. Did that influence the sound on your new record? If not, how did that progression happen?

CSS: I know that dance music is pretty huge right now, but I guess maybe some new bands are moving on to different things. We aren’t really into that whole disco/dance thing that got really popular a few years ago. Honestly, our first record wasn’t ever meant to be played live. The album was made for fun and we never intended to play it for anyone so we did things differently on this album. We are really into bands like Sonic Youth and wanted to make a more rock oriented album. This album was made with the intention of playing the songs live and I think they translate to a live setting better than the old record.

ATH: What’s it like being from a non-English speaking country like Brazil and trying to make it in the US?

CSS: Well I don’t think we ever really set out to “make it” and we still aren’t very popular in Brazil. Sub Pop found our first record and came to us with the idea of putting it out in the US. We were sort of involved in other projects and had made the first record almost as an art project but then they found it. I guess we owe a lot of our success in the states to Sub Pop reaching out to us.

ATH: Here’s the iPod commerical question… So your song “Music is my Boyfriend” appeared in that now famous iPod commercial. Do you think this helped your career? Or could it have hurt it?

CSS: How could it have hurt us? It’s done nothing but get the word out about us in the US. I guess some Americans might view it as selling out but what are we supposed to do? The whole idea of people not liking a band because they “sell out” is so stupid and I don’t understand how anyone can be mad at a band for trying to make a living. It’s not like we would sell our songs to just anyone. We totally approved of the iPod commercial and thought they made it in a nice way. We would never sell our song to something we thought portrayed us in a poor light or wasn’t something we thought was a good idea. That song really hasn’t even been as popular with crowds as “Let’s Make Love” so it’s not like that’s the only song people know of ours. So, no, the commercial did nothing but help us and didn’t hurt us in any way.

ATH: A lot of people have noted your fashion influences here in the US. Do you see a CSS clothing line anytime soon?

CSS: I think it’s funny that people talk about the way we dress because this is just what we wear everyday [Anna is sporting black jeans with a black George Michael shirt. Carol has jeans and a button up flannel]. I guess Lovefoxx wears some pretty crazy stuff, like the leotard today, when we play live shows. Maybe if we ever stopped touring for a bit and had some down time we’d think about it. It’s a cool idea, but I’m not sure we would have time for it right now.

ATH: When you guys are in the US, do you have any favorite foods you have to eat?

CSS: Well Anna really likes hamburgers and hotdogs even though that’s like your junk food here. I’m [Carol] a vegetarian so it can be hard for me to find things to eat in Austin with all your BBQ and beef. Honestly, what kind of food is truly American? I think we like getting things in the US that aren’t exactly “American” style foods but foods that are made really well here. Like we always enjoy eating sushi when we are in the US and some of your Tex-Mex is okay. Some people in the US call your Tex-Mex Mexican food even though it has nothing to do with real Mexican food. We love food though and are always open to trying things out in every city we go to.

ATH: So this may be a bit of a touchy subject, but we’re going to ask this question anyway. Your home country Brazil seems to be struggling a bit in the intitial qualifying for the World Cup in 2010. What do you make of it? Will the motherland be okay or should you start worrying?

CSS: Oh, I like this question. You have nothing to worry about with Brazilian soccer, they will be fine. Anyone who worries about that is stupid, it’s still very early. You are coming from the US anyway and no one watches the MLS and no one cares about Beckham. Brazil will make the World Cup and win it of course. We love soccer and we always support Brazil.

Thanks again are due to Carol and Anna for giving us time to talk to them about their band. Much love.

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