Comunidade and Sideral: new directions on the second album

Southern band and singer from Minas Gerais go for rock on their new albums, Maicou Douglas Syndrome and Na Paz

Silvio Essinger
Many artists go through changes – and the reasons may vary – when they are about to face the challenging second career album. Comunidade Nin-Jitsu (from Rio Grande do Sul) and Sideral (formerly Wilsom Sideral, from Minas Gerais) are no exception. After the rock party and a humorous approach to the funk made in Rio on the album Broncas Legais 30'' excerpts (1999), Comunidade gave the beats a break and set the guitars free on its follow-up, Maicou Douglas Syndrome 30'' excerpts , coming out on Sony Music. Sideral, on the other hand, had already dwelt on rock, ‘70s funk, piano ballads and even xote on his debut, 1 30'' excerpts (1999), and ended up privileging the rock music on his new disc, Na Paz 30'' excerpts , coming out on Universal Music.

Fredi Endres, guitarist with Comunidade, says that the new directions will help undo the slight confusion in the fans’ heads due to rap-driven songs like Rap do Trago, Detetive and Analfabeto. "In fact, we are a rock band, but we are also influenced by the likes of 2 Live Crew and Tone Loc. We are not out to take over the funk scene." Nonetheless, they wouldn’t decline invitations to play the funk show Furacão 2000 on the television. "If Mãe Loura [Blond Mother, which is how Verônica Costa, councilwoman and funk ball producer, is referred to by funk fans] invites us, that’s another story...", Fredi jokes, adding that he keeps using the Napster in order to retrieve funk made in Rio gems like A Chatuba de Mesquita.

The band has quit doing a common funk procedure: to use international pop-rock hits (like Falco’s Der Komissair, which originated Rap do Trago) as the base for their songs – it had caused some trouble by the time they were making the debut album, because English band The Cure did not give them permission to use Boys Don’t Cry. "When we made the versions, everything was spontaneous, nothing was premeditated", Fredi says. The only time an international pop hit is mentioned on Maicou Douglas Syndrome is during a Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics) keyboard part on Ah! Eu Tô Sem Erva.

Pop magician on the production
Halfway through the negotiation to put out the album on the label Rockit! (owned by Legião Urbana guitarist Dado Villa-Lobos, who had printed Broncas Legais), Comunidade received a proposal from Sony Music to join its cast. "We have a lot of respect for Dado’s work, but Sony has more structure to promote our music", Fredi says. Upon arrival at the new home, the band invited producer Dudu Marote (Skank, Pato Fu) to take care of the album. "He has this ‘pop magician’ reputation, but the truth is that he improved our studio skills", claims the guitarist. "We had to preserve the band’s essence."

Fredi doesn’t believe that Comunidade Nin-Jitsu should be harmed by the fact that they are joining Sony’s cast after the poor results achieved by another southern band that mixed rock with funk made in Rio (Defalla, with the album Miami Rock 2000 30'' excerpts ) . "We thank Edu K [Defalla leader] for not having admitted that we have influenced him. We were doing that kind of music way before them", he fires. According to the guitarist, the influence that is more prone to being noticed now is that of the electrofunk: P-Funk and Africa Bambaataa.

The name of the album – Maicou Douglas Syndrome – makes a reference to the sex-addict American actor. "In the south, Maicou [a Brazilian adaptation of the name Michael] Douglas has become slang language for a sex freak, who goes out every night to get a woman. The song Arrastão do Amor is about that", says Fredi. And don’t rush to accuse the band – which chose the picture a naked girl on top of a sushi to be printed on the cover of the CD – of being chauvinist. "Sex has to be consensual", he sums up.

As other southern colleagues have done, the Comunidade members are currently sharing an apartment in São Paulo. "We have established our name, there, now we want to play around the state a bit more", Fredi reveals. Still, the release party shall happen in Porto Alegre (capital of Rio Grande do Sul). The good news is that they have recovered part of the equipment that had been stolen early this year. "It’s sounds amazing, but the police found it!", he says.

More guitar-on-your-face
The samples and electronic beats that Comunidade Nin-Jitsu enjoyed so much on their debut CD are in the past for singer, guitarist and songwriter Wilsom Sideral, 25 years old and writer of the mega hit Fácil, recorded by his brother Rogério Flausino’s band, Jota Quest. Having worked with Dudu Marote in his first record, this time around Sideral decided to work with guitarist Tadeu Patola. And he liked the way Na Paz came out. "This album is more like guitar-on-your-face, with less samples than the first. It was nice to work with somebody who would let us be ourselves. He attended our rehearsals and just polished the sound, a bit", says the musician.

Sideral and his band recorded and mastered the album in 28 days. He claims not to care about the pressure to write hits like Zero a Zero and Não Pode Parar, from his debut album and which helped boost his career. "Success won’t come if we push. The lyrics of Fácil were lying inside the drawer for six months", he says. The bets on the new album are Sai Fora, Barbie (first single and video) and Simples, featuring Capital Inicial vocalist Dinho Ouro Preto on the vocals.

Sideral also made a rock version of Para Lennon e McCartney (a Lô Borges hit, written with his brother Márcio and Fernando Brant). "People who live in Minas Gerais are bound to enjoy it. In the countryside (the musician left his hometown Alfenas at age 18 to play with reggae band Omeriah), Clube da Esquina is still a very strong reference." His tour kicks off on May 18th.