CSS - Biography
If there was ever a band that proved the Internet is the world’s greatest A&R rep, it would have to be CSS. Not only did various members of the Brazilian dance-rock sextet meet through web-based social networking groups, they were also “discovered” after a few early tracks became hits on their Trama Virtual page—the Brazilian equivalent of MySpace. Since that time, various music publications throughout the world began heralding the band as the best rock group to ever come out of Brazil before CSS had even signed a recording contract. They would eventually distribute their two EPs via the net as well, becoming one of the world’s most successful practitioners of cyber networking.
CSS formed in 2003 by mutual friends who met through the local São Paulo underground club scene and various web-based social network sites like Fotolog. CSS is an acronym for Cansei de Ser Sexy, which translates to “I got tired of being sexy,” a line allegedly lifted from a quote by Beyoncé.
Comprised of Lovefoxxx (vocals/MC), Adriano Cintra (drums/multi-instrumentalist), Luiza Sa (guitars/drums/keyboards), Ira Trevisan (bass), and Carolina Parra (guitars), CSS quickly developed a sound that mixed dance, rock, hip hop, and pop culture lyrics teetering on edge of silliness. Yet the songs were infectious.
CSS’s web-based popularity compelled the owners of the Trama Virtual website to invest in the act, and invite journalists from international music publications to come see CSS play in São Paulo. Bowled over by the band’s ferocious live energy, CSS was soon being touted as the biggest musical act to come out of Brazil even though they didn’t have a contract with a label. The band self-released their debut EP, Em Rotterdam Ja e uma Febre in 2004, following it a few months later by a second EP, A Onda Mortal/Uma Tarde com PJ. CSS closed out the year with a renowned performance at the TIM Festival in São Paulo.
The following year CSS signed to Trama Virtual’s fledgling record label and released their self-titled debut, CSS (2005 Trama Virtual) complete with a bonus EP titled, CSS Suxxx . . . (2005 Trauma Virtual). After signing with the North American indie label, Sub Pop Records, CSS received an international release in 2006, and the band began touring extensively, opening for acts such as Gwen Stefani and Ladytron and performing at festivals throughout North American and Europe. They would receive an unexpected push when the song “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” was used for an iPod Touch commercial, exposing the band to an international mainstream audience.
The second CSS full-length, Donkey (2008 Sub Pop), was not nearly as raucous and raw as the club-revered frosh release. Mike “Spike” Stent mixed the songs and Cintra produced the album, the same as on the debut. The new more polished wrinkles in the songs hinted at a sophisticated approach to the music, which critics argued was at odds with its hedonistic essences of its DIY approach. Shortly after the completion of Donkey, bassist Ira Trevisan announced her departure from the group to pursue a career in fashion design. Cintra took up the bass duties in her absence.