Music Q&A: Os Mutantes

The influential 1960s Brazilian rock band have returned with a new line-up. Sergio Dias, still at the helm, tells Big Issue North about a life as psychedelic and experimental as the music

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What informs your music and songwriting?
Anything: news, a sexy girl walking on the street, TV, films, other songs, artists, internal insights. It is endless.

How have you evolved as an artist over the years?
My life has basically been on the road, first with the three Mutantes first generations and playing with all the artists at the time and being influenced deeply by them – Jorge Ben, Eleis Regina, Tom Jobim, Tom Zé and others. Before that, from Ray Charles and Nat King Cole to April Stevens, Jimmy Smith, Barney Kessel, and afterwards in NY for 10 years playing with the top guys on the jazz scene there. I saw Marta Quinn on the first day of MTV, and Carter being screwed and Reagan getting the power. I saw spaceships, smoked grass, did everything I wanted and I moulded my life. Got sick with panic attacks, suffered lost wives, brothers – I saw so much. I played on Ted Kennedy’s yacht in Nantucket, I’ve heard and studied with Ravi Shankar, I heard Bowie and George Harrison, and saw them depart and I heard Black Star. I had a Mustang GT 5 litres and rocked the road with it. And a Mercedes E63 AMG. I had boats and lived in Las Vegas, I travelled from Tocantins to Singapore, Australia, USA, Europe. We still need Russia.

What are you up to at the moment artistically?

I just did a fabulous work with my friend Carly Bryant from England called Colour, and I am really in love with it.

What’s on your rider?
Two guitar amps, three guitar stands and I bring my personal equipment – my pedals, my Kier guitar that I built and a Line 6 700.

Tell us your most embarrassing or surreal experience.
Exchanging bodies and minds with people during acid trips… and becoming one with the whole universe.

What song do you wish you’d written?
Firebird, Stravinsky.

What’s your worst lyric?
Fuck, I don’t know. Sorry – let the world judge it…

OS Mutantes play Manchester Band on the Wall, 21 May, and Leeds Brudenell Social Club, 22 May

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