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THE INTERVIEW: Nancy

Brazilian band Nancy do not play the South American inspired music you think they might play. Their music is indie-rock and this six piece is lead by their gorgeously sounding singer Camila Zamith, with fellow band members Praxis, Dreaduardo, Munha, Fernando Lanches, and Ivan Bicudo. I had the chance to talk to keyboardist Ivan Bicudo and ask him about their music, what inspires them, and their love for metal, specifically Slayer!

If you could describe Nancy’s music in one sentence, what would it be?

It’s sweet and sexy HPV chic. Or “Ok, NOW you’ve done it!”

How did Nancy get started as a band?

Praxis and Dread used to play together after school or something like that. They had this project called Inverso do Mantra, in which they would curse and bang the drums loudly while looking for the guitar cables. They shared an interest in pretentious, instrumental post-rock by then, but that’s just because they had never found a good singer. Then Camila joined the band and everything changed.

What have been some of the inspirations behind your upcoming full length album?

João Gilberto, Madvillain, Satanique Samba Trio and the hiatus between Lost seasons.

Explain how your full length album was the work of exchanged emails. Why should or shouldn’t other musicians try this method in creating new music?

Camila and Praxis had moved away. She went city-hopping, from Brasília to Montevideo, from Boston to London, while Praxis moved to Rio. But even with the distance we found out we still wanted to make music together, so we started emailing each other song ideas we’d record at home with our laptops and send them around. Camila would reply with a vocal line, someone else would add the keys, etc. We weren’t aiming at an album, really, and with this method things were really laid back, no rush – it gave us more time to try out ridiculous ideas we possibly wouldn’t have tried in the studio. That was the only way to do it. But, anyway, face to face is always better, even when other band members smell bad.

Where did your band name “Nancy” come from?

From Tonya Harding. We’re a rock band, our name doesn’t mean shit.

You sing both in English and Portuguese correct? Why was it important to include both languages in your music?

They both sound particularly interesting. We’d probably sing in French or whatever other language as well if we knew how to speak it. Not in Spanish, though.

I read that the bandmates have quit their day jobs to pursue music. What did everyone used to do before making music? Do you believe any aspiring artist should do the same in the name of their passions? Why or why not?

Camila, Praxis and I are journalists. We worked in newspapers, magazines and for the UN. Fernando is a lawyer studying to be a diplomat, Dread has a PhD in Psychology and Munha has a degree in Visual Arts Critical Theory. But it’s not a choice as wild as it may seem. You just need to know for sure what you really want. Once you know, the decision is an easy one, really. Then six months later, you grovel to your boss asking for your job back. We’re in a recession, people.

Which has been your best and worst performance so far and why?
We love playing in festivals. And aside from technical difficulties, like breaking strings and such, I don’t think we’ve had a bad one yet.

You guys have claimed to sound like Slayer. If given the chance, would you go metal?

We go metal all the time, when we’re rehearsing someone will always break into a Slayer or a Sepultura riff and chaos ensues. We probably couldn’t do it for real because we lack the chops and the hair, but we’re pretty into metal.

Tell me something that few people know about the group.

We’re Dharma Initiative.

What does everyone look forward to doing in New York City other than performing?

Taking you out to dinner. Are you free?

Check out Nancy play live tonight at The Delancey and tomorrow at Pianos.

Stephanie Nolasco

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