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Bonde Do Role

Author: Cyclone
Friday, 16 May 2008
At the end of 2007 it looked like the party was over for Bonde Do Rolê. In spite of mobilising bloggers, charming hipsters and gatecrashing the pop realm with their flamboyant debut, ...With Lasers, all wasn't well backstage. Zany lead MC Marina Ribatski quit amid reports of tensions in bonde.

'Her decision was really sudden,' MC/DJ/producer Pedro D'Eyrot says. 'She was like, 'I don't wanna do this anymore' - and left.'

The remaining Brazilians had no option but to cancel summer's Australian tour. The first hint of disquiet came when Rodrigo Gorky revealed to Radio 1's Annie Mac that Bonde were grappling with 'internal problems'. Nevertheless, Bonde alluded to no such drama in promoting their Antipodean dates.

To this day, Pedro doesn't get why Marina abandoned a hot global outfit. 'That's something I cannot understand myself,' he rues. 'I could try to figure out why but...

'It's something I wouldn't do, something Gorky wouldn't do, but she did, so... I don't know. She wasn't happy and she wanted to be with her boyfriend and everything, so that was the decision that she made - a very unhappy one, but it's her decision.'

The band's official statement stressed that they'd stay friends, yet Pedro is unsure if Marina will continue her involvement in music. 'She said that she wants to do stuff, but we haven't heard anything, so I don't know,' he says.

Now Bonde Do Rolê (pronounced 'bonge de her-lay') are finally bound for Australia with not one but two new chicks, Laura Taylor and Ana Bernardino, whom they discovered through a reality TV show.

Sounds cheesy- That was the point. Bonde's founders seized the opportunity to subvert reality TV - and, says Pedro, MTV Brazil was unusually supportive.

'We were really inspired by trashy TV like the 'I wanna be a new Pussycat Doll' kind of thing,' he laughs. He and Gorky enlisted their friends CSS as judges. The applicants were set all manner of random (and bizarre) tasks, like mud wrestling, as part of their audition. But more on that later.

Not since the revolt in Destiny's Child that led to the exile of two homegirls has a popular group installed new members at such a critical juncture. However, Pedro is delighted with Bonde's recruits. Laura he describes as 'sexy', while Ana represents a more 'aggressive' or 'heavy hardcore' side of Bonde.

Confused by Taylor's Anglo name- Uniquely, she's a Brazilian Kiwi. Indeed, she was born in South America. She moved to her mother's native New Zealand at six. But, for the past few years, she's resided in Brazil. Taylor not only has a strident Kiwi accent, but she's also direct. Don't call her a Kiwi. She's Brazilian.

Already down with an all-female DJ clique, Taylor yearned to perform - and she recognised Bonde as her chance. She was determined to join.

Pedro, a man of many guilty pleasures, loved Bonde's carnivalesque reality TV adventure, but Taylore still agonises over what was 'a very traumatic experience'. Wasn't it fun-

'It wasn't fun - it was really stressful!' she responds vehemently. 'It was like nothing that I'd ever do, ever, so it's a good thing that I won, otherwise I'd be fully burnt, hey - 'cause reality TV is just so crap. But you have to do what you gotta do. It all worked out in the end.'

According to Taylor, Gorky and Pedro were 'mean boys', intent on degrading the Bonde aspirants in the spirit of entertainment.

The worst trial- Taylor had to digest a 'nasty' takeaway from downtown Sao Paulo. No one knows what kind of meat it was. 'It was all so stupid - and they were really mean to do that,' she says of the overall experience with pained humour.

'They did that just to take the piss out of reality TV, basically - that's what their whole idea was, 'cause the band is just
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