Supla and João Suplicy have an incredible sibling dynamic both on and off-stage, which is demonstrated most excellently during the course of this interview in a tennis match-like argument about the artistic validity of Woody Allen.
Interview and photos by Brook Hewitt
Brazil is a country brimming with culture; it is, after all, derived from a myriad of origins. To describe the culture potpourri of Brazil is very much like the personality and style of Brazilian native Supla Suplicy. Supla makes up one half of the duo Brothers of Brazil. The other half is his real-life brother, João Suplicy.
I went into the interview with Brothers of Brazil not knowing what to expect. I had listened to some of their one-of-a-kind music and did enough research to form some questions, but I still felt like I had a lot to learn about the Brothers. It was obvious, just minutes into the interview, that Supla was very serious about the business of creativity: he had been involved in music since he was 13 years old. He has worked with an impressive list of punk icons such as Nina Hagen and Bernard Rhodes, and has created 10 albums and sold over two million copies. Supla is also one of the judges on Brazilian Idol and has been a part of several TV shows in Brazil. Even though Brothers of Brazil have fame and fans in their homeland, they understand that in the U.S. they still have some work to do. They are happily touring with Adam Ant and hope that opening for such a legend, mixed with hard work and unmatchable charisma, will garner them some of the success in America that they have had abroad.
I started the interview with just Supla. He explained, almost without a taking a breath, the history of Brothers of Brazil. We laughed about this together then we were joined by João, who also had an enviable list of accomplishments. My favorite of these is the album he made of Elvis songs done in Bossa Nova style. João had a little less to say than Supla, but I think the sibling dynamic had more to do with that than an actual lack of opinion or words. I asked the Brothers to tell me who their creative idols were. Supla immediately said, “Joe Pesci!” and João immediately said, “Woody Allen!” It was at this point that they started a tennis match-like argument about the artistic validity of Woody Allen. It was a priceless reminder that these guys were actually related.
That dynamic they had together in the interview was amazing to see on stage; it was sort of like the Smothers Brothers in a weird David Lynch dream. João has a more suave sound and look while he plays guitar while Supla jumps around at times, screaming primally and smacking a drum kit. Both are very talented at their instruments and at keeping the crowd in the palm of their hands. I watched the show with a smile on my face, afraid that if I looked away I would miss something wildly entertaining. To describe their sound I must reference a genre that they invented for themselves: “punkanova.” All I can say is listen to some Bossa Nova and imagine it done in a punk-influenced way. I would also encourage you to buy one of their albums, invite a few friends over, have a few cocktails and let the happiness flow through the room. Brothers of Brazil make happy music.
Brothers of Brazil can be found online at brothersofbrazil.uol.com.br