TIDAL Rising: Dingo Bells
“For as long as we can remember” is the best answer to how long Dingo Bells has been playing together.
Although the Brazilian rock band just released its debut album, Maravilhas da Vida Moderna, the musicians Felipe, Rodrigo and Diogo have been strumming guitars as a unit ever since they were teens in Porto Alegre, the capital of Brazil’s southernmost state.
The trio has since grown from a hard rock cover band to sophisticated pop enthusiasts, with a funky musical palette inspired in everything from Steely Dan and Talking Heads to Caetano Veloso, Brazil’s high-priest of Tropicalia.
The local buzz has packed album release shows and landed them an upcoming national tour. TIDAL spoke to bassist Felipe Kautz to learn more about Dingo Bells’ sunny hooks and rhythm-oriented arrangements.
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Who is Dingo Bells? Please introduce yourselves.
Dingo Bells is a Brazilian pop group from Porto Alegre, put together by three best friends who learned how to make music together and developed their sound over the past ten years. Our music is a mix of soul and folk with vocal harmonies, lots of groove and detailed guitar work.
When did your musical tastes begin to take shape, and how did you start making music?
Music was always very important to all of our families at home. We’ve know each other since we were kids, and by the time we got to middle school our musical tastes started to bring us together. That was the time we all learned how to play an instrument, and began to borrow music from each other and discover great music together.
What kind of music did you listen to then and what were the most influential artists?
When we were kids it was a lot about classic rock: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and so on. We also were into The Beatles and The Beach Boys’ amazing vocal harmonies. Nowadays, I think our influences come from many places. We really like Steely Dan, Chic and Talking Heads, as well as a lot of Brazilian music, like Caetano Veloso and Milton Nascimento.
Steely Dan is awesome. Not a lot of bands seem to mention them as influences…
They are briliant. The quality of their productions, the songwriting, the musicianship, are all really amazing – as well as the harmonies and arrangements – just perfect. Plus they have so much groove in their songs. Really great!
Last question: If Dingo Bells’ music were a dish, what would it be?
I think it would be a feijoada [a Brazilian-style gumbo] with a unique recipe cooked up by us.
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