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CSS Return

After three years out of the studio, the ever-energetic and enigmatic Lovefoxxx and co speak to Dazed upon their return with a brand new album

There’s no doubt that life would be that little bit less interesting without CSS. Having lit up festivals for the last five years with hits like ‘Let’s Make Love and Listen To Death From Above’ and ‘Alala’, who can honestly say they aren’t put in a better mood by seeing Lovefoxxx and co frolicking on stage in all their finery? Certainly not us. Three years after 2008’s ‘The Donkey’ was released to mixed reviews, and a band admission of fatigue, they’ve returned, recharged and rejuvenated with album number three – La Liberación. The record, fronted as a ‘back to basics’ journey onto familiar ground, sees CSS joined by some familiar faces, from Bobbie Gillespie to Ratatat. All signs point to a return to form. We caught up with Lovefoxxx to find out more.

Dazed Digital: How is this album different from the previous two?
Lovefoxxx: I think the technical aspects of it are very different. When we were making the songs we had time to go back to them and re-work them over and over again and re-record and let the songs age a little bit. We’ve never had a chance to do that before. In some ways we go back to basics; it’s really happy and upbeat. It’s the record that we’re most proud of since the beginning.

DD: Why ‘La Liberación’?
It took us a long time to come up with a title that everyone was happy with, and when this came up there wasn’t even any discussion. We didn’t even talk about changing it to Portuguese or English – it was always going to be kept in Spanish. We’re such a tight group of friends that we really understand what’s going on with each other. We have an unspoken communication and that’s how we came up with this title.

DD: How did the collaborations come about?
I think the reason they happened is because we had time to think about them! Bobbie Gillespie was the first and when we were making the track I could almost hear his vocal on it. So we asked him if he was really up for it. With Ratatat, we’ve toured together before and the song, ‘Red Alert’ was ready, I just wanted them to rework the song. They’re really good with rap songs and I think it’s a west coast rap track. They really work the negative places of the songs. It works really well live. We also had Mike Garson; David Bowie’s pianist, and that was very special. Then there’s Cody from SSION who raps on ‘City Grrrl’. He’s been a big inspiration to me.

DD: What were you listening to while making the album?
A lot of the stuff that I always listen to but I went through this Liz Phair phase and listened to albums like ‘Exile on Guyville’ and ‘Whip-Smart’ and then Dinosaur Junior with ‘Hand It Over’ and ‘You’re Living All Over Me’. It’s about being a weird kid, not belonging and then finding a friend and really being part of something. The movie ‘Warriors’ was a big influence as was ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, that kind of thing.

DD: How important was moving back to São Paulo?
We were touring a lot and I don’t like feeling like a foreigner for too long. I get pissed off filling out paper work, having to get visas and having to prove that I’m not going to steal people’s jobs. It messes with my head and I don’t feel welcome. Being in São Paulo and being welcome makes a big difference to me and everyone else.

DD: What’s next for CCS?
We’re going to tour this album for a while. Plus we did 24 songs for this album so I’m sure that in the near future we’ll release an EP….

La Liberación is out on August 22 2011