Zeep on the ball

A quick chat with the Anglo-Brazilian outfit, led by Nina Miranda and Chris Franck
Songstress herself and a dear friend of Jungle’s, we invited Heather McClell to pitch some questions to the band that, having spiced up the courtyard after the Brazil v N Korea match, will be back for another gig at Camino on 2nd July 2010, after Brazil v Netherlands, once again as part of our Copa Jungle series of parties…

JD: How are things going with Zeep? How has your latest album been received, what are you up to at the moment, and what’s on the horizon?

Nina: Luckily the press love it. “There’s an irresistible playfulness to everything here, so clever it borders on genius”. UNCUT (4 stars) JD (5 stars) Telegraph (5 stars)…. friends and fans tell us “we’re addicted to your album!”. Music is a healthy addiction, and Zeep has been getting deeper and freakier! The live band has taken on a life of it’s own, we’ve kept it to a 4 piece which means there is more room to bounce off each other, and fly, the bass player and drummer each have a fantastic sense of humor as well as being top-notch funky as hell musicians. I’m finding the live experience more of a ‘trip’ than ever, the material is very theatrical and good to get your teeth into, and I am entertained by the audience, who participate more and more. Chris’s guitar solos really do it for me too. We are now starting work on our next album, incorporating what has been created in live shows, when everything goes off the rails… in a good way.

Chris: It’s great to have a band that has now been “played in” to the point where we can be very spontaneous on stage and deconstruct the music whichever way the mood takes us. I think this is what all good bands should try to achieve and am so happy that we have reached this point. We want to give as much as we can, and no two gigs are ever the same. Nina is fantastic on stage and the communication between the band is amazing. Any one of us can take the lead and we’ll all follow.

JD: Can you tell us a little bit about the gig you’ll play at Camino – how do you think your music will compliment the locale/ambient, and the football match?

Nina: There’ll be many caipirinhas and cervejas downed that night, it’s always a lively place but with the football and many Brazilians in the mix it will be anything but austere in atmosphere! – so yes we’re gonna keep it “up, up, up”.

Chris: I DJ at Camino once a month but don’t know it as a venue for bands. We’ll make it a party nevertheless and might even bring more percussion for that extra “Brazil” feeling.

JD: Are you both football fans? What do you think is the difference between the way that Brazil and England combine football and music?

Nina: English football songs are RUBBISH! The Brazilian Jorge Ben most famously writes and sings the best about football, (I will never forgive Black Eyed Peas for MURDERING ‘Mas que nada’), Jorge B best describes the beautiful artistry of the game, his passion is contagious, yet he abstracts it too. As in ‘Ponta De Lança Africano?’.. joga bola jogador…..”

Nice imagery. When I watch football I totally zone out, find it quite meditative I like the colours and shapes, it’s like a dance. It only comes into sharp focus for me when Brazil are playing in the World Cup. Chris is a great footballer, and loves talking about and watching the game; he even taught me some moves.

Chris: I absolutely love football and since a kid have wanted to be a footballer. I am glad I chose music but I play football once a week to keep living a bit of that dream. Music and football go hand in hand as far as Brazil are concerned – swing, rhythm, dance, tricks, poetry and flow are all a part of the way Brazil play. England don’t have the sensuality in their game the way that Brazil do. England have got great players and can play very well at the moment but are rarely a treat to watch in the same way as Brazil are. They lack the swing that Brazil have.

JD: I had no interest in Football whatsoever until I spent the last World Cup in Brazil. I found their passion to be infectious. What do you think is unique about Brazil’s relationship with football?

Nina: More generous, it is more about the game, not the celebrity, the money, lifestyle, plastic babes, less violent, more musical, more about the game than the winning… and it is happening all around, pitches everywhere, even on the beach.

Chris: As we know, Brazil is a huge country so there is definitely not a lack of players. Many poor people only have football and music to distract themselves from the harsh realities of life. Music is everywhere and so is football. The 2 are so linked that it would almost be impossible for them to exist without each other. Brazilians are so proud of their football because they know that they have taken the art of the game to another level. This will only make them more passionate about it.

JD: Brazil v England – who would each of you support and why?

Nina: 95% of the time Brazil although if I’m in Brazil I might be more likely to support England. I don’t think too much patriotism is a good thing, too much flag waving. I like the world all mixed up, each team is now so international, you just have to look at the names of the players. We are all brothers and sisters! The British flag and England flag I find particularly off putting as it has some bad connotations. When I first moved to England when I was eight (from Brazil, father Brazilian mother English) it was a really racist time with skinheads and all that, we got quite bullied along with any friends who didn’t look white Kentish town! I think the press has a lot to answer for, you can see it if England plays Germany, they always refer back to the war, and make a match seem like a war… if its Italy they talk about spaghetti.. v. stupid. I support Cameroon too in the world cup, they’ve just got such an amazing vibe, Brazil have one enough times!

Chris: I always support Brazil. I am not English and my team is Holland. Like the Brazilians, the Dutch have also turned their game into an art form and I love football to be played in a beautiful way. For me it has always been the English attitude and aggression which has turned me off from supporting them. The press indeed has a lot to answer for in this country as far as portraying the English mentality towards football. For me there has always been too much aggression, unnecessary pressure on the players, arrogance, racist attitudes, and ignorance as far as the rest of the teams are concerned.

Check out the band’s tunes and style, forthcoming gigs and a version of ‘Ghost Town’ in Portuguese right here: myspace.com/zeepband

Interview by Heather McClell (myspace.com/heathermcclell)

Leave a Reply