Os Mutantes (“The Mutants”) are an influential Brazilian psychedelic rock band that were linked with the tropicália movement of the late 1960s. When Os Mutantes was formed, it combined influences from psychedelic acts from the English-speaking world like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Sly & the Family Stone with bossa nova, tropicália, samba and the cultural legacy of the Brazilian art vanguards from the modernist movement.
One of the most well-known and influential rock bands in Brazil, Os Mutantes are cited as a major influence to many contemporary underground or independent bands in the United States and Europe. Beck paid tribute to the group with his single “Tropicália” from the album Mutations. The Bees (UK band) covered “A Minha Menina” on their first album, Sunshine Hit Me. Red Hot Chili Peppers bass player Flea has stated on his Twitter account that he is a fan. Kevin Barnes of Of Montreal cites Os Mutantes as an important influence. Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has worked to publish and promote the group’s music through his Luaka Bop label. Kurt Cobain publicly requested a reunion tour from the trio in 1993, writing a letter to Arnaldo Baptista, but the bands first live performance since 1978 was at London’s Barbican Arts Centre on May 22, 2006 – (though without Rita Lee, who was replaced with Zélia Duncan on vocals). This performance was followed by shows in New York City, Los Angeles (with the Flaming Lips), San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, and Miami. However in September 2007, both Arnaldo Baptista and Zélia Duncan left the band, each expressing wishes to continue with their respective solo projects.
Sérgio Dias, however, vowed to keep the reformed band alive, not wanting to let “the giant sleep again”, as he put it. And so, led by Dias with Esmeria Bulgari on vocals, Henrique Peters on keyboards, Vinicius Junqueira on bass and Claudio Tchernev on drums the band toured extensively enjoying some great highlights such as “A Minha Menina” featuring as the audio track for the McDonald’s commercial “Victory” in June 2008, their first new release in 35 years, “Haih Or Amortecedor” (ANTI- Records) in September 2009. Extensive tours in support of the album including Glastonbury Festival in June 2010. In 2011, they collaborated with Of Montreal on the song “Bat Macumba” for the Red Hot Organization’s most recent charitable album “Red Hot+Rio 2.” and in 2013 the release of their album “Fool Metal Jack”. In 2017, Sergio Dias collaborated with the English singer-songwriter, Carly Bryant and subsequently she was put into the band’s line up on vocals, guitars and keyboards. Tres Olhos Music Festival quoted after her debut performance “”Packed with the new vocals, Carly Bryant took the audience to ecstasy, showing she’s here to stay.” The six piece release the single ‘Black and Grey’ in late 2017 and are currently working on a new studio album.
“A head-turning comeback” – BBC Music
“There was nothing quite like Os Mutantes, and there still isn’t” The Guardian “Kaleidoscopic, politically-charged rock” – Billboard