Sergio Dias, founding member of Os Mutantes, the Brazilian group that in the late ’60s tripped through the Tropicalia movement with kaleidoscopic, politically-charged rock, recently became an American citizen.
“So I’ve been living this absurdity that is the Trump family in power,” says Dias, who voted for the first time in the last election. “The corporation moved to the White House.”
Dias formed the purposefully disruptive Mutantes with his brother, Arnaldo Baptista, and Rita Lee in a time when artists faced the Brazilian military regime with music that voiced dissent. The band split up in the 1970s, and Baptista and Dias reunited for a brief tour about a decade ago. Since then, Dias has led a new incarnation of the group, which released the album Fool Metal Jack in 2013.
A new single, “Black & Gray” — premiering today on Billboard — is Dias’ response to current events.
“’Black & Gray’ talks about watching TV these days,” Dias told Billboard via email. “50 Tomahawks sent from a ship to destroy targets, drones flying and killing children, Assad killing more children and adults with nerve gas and North Korea about to blow South Korea (at least) into oblivion all while Trump is tweeting ‘Fire and Fury,’ which seems like a bad spy movie title.”
The English-language, ’60s reminiscent rock protest song calls Trump “crazy” — “aces on the races to the certain final war” — and appeals to Melania Trump for help: “Oh Melania, save me…Oh Melania, love me, because I love you.”
“To whom can we ask for help?” Dias says. “The Senate? No, Melania, our first lady… Maybe she can enlighten our president and make some changes… I’ve never seen Trump extend a slight tenderness or affection to this poor immigrant… like me. Does he have her behind a wall also?”
“Black & Gray” will be released digitally on Tuesday (Nov. 7). Os Mutantes can be expected to perform the song during its set at the Nov. 11 Tropicália Music and Taco Festival in Long Beach, Calif. Preview it below.