CSS’ Lovefoxxx: “I wanted to fuck and travel and then god made me an indie pop star!”

With the indie sleaze revival still in full swing, Lisa Wright meets CSS' Lovefoxxx for a thoroughly entertaining conversation about the band's 20 year reunion shows.


We’re only a few months into 2024, and already it’s proving a vintage year for those still worshipping at the altar of ‘00s lycra-clad hedonism. First, Beth Ditto’s storming dance-punks Gossip announced their comeback album, and now CSS – Nu Rave’s sexy, sparkly, Brazilian good-time gang – are getting the band back together for a 20th anniversary tour.

The quartet and their irrepressible leader Lovefoxxx built a reputation on wild stage antics, inclusive spirit, and an ability to bring the party like few others can manage. Dusting off the hits – ‘Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death From Above’, ‘Alala’, Music Is My Hot Hot Sex’ etc – this June for their first UK run in over a decade (and quite possibly their last ever!), we got Lovefoxxx on the blower from Sao Paulo, where, safe to say, she’s lost none of her madcap brilliance…

Hello Lovefoxxx! This reunion is celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary – when you started CSS, was there any part of you that had dreams of it lasting for this long?


No, absolutely not. None of us had dreams or ambitions with CSS and I’m very proud to say that’s the truth, that CSS is the fruit of a very spontaneous tree!

Have you been looking back through the CSS archives in preparation?

Now we have to push social media, and post photos, and do content and whatnot – so even if I didn’t want to go back, we have to! Luiza [Sá, guitarist] is a great photographer, so we have amazing pictures and we’re very lucky. But we have no footage because none of us really cared about documenting it. We’re sweating a bit to be able to do this damn content, but we do a lot of shit posting!

Are there any particularly fond memories that have come up?

It’s funny because what I love to remember the most are the bad shows, the shows that didn’t sell well and we had 30 people in Baltimore. But the best thing about this band is our friendships. I made great friends in my bandmates and it’s beautiful to see them develop as grown-ass women; it’s beautiful to see what they’ve become. Maybe that’s not enough to make headlines, but that’s the biggest thing for me. We’re kind of doing the tour firstly because the UK promoter [suggested it], but mostly because we’re excited to just be back together. It’s also important to say that this is not a comeback, it’s a reunion, because we don’t have new material.

In an interview back in 2019 you said you’d been writing, did that all get scrapped?

In 2019 we played a show in Sao Paulo that was great and we were making demos, but then 2020 came and we got kind of turned off. I’m being too honest here, but we don’t really have the energy [anymore] because it’s not like you can just make some songs and release them, you’ve got to do the whole working of the songs. Our lives outgrew the band. I’m a painter and I’m super stoked with my new career and everyone has different careers now. And really, social media is such a pain – I’m so jaded-sounding right?! I promise I’m still cheerful!

On the contrary, it’s quite refreshing for someone to just say ‘Frankly, I can’t be arsed…’

Right! Oh my god! Before, we just had to go play BBC and XFM, do some interviews and then bye! But now, all the pushing on social media, I can’t…

Were the demos any good?

Yeah! One of the songs was about plastic – about pollution. I went on such a different journey after we paused with the band. I went to do volunteer building of sustainable buildings in Argentina, and I went to Australia to study permaculture. I sold everything I had in Sao Paulo and bought a piece of land and was living off-grid. I didn’t make any money. And also I had silicone implants and I took them out. So that song’s about plastic and the pollution of petroleum. And then there was another one about losing faith in men – it was pretty good I think!

You’ve lived a lot of lives since CSS! The band must seem like a thousand years ago now…

Not really! When you’ve been through it, it seems like five years ago. It’s that 20 year cycle, but it is weird. If we grew taller as we grew older, that would make more sense you know? If we had a new set of teeth every ten years, that would make more sense as well. It doesn’t help anything that we keep wearing the same shoe size…

So true. CSS and nu rave were slap-bang in the middle of what’s now being called the ‘indie sleaze’ era – was it as wild from the inside as people say?

When I look back, all I think is that it was cute. It wasn’t wild, it was cute. We were kids! It was amazing! I look at photos of that [NME] Nu Rave Tour and the crowd were babies, everyone was like milk-fed babies. That’s all I can think of!

Within the brightness and fun of nu rave, bands like CSS became spaces for self-expression that attracted lots of queer fans and were perhaps more important than they were given credit for. Has that been a rewarding part of the experience?

Yeah, so much. I never expected that to be something that would happen because I felt like we’d have to be more serious or formal to be an inspiration like this. But it’s so surprising how, just by being yourself, [you can cultivate that]. I wanted to travel, I wanted to sleep with people, I wanted to have attention on me so that I would be beautiful somehow; I just wanted to live this life and that was my motivation. I wanted to fuck and travel, and then god made me an indie pop star! And then just through this very selfish dream of being loved and seeing the world, you somehow inspire other people. 

Now that I’m an adult woman, I see how that was the case because we were not trained musicians, I was spontaneous onstage, and then people saw like, ‘Oh, this could be me. I could be that’. And there was so much love involved. In Brazil, at the beginning of our career, most of the journalists were male cis straight men and they were so rough on us – talking shit about our appearances, how bad we were, how much we sucked. But we always had so much support from the fans; they always loved us so much and still today there’s so much love. I feel very lucky because I wasn’t thinking about being a role model at all!

Amen to that! You were known for being pretty wild on stage – can we expect Lovefoxxx in 2024 to still get up to some mischief?

Yeah! Our essence is so strong. I’ve always been this way. I remember once I was at a sports bar in the mall in the city where I grew up. I was maybe 14, and the people there were SO basic and I was so angry I started to dance, dance, dance, dance like crazy. I wanted to punch everyone but I started to dance instead. I thought I was being a badass but I always looked like a little kid because that’s how my face is because I’m half Japanese. But then people at the sports bar started to like me and they were asking my name and where I was from because I was dancing so much. I said my name was Mikaela, and Mikaela is Lovefoxxx and I still do this! 

Will you be busting out the leotard collection again?

Not leotards! You know why I started wearing leotards is because I wanted to look like a surfer! I love how they look with long johns and that was my version. You know that internet meme, ‘expectation vs reality’, it was like that. But I’m working with two friends who are amazing designers who are making outfits and I’m gonna have something special.

Is this gonna just be one anniversary tour and then done?

Is this the last tour? Probably. It’s so much time to organise a tour and it’s so much work, but every time I get back with them I go, ‘We should get those demos because pollution and plastics are still a problem’. And men as well… We also have a song called ‘Why Don’t You Suck Your Own Dick Tonight?’ The girls don’t like that one too much, but I love it… We also have a song about cats but then Carolina said we already have a song about cats, but I’m like, come on! The internet loves cats! We could have an album just about cats! As I’m ageing I tend to write more about cats and less about sex, it’s the natural curve of songwriting.