Among the emblematic bands that illuminate the Brazilian retro rock’n’roll scene, Bloody Mary BM emerges, originally from Niterói, city of Rio de Janeiro, and formed in 2012. Under the baton of Mariana Oliveira, the vibrant voice that embodies the very essence of the band, Bloody Mary navigates musical styles with dazzling fluidity. In every chord and note, this eclectic energy embraces the stage, transmitting everything from rock and blues to pop, in Portuguese or English, in a show seasoned with the band’s inimitable sound mix.
The secret of this harmony lies in Marcus Ramalho’s meticulous care with the acoustic bass, where his control turns into dance, while Ciro Mendes, on drums, injects the groove that pulses on stage, infects the audience and gives life to Bloody’s unique sound. Mary.
How did the idea of forming the band Bloody Mary come about and what is the story behind that name?
The idea of creating Bloody Mary came up in 2012, on a trip that my husband Marcus Ramalho (bassist and band member) and I went to Las Vegas to participate in the Rockabilly Weekend event. As we really liked this retro culture, we decided to try to take a little of what we saw to Brazil and maybe make the most of this style that we love so much. To do this, we needed to choose a name that reflected this idea and so the name BLOODY MARY & THE MUNSTERS came up, later becoming just BLOODY MARY. This name may be associated with the famous drink made with tomatoes or even an urban legend. Another detail that would have to be focused on would be the fact that we invested in the issue of image, as we know that the image arrives before the sound and therefore, we had to be careful to attract the curious and, with that, have a greater chance of showcase this style that is so little known in Brazil. In the end, my quiff ended up being the band’s trademark and I could even say, my signature. Today we have been on the road for more than a decade and have surpassed 1000 shows. I can’t say if it worked, but the journey has been really fun and for us that’s what matters.
You mentioned moving between different musical styles. How do you manage to maintain this versatility without losing the band’s identity?
As I said above, the band started in a style that few know in Brazil and it is a style that we love to play, however if we remained in traditional Rockabilly, we would have little exposure here in Rio de Janeiro. No matter how much we fought, the public would still not be so expressive as to support this dream. The machine needs to move, it needs to survive and for that it needs to increase its audience. We couldn’t have the luxury of being a “success” in the underground. However, if we were to open horizons, we thought about doing it our way, and for that, we would need to apply our DNA to each song, regardless of its style and era. . Therefore, we began to think very carefully about deconstructing great hits, to leave them with our own style. The consequence of all this is that we became a cover band, but with an identity, that is, a signature and all that with an image worked from behind. I can’t help but say that we understand all of this as a process of natural evolution. I believe that if we remained frozen in time, without daring and taking risks, we would certainly be on a shelf.
Could you talk a little about the band’s sonic chemistry and how it is reflected in the song creation process?
It doesn’t matter the musical style, it’s just whether the music moves us. When we find this song, the deconstruction process begins to try to apply our DNA and then, after it is ready, we take it for a test at a show in a bar to see how the public behaves when listening to it. We give the song 3 chances to show that it can be on our set list. As much as the band enjoys the music and we love playing it, if it doesn’t get positive feedback from the public, unfortunately, we discard it immediately and the song goes on the shelf. Some return to the shipyard for new adjustments, however, only the songs that make the public go wild survive. It’s true to say that we prepared 10 songs in a rehearsal to take to the end, only 3 for a live show, of which only 1 or none survive the stage. This is our laboratory.
What is the process of writing lyrics and music in Bloody Mary? Are there specific themes or experiences that inspire your songs?
Original songs are a separate chapter. We are aware that if we want to go further, this is the stage we need to embrace and in this sense, we have embarked on 3 new original compositions that reflect the band’s maturity. We believe that the result obtained can serve as a thermometer for this and even an incentive, but we know that the market is raw and things don’t happen overnight. We have to insist and not stop, because at some point success will knock on the door and we will need to be ready for it. Regarding these songs, the themes we adopt are linked to the positive side of life. We think that “suffering” is enough, we will never resort to vulgarity in the lyrics. There’s already too much sexuality out there and we don’t think we match it. Political overtones are complicated these days. If we say what we think, they will certainly shut us up. Yes, rock is rebellious, but we chose another path that is also fun.
How do you see the role of Bloody Mary in the Brazilian retro rock’n’roll scene? Is there a specific message or goal you want to convey through music?
We are no longer as retro as we used to be and as we would like, and I believe that we are an evolution of the system, where we had to give up what we love to survive the market. It was our choice to embark on what we believe to be a natural evolution and we loved this transition, which was not made overnight but gradually, as it was necessary to understand the environment. One thing is certain, we have a lot of fun with what we do and because we do it our way, the truth becomes clear and therefore, the happiness of being on stage became something remarkable for the public.
What are the musical influences that most impact the band’s sound and how do these influences manifest themselves in your performances?
Well, I won’t discard our origins, even though they are now very rarefied in our sound, but if you listen calmly, you will still find a little bit of ELVIS and the whole group from the 50s. Currently, we focus a lot on the electronic aspect and study constantly what is going on in the world to try to extract as much of these influences as possible and in the end, if possible, temper it with the retro style.
What would you highlight as the main challenges and achievements throughout the band’s trajectory to date?
The conviviality of living in a microcosm called “PLANETA BANDA”. Patience is a virtue and if we can focus on it, the journey becomes easier. The homework is being done well and we are surviving. This Cartesian administration is an excellent tool for overcoming obstacles and taking us more safely to our goals and even achieving our dreams, which are in no way different from any band. Live from music.
You mentioned the interaction with the audience during the presentations. How would you describe the experience of performing live and how important is this interaction for Bloody Mary?
The public is a reflection of our work. If he has fun, we have fun. The focus is on fun and for that, we use the public to achieve our goal. It’s really bad to play for anyone. It’s very bad for us to do a contemplative show, where everyone sits and at the end of the song they clap their hands. We want to make a mess of the place. Bring that unique experience to the moment. The person needs to go home thinking that it was quite a night and that they need to do it again.
Is there an album or song that you consider to be the highlight of the band’s career? If so, could you share a little about this production?
All the songs in the repertoire are made with great care and, as I said above, very tested, but there is no way not to mention a song that has been with us since the band’s first performance, which took place in a car workshop. This song has been played in every show since then and we believe we could be in the Guinness Book for playing it more than 1000 times to date. The song is “You’re The One That I Want” from the movie “Grease”. This song reflects who we are and what we want to convey live.
What are Bloody Mary’s future plans regarding new musical projects, tours or any other news you can share with fans?
While we try to survive each day, we still have dreams and work hard to make them come true. We intend to continue with the 2023 formula in 2024, but we will be even more daring. We will seek alliances that lead to greater exposure, as we believe that if we have the chance to show our work to the world, the chance to play in a large arena for an audience of over 10,000 people becomes closer. In any case, until that’s enough, we’ll continue here doing what we love so much.
Follow Bloody Mary on Instagram