Ratos de Porão
Ratos de Porão (Portuguese for “Basement Rats”) is a Brazilian crossover thrash band from São Paulo. They were formed in 1981, toured South America, North America, Asia and Europe and still continue to play today. Their core lineup of João Gordo on vocals and Jão on drums and later guitars has remained since virtually the band’s beginning.
Lead singer João Benedan (better known as João Gordo) is a former well-known VJ on MTV Brasil and later worked at Rede Record in a comedy TV show called: “Legendários” (Portuguese for “Legendaries”). He now has a YouTube channel where he hosts a talk show and cooks vegan food, called Panelaço.
Ratos de Porão, or simply RxDxPx, was formed in November 1981, existing in the Brazilian (São Paulo city) punk rock scene (alongside bands such as Olho Seco, Cólera, Inocentes, Garotos Podres, and Lobotomia). Directly influenced by the UK 82 hardcore bands such as Discharge, Charged G.B.H., The Varukers and Swedish and Finnish bands such as Anti-Cimex and Kaaos, they started to write songs that criticized Brazilian society, a revolutionary concept at the time. Their sound is regarded as one of the rawest of their scene (because other bands such as Cólera and Garotos Podres were more ‘punk rock’ sounding than ‘hardcore punk’).
Their first album was released in 1983 and was titled Crucificados pelo sistema. Released on the Ataque Frontal label, it was one of the best-selling hardcore albums to come out of the country, and was soon considered a punk classic worldwide. The line up was João Gordo (vocals), Mingau (guitar – later in many punk and pop bands in Brazil), Jabá (bass) and Jão (drums). Soon after, with the fall of the São Paulo punk scene (because of associated gang violence), the band split up and since then João Gordo has been accused of selling out and betraying the DIY ethics of the hardcore punk movement for several alleged reasons; he has said, “I’m a traitor since 1983, because I told the guys I played hardcore, not punk. Then, I got labelled.(…)That’s a stigma”.