Metrô (band)

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Metrô at their one-time show at the La Luna Club in São Paulo on November 8, 2014. From left to right: Dany Roland, Virginie Boutaud, Yann Laouenan, Xavier Leblanc and Alec Haiat
Background information
Also known as A Gota Suspensa (1978–1984)
Origin São Paulo, Brazil
Genres Progressive rock (early); new wave, synthpop, synthrock, pop rock
Years active 1978–1988; 2002–2004; 2014; 2015–present
Labels Underground Discos e Artes, Epic Records, Trama
Associated acts
Members Virginie Boutaud
Dany Roland
Alec Haiat
Yann Laouenan
Xavier Leblanc
Past members Pedro Parq
Marcel Zimberg
André Fonseca
Edmundo Carneiro
Pedro Albuquerque

Metrô is a famous Brazilian band formed in 1978 under the name A Gota Suspensa before renaming themselves in 1984. Beginning as a progressive rock band, they later shifted to a more synthpop-influenced direction, becoming one of the most successful groups in the then-thriving Brazilian rock/new wave scene.[1]


Early years and A Gota Suspensa (1978–1984)

The band that would become Metrô was founded in 1978, under the name A Gota Suspensa ("The Suspended Drop"), by six friends (all of them coincidentally French Brazilians) who studied together at the Lycée Pasteur in São Paulo: former model and actress Virginie Boutaud (vocals), Alec Haiat (guitar), Marcel Zimberg (sax), Yann Laouenan (keyboards), Xavier Leblanc (bass) and Daniel "Dany" Roland (drums). They were originally an experimental/progressive rock ensemble heavily inspired by acts such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Novos Baianos and the Tropicalista movement, among others,[2][3] and toured extensively around Brazil to perform in numerous music festivals. In 1983 they released a self-titled album via independent label Underground Discos e Artes; despite being a commercial failure, it was very well-received by the critics, and acquired a strong cult following as years went by.[4]

The album caught the attention of Epic Records, who offered them a contract but at the same time demanded them to make their musical style more "accessible"; the band complied (with the exception of Zimberg, who would leave the band after their change of style), and developed a brighter and less experimental pop-inflected sound in the likes of Blondie, Rita Lee and Laurie Anderson.[2] Afterwards, A Gota Suspensa changed its name to Metrô in 1984; their first release under this moniker was the successful 7" single "Beat Acelerado", which came out in the same year.[5]

Olhar, rise to fame and Virginie's departure (1985–1986)

In 1985 Metrô released their first studio album, Olhar, which was a commercial success and contained the band's most famous songs, such as "Tudo Pode Mudar", "Cenas Obscenas" (written by and featuring former João Penca e Seus Miquinhos Amestrados member Léo Jaime on guitar and backing vocals), "Johnny Love" (included in the soundtrack of Lael Rodrigues' 1985 film Rock Estrela, in which Metrô cameod alongside Jaime) and "Ti Ti Ti" (used as the opening theme of the eponymous telenovela which ran from 1985 to 1986).[6] The album also counted with guest appearances by Guilherme Isnard (of Zero fame) and new wave band Degradée, in which Alec Haiat's brother Freddy played in. The band also cameod as themselves in Francisco de Paula's film Areias Escaldantes the same year.

The band soon grew to be one of the most famous and successful acts of Brazil, touring extensively (sometimes they performed seven shows in a week) and constantly appearing in numerous variety shows of the time. They also contributed with a song for the popular children's TV series Balão Mágico, "Não Dá pra Parar a Música".

Despite their massive success, Virginie was growing weary of the band's convoluted touring schedule; furthermore, the other band members wanted to shift to a more "mature and daring" musical direction influenced by acts such as Legião Urbana and Titãs.[7] This brought numerous frictions and creative divergences between Virginie and her bandmates, what led her to be fired from the band in 1986.[8] Two years later, she formed the short-lived solo project Virginie & Fruto Proibido, releasing with them only one album, Crime Perfeito.

A Mão de Mao, split-up and aftermath (1987–1988)

Virginie was eventually replaced by Portuguese musician Pedro d'Orey (a.k.a. Pedro Parq), who was living in São Paulo at the time and was famous for being one of the founding members of the experimental rock group Mler Ife Dada. With D'Orey, the band shifted to a more avant-garde sonority heavily reminiscent of their A Gota Suspensa era; he originally wanted to change the band's name from Metrô to "Tristes Tigres" ("Sad Tigers") in order to reflect their shift in direction,[9] but Epic did not allow it. And so, in 1987, the band's second album (and the only one with D'Orey on vocals), A Mão de Mao, came out. A couple of months after the album's release, drummer Dany Roland left the band and was briefly replaced by Edmundo Carneiro.

Despite a somewhat positive reception, A Mão de Mao was a commercial flop, with the band's new musical direction having heavily alienated its former fans. Not being able to recover their fanbase, Metrô split up in 1988, with its members pursuing different projects: Dany Roland and Xavier Leblanc briefly played for Okotô, and after moving temporarily to Brussels, Belgium, Roland and Yann Laouenan formed the alternative rock band The Passengers (not to be mistaken with an earlier, also Belgian post-punk band with the same name formed in the late 1970s) alongside Diako Diakoff, Denis Moulin, TC and Jack Roskam, releasing a fairly successful self-titled album in 1992. Leblanc later opened a French restaurant in São Paulo, La Tartine, while Roland moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he began a career as a sound designer, frequently collaborating with his wife Bia Lessa on her theater plays; in 1997 he and Lessa directed the critically acclaimed independent film Crede-Mi. Alec Haiat moved to Jericoacoara with his brother Freddy, where both opened a musical instruments store. Pedro d'Orey briefly returned to Portugal, where he formed other musical projects, but later moved back to São Paulo, where he now works as an interior designer.[2]

Virginie abandoned the musical career in 1995, and eventually married French diplomat Jean-Michel Manent in 1999, having with him two daughters. Before settling in Toulouse, France in 2013, she, Manent and their daughters lived in places such as Namibia, Madagascar, Mozambique and Uruguay. Manent died of cancer on June 7, 2015.

First reunion and Déjà-Vu (2002–2004)

The band at a Fnac in Pinheiros, São Paulo, alongside Kuki Stolarski (of Karnak; sitting beside Virginie), Alec Haiat (first row, third from left to right) and Virginie's daughters, promoting the release of Déjà-Vu in 2002.

During a trip to Rio de Janeiro in 2001, Virginie, Roland and Laouenan met, and after being approached by their former producer/manager, Luiz Carlos Maluly, they began to plan a reunion, which took place in 2002 with the recording of their first studio album in 17 years: Déjà-Vu, released by independent label Trama. Alec Haiat decided not to partake in the reunion due to "personal reasons" and his involvement with other projects at the time,[2] and so was replaced by Patife Band and Okotô member André Fonseca. Xavier Leblanc, who was also very busy with his restaurant, only acted as a session member on the track "Achei Bonito", being subsequently replaced by Pedro Albuquerque. Heavily inspired by folkloric Brazilian songs, samba, bossa nova and MPB both in sonority and lyrical themes, Déjà-Vu counted with the participation of numerous guest musicians, such as Preta Gil, Jorge Mautner and Lucas Santtana, among others.[10] One year after the album's release Yann parted ways with Metrô to focus on other projects he had, and was replaced by Donatinho, the son of pianist João Donato.

After a series of tours around Brazil, France, Mozambique and Portugal, Metrô came to an end once more in 2004. Beforehand they took part in the compilation Amália Revisited, a tribute album to Portuguese singer Amália Rodrigues, in which they covered her song "Meu Amor, Meu Amor". It was released in 2005 by Different World Records.

30th anniversary show, third reunion and new album (2014–)

The band's original line-up reunited for a one-time show on November 8, 2014, at the La Luna Club in São Paulo, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lycée Pasteur, as well as Metrô's 30th anniversary.[11]

In May 2015 Metrô announced a third, definitive reunion, once more with its original line-up; their comeback show would take place at the Virada Cultural in São Paulo on June 21,[12] but it was ultimately cancelled due to the death of Virginie's husband two weeks prior.[13] The band performed live on Domingo Legal on August 16, 2015, playing a new song, "Dando Voltas no Mundo".[14]

Dany Roland also stated they are working on a new album,[15] and a special 30-year anniversary re-issue of their debut Olhar is also underway.[16]


Current members

  • Virginie Boutaud — vocals (1978–1986, 2002–2004, 2014, 2015–)
  • Daniel "Dany" Roland — drums, percussion (1978–1987, 2002–2004, 2014, 2015–)
  • Alec Haiat — guitar (1978–1988, 2014, 2015–)
  • Yann Laouenan — keyboards (1978–1988, 2002–2003, 2014, 2015–)
  • Xavier Leblanc — bass (1978–1988, 2002, 2014, 2015–)

Former members

  • Pedro Parq (Pedro d'Orey) — vocals (1986–1988)
  • Marcel Zimberg — sax (1978–1984)
  • Edmundo Carneiro — drums, percussion (1987–1988)
  • André Fonseca — guitar (2002–2004)
  • Donatinho — keyboards (2003–2004)
  • Pedro Albuquerque — bass (2002–2004)


Studio albums

Year Album
1983 A Gota Suspensa
  • Label: Underground Discos e Artes
  • Format: Vinyl
  • Released as A Gota Suspensa
1985 Olhar
1987 A Mão de Mao
  • Label: Epic Records
  • Format: Vinyl
2002 Déjà-Vu
  • Label: Trama
  • Format: CD


Year Single Album
1984 "Beat Acelerado" Olhar
1985 "Cenas Obscenas" Olhar
1985 "Johnny Love" Olhar
1985 "Ti Ti Ti" Olhar
1985 "Tudo Pode Mudar" Olhar
1985 "Não Dá pra Parar a Música" (feat. A Turma do Balão Mágico) A Turma do Balão Mágico
1987 "Gato Preto" A Mão de Mao
1987 "Lágrimas Imóveis" A Mão de Mao
2015 "Dando Voltas no Mundo" TBA


Year Album
2005 Amália Revisited
  • Label: Different World
  • Format: CD
  • Contributed with the song "Meu Amor, Meu Amor"


  1. Metrô, Dados Artísticos - Dicionário Cravo Albin da Música Popular Brasileira
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Metrô – Biografia (Portuguese)
  3. Biografia: A Gota Suspensa (Portuguese)
  4. Disco Furado – A Gota Suspensa (Underground Discos, 1983) (Portuguese)
  5. 1985, O Ano em Que o Brasil Recomeçou. Retrieved April 25, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Arthur Dapieve (1996). BRock: o rock brasileiro dos anos 80. Editora 34. p. 187. 8573260084, 9788573260083.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Bizz magazine, "Metrô correndo em linha nova" – May 1987 (Portuguese)
  8. "Fim do Metrô" (in Portuguese). Veja. 1986-03-12. Retrieved 2016-01-04. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Bizz magazine, "Tigres de Pele Trocada" – September 1986 issue (Portuguese)
  10. Metrô - Déjà-Vu (Portuguese)
  11. Unidade de Carbono do Pálido Ponto Azul – DEPOIS DE 30 ANOS O RETORNO DA FORMAÇÃO CLÁSSICA DO METRÔ...POR UMA NOITE !!! (Portuguese)
  12. Retorno da banda Metrô (Portuguese)
  13. Metrô – Statement (Portuguese)
  14. Entrevista: Metrô - O bom da música é que nunca é tarde (Portuguese)
  15. Ícone dos anos 80, Metrô planeja disco novo e diz que "Beat Acelerado" era releitura de bossa (Portuguese)
  16. Rock de Verdade >> Banda Metrô está de volta (Portuguese)

External links