Treefort 2023 Profile: Brazil’s BIKE

This year’s Treefort Music Fest in Boise will feature more international acts than ever before during its five-day stretch starting March 22. But as the Bad Penny learned while creating this lengthy series profiling most of those non-U.S. artists, we also learned that many of them haven’t even touched American shores at all.

Take, for instance, BIKE. The tropicália-tinged psych band hails from São Paulo, Brazil, and already played throughout that country and in Europe too. Plus, many years have elapsed since the four-piece group released its debut album, 1943. (Just to clarify, none of BIKE’s members are senior citizens; the record dropped in July 2015.)

But the timing couldn’t be better for BIKE to finally pedal their way to the States for a concert performance. The Portuguese-speaking band — which counts Danger Mouse as a huge fan — just announced a new full-length, Arte Bruta, due May 5. Fans of Black Mountain and other forward-thinking fans of psychedelic rock, take note.

Responsible for BIKE are Julito Cavalcante (vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, garabiroba and percussion); Diego Xavier (vocals, electric guitar and acoustic guitar); Daniel Fumega (drums and percussions); and João Gôuvea (bass, synthesizers and harmonium).

BIKE recently took some time away from preparing for their U.S. debut to chat with the Bad Penny. They discussed their love of Boise’s hometown heroes Built to Spill, why they’re jazzed to come to the States and much more.

[Go here for a primer on this series of Treefort Music Fest previews. Check back for new profiles of international artists playing the festival every day leading up to the fest’s kickoff on Wednesday, March 22.]

Artist: BIKE
From: São Paulo, Brazil
Genre: Psych rock
Treefort info: Playing Friday, March 24, at Neurolux at 9:10 p.m.; and Sunday, March 26, at Hound Garage (Bus Station) at 6:10 p.m.

Why did you decide to play Treefort Fest this year?

BIKE: We [first went to] the festival in 2017 when our friends from FingerFingerrr played, and since then we have followed the [Treefort Music Fest] lineups. They always have bands we are fans of and follow. From the beginning of tour planning, the festival was already in our plans.

What excites you most about participating in Treefort?

BIKE: It is a festival that is growing very fast! In a short time it will be a festival recognized all over the world. And we, as a Brazilian band, are very happy to be a part of it.

Is this your first time playing Treefort? If yes, how did your booking come about? If not, why did you choose to come back?

BIKE: Yes, it is our first time. Our booker had worked with the festival before with other Brazilian bands.

Have you visited Boise/Idaho before? If yes, do you have any fun stories to share? If not, what have you heard about Boise/Idaho?

BIKE: No. This will be our first time [performing] in the United States. We are very much looking forward to creating good stories in the country. We are very big fans of Built to Spill. It’s the only thing we know about Boise, besides Treefort.


“In a short time, [Treefort] will be a festival recognized all over the world.
And we, as a Brazilian band, are very happy to be a part of it.” –BIKE


Did you face any challenges or headaches in obtaining a visa to come here?

BIKE: Yes. The invitation was confirmed a few months ago, [but] unfortunately there is a lot of bureaucracy and delay in getting visas. We had some problems with that and with the costs, which are very high for a Third World country like ours.

What expectations do you have about your experience here and in Treefort?

BIKE: Our expectations are high. We hope that our sound will be better understood there than here in Brazil. We will look to make a lot of friends, contacts and business, so that we can always come back to the country and increase our fanbase.

In 2015, we debuted a single [“Enigma Do Dente Falso”] on Danger Mouse’s [2015] label compilation 30th Century Records. Since then, we always wanted to go and play around the country.

How would you describe your mood going into Treefort?

BIKE: Looking forward to showing you the songs from our new album! The pandemic delayed our plans to visit the U.S. earlier, so we want to make up for all this time with a great show.

What other artists in the Treefort lineup are you excited to see? Are you friends with any of them?

BIKE: We are looking forward to seeing Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr, Pinback, Rose City Band and several others we hope to meet. Plus our friends from Oruã will also be performing this year.

What do you like the most about performing at music festivals in general?

BIKE: The variety of artists and styles. And the audience too. It’s always exciting to be able to show our sound to different people who don’t know us. It’s a great challenge, an adrenaline rush that moves us.

What can Treefort attendees expect from your performance?

BIKE: A great psychedelic trip with touches of tropicália noise. Come prepared!

If you can deal with really lame puns, here’s a bonus question: “When it comes to touring, what does the cyclist look like?”

BIKE: [Laughter.] One day we will still do a show in professional cycling clothes! Jokes aside, in Brazil it is quite difficult to keep the rocker look with the temperature hitting almost 40 degrees [celsius]. [Laughter.]

For more Treefort coverage, check out our recent conversations with:

• Chile’s Sistemas Inestables

British Columbia’s Mother Sun

• Norway’s Orions Belte

• Treefort Co-Founder and Festival Director Eric Gilbert

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