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Origin São Paulo City, São Paulo, Brazil
Genres Post-punk, alternative rock, punk rock, new wave
Years active 1982-1988
Labels Baratos Afins, EMI
Associated acts Inocentes, Ira!, Smack
Members Sandra Coutinho
Geórgia Branco
Pitchu Ferraz
Past members Rosália Munhoz
Ana Machado
Lourdes Moreira
Edgard Scandurra

Additional musicians:
Sandra Dee

Mercenárias (Portuguese for "Mercenaries"), sometimes erroneously referred to as As Mercenárias, are a Brazilian all-female rock band formed in São Paulo in 1982, by bassist Sandra Coutinho, vocalist Rosália Munhoz and guitarist Ana Machado. With lyrics that heavily criticized Brazilian government and society (and sometimes the Catholic Church as well), their sonority was constantly compared to Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Sex Pistols and The Slits.[1]

The band ended in 1988, but reunited in 2006 with a new line-up, being that the only original founding member remaining is Coutinho.


Mercenárias was founded in São Paulo in 1982, by Sandra Coutinho, Rosália Munhoz and Ana Machado, at the time college students: Rosália studied Psychology at the PUC-SP, while Sandra and Ana were classmates at the ECA-USP, where they studied Journalism. A then-unknown Edgard Scandurra initially served as the band's drummer; however, he would leave the band in order to focus on the incipient Ira!, and was replaced by Lourdes Moreira by the time the band released their first album. Sandra would also join Smack in 1983, alongside Scandurra, Sérgio "Pamps" Pamplona and Thomas Pappon.

Cadê as Armas?, Mercenárias' debut album, was released in 1986 via famous independent record label Baratos Afins. It was extremely well-received, with the tracks "Inimigo", "Santa Igreja", "Polícia" and "Pânico" being underground hits. A music video was made for the latter track.[2]

In 1988, the band released their second (and last) studio album, Trashland, via EMI. It received an even better reception than the first one, and won the prize of "Album of the Year" by magazine Bizz. However, EMI fired the band for unknown reasons, and they disbanded soon after. Ana and Rosália abandoned the musical career, while Sandra, in 1998, went on to live in Berlin for a while, before returning definitely to Brazil in 2005. Lourdes underwent a sex reassignment surgery and changed her name to Leonardo, being now a LGBT activist.[3]

In 2006, Sandra reformed the band, and hired new members Geórgia Branco and Pitchu Ferraz.

In 2012, the band celebrated its 30-year anniversary,[4] and performed at the CCJ Ruth Cardoso in São Paulo, for free.[5] The show counted with the participation of Edgard Scandurra and Clemente Nascimento (of the band Inocentes), among others.[6]

In November 2013, the band performed at the SESC Consolação, in a show celebrating the 35-year anniversary of their first label, Baratos Afins.[7] Sandra's bandmates of Smack, Scandurra and Pamplona, participated in it.

According to Coutinho, the band is planning a new studio album.[8]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album
1986 Cadê as Armas?
1988 Trashland
  • Label: EMI


Featured the songs "Inimigo" and "Pânico".

Featured the song "Polícia".


Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Sandra Coutinho — vocals (2006–), bass guitar (1982–1988, 2006–)
  • Geórgia Branco — guitar (2006–)
  • Pitchu Ferraz — drums (2006–)

Former members[edit]

  • Rosália Munhoz — vocals (1982–1988)
  • Ana Machado — guitar (1982–1988)
  • Edgard Scandurra — drums (1982–1985)
  • Lourdes "Lou" Moreira — drums (1985–1988)

Session musicians[edit]

  • Sandra Dee — bass guitar (1986)


  1. ^ Mercenárias – Mofo (Portuguese)
  2. ^ Mercenárias – "Pânico" official music video
  3. ^ Gabi Quase Proibida (06/11/13) - Transexual Léo Moreira Sá
  4. ^ Banda As Mercenárias completa 30 anos, Josilene Rocha, Metrópolis, 7 November 2012 (Portuguese)
  5. ^ Banda As Mercenárias celebra 30 anos de trajetória com show gratuito no CCJ, Catraca Livre, 22 November 2012 (Portuguese)
  6. ^ As Mercenárias comemoram 30 anos com show no CCJ, Soma, 23 November 2013 (Portuguese)
  7. ^ Sandra Coutinho, a Mercenária persistente, Rafael Gushiken, Palco Alternativo, 25 November 2013 (Portuguese)
  8. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]