HEADHUNTER D.C. from Brazil are a true legend in the Death Metal underground, so there's hopefully no need for a long and boring introduction. Just read on what their vocalist Sérgio Baloff had to tell us and support the masters of true Death Metal!
Could you please introduce HEADHUNTER D.C. to our readers, and explain your unusual name?
"Hails Nathaniel!!! HEADHUNTER D.C. is a Brazilian Brutal Death Metal band formed back in the Fall of 1987 by guitarist Paulo Lisboa after his first band, Túmulo, splitted up in late 1986. It means we are fighting for the darkest Death Metal glory for fifteen arduous years by now. We have released the following stuff until now: “Hell Is Here” demo ’89, studio reh. Promo tape ’90, “Born... Suffer... Die” LP ’91 (Cogumelo Rec.- Brazil. Re-issue on CD format with bonus out in late May 2002), “Punishment At Dawn” LP ’93 (Cogumelo Rec.- Brazil. Re-issue on CD format with bonus out in late this year), Promo Tape ’96, “...And The Sky Turns To Black... (The Dark Age Has Come)” (Brazilian edition on Mutilation Rec. Released in 2000; American edition with bonus tracks on Mercenary Musik Rec / World War III Rec. Released in September 2001). Besides, we have integrated several tribute albums which are the following: “Omnisciens – A Tribute to Dorsal Atlântica” (1996, Rock Shop Rec., BRA) , with 'Álccol'; “Scream Forth Blasphemy – A Tribute to Morbid Angel” (2000, Dwell Rec, USA), with 'Blessed Are The Sick / Desolate Ways'; “Under The Guillotine – A Tribute to Kreator” (2001, Dwell Rec, USA), with 'Flag Of Hate'; Tribute to Sodom, yet untitled, yet unreleased (Dwell Rec, USA), with 'Sodomy And Lust' and “Seven Gates Of Horror – A Tribute to Possessed” (out soon on Dark Realm Rec., USA), with 'Twisted Minds'. Hey, I forgot to mention the recently released live tape entitled “Brazilian Death Kult Live Violence... 14 Years Of Brutality”, on Legion of Death Records / Eternal Fire ‘Zine, from France. Regarding our name, I’m sure you find it unusual because of the “D.C.”, isn’t it? Well, we were originally formed under the name Headhunter only, but then we decided to put the D.C. to differ ourselves from another band, a German one, with the same monicker that existed in the mid eighties (not Schmier’s former band, but an older German Heavy Metal band). It was a common thing in the eighties, when some bands used to put to initial letters along with their original names to differ themselves from others, as for example: Sacrilege B.C., Rigor Mortis L.A., Bloodbath A.D., Chaos U.K., among others. “D.C.” stands for Death Cult definitely and symbolizes all our loyalty and devotion towards Death Metal!"
You are from Brazil. Actually, it's maybe not the best places to live nowadays, but you have a very good underground there. What do you think about the KRISIUN wave, which made people more attentive to what happened in the brutal Brazilian underground? Which are the true killer bands for tomorrow?
"In spite of I’ve never got out from my country before I think there are a lot of worse places to live in than here, even Brazil is actually going by one of the most chaotic moments of all time (total corruption, violence, social inequality, unemployment, etc), but fortunately you are right when you said we have a good underground here. The Brazilian scene has grown up since the last 10 years, even we’re so far from having a 100% worthy scene here (and who really has one?) due to the lack of true Metal consciousness, intelligence and real underground feeling in some people / bands which judge themselves as being part of this scene. As for this Krisiun wave (also known as “Krisiun mania” (!?)), it’s already a big trend nowadays, mainly here in Brazil, when a lot of bands without identity are changing their style or simply getting formed only for copying the sound the Kolesne bros’ play. It’s worth to say I have nothing against Krisiun (although I’m not into this new ‘Brazilian Extreme Death Metal vein’), on the contrary, I hail them for having shown the world that Brazil is still being a total Death Metal country and not only the country of Sepultura (do you remember this band who used to create such godly albums as “Bestial Devastation”, “Morbid Visions” and “Schizophrenia”, 15,17 years ago?), but this terrible fashion created around them is already unbearable! It’s a total insult to the true Brazilian Death Metal tradition’s flag! The fact of Krisiun's worldwide success has made people more attentive to the Brutal Brazilian underground, which has been really good to our scene, but the world must notice that Brazil has so many fuckin’ excellent bands besides Krisiun and the few (and only) acts they use to mention in their interviews. Some current Brazilian bands I can recommend and which are more than worth to check out are: Embalmed Souls (master of bizarre cult! Hail Paulo!!!), Inoculation, Incrust (both from my town Salvador and also members of our Bahia Hellkult. Killer Death Metal acts!), Deformity BR, As The Shadows Fall (Raw & untrendy Black fuckin’ Metal from Recife!), Sanctifier (they’re back!), Zoltar, Fornication, Queiron, Pathologic Noise, Sarcasmo, among others. Check out the true Brazilian Death Metal scene and deny the trendy ones!!!"
You are in this scene for about 14 / 15 years... How was the scene then in Brazil? I have often heard from Brazilian bands that the Brazilian fans prefer to support American or European bands and ignore their own underground. It seems that you have to struggle to play gigs and make the scene alive. What about that?
"That was the golden age of Brazilian Metal, when the scene used to have more quality instead of unbridled quantity as we can see nowadays. I’m a fuckin’ nostalgic, I assume, so since I’m in this scene for about 17 years (I’m 30 years old) of course I will always prefer the old times over nowadays’ scene, as at that time we had the most original acts and the true originators of Brazilian Death Metal tradition as Sepultura, Sarcófago, Chakal, Mutilator, Holocausto (all of them from Belo Horizonte, birthplace of Brazilian Death Metal), Vulcano, MX, Blasphemer, Necromancia and Dorsal Atlântica, need I say more? Of course we’re talking about 15, 17 years ago, as most of them have unfortunately wimped out or splitted up, but their glorious past will never be erased. Things have been always hard for the Brazilian bands, mainly in the mid eighties, when everything was infinitely harder than nowadays and also mainly here in the North East of Brazil where the conditions to keep a Metal band were (and still are) the worst possible, so you can imagine how much we have been fought to keep the band alive for all these years and to spread our name worldwide. On the other hand all of those difficulties had its good side, as they served as a test of survival within the scene, I mean, only the strongest would survive, and Headhunter D.C. is a living proof of this. Unfortunately the Brazilian crowd really have this bad culture of prefer to support the foreign bands instead of their own scene, so the band here have to fight yet harder to first get some success outside here and so then get the true recognition in their own country – see Sepultura, Krisiun and Rebaelliun for example. It’s a pity, but it’s the reality! Anyway, I hope this panorama will change with the coming years."
Which are the best underground fanzines, according to you? What do you like by reading a fanzine? Which are the most pitiful questions you had to answer to?
"Some (many) years ago I used to read some great and legendary ‘zines as "U.S.D.", "Peardrop" (both from France), "Balance Of Terror", "Morbid", "Slayer" (still alive!), "Holocaust", "United Forces" (both from Brazil and France), "Final Holocaust", "Mortician", "Death Noisse", among others. Actually the best Underground ‘zines according to me are: "Unholy Terror" (unholy Death Metal bible!), "Eternal Fire" (which one is made by one of the biggest supporters of Brazilian Metal, Mr. Karnage Vallot from France. Hails bro’!), "Desecration Of Virgin" (no need to talk about... King Wolle rules!!!), "Barbaric Poetry", "Liquid Of Life", "Noise And Shit", "Necromaniac", and the Brazilian ones "Psychosis Death", "Morbid Warrior", "Black Arrow", "Medical Genocide", "Black Hole", "Hell Itself" and "Sceptic Circle". When I read a ‘zine I like to see something more than good inties and reviews, as for example a brutal cover, clear live pics (and not only those usual line-up ones), well done lay-out, etc. You know, today everyone have access to a good computer, so there’s no excuse for doing an awful and unreadable ‘zine. Also the good interviews with intelligent and unusual questions are indispensable, as well as the good (and not so tolerant) reviews, both in a very informative way. I don’t remember in having answered a so pitiful question that made me really sick to answer, as I always try to answer all the questions (even the most usual ones) with patience and dedication, so I’m always ready to answer to any question, however much pitiful it can be. A hero, me? Not that much, hahaha!"
What's your opinion about the actual scene in your country, and all over the world? What do you think about this grinding death core scene which is very trendy nowadays? Don't you think that the true metallic spirit is more to hear in bands like INCANTATION, PENTACLE, SADISTIC INTENT, GORGUTS (which is very innovative)? I think that a lot of people seem to forget their roots. POSSESSED should never be forgotten.
"In spite of the big trend mentioned in question #2, I think the actual Brazilian scene is good, with many good and promising bands coming out and working more and more in a pro way. Notwithstanding it’s a scene which is worth to check out. As for the worldwide scene, well, it has broken its borders as we know and sometimes I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing. Anyway, the worldwide Death Metal scene is in its rising again since the last 2 years, stronger than ever, but I truely hope it’ll not go the wrong way... I’m still into some old school Grindcore like years ago with bands like old Agathocles, old Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Unseen Terror, Naüsea (Jap), Hellhouse, but I also think all this Gore Grind scene is a bit trendy nowadays. On the other hand all of us know that the Grind scene has not so much in common with the Metal scene, although some people in both scenes are into each other. Anyway, I like some current bands into this kind of (anti) music, as French Sublime Cadaveric Decomposition with that ultra apocalyptic blasting noise. They sound really violent for me in their style! But if you’re talking about those current U.S. acts which mix Death Metal with groovy Grind / HC and ultra boring piggy vocals, fuck no! It’s not for me! Hell yeah, you’re totally right about the true (Death) metallic spirit, and these bands you’ve mentioned perfectly represent what the true Death Metal music / ideology is all about! Possessed lives eternally!!!"
How do you see the evolution of our kind of music? Nowadays, all is about crossover and "post-rock", "post-pop" and other crappy styles. Do you think that the fucking New Metal wave is in part responsible of the loss of power of the Metal scene? How can we stay underground with fashions which kill genres like Thrash Metal, Death and Black Metal?
"True Underground Metal will always exist while true Metal bands and true Metalheads are there giving continuity to the scene, this is what I can say! This shitty kind of (pussy) music which actually infests the scene will NEVER kill mighty genres like true Death, Thrash or Black Metal, NEVER! They’re stronger than all this trend, so true Metal music will be always alive in the Underground and that’s what really matters for us, isn’t it? Fuck the rest!!! I can’t call these kind of crappy mixings as “evolution”, but “musical decadence”! Evolution for me means developing musically without leaving your original style behind or trying to create a new trendy and ephemeral kind music. Unfortunately there are so many examples that don’t think in this same way..."
What are the lyrics of HEADHUNTER D.C. about? What makes you feel "rebel"? What do you find disgusting in life and music?
"The lyrics are a very important part for the whole concept of our hard work. They complement the music and vice- versa. The words in our latest album “...And The Sky...” are nothing more than a pure reflection of our deepest and darkest feelings of hatred, anger and aversion towards christianity (cancer of the world!), unchaining fury and intense indignation against all that is “sacred”. Just read the lyrics in 'Eternal Hatred' and you’ll know what I mean. The lyrics are also about death ('The Glory'), the so called “sin” and the guilt enforced to the human being by the church ('Falling In Perdition'), dreams that become terrible nightmares ('From Dream To Nightmare'), the eternal conflicts between the opposite forces ('Conflicts Of Dark And Light') and visions of the new dark age ('...And The Sky Turns To Black...'), but always under an atheistic and antichristian view. What makes me feel rebel? Well, I don’t consider myself as a rebel, as this word doesn’t fit into my way of living and facing things, but anyway things like the corruption inside the churches, stupid holy wars and the total submission of the christians, just to name a few, make me so hateful and ready to declare total war against this shitty world! False and jealous people are some of the most disgusting things to deal with in life! Also warm beer makes me sick, mainly in the Brazilian schorching summer, hahahaha!!! In music? The same false and jealous people and, of course, the fucking trends... aaaaarrrghhhhhh!!!!!!"
How would you explain a young Metal fan that Metal is not a trendy rebellion for 15 / 16 years old kids?
"Good question! I have recently received a letter from a 14 years old girl in which she talked about the discrimination she has been suffered from the older Metal guys in her town’s scene just for being a very young Metal fan. I told her that since she’s going to the fuckin’ shows and supporting the true bands and zines, at last, supporting the scene in any way, she’s on the right way and will proof this to those who didn’t trust her with the time, after all, everyone must start any day. But if a kid is angry about his parents or his teacher and wants to use Metal just for showing the world how “brutal” or “evil” he is able to be I would say him: forget it! Take a try on Marylin Manson and the likes, haha! Metal is not for the weak!"
Here comes the UNHOLY TERROR typical question: please define Death Metal. And also my typical question: if Death Metal was a beer, which one would it be, according to you? I hope that you drink beer, because Wannes Gubbels from PENTACLE doesn't, but he's quite a cool guy!!!
"Death Metal is a so mighty and complete kind of music that it's so hard to find only one definition for it. Death Metal is the most brutal, extreme and intense kind of music ever created; ideological cult and lifestyle and not just more a mere music style; hate, power victory, obscurity; at last, the blood that runs boiling in my veins for over 17 years. Yes, I simply love beer! I think it’s the alcohol that better represents the Metal tradition. Beer rules!!! If Death Metal was a beer it would certainly be Skol or Brahma, the 2 best beers in Brazil. I’m not sure if you know them, but you can be sure it’s worth to booze with them... always very cold!!! I’d love to booze with some German beer someday. By the way, what about French beer?"
Did you have the opportunity to make some tours? Which were your better shows, and where? Did you already play in Europe or in North America? What's the worst thing that happened to you during your musician life?
"Since we’re in the North East side of Brazil it’s not so easy to make tours throughout the country due to the long distance in respect to the other regions of Brazil. Between ’93 and ’94 we made the only real tour of our career which has embraced many Brazilian states, including São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro. The best gig of this tour was in Belo Horizonte, MG, where we played with Chakal and Calvary Death in front of 1000 wild Metalheads banging their fuckin’ heads! In general our better gigs are always here in Salvador, where we have many dedicated followers. The last one with Rebaelliun was a real pandemonium! No, we haven’t played in Europe or North America yet, but hopefully we will play for the European and North American masses as soon as the new album is released. This is one of our next goals, so let’s see... I think the worst thing that happened to me during my musician life was when I felt bad and literally vomited on stage during a gig. Argh, fuckin’ mayonese! Hahaha!!!"
What do you think about Chuck Schuldiner's and Paul Baloff's death? What do you think about James Murphy, Chuck Billy and Clive Burr's diseases? Is fatality striking the giants of Metal?
"These were to of the most irreparable losses for the whole Metal world since Cliff Burton’s departure. Chuck Schuldiner for have been one of the Death Metal predecessors and for having created such cult and obligatory Death Metal masterpieces as “Scream Bloody Gore” and “Leprosy” and Paul Baloff, for me personally for have been a great reference for my work as a vocalist. “Bonded By Blood” rules forever!!! I’m feeling a bit orphan now... While certain “filth’s” of life deserve the most painful and agonizing death and continue to in fast the scene with their shows of banalities, such great names leave our mighty Metal universe forevermore... but only in matter, never in essence. Chuck & Baloff R.I.P."
"Shit, but unfortunately necessary for the whole social and economic development process of a country. Brazilian politicians are the most corrupt in the world!"
"Absolute end! “Death is certain, life is not!”
"There are different views about love, which is a very vulgarized word nowadays. I think true love is a very special feeling and is not for banal people, as well as true hatred. “Under will love is the law”.
The last SLAYER album:
"I didn’t like it, though one or two tracks aren’t that bad. Anyway, I haven’t had the same interest in Slayer since the magnificent “Reign In Blood” album. After that, Slayer haven’t been the same godly Slayer anymore."
Would you like to ask me a question?
"Yeah, let’s go! I’d like to know something more about the French underground back in mid / late 80’s /early 90’s, when bands like Massacra, Aggressor, Loudblast, Mutilated, Suppuration, etc ruled the scene. I wonder how really was the French scene back then and what about the current scene? What bands could you recommend me? Is the legendary Blasphemy / Sarcófago fan club (which was lead by infamous Ludo Evil ) still active? And the last one: do you know crazy Karnage Vallot of "Eternal Fire" ‘Zine?"
Actually, bands like LOUDBLAST and MASSACRA don't exist anymore, but it's better like that, for they began to play some shitty elitist Metal and had lost their intensity. Moreover, they have always tried to stab eachother in the back. Not very supportive bands!!! At least, Stéphane Buriez from LOUDBLAST cut his hair and started a band close to what can be heard in New Metal, aarrggh!!! AGRESSOR still exist, and the music is always good and aggressive, it's a cool band. I don't know MUTILATED, sorry. For the BLASPHEMY / SARCOFAGO fan club, I don't think it exists anymore. I believe that Ludo is the man behind Osmose Productions (no, he isn't - it's just that he used to work together with Osmose when he was still running his own label as a kind of subdivision of Osmose - Frank) Of course I know Karnage and his almighty ETERNAL FIRE zine, it's one of the best I have ever read. Mr. Karnage rules!!! Actually his true name is Hugues Vallot and he seems to be a very cool mate!!!
Here's the end of this interview... You may say whatever you want now. Thanks for staying true to our scene!!!
"For more info about our saga, updates, photos, mp3 and merchandise prices check out our official web page at www.headhunterdeathcult.hpg.com.br and join our cult now! True Death Metalheads from this mighty underground universe get in touch right now! All mail is answered! Look forward to the Possessed tribute which will be finally out pretty soon on Dark Realm Records! It’ll be a true landmark in the whole Death Metal history! Thank you very much for this very interesting intie Nathaniel (I really enjoyed it!) & your precious support and sorry for it took awhile to get this to you. Be sure of our eternal loyalty to the true Death Metal music / scene! This is what makes ourselves alive! Stay possessed by Metal! Death Metal rules supreme!!! LONG LIVE DEATH CULT!!! Hail!!!!!!!!!"
Interview: Nathaniel Colas
Intro: Frank Stöver
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