Hi there Sérgio. I’m glad to send you these questions after such a good release as “God’s Spreading Cancer…” represents for this year. How is all going there? Are you ready to answer?
Sérgio “Baloff” Borges: Deathmetallic greetings! Things are going fine here, despite the unbearably scorching heat of Bahia’s summer. At least it’s a great opportunity to have a very cold beer while answering this intie! The pleasure is all ours, and since then we thank you for the precious support! Let the annihilation of God begin...
So, six years passed since “...And The Sky Turns To Black...” and finally here’s your new album. I must say I hadn’t listened to your music until now, but I was hugely surprised with it. Are you satisfied with the result? How does it feel to release an album after so much time and efforts? I think it must be quite different than releasing one every year, and that’s what you try to explain on the first page of the booklet of “God’s Spreading Cancer”, isn’t it?
Sérgio: Yes “God’s Spreading Cancer...” is one more victory won over this arduous saga which has lasted 20 years – 21 next May. Once again, as it happened with “...And The Sky Turns To Black...”, we faced several difficulties to make this album could be finally released, since we are a band that NEVER shared with any kinds of fashions or musical trends that infest the scene time by time, which means that some doors are closed to us here in Brazil, so having it finally in our hands and spread among the metallic masses is another big reason of pride for us; it’s the ultimate proof that only the strongest survive. We are very pleased with the final result of the album, both for its compositions and production wise. Of course we’ll try to improve more in some aspects for the next effort, but I can say that “GSC” sounds as faithfully as Headhunter D.C. is, musical and ideologically. Our goal was never to release an album every one or two years – though the whole delay between our releases is a consequence of various factors beyond our will. We write our songs with the real feeling that Death Metal musick gives us, then it doesn’t matter that much how much time we’ll take to write a new album, the most important thing is that it’s something done with passion – and not something mechanical as we see too much nowadays –faithful to ourselves, you know? It’s always great to know that people like you have absorbed what I tried to express through that text. That’s just a summary of a part of our history, an arduous, but honest history above all. And as you never have heard our music until now, well, better late than never, do you agree?
Let’s start speaking about the title, “God’s Spreading Cancer…”, and the lyrical content of the CD. Which are the main subjects in Headhunter D.C.’s lyrics? What inspires you the most and what does a title like “God’s Spreading Cancer…” reflect? Do you have any influence from things like your lives or country’s situation or it’s more about occult, religion and other similar subjects?
Sérgio: Although it’s not about a conceptual album, the lyrical concept involving “God's Spreading Cancer...” is basically atheist and antichristian, something that reflects our posture towards the “mankind’s immoral dishonour” and all that is so - hypocritically-called “holy”. Everything turns around this stupid concept of “God”, His “savior” son and His false words of virtue, hope and redemption. The concept of “God’s Spreading Cancer...”, the title-track, is that we, the so-called “heretics” (according to the point of view of the christians and religious people in general), are the cancer that spreads out in God, I mean, everything He (or rather, His concept) fears and that was “imposed” to His son, according to christian fable. Moreover, you can find on the album songs whose texts deal with Death, in a poetic vein of worship and contemplation (“Black Miracle”), the chaos in the world (“Celebrate the Chaos”), rebellion (“Inner Demons Rise!”) and our own saga on behalf of the true Metal of Death, musick and ideology (“Long Live the Death Cult”), but everything always under an atheist and antichristian view. Many inspirations also come from the environment in which we live, yes, after all there’s no way to remain indifferent in the midst of all this chaos, corruption and hypocrisy which we witness today, which makes our work even more brutal and darker in every way. “Hear our unholy chants, feel the everlasting hate, the flames burning inside, dark feelings, so pure...” (“Long Live the Death Cult”).
Going to the music, as I told you before, I really liked it, and I think it’s because, although being old school Death Metal with a lot of Thrash influences, it’s not the typical old-school clone sound (like with Swedish stuff) and the brutality is especially present, but I think there’s some variation from your first stuff. Which do you think that have been your main influences through the years since the band was formed? What do you think about all these retro bands? Don’t you think it’s quite impossible to reproduce the atmosphere of the beginnings of a “scene”, even if the music is just the same?
Sérgio: I definitely despise all this retro fashion that currently ravages the scene! Between the clones and the originals I prefer the second option for sure! It’s not enough to copy the classics of the past to reproduce the atmosphere of the golden years, even because one must get the right feeling to sound true, and that just very few bands got, as you know. Our influences and inspiration sources come from what we came from listening over all these years and that together (including therein, of course, a long search for an own identity, which I think we have finally found) make Headhunter Death Cult sound as it is. Some of them: Possessed, early Sodom, early Kreator, early Slayer, Necrovore, Malfeitor, Dead Conspiracy, early Death, Blood Feast, early Bathory, old Napalm Death, Immolation, Incantation, Damnation (Can), Morgoth, Autopsy, early Sepultura, early Mutilator, early Dorsal Atlântica, Swedish bands from late ‘80’s / early ‘90’s, old Morbid Angel, among other masters. Raging Thrash Metal bands as Dark Angel (“Darkness Descends”) and Exodus (“Bonded by Blood”) also have a big share of influence in our music.
Even if you’ve been playing since 1987, Headhunter D.C. is not a very reknown band. As I said before, I hadn’t listened to your music until this new album, and I only heard your name because of some Pentacle interviews, where Wannes always spread your name, but, are you keeping your music and name underground on purpose or you simply didn’t get the proper promotion in the past? By the way, what do you think about the internet and how it is affecting the extreme and underground Metal scene on that side? Do you think it is a useful tool or you still prefer paper zines and the old feeling? Which are the best and worst things of nowadays extreme Metal scene in your opinion?
Sérgio: Wannes is a huge brother and leader of one of the best bands of today’s Death Metal in my opinion. His latest two releases, “Under the Black Cross” and “Archaic Undead Fury” are nothing but true masterpieces of highest class Ancient Death Metal. Hails Wannes & mighty Pentacle! Well, do not doubt that we are a 100% Underground band and thus we will remain until the fuckin’ end, even because Underground for us is far beyond than just a status, but an ideology with principles that need to be preserved, and to it we are totally loyal. The fact of we not having had a greater recognition outside of South America is due to several factors, but mainly to the little promotion offered by our previous labels, not to mention that everything becomes more difficult when you live in a country like Brazil. Fortunately I think this framework has been changed slightly since the release of “...And The Sky Turns To Black...” and slowly we are conquering the space we deserve in the worldwide scene, yet we know that we are capable of conquering still more. Loyalty and honesty, always! Although recognising some benefits brought with the advent of the Internet – as a greater agility in the contacts and... what else? –, I think it was the great causer of the slow degeneration of the Underground in the world, turning what formerly was a cult into a too virtual scene, banal and lack of real emotions. For sure I prefer LPs, EPs, cassettes and printed ‘zines and I think these traditional formats are where the real UG feeling is, as it was there where it all began. Nothing against the current CDs and webzines (since they keep the true UG in their works), but as a good-old orthodox I am, nothing replaces the pleasure of admiring a huge LP cover (without mentioning the delight in its listening), doing tapetradings or browsing a fuckin’ printed ‘zine. Anyway, that’s the sign of the times...
Are you still doing concerts? Have you planned any live presentation for the release of “God’s Spreading Cancer…”? Have you received any offer to play outside your country and have you ever played outside Brasil by the way? Would you like to play in Europe? Where and with which bands?
Sérgio: Of course we’re still doing concerts! Headhunter D.C. is definitely a live band, and it’s on top of the stage where we really get to express the feeling the real Death Metal provides us, hard to do so through just mere words. We are currently giving continuity to the “Spreading the Death Cult ...Tour", which started even before the release of “GSC”, in January 2007, when we played in Chile, Peru, Bolivia and in the South, Southeast and Mid-West of Brazil in a total of 13 shows in exactly 1 month on the road. This part of the tour had the subtitle of “Destruyendo Sudamerica” and was another great moment in our career. Fuckin’ memorable! The official new album’s release party, plus the gig for our 20th anniversary commemorations, took place here in Salvador on July 21 last year and had the bands from our deathmetallic brotherhood Sanctifier, Incrust and Impetuous Rage as open acts. It was a night to remember for many years! For sure we want very much to brutalize in Europe someday! Now that we are working with two European labels (Obscure Domain Productions and Evil Spell Records, both from Germany) hopefully we’ll spread the Cult through live rituals throughout European lands as soon as possible. Playing with bands like Pentacle, Necros Christos, Vomitory, Desaster, Drowned, Kaamos, Repugnant (if they come back to life…) among others would be definitely kult! Who knows one day?
I was speaking to Hacker (who released your CD through his label, Obscure Domain) in Germany about your past albums and how hard was it to find them. Have you thought about re-releasing them or received any offer to do it?
Sérgio: Except only for “Punishment At Dawn” which hopefully will be re-released on CD yet this year by Cogumelo Records, all our albums have been already reissued. The CD version of “Born...Suffer...Die” has been released in 2002 through Cogumelo, but the label has plans to put it on their catalog again this year, this time with a new remastering, therefore wait for it. “...And the Sky...” already had two re-issues, both with bonus tracks and new mastering: in 2001 through American Mercenary Musik / WW3 and in 2005 through Dying Music from Brazil. By the way, “God’s Spreading Cancer ...” has just been released on gatefold LP via Evil Spell Records, including a bonus 7” EP bonus featuring a version for the classic “Slaughtered Remains” from Necrovore. Check it out now!
Being a band with a religious big concept in your lyrics, what do you think about religion and how it is affecting world’s situation nowadays, especially with all what is happening in the Middle East as well as in the U.S.A.? And does it have any strength in your country?
Sérgio: What? Brazil is the biggest Catholic country in the world and dozens of different religions proliferate through the country day by day like an uncontrollable plague, then you have an idea of how much we have to rebel against here. Religions are like a huge cancer in the world that needs to be extirpated, as they cause wars (the stupid “holy wars”), terrorism, mass murders, ignorance, crippling the human being in his capacity of development and blinding him before the real world. In countries like Brazil, where the rate of illiteracy and underdevelopment is enormous, religions serve as a “board of salvation” for the miserable ones, a false hope for a better life that will never come, and so more and more sheep are attracted to the slaughter. Religions are no fun...
How do you feel with nowadays extreme Metal scene? You know, I’m not that kind of “past was better” person, and I think it’s just great to see how much bands of all the styles we have now, so if you like one particular style you can find a lot of bands of it, it doesn’t matter if it’s old-school Death Metal or hyper grinding Brutal Death, although perhaps there is not so much originality now. Which bands and albums have surprised you these last times? Any of all those “back from the dead” reunions of classical bands that you think is worth it a listening?
Sérgio: I haven’t been so happy with the directions that Extreme Metal has taken in the last years and so very little from what has been launched recently has called me to attention. Though neither label myself as a kind of “past was better” person, there’s no way to deny that the former bands had a special feeling and atmosphere, so hard to find in the newer bands. Anyway I am happy that there are exceptions among younger bands that are able to keep the old feeling alive, and some bands and their albums that have surprised me lately are Necros Christos “Triune Impurity Rites”, Drowned “Viscera Terrae” ( I am currently addicted to these two albums!), 9th Plague “Apocatastasis Reversed”, Kaamos “Lucifer Rising” and “Scales of Leviathan”, Apokalyptic Raids “The Third Storm – World War III”, Anal Vomit “Demonic Flagellations”, Incrust “Baptized in Unholy Gore”, Sanctifier “Awaked by Impurity Rites”, Nocturnal Vomit demos/EP’s, Dead Congregation “Purifying Consecrated Ground” (I've checked one song from their debut CD/LP “Graves of the Archangels” and it fuckin’ shreds!), Impetuous Rage “Inverted Redemption”, Repugnant “Epitome of Darkness” and a few others. As for all these comebacks from classic bands, hum ..., I am somewhat sceptical regarding this, as most of them sound for me like a way to take advantage of this new Metal boom in the world to earn some money. My big question is "where were all these bands when Metal was really underground and hadn’t all this massive support from the media?" Better not know... I trust more in the bands that have remained 100% active through all these years despite all the difficulties and that there are today, alive and strong to tell the story, and bands such as Incantation, Immolation, Morbid Angel, Malevolent Creation, Cannibal Corpse , Mortem, Nunslaughter, Sadistic Intent, Cianide, Dismember and Headhunter D.C. itself are living proofs of that. Perhaps what have called my attention the most was the controversial return of Possessed, my fave band of all time, even if it only counts on Jeff Becerra from its original line-up – but I think he could not have made a better choice if not the Sadistic Intent guys to continue the legacy of the masters. Impossible not being surprised with Jeff’s strength after that return after everything he struggled, so I can say that I am at least curious to know what fruit will born from that return besides the shows. I hope they really come to Brazil soon!
What can you tell us about nowadays Brazilian Metal scene? In the past you had a glorious scene, which had a big influence on the European movement, especially in the Scandinavian bands, with bands like Sepultura, Sarcófago, Vulcano, SexTrash, Holocausto, Mystifier, Dorsal Atlantica and some more, but, nowadays I don’t know that much about it, except for some Death Metal bands like Krisiun, Rebaelliun, Abhorrence and all those similar ones. Which bands would you name? Is your country’s scene as strong and extreme as it used to be?
Sérgio: The Brazilian scene has always been known for its extremism and revolutionary furor, even serving as school for many bands around the world, but in recent years we have been infested by a boring “clones of the clones” trend, when hundreds of bands wanted to be the new Krisiun (but obviously without the class and talent of the Koslene brothers), the so-called “Krisiun Mania”, which in my opinion has not brought anything positive from the scene. With the fashion seemingly gone, I feel that the Brazilian scene is taking a new breath and slowly some great bands are emerging again, what has helped to keep the ancient tradition of Brazilian brutality alive, while others seem to be finally finding the path of a proper identity of their own. In general, among new and older bands, I could mention the following ones as representing well the true Brazilian Metal of Death Brazilian currently: Incrust, Sanctifier, Embalmed Souls, Nauseous Surgery, Eminent Shadow, Impetuous Rage, Inherit, Fornication (now Anmod), Pathologic Noise, Reviler, Apokalyptic Raids, Mesemon Ecrof, Somberlain, Night Breath, Decomposed God, Queiron, Inside Hatred, Oligarquia, Corpse Grinder among others.
Some short choosing ones:
- Politics or religion: Sérgio: Two big malignant tumors in the life of the human being where reign the corruption and hypocrisy, even though I must admit that politics is unfortunately a necessary evil in the world. Despite religions are our main target, we automatically also attack the politics (even indirectly), as one shit comes from the other. I totally hate both!
- Slayer or Possessed: Sérgio: Despite one being influenced by the other, both have had such an impressive revolutionary power in Metal! “Chemical Warfare” and “Burning in Hell” are insurmountable classics in brutality and destruction! These hymns of total death injured and marked bones! Anyway, Possessed is my # 1 band of all time, and even if I am an addicted to “Show No Mercy”, “Haunting The Chapel”, “Hell Awaits” and “Reign in Blood” for more than 20 years , “Seven Churches” is THE ultimate masterpiece of Metal of Death. Death Metal came in the wind ...
- Satanism or atheism: Sérgio: I am an atheist by nature. I do not believe in such fantasies as God and the Devil, heaven and hell etc. because everything is creation of christianity. I am my own God and do not lack my precious time with parasitic thoughts. What makes me identify myself with Satanism is the Will for freedom and rebellion against christianity and its stupid dogmas, but when viewed as religion and enslavement both stink the same way.
- Past or future: Sérgio: Present. The ‘here and now’ is what counts the most. It’s through it that you can build (or destroy) your future and be proud (or ashamed) of your past.
- War or peace: Sérgio: I am not a fuckin’ pacifist nor do I walk out the streets handling posters calling for the end of wars. The Men is the creator of his own misfortune, then it’s even better that the world perish in flames at once, but saying that war is cool without ever having experienced the true horrors of a real war or even have a close relative cut into pieces in a battle ground or decimated in a concentration camp just to show how ‘evil’ one can be is at least childish thought. The same for these “pro-suicide” persons who remain alive and taking their full breakfast every morning. Claiming for the theory without having lived the practice is too, too easy, don’t you think?
So, we finally arrived to the end. I hope the questions didn’t bore you too much and, especially, to hear some more stuff from you sooner this time. If you want to add anything else, feel free to do it now, it’s your last chance…
Sérgio: First of all I would like to thank you for this very interesting interview and your precious support and interest towards Headhunter D.C.. It was a pleasure! Keep up the good work! Again, let me apologize for my stupid delay in response and I hope it hasn’t harmed you. All you real deathmetallions around this rotten world, check “God’s Spreading Cancer…” and our split 10” EP with Sanctifier “...In Deathmetallic Brotherhood” on Legion of Death Records and always count on Headhunter Death Cult in the eternal path of total death! Stay fuckin’ brutal & untrendy and keep yourselves away from God. We are God’s spreading cancer... Death Metal rules supreme… the glory is ours!!! LONG LIVE THE DEATH CULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For a true deathmetallic alliance and merchandise orders write to:
HEADHUNTER DEATH CULT
P.O. Box 548, Ag. Central – Comércio
Salvador, BA 40.001-970
BRAZIL – SOUTH AMERICA
*“Noise” Unreleased 12” EP ’89;
*“Hell is Here” Demo tape ’89;
*Promo Studio/Reh. Tape ’90;
*“Born...Suffer...Die” LP ’91 (Cogumelo Records);
*“Born...Suffer...Die” Re-issue with bonus CD 2002 (Cogumelo Records);
*“Punishment At Dawn” LP ’93 (Cogumelo Records);
*“Promo tape ‘96” Demo tape ’96;
*“…And The Sky Turns To Black…(the dark age has come)” CD 2000 (Mutilation Records);
*“…And The Sky Turns To Black…(the dark age has come)” Picture LP 2001 (Mutilation Records);
*“…And The Sky Turns To Black…(the dark age has come)” Re-issue with bonus CD 2001 (Mercenary Musik / WW3 Records - USA);
*“…And The Sky Turns To Black…(the dark age has come)” Re-issue with bonus CD 2005 (Dying Music Records);
*“Omnisciens – Tributo ao Dorsal Atlântica” Comp. CD ’96 (Rock Shop Records);
*“Scream Forth Blasphemy – A Tribute To Morbid Angel” Comp. CD 2000 (Dwell Records – USA) (w/ “Blessed Are The Sick/Desolate Ways”);
*“Under The Guillotine – Tribute To Kreator” Comp. CD 2001 (Dwell Records – USA) (w/”Flag of Hate”);
*“Brazilian Deathkult Live Violence…14 Years of Brutality!!!” Live Tape 2002 (Eternal Fire Live Tapes Series – France);
*“…In Deathmetallic Brotherhood” Split 10” EP (with Sanctifier) 2007 (Legion of Death Rekordz – France);
*“God’s Spreading Cancer…” CD 2007 (Dying Music – Brazil & Obscure Domain Productions – Germany);
*“God’s Spreading Cancer…” Gatefold LP with bonus 7” EP 2008 (Evil Spell Records – Germany).
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.