Alf Cantalice, J.P. Cordeiro, and Marconi Jr.


The Northeast region of Brazil is known for its cultural richness, for its lovely and humble people, its beautiful beaches, and mainly for some sad facts (many still thinks about misery and droughts on the region, as it isn’t found on other places on the country). And such good things enable the arising of many excellent Metal acts, being one of them the trio HEADSPAWN, from the city of João Pessoa (PA). Besides some define their music as Groove Metal, on “Parasites” (their first album) one can check a rich musical work. And as we had the opportunity to talk with the band about their ideas, plans and ambitions, here is the result of such great talk.
May 9, 2024

Tu me ensinas a fazer renda, e eu te ensino a fazer Metal

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To begin this interview, I’d like to thank you for this opportunity. And as it’s our first talk, please, tell us a little about HEADSPAWN history. And from where you took the name? Does it have a deeper meaning? And what is the experience of each one of you on other projects before gathering forces with HEADSPAWN?

HS: We appreciate the opportunity to talk about our work with you from Metal Temple. HEADSPAWN was formed with the purpose of being able to play everything we like, without any concern about following any specific musical segment. The band’s name has a lot of different meanings to us, but, mainly, HEADSPAWN is everything we create within our minds and comes to life in the real world through music. We all had bands before, we have toured, we have released songs and stuff, but this time is all, somehow, new to us. We are managing to captivate an audience that doesn’t usually listen to Metal besides the traditional Metal audience, it tastes like victory to us.

The band started back in 2019, but you released since them one EP, “Pretty Ugly People”, the live EP “Pretty Ugly People Live” and some Singles, and if we consider the years of Covid-19 pandemic (from 2020 to 2023), it’s a huge achievement. So, how was to record such works in the middle of such hardships of the pandemic, and even with the economics problems in Brazil during the years on 2019 and 2022?

HS: For the debut EP we had to resort to a homemade recording process, we spent very little time recording and we did everything as quickly as possible when the government announced that it would adopt the quarantine protocol. In the case of the live EP, we did it during lockdown and took all the necessary health measures to produce the audiovisual material, which was not easy at all. It was a difficult start, but we worked very hard and managed to overcome the difficulties at that time. What we can say is that a lot of creativity is needed to make up for the lack of money.

Still about “Pretty Ugly People Live”. It was recorded without public due the restrictions of the pandemic. But why did you chose to do such thing in such troubled times?

HS: When we released our debut EP, we knew it would attract the attention of a lot of people around here. There was no plan for easing the lockdown, we wanted to do a Live but we were afraid it would sound bad because we didn’t have access to good transmission equipment. So, we decided to call the team that made the “Voices” video and rent a studio to do a Live Session. At that moment, we wanted to show that we were not a virtual band, we really wanted to show the public what our show would be like, this was the reason why we made the EP live.

Now it’s time to speak about “Parasites”. It was produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Victor Hugo Targino, known for his works with bands as BEHAVIOUR, CANGAÇO, FORAHNEO, METACROSE, SODOMA, SYMPHERIUM, WARCURSED and many others. How things worked with him? Was it easy to work with him? And let me tell you: the final result is truly excellent: heavy, defined and fitting on what you play!

HS: Victor Hugo is a genius, in addition to being an excellent bassist and guitarist, he has a very unusual artistic perception, when he heard us for the first time he already understood everything. We don’t need to explain much to him, when he comes up with an idea he doesn’t need much time to convince us to implement it. We’ve already talked about upcoming releases, we have a lot of plans together. I think Victor Hugo and HEADSPAWN are a perfect marriage, I believe he will be recognized worldwide for the excellence of his work and we hope we will too.

The artwork for the cover is another excellent feature, a creation of Wildner Lima. I had an interpretation when reviewing “Parasites”, but what are your ideas on the artwork?

HS: That image had the mission of conveying a small frame of hell. It is a criticism of unsustainable means of production, the destruction of the environment, the way in which humans parasitize nature and themselves. Our initial idea was to show humans as imps devouring sloths just as flies gather to eat garbage, but Wildner brought the babies and we thought it was simply fantastic.

You’re defined by many as a Groove Metal act, but personally, during the review of “Parasites”, it’s easy to catch many influences from regional music of Brazil on it, as on “Terra Solis”, “Everybody Hates Somebody” and “Fili Caatinga”. Can we assume that such fact is a consequence of being born and growing into the rich cultural sheath of Northeast region of Brazil? And by the way, tell us a little about such cultural features.

HS: We never gave a damn about belonging to a certain type of Metal. Generally, for you to belong to a certain style, you need to have a list of inflexible characteristics and this would be terribly detrimental to our musical proposal. We were born in a beautiful place, full of history, with a very rich cultural heritage and we could never exclude this from our musicality. We grew up listening to great local artists on the radio, such as Zé Ramalho, Hermeto Pascoal, Gilberto Gil, Luiz Gonzaga, among many others. When we founded HEADSPAWN, we broke down any barrier that could stop us from injecting the things we like into our music, so “Parasites” brings with it this musical texture from our homeland. In “Terra Solis” you hear triangle, alfaia, and zabumba. In “Everybody…” you hear wooden percussion, in “Fili Caatinga” you hear berimbau and tambourine, in “The Grotesque...” you hear a cuíca. It’s all there, well placed within the album’s concept.

Still about the many influences, again to say that you’re a Groove Metal act is to be naïve, because influences from Stoner Rock/Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock from the 70s, Grunge Rock and more arises in many melodies on your songs. And it depicts a spontaneous and uncompromised form of writing songs, am I right? Tell us about the writing process of the band.

HS: Yes, you’re right. Just as we allowed ourselves to do the musical part freely, we also let the lyrics follow their flow. Our songs are like horror films where the events are not explained in detail to the viewer, but manage to give them the possibility of understanding the message on several different levels. We are always talking about things around us, our reality, our bad moments, our way of seeing life, society, etc. We are very proud of the fact that people like our messages and can have a good experience listening to our songs and singing with us at shows. An interesting fact about the lyrics of “Parasites” is that almost all of them were completely modified the day before the vocals were recorded.

It seems that the lyrics of “Parasites” have a deeper meaning, a message to tell people. On “Everybody Hates Somebody”, a manifesto against racism, and hate speech used with LGBT+ people and even with people from other regions (here in Brazil, I can still remember the offenses against people of Northeast during the past presidential elections, and felt sad and angry with it). So tell us about your messages and lyrics, please.

HS: We live in a time when it is difficult to defend obvious ideas, everywhere there is a racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic culture being spread by people in power. It’s so stupid to hate someone you don’t know just because they have a different skin color, or have a different sexual orientation, or come from a certain place in the world, or have a different faith than you. People seem to have normalized such vile habits, we need to tell them that we also hate them for being despicably prejudiced. The whole album has this placement of the individual before society, in “Butchers” we have the vision that society uses the poor to enrich the rich even more, in “Everybody...” it’s a very direct message, “Ghost of Myself” talks about never finding yours place in the world, “You Are” is a request for people not to be standardized, “Brought…” is about depression and the loss of will to live, “Grotesque…” is about the tiredness of serving and being forgotten in the end. These are heavy topics, but they have become very evident in recent years and we needed to talk about them.

How is the reception of public and press to “Parasites”? And it was released on digital platforms on internet, but did your released it on physical copies? And if not, are there plans for it? And did you get contacts to release the album outside of Brazil?

HS: The album has not yet reached all the places we want it to reach, but it has already been well received by the specialized media and especially by the public. We have received a lot of exciting feedback from various places outside of Brazil, we are currently looking for a label to help us distribute the physical material. We are very excited to put our plans to press CD and LP into practice, it is a dream we have had since we were children and it will finally come true.

“Sinking Jetsam” and “Everybody Hates Somebody” were the Singles released as lyric videos for promoting the album. Are there plans for an official video of the album? If yes, why would be the song?

HS: Yes, we are getting ready to shoot the first “Parasites” music video. We have around four scripts ready, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be able to make four music videos, it will depend on the resources we’re going to have. What I can say is that “You are” will have a music video, but I don’t know if we will have one, or some, before it.

It seems that since the release of the album and the end of pandemic, you’re making tons of live shows, am I right? Are there plans for coming to other states of Brazil, and even to play outside of it?

HS: Yes, we have already done a great tour in the northeast of Brazil in 2022, we are preparing a new tour for the south and southeast region in the second half of this year, maybe a South American tour and then we will return home. We really want to do shows in North America and Europe too, we are looking for local labels that can help us with scheduling these shows, we know that our music is well received and we want to have the experience of going on a stage outside our continent.

Well, that’s it. Once more I thank you for your kindness and time, so please leave your message to the readers of Metal Temple and your fans.

HS: I think Metal fans are the best fans in the history of music. We are very happy to be able to talk to them through Metal Temple, we grew up reading interviews with our idols and it is great to know that we are today talking about our music with young people and the old metal guard. We would like to ask you to follow us on social media, stay up to date with our releases and show schedule. But, most importantly, don’t forget to come see us when we arrive in your city! Stay Heavy!


Instagram: @headspawn_official

YouTube: Headspawn Channel



Note: The title of the intervier (“Tu me ensinas a fazer renda, e eu te ensino a fazer Metal”) is a word game with an old Folk song from Northeast reagion of Brazil called “Mulher Rendeira” that according with sources, was written and composed by Virgulino Ferreira da Silva, the famous Cangaço's leader known as Lampião. This rhythm is called Xaxado.


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