By Nicholas Jason Lopez
A mainstay at festivals everywhere from South America’s Rock al Parque and FFF Fest to the United States’ Barge To Hell, Housecore Horror Fest and SXSW, award-winning Colombian metallers Headcrusher haven’t lost their mark since their 2001 start and have a huge fanbase to show for it.
Over the years, they’ve had the chance to work with some of metal’s best – producers like Tue Madsen (Meshuggah, The Haunted) and Jesse Gander (3 Inches Of Blood, Anciients) and directors like Michael Panduro (Napalm Death, Cephalic Carnage) and David Hall (Misery Index, Portal).
Headcrusher have been hard at work on their new EP, as they’ve collectively collaborated everywhere from Los Angeles and Austin to Singapore.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk with members Kike and Gus C. about what they’ve been up to lately and more.
Music Bugle – What directly inspired your song “Blood Red Sands”?
Kike – “Blood Red Sands” is a song that was born in the Mojave Desert in Southern California. We spent a few days down there during Summer 2019. We used that time to rehearse for a West Coast Summer tour and started writing new tunes. Every night, we would sit down and absorb the vibes and magic of the desert. Eventually, that song came up and we all felt it had that desert energy.
Gus C. – We have always wanted to have a retreat away from day-to-day life and the Seismic Trails Tour gave us that opportunity. The mystics of the desert really show in that tune.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Colombia to someone who has never been there before?
Kike – Colombia is a country with astonishing deserts, mountain ranges, rivers and jungles. It has a rich history with Spanish colonialism, indigenous tribes and slavery. Colombian culture is fascinating wherever you go in the country. Our local music, art expressions, language, food, sports and festivals show the beauty of the country. I could also talk about the drugs and the corrupt and greedy government, but I’ll just leave it at that.
Gus C. – Aside from all the troubles a developing country has in terms of politics, equality, etc. and focusing on the positive aspects of Colombia, it is a gorgeous place, with a great metal music culture. Many friends of different bands here in Texas that have had the opportunity of playing in Colombia, have talked about the passion of the fans and how welcoming they are.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your new EP?
Kike – It was a pretty streamlined process. The guys went to LA and recorded the songs at a studio with a good buddy of ours who produced the tunes. Eventually, I got the tracks and did the vocals in my home studio in Singapore and then it was sent to mix and mastering. I feel these days writing, recording, mixing and mastering is the easy part. The hard part is to get people to listen to your music.
Music Bugle – Where have been some of your favorite places to travel to?
Kike – Due to my day job, I have had the chance to travel to some magnificent places. I loved Petra in Jordan in the Middle East. I also love Japan. I have been there twice and it is always a blast. Southeast Asia is also really amazing. All those countries – Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. – are incredible and fairly cheap.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Kike – I have been very fortunate during these trying times. I have been able to keep my job and have been healthy throughout all this time. However, like everyone else, I miss seeing my parents and relatives, as well as my friends.
Gus C. – At the beginning of it, we had to cancel several shows when SXSW was called off here in Texas and that was a bit of a setback in the plans we had at the time, but we continued working focusing on new material. Personally, I was infected back in February. Luckily, I only experienced mild symptoms and was good to go after the 14-day isolation.
Music Bugle – Have you been working on any new music?
Kike – Yes, we are currently writing another EP. This pandemic has allowed us to become more tech-savvy and more proficient with recording software, so we have been able to exchange files and write music remotely. It has actually been quite positive for us.
Music Bugle – If you had to pick your own theme song, what would it be?
Gus C. – “Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Motorhead.
Music Bugle – What’s something that you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
Gus C. – I think current events have affected the music industry pretty badly and there is uncertainty as to what the future holds. It certainly has forced us to adapt to the situation and develop ways to reach the audience – live cast, virtual jams, etc.. To answer the question, I’d like to see tools developed during quarantine help the artist directly, economically speaking.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Kike- I am listening to music all day long on digital platforms, so I try to keep up with all those Friday releases. It is pretty insane and it’s hard to get hooked on one album, but there is a Colombian band called GUACHEZ that has blown my mind. They are some sort of progressive rock band ala The Contortionist, Karnivool, etc.. I love them.
Gus C. – I kinda get lost on the endless playlists on Spotify, Lately, I’ve been listening to Midnight, also been digging Amigo The Devil and this Houston band called Days N Daze, a mix of bluegrass and crust punk, very interesting.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for from the rest of 2021?
Kike – Getting vaccinated and being able to travel again to see my relatives and friends. If things are safe, I really hope we can play live again soon.
Gus C. – Definitely the possibility of travel is something I am looking forward to, as well as the return of live music.
*Photo Credit – Jccppro.com*