A Look Back At Razorback Drummer Brian Velasco's Music And Life
Two nights ago, January 16, the 28-year-old band Razorback bade goodbye to its talented drummer, Brian Velasco. It was a passing that got on the social media radar, after Brian livestreamed his suicide on Facebook with the final words, “Here I go.”
But more than his passing, his bandmates and the music industry wants us to remember Brian in the best way that we can: through his music. Here is a look back at Brian’s amazing memories with Razorback, the “conyo metal band” that lasted decades.
Getting into Razorback
Filipino hard rock band Razorback started way back in 1990, known for their crazy rock songs that reverberated in the walls of clubs like Kalye, Club Dredd, and Peligro. After a few iterations to their band members, Brian finally found himself auditioning for the drummer role after founding member Miguel Ortigas left the band in 1996. The remaining members, Tirso Ripoll, Louie Talan, David Aguirre, and Kevin Roy, then held auditions for the empty spot.
Brian shared in an interview with RadioRepublic that he came to the audition late, and knew he was not better than the two guys already there—including an Australian guy who almost got the spot. Tirso, however, revealed that the band in the end decided to go with Brian, because, “Skills you can learn, but you can’t teach how to be a nice guy. You can’t teach how to be a real brother.”
Since then, Razorback became one of the foundations and legends of Pinoy music, bringing to life songs of Led Zeppelin, Juan de la Cruz Band, and Iron Maiden. And in 1997, one year after Brian came on board, Razorback saw its peak: David won Best Guitarist of the Year, Louie won the Best Bassist the following year, and their second album, “Beggar's Moon,” sold platinum.
Listen to some of their most popular songs, including "Payaso," "Giyang," and "Wakasan."
Unlike most bands who disband after their time in the limelight fades, Razorback has stayed together for 28 amazing years, until today. In celebration of their 25th anniversary in 2015, the band was featured in a Rockumentary series where they talked about how they started from being the “conyo metal band that nobody wanted to play with” to becoming the rock stars of their generation.
And the secret to their continued success and music? All of the members of the band say one thing: it’s brotherhood. Brian says, “Pagmamahal. ’Yan ang kailangan sa banda. Andaming magagaling na banda but they never lasted. You just have to be friends.”
Because for them, “It’s more than a band. It’s a band of brothers.”
After Brian’s death, celebrities and fellow musicians went to social media to mourn the loss of a great artist.
@brianhubad you’ve always been there for me... through everything... through triumphs and destructiveness. And how you are my ONLY friend who I can honestly say has seen me at my worst and who I’ve seen at some of his most painful too. You were one of my best friends since I was 16. The guy I could sleep next to for nights without any malice ... just full on trust... I love your entire being... even all the darker sides. I love your thoughts... even the painful ones.... i loved our days-long exchanges of words and when we ran out... I loved when we had no words but sat there giggling. I remember how we would drink like madmen for 28 hours straight and jump up and down because we were so damn happy at that moment and didn’t care what came our way next. I remember the roadtrips. I remember the heartbreaks. The hospital visits, the recoveries, the revelations, the funerals of our loved ones... the thrill we had for each other whenever one of us would fall in love with someone new. I am proud to have shared the stage with you for 13 years now. I remember your advice, your honesty, your fake British accent, your cooking the rare times you wanted to cook... I remember every freaking detail. I remember it all. I remember telling you how much you mean to me... over and over again. I remember us crying sometimes, but laughing too.... You’re a big part of many of us. I don’t know if you heard me When I told you How much you meant to me. I heard you loud and clear When you told me How much i meant to you. Ganyan tayo Intense eh. But thats how things were. And I love you for it. I am raging with anger but I love you. Like family and more. Now I’m back there in that drowning lull because I don’t know where you are... I’m effin miles away, there’s nothing I can do and I don’t have any words. No words. No Giggles. Jan 26 woulda been our next gig together. I love you. Lord God... masakit sobra, but I’m shouting out... please... do your thing.
My heart goes out to the loved ones of Razorback drummer Brian Velasco. Prayers of grace for friends and Family #sad— ogie alcasid (@ogiealcasid) January 16, 2019
Brian...— Ebe Dancel (@ebedancel) January 16, 2019
bri ??????— Raymund Marasigan (@raymsmercygun) January 16, 2019
In an official statement released by the Department of Health:
“Depression is a serious health issue and we need to start talking about this to end the stigma around it… We request for the public to stop sharing this tragic video and respect the family who are still grieving and in pain due to this unfortunate event.”
If you are in need of help or know someone who needs to talk to somebody about what they’re going through, DOH has a 24-hour toll-free Hope Line via (02) 804-4673 (HOPE) or 0917-558-4673 (HOPE).
Photo from Tower Sessions on Youtube