Though he may look like something out of a horror film, the cow skull adorned Vurro is in fact one of the most unique musical talents on the Quest lineup. This creative powerhouse is a one man band of epic proportions. We took some time to find out a little bit more about the man behind the mask before he blows our minds at Quest Festival 2017.
Have you ever played in SE Asia before? What are you most looking forward to?
Hello to all my friends in Vietnam! This is my first time traveling to Asia and I am very happy to have the chance to see that beautiful green forests and meet the people who lives there. I am so excited to play my songs in such an amazing place as Quest Festival, full of great artists, lights and sounds. A creative stimulus for the soul.
What I look forward to is to walk the festival, to meet the people there and talk with them, soaking up the culture and letting the spirit of Vietnam into my soul to be with me the rest of my life.
Where did the concept of Vurro originate from? What’s the back story?
I live in the mountains, in a small 4 house village in Ávila, in “Sierra de Guadarrama”. There are lots of free cows livings in the fields. When I go walking around in the morning, I can talk with them and they tell me very smart things. They know when it’s going to snow, and they can feel what’s happening from so far away. I always thought that if they could speak, they would conquer the world. But they are not interested. I learn lots of things from them.
One day, I left very early to walk, around 5:30 a.m., I wanted to find a small lake that I had not seen because it is quite far from my house. At one point I got distracted, I left the road and got lost because it was still night and it was snowing. Trying to orient myself, I stumbled upon something that was buried in the snow. It was a cow that had left our world. When I saw the skull in detail, it seemed to me a piece of art, and I thought, lucky beings who can live and die in nature. I raised the skull and she spoke to me. She told me that she could connect with my teenage power, when I was still innocent, when the connection with instinct was not interrupted by constant dialogue with the mind. I made a fire and some tea and we talked for long hours. We laughed and wept and I felt my fears diluted. First I felt sad, then full of energy. Since that time we are one, and I no longer hurt my head when I hit the cymbals.
What was it like having a clip go viral and being catapulted into fame across YouTube?
When you live in nature, there is room for the spirit to walk around you, and time to listen to what it tells you.I used to play in my house all day long. One day I had the visit of Izarne Villaverde, who had brought a camera and wanted to film me playing. I made some tea and in half an hour we recorded “Vurro’s Boogie”, which is a free improvisation in a 12-bar lap. Over the next few days I received the incredible news that I would travel all over the world playing my songs. was frightened, I laughed and cried for this life so surprising that it is an unfathomable mystery.
I have not yet been able to read all the messages, my phone signal arrives rarely. I wish I could answer everyone, but when you have time for yourself, creativity takes over and the phone is in the background. Anyway, I would like to send a big hug to all those people, and I would like to be able to meet them at the concerts and share everything that is possible.
Vurro has only emerged from the depths of the internet a little over a year year ago and you’ve now toured the USA and are embarking on an Asia and Europe wide tour. Did you expect the world to embrace Vurro as quickly as they have?
A few days after uploading the video, I found a world tour, televisions, radios, interviews, people who wrote my email wanting to share my music. That filled me with joy. I went to a bar in the next village, ordered tea and wrote people from Vietnam, Japan, China, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, Nederlands, Canada, USA, and more, and I said “I will be there!”. What happened was that before I was alone and now I have all those friends, very good people.
How difficult is it to travel with all of your kit? Any issues with checking a cow skull onto a plane?
The first concerts I made were in Spain, traveling with my truck, and I had no problems. When I went to the airport, security officials told me that the skull was forbidden, because it could transmit diseases. I told them I was wearing it a long time and I was fine, but they did not believe me. Luckily, I had a plastic replica that I made, and I use that for airplane travel.
The rest of my equipment is a piano, a Hammond organ and a battery that gets the organization. I can also play with keyboards that emulate piano or hammond sounds, such as digital stage pianos or digital organs such as Hammod xk3 or similar. I also have effects pedals that I use for more psychedelic songs.
How does a Vurro show normally go?
A few minutes before taking the stage, I put on my mask and my jingle bells and automatically become Vurro. I no longer think, I do not remember, I can not see anything. Someone helps me get to the stage, then that person touches my shoulder and that means I’ve been playing for more than an hour. Otherways I would not stop to play my more than 20 songs that I have prepared. Then I play my last songs and we take some photos with whomever wants. When I’m in the backstage, I think “what the hell just happened?”
What can Vietnam expect from your show?
When I come back home after a concert, I immediately get to play and improve my show, improve the order and make new songs. This has just begun and my best concert is usually the last one I’ve done. Thank you very much, I send you a big hug and I continue counting the days left to be with you, my friends from Vietnam.
We look forward to seeing you too Vurro!