Vincent Velazco - Questionnaire
1. How are you feeling right now?
Vincent Velazco: Well, our tour was cancelled (postponed), which was very frustrating. It took two years to plan and organise the whole thing and lots of hard work was put in so it was a shame we had to postpone everything. Unfortunately, it was one of those inevitable things and was completely out of our control. Everything and everyone is affected by COVID-19. I think the best thing we can do is to keep healthy and safe, avoid crowded areas, stay at home as much as possible and just be positive. Hopefully, this will all be over soon.
2. Where is home?
Vincent Velazco:I was born in the Philippines and still go back there to visit family. I love the weather, the food and the people there.
I currently live in London and like it here. There are lots of music venues and the majority of my musician friends live here too. It’s a great place to be if you’re a musician or an artist.
3. What do you consider the biggest achievement in your career so far?
Vincent Velazco: Being able to do what I love for a living is for me my biggest achievement. Ever since I moved to the UK all I ever wanted to do was to become a full-time musician. I’ve had different jobs in the past but my last one before I became a full-time drummer was as a graphic designer. I actually liked and enjoyed it but I just love playing the drums, touring and recording even more and I just want to carry on doing this. I’ve had the opportunity to play with bands in front of 50,000 people, to play in stadiums and arenas, and I've toured the US and South America, etc. I've also become an official artist of my favourite brands, which include Tama, Sabian, Evans, and Promark, which I’m very thankful for. Those were some of the things I dreamt of doing when I was a kid but as I said, just being able to continue doing this now is already an achievement. Whether it’s playing to 300 people or 20,000, I treat it all the same and never take things for granted.
4. What is your favourite band apart from your own?
Vincent Velazco: There are so many but the bands that really influenced me and had a huge impact were Guns N’ Roses, Skidrow, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree and Buddy Holly.
5. Is there a song that you wish you had written?
Vincent Velazco: Tough one but I’d have to say Bohemian Rhapsody or something like Stairway To Heaven. Imagine if you wrote something like those masterpieces. Some people might say Stairway is “cliche” but still, I don’t think anyone can deny it’s a great song.
6. Can you read music, or have you had any musical training?
Vincent Velazco: I was 13 years old when I started playing the drums. I was a self-taught drummer at first until my grandma enrolled me at Yamaha Music in the Philippines where I had some basic lessons. When I moved to Guildford to study at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), that’s when I really learned a lot more about drumming and music including sight-reading, theory, drum performance and business studies. It gave me a good foundation and knowledge not just about drums but the music industry in general and I also got to meet a lot of like-minded musicians. Being surrounded by different musicians can really help you grow and develop your skills even more.
7. What is your favourite food?
Vincent Velazco: I eat a lot of different kinds of food (anything but dairy) but I’d say traditional Filipino food, Fish n’ Chips, sushi, and steak are some of my favourites.
8. What would always be on your rider?
Vincent Velazco: Oranges, bananas, water, honey and maybe some almonds. I’m pretty easy. Even when I was playing with big bands and could have pretty much whatever I wanted I’d always just choose those things. Some beer at the end of the tour would be nice too.
9. Can you recommend a good book to read?
Vincent Velazco: The Drummer: 100 Years of Rhythmic Power and Invention
10. Who is your favourite writer?
Vincent Velazco: J.R.R. Tolkien
11. Do you have any favourite television shows and movies?
Vincent Velazco: I really love The Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit.
Even though it's quite old now, I really enjoyed the series “24”.
12. Do you have a favourite musical instrument?
Vincent Velazco: Apart from the drums, I’m fascinated with guitars. I’m really impressed with guitarists who are very musical yet can also play ridiculously fast. I enjoy listening to instrumental music, especially those that are guitar-focused.
13. Who would you most like to work with, either living or dead?
Vincent Velazco: I’d love to work with Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater. I actually met him at Cruise to the Edge last year and fortunately got to chat with him. He knows Pendragon and also saw my drum video where I played one of his songs, which he said he liked. It would be cool to do a project with him at some point.
14. What would you be doing if were not a musician?
Vincent Velazco: I’d most definitely still be a graphic designer.
15. Do you have any plans you can share with us?
Vincent Velazco: Well, half of the Pendragon tour was postponed so we’re planning on rescheduling it once all this has settled down.
I’m hoping we’ll get to do the rest of the tour early next year. Also, one of the bands I play for with my good friend Ben
Christo,Diamond Black, will be releasing an album very soon.
I’ve already finished recording all the drum parts so it’s now at the mixing stage.