VIRAL: Razorback Drummer Brian Velasco’s suicide shakes music community
January 21, 2019 Victoria Luz
Depression takes another life. The whole local music community is grieving over Razorback’s drummer Brian Velasco’s suicide.
Yesterday marks the death of Brian Velasco, drummer of the iconic band Razorback, after an attempted suicide. Apparently, the alleged suicide happened around earlier noon yesterday, January 16, 2018.
It was around 10:40 AM when Brian Velasco live-streamed on Facebook. In the video, he was drinking coffee near his balcony. Then, he suddenly jumped off. A lot of people witnessed it live during the stream. The video went viral and spread fast like wildfire.
After a few hours, it was confirmed that Brian Velasco died. It alarmed not only the local music community but also the Facebook community as well. Though Facebook already took down the video, some people are still sharing snippets and screenshots of it. Brian’s family, band mates, and friends are requesting netizens to stop sharing and reposting the video. Aside from the video being graphic, they are still in shock over what happened.
Later on, it was revealed that Brian was suffering from depression. His brother stated that Brian has changed after his dog Alfie died. After the death of Alfie, Brian grew distant and sad. His family and close friends can’t rule out any deeper reason for suicide so far. But one thing’s for sure, they did not expect Brian to end his life.
Brian’s family requesting privacy over this matter. Fellow musicians and artists like Ebe Dancel, We Are Imaginary, and even Myx Philippines expressed their condolences and posted tributes for the late Brian Velasco in social media.
Suicide Among Musicians and Artists
Artists and musicians, much to our knowledge, don’t always have fantasy lives. Over the past few years, musicians have died by suicide. Most of them took their own lives because of depression while others because of other underlying mental health issues. It has been and always been, an underrated problem among musicians. And it’s sad to see our own favorite idols spiral down. In the past two years, we’ve grieved over the deaths of famous musicians worldwide.
Swedish DJ Avicii or Tim Bergling and Kpop Idol Kim Jonghyun are just a few notable names who’ve committed suicide. Their deaths are unlikely to us, knowing their outgoing personality towards fans and their passion for their craft. But it still happened.
But the biggest death that crushed the world was Chester Bennington’s. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, another household name and a legend, committed suicide on the most unlikely time. People have testified that they turn to Linkin Park whenever they feel sad. Personally, Linkin Park’s songs aren’t just relatable, they are our safe haven. But the most disturbing thing is that Chester posted a photo of him with his family before his suicide. That just shows that it can be anyone. It can be anytime and anywhere. Even the most positive people can be going through something heavy. Looking back at Chester’s death, even the brightest ones, the one who’s been there with us, might be depressed. And you can never really tell.
In the same way with Brian, it was shocking, so to speak. No one really expected it. It happened and we could have done something about it.
Social Media and Suicide
People might be confused why Brian had to film his suicide. But it was easy to understand. Brian had to. It was his call for help. A call for help that no one noticed or shrugged off. Social media has been always accessible for everyone. It helps us connect with a lot of people in a larger scope of area. Brian who is a well-known music icon knows it too. He has a lot of people in his following. He has a lot of friends on social media and in real life. But no one noticed. Some may have noticed but they never put much thought to it.
Maybe Brian has been suffering from depression for a long time. We can say that maybe Brian had tried to get someone’s attention in his own social circle and family about the source of his sadness. We can say that he brought it up or maybe joked about it. And maybe, some people listened but they never took it seriously. Maybe, the live stream was the last straw. He may be waiting for a sign that will at least, change his mind just for the meantime. But I guess he never found it. And I understand.
Because in the Philippines, mental health has a stigma in the community. They think anything associated with mental health such as depression is something just made up. Or just the person exaggerating himself or herself. With that, people have a hard time dealing with it. How shallow minded can we go? Shrugging them off or laughing at them is not a great way to help them. Depression is no joke, people.
I guess it’s high time for us to stop the stigma and address this issue. It’s 2019, the stigma has to stop. How many lives do we have to cross off just for the issue of mental health to sink in?
If you need someone to talk to and seeking further help, you may call any of the suicide prevention hotlines below. They are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
- (02) 804-HOPE (4673)
- 0917 558 HOPE (4673)
- 2919 (toll-free number for all GLOBE and TM subscribers)
You can also check online platforms spreading mental health awareness like Silakbo PH and PRISM. Inquiries on clinics, psychologists or psychiatrists can be directed to the Psychological Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Psychiatric Association.
I hope Brian Velasco’s suicide will make us change our opinion about mental health. Condolences to Brian Velasco’s family and friends. Be sure to check up on your family and friend, everyone. Depression has no face. Share us your thoughts on the comments down below. Or hit us up on our Facebook or Twitter @UDoUPh.