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Jose Mari Cuervo
Razorback is a Filipino hard rock band formed in 1990. Originally known for being regulars at the now-defunct Kalye, a club in Makati, the band has performed at full-scale concerts and opened for Silverchair, Rage Against the Machine and Metallica.
Razorback first began performing covers of bands such as Led Zeppelin, Juan de la Cruz Band, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. The group was put together by drummer Miguel Ortigas and guitarists Tirso Ripoll and David Aguirre.
In 1982, Miguel Ortigas met Tirso Ripoll through Ripoll's cousin in LSGH. Ortigas first handled guitars then later moved on to drums. Ortigas also studied in Yamaha School of Music, under Benjie Zialcita, who also taught Tirso Ripoll, Louie Talan and David Aguirre. It was in 1988, when they would usually watch their idols Pepe Smith, Sampaguita, Billy Bonnevie, Edmund Fortuno, and many others, in Electra Bar, Makati, where they decided to create something better.
One of their first songs was "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC, and with only Tirso, Miguel and David in the line-up, they first recruited Tirso's brother, Junus as bassist and Isabel Lozano as vocalist. During their formative years, the band was known as “Outrider”, with their first gig at Big Bang, Alabang. The group later joined Upsilon Sigma Phi-NU107's Battle of the Bands and won. From here on out, the band as “Razorback” was officially formed and played regularly in local bars such as Kalye, Club Dredd and Peligro.
Members of Razorback and Wolfgang used to jam onstage billed as the Flaming Hemorrhoids. Five years later, the band, original vocalist Jose Mari Cuervo was replaced by Kevin Roy on vocals, alongside Ripoll and Aguirre on guitars, Ortigas on drums and Louie Talan on bass, released their debut album entitled "Hebigat Sounds Volume One". (Hebigat is a portmanteau, created by fusing the words Hebi, a play on the English word heavy, and the Filipino word bigat, literally, heavy.) The album contained such tracks as "Giyang", "Tabi ng Bulkan (Beside the Volcano)" and "Pepe D' Hepe".
David Aguirre is now the lead guitarist for the Southern California-based band 3 Headed Dog. Manuel Legarda, also of Wolfgang, has taken over his guitar duties for Razorback. Brian Velasco, who was a drum instructor at RJ Guitar Center, later joined and replaced Miguel Ortigas on drums.
Founding member Miguel Ortigas soon decided to leave the band in March 1996, prompting the band to take on Brian Velasco. In 1997, the band released their second album entitled "Beggar's Moon" under Epic Records. It produced hits like "Payaso (Clown)" and "Ikot Ng Mundo (Turning of the World)", the latter garnering an NU 107 Rock Awards Song of The Year nomination that year. Aguirre won Best Guitarist of the Year; Talan won the Best Bassist the following year. "Beggar's Moon" eventually went platinum.
One track off the Beggar's Moon album is entitled Of Hobbits and Pipeweed; perhaps a homage to J. R. R. Tolkien and his books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The track "Lunatic" features legendary Filipino violinist John Lesaca and percussionist extraordinaire, Denise Celdran.
Basti Artadi of Wolfgang shares credit for work done on the Beggar's Moon album art. According to Tirso Ripoll in his podcast with Basti Artadi, Tropical Banter, Beggar's Moon can be played over Blade Runner in synchronicity, similar to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon played over Wizard of Oz.
The third Razorback album, "Star", was released in 1998. The album produced the award winning video hit "Voodoo, Who Do?", plus other favorites such as "Tikman ang Ulan (Taste the Rain)", "Pag-hihintay (The Waiting)", and "Sa Gitna Ng Lahat (In the Midst of it All)". "Voodoo, Who Do?" would later on become part of the soundtrack of "Stone", a comic book by Filipino artist Whilce Portacio - along with tracks by such artists as Korn, Our Lady Peace, Incubus, as well as Filipino artists Chill and Wolfgang.
Some time after Star was released (whose carrier single had Basti Artadi voicing the intro), David Aguirre went on hiatus, prompting some speculation that he was quitting the band for good. He returned in late 2000, to the delight of fans.
In 2002, the band embarked on an ambitious project - an eponymously titled double CD album. Razorback dispelled rumours that this is their final album, much to the relief of fans who have been on the receiving end of this anxiety-inducing piece of false information. The album starts out with "Minsan Lang (Not Often)". Diversity is evident, with songs ranging from classic rock, ("Minsan Lang", "Wakasan (End It)", "Dagat ng Pag-asa (Sea of Hope)"), to Pink Floydesque tracks ("Puerto Jam", "Earthen Drum") and acoustic love songs ("Ditty", "Sixteen Days").
On January 6 and January 12, 2007, various members of Razorback and Wolfgang got together for a reunion concert at the Music Museum. On hand were Basti Artadi, Tirso Ripoll, Louie Talan, Kevin Roy, Mon Legaspi, Brian Velasco, Miguel Ortigas and Manuel Legarda. Wolf Gemora and David Aguirre, however, were unable to join this gig, as their commitments for the moment lie with Lokomotiv.
They released their first studio album in 6 years, entitled "Three Minutes of Glory". The songs "Daan-Daang Dahilan", "Ayon sa Kanya", and "Atin-Atin Lang" from this album are staples at their live performances. As of 2011, the band frequently tours the Philippines and Asia most recently as part of the San Miguel Red Horse Beer Muziklaban events.
To commemorate the band's 25th anniversary, the band will be releasing an acoustic album, which would include new songs as well as acoustic versions of their previous songs.
On June 10, 2018, the Razorback Facebook page has announced the departure of its singer, Kevin Roy, with the statement: "We regret to announce that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we have parted ways with our singer and brother, Kevin Roy. We wish him luck in his future endeavors. Razorback will forge ahead and give you Boars the Rakenrol you deserve. See you in the shows to come." After Kevin Roy’s departure from the band, Nicole Asensio (on vocals) and Ira Cruz (on guitars) are both featured in the band’s lineup.
- Hebigat Sounds Vol.1 - 1995
- Beggar's Moon - 1997
- Star - 1998
- Soundcheck: The Live Recordings - 2000
- Razorback - 2002
- D' Greytest Hithits - 2004
- ALIVE 2007 - 2009
- Three Minutes of Glory - 2011
- Acoustik ng Ina Mo - 2014
- "Rock N' Roll Death Toll by Lokomotiv". FHM.com.ph. 2006. Retrieved 2006-01-24.
- Joelle Jacinto (January 2, 2007). "LOKOMOTIV COMES TO TOWN". Pulse.ph. Archived from the original on February 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-24.
- "THE WOLFGANG AND RAZORBACK REUNION CONCERT 2007". Pulse.ph. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2007-01-24.