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Music Mondays: An Interview With Virgil

Tara Linden


Virgil MM square.png

This week’s featured artist is Virgil, who plays mainly rock and blues, and has had his SL shows streamed on the South Pole!

Check out his music and calendar below.

Q: When/how did you hear about Second Life?
A: When I first came to Second Life I was looking for an online game to play, like The Sims or WoW, and had never even heard of SL. Once I got online and started exploring I was hooked. I did all the things we all do, I imagine, and then a few years ago I met a woman that sang in SL. When she found out I was a musician, she said I should give it a try. So I did.

Q: How did music come into your life, and what instruments do you play?
A: My parents sent me to piano lessons when I was eleven years old. I went for a few years, and this really helped me understand music and some theory. I purchased an acoustic guitar from a childhood friend for $5.00 around that same time, and started learning open chords and beginner stuff. One of my friends played a little more than me and he would show me things… of course back then we did not have the internet - it was all sharing and listening to other players and just figuring stuff out.

I play the guitar and also play the bass and some keyboards. I used to have a drum kit as well, but now usually just program my drums or grab a drum track offline. I record all of my own backing tracks and play 100% of the guitars you hear, and I play all of the instruments on many songs. And, of course, I play the guitar and sing live at shows.

Q: How would you describe your style, and how has it evolved over the years?
A: I am a rock and blues guitar player. I also play pop, country, and can play a little jazz, but mainly I just love to play guitar. I have played in bands since I was 17 years old and still play shows in real life. The guys I listen to and learn from are guys like Brian May (Queen), Peter Frampton, Joe Bonamassa, Eddie Van Halen, and Stevie Ray Vaughn… Jeff beck...David Gilmour… I could go on and on. As for singing, I never really sang more than a few songs here and there, I was always the lead guitar player. When I came to Second Life I started singing more, and now I sing all the time. I also write songs. Songwriters I admire are guys like Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, The Stones, Ric Ocasek (The Cars)... Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, and of course so many blues guys. As for evolving… well, we are always evolving and striving for new and better sounds. For me, the journey is always about tone and taste. I try to slow down and focus on phrasing and expressing my feelings through the instrument, to have some kind of communication or conversation with the listener. I also believe that tone is 90% of the battle when playing live. If you have a good tone in your instrument you are able to play and express yourself so much better.

Q: What are some of the albums/tracks that have helped get you through the last year?
A: Oh wow… this is a tough question. Music really lifts us up, you know? I don't care what you are into or like listening to, it touches the pleasure centers in your mind and transports {you}... I tend to listen to The Stones, Clapton, Beck, Matthew Sweet… some harder rock too. I go back to Sheer Heart Attack album by Queen or Queen II, just about ANYTHING by Joe Bonamassa.

Q: What was your favorite inworld performance?
A: I enjoy all of the venues I play at and the idea that I am able to reach people from all over the planet is remarkable to me. I would say my most memorable was probably the SL17B. I had a great slot there on a Friday night and there were SO many people there… really a good time, and I met some good friends due to that show.

Q: What is the most meaningful aspect of the SL music community to you?
A: The most meaningful aspect is reaching people and providing some relief or comfort or just plain entertainment to them. When someone IMs me and tells me how my playing or singing touches them, it just makes my day. I was once playing a show and I got an IM from a woman that was part of a research team in Antarctica… she sent me some pics of their station and wanted me to know I was being heard at the South Pole, I mean how awesome is that? I have had people tell me they have their guitar out at home and are playing along, and some go and get their spouses or kids to listen. I have also had people tell me they play my shows while driving and share with others in the car… it is an honor to be able to reach that many people in all of these different situations and share a feeling or moment with them.

Virgil also sells his own line of guitars on the marketplace! Check them out here.

Thank you, Virgil! If you or someone you know would like to submit content for Music Mondays, please fill out this form.

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