BWW Interviews: Do You Know Peter Vullo?
I've known Peter Vullo before he was Peter Vullo.
I've known Peter Vullo before he knew Peter Vullo.
Let's start off when Peter was a little Peter Vullo growing up in Buffalo, New York.
He began scribbling in journals in high school and the scribble matured into poetry.
Then his dad surprised him with an electric guitar. After only a few lessons he struck out locally and tried a few different bands and played in his basement. He took his failures and minor successes in stride and plunged ahead. A lot of emails, phone calls and door knocks and he eventually found some gigs around town. Poetry and music found him.
While in college, he stayed creative and practiced his guitar and ran a literary magazine and added a Bachelor's degree in English to his resume.
It was while in college that professor Bill Schuh turned him onto the poetry of Plath, Ginsberg, James Wright and Frank O'Hara.
It was around that time a "watershed moment" happened when Mr. Schuh gave him a gift of a lifetime.
Cohen's writing is similar to Peter's very own style. "No separation of poetry and lyrics"
Since then Vullo believes an artist should be "... creative in any way you can".
He did some recording, more performing , sent out even more e-mails to get his and his newly formed band "I WAS THE SCARECROW" name out there. The band's name came from one of Peter's journal entries.
Recently Peter and I hooked up for coffee and to pick his artistic mind. In the last few years he changed gears from poetry readings to mostly music, but it's all the same to him. It's all art.
His present CD is very autobiographical and titled "Death To Self" and he defines it as
"... me getting lost in a very controlling relationship. I didn't know who Peter Vullo was."
Know who Peter Vullo is yet?
While putting together "Death To Self" Peter wanted to feel free to rebuild himself.
"To get connected to the people I love" as he put it.
With such titles as "Hey Lady Brainwash" and "Let Me Out" it's definitely a bumpy ride of anger, confusion and passion. His voice has the character to pull off such a vigorous project.
In his own words, his voice has some color but it's "not pretty."
Who needs a pretty voice to tell stories?
He is humble and shows the utmost respect for his bandmates --- bassist Casey Mullaney and drummer Jannell Viera --- contributions to his newest CD recording compilation about him and his "cult leader" as he describes a controlling relationship.
"... a lot of fun along the way." and the creativity "to find a key to unlock" was crucial in its completion.
If you want to really get to know Peter Vullo listen to "Death To Self" and see him perform.
His music and lyrics are raw and open.
Peter Vullo is a poet, musician and performer and a paradox in the most positive way.
And to end this with an ironic twist of emotions Peter Vullo recently won the local Bob Dylan imitator contest. Peter decided he was ready to pay tribute to one of his idols and took "inspiration from his interviews" ... and won the competition.
A few places to get to know Peter Vullo better:
Bandcamp page, where Death To Self can be streamed/downloaded: http://iwasthescarecrow.bandcamp.com/
The music video for the song "First Church of the Coast United" directed by Alex Penvose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfh2lwkSoIg
Here is the Thought Catalog article which tells the story behind everything that inspired Death To Self: http://thoughtcatalog.com/peter-vullo/2013/12/death-to-self-how-my-unhealthy-relationship-became-a-cult/
* The album cover was designed by Malcolm Ertha. The photos are by Joed Viera.