Will Murill: Nomadic musician
Since 2015, the busker has traveled the country looking for new stages to play.
SN&R first met Will Murill on a random night in Old Folsom. Surrounded by the weekend bustle of cover bands, Murill looped sax, guitar and vocals on an original R&B tune called “Mitote.” The one-man band’s stage was Sutter Street. He jammed in front of an open guitar case and cardboard sign that read “Do What You Love.”
Murill’s a traveling busker, and his home is a 1983 Toyota Dolphin RV that he converted into a music studio on wheels. He spent Thanksgiving inside “The Mothership,” and since 2015, he’s traveled the country in search of new stages. He recently dropped anchor in Lake Tahoe for a musical residency, and sometimes gigs in the Sacramento area.
The 27-year-old landed in front of the SN&R office to share what it’s like to do music 24/7 in lieu of a “real” job.
So we’re inside the “The Mothership.” Tell me about this place.
Dude, this thing’s amazing. … I gutted out all the walls. I put in new insulation and wall paneling. … I turned the bathroom into a musical storage and safe. … It’s revolutionized my lifestyle.
What did you drive before?
I started out with a Honda Civic, living with all my instruments. It’s bless, man, god or spirit … put this in my path.
Why did you decide to start traveling?
I was going to school for music … and I kept getting fired from jobs. … I’d end up getting fired for saying something that was too real, and that I shouldn’t have said, but it was honest.
My last job I had was in 2015. Since then, I was just like, “Man, I don’t know how, but I’m gonna revolve my life around the things I love to do.”
I was surviving off financial aid money. I was 23. I was living at my mom’s place, and I didn’t want to impede in [the family’s] life because they had a two-bedroom apartment. … So I ended up moving into my Honda and just biking everywhere in L.A.
Then I got hit by a car. I couldn’t walk for a month, and I missed school for like two or three weeks … I was like, “You know what, I have nothing to lose.” So I gathered all my money and … moved up to Humboldt.
How did you learn to survive?
Two, three months in, I met my friends Oso and Heaven. … They were hitchhikers who had hitchhiked two, three times around the country … They taught me not to worry about money. So I got around the whole country with less than 12 bucks in my pocket most of the time.
We just busked everywhere. Oso played acoustic guitar, Heaven played the spoons and I played electric guitar. … We ended up in Boulder, Colorado, and that’s where we split off. … I went to Wyoming … [and then] to Tahoe. I got stuck there for a month because my car had problems. It was a blessing, because I had saved up so much money. … I got around the country gas-jugging, which is when you ask someone to donate some gas.
What are your travel plans?
I want to go to a national forest … find isolated places to go and record, and the sounds of birds and things … In December, I want to be in Baja California, but I’m going to go to Death Valley and then the Mojave Desert [first], then to L.A. and hang out for like a week or two … From [Mexicali], I want to go up to Arizona and start my travels around the country.
Any survival tips?
For example: You’re looking for a place to park at night … I may run into cops or somebody who may want to do something bad. But it’s like when you run into a bear: It’s all about vibes. I try to put out love. I try to always have good intentions for the people around me.
What’s your big dream?
I want to taste the American consciousness in different places. I’m aching to get culture-shocked.