Guabancex: the story behind the song

JP2
2 min readJun 20, 2021

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Having my mom as a school teacher was one of the best experiences of my life. It has been 27 years and I still remember the pure joy in her eyes when she spoke to us about Don Quixote. She did not want us to read something, she wanted us to enjoy it. Perhaps to her misfortune, I never became much of a reader, but I did become a research buff. Literature just never struck my fancy, but figuring out what-when-why. I would say it is par for the course with the nerd factor of being a prog musician.

When I write music, I always have a theme in mind but it’s usually manifested in the form of lyrics. In the particular case of this instrumental song, the challenge became to write what was in my head and to give it some sense historically with what I was intending to do. Tie the history to the music, that was my goal. History and research are pretty much symbiotic, so perhaps a bit of a history lesson can help shine a light on why I chose such a peculiar name for this piece.

The name Guabancex belongs to the supreme storm deity of the ancient Taino people. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, I grew up dealing with hurricanes and storms and I wanted to write a song that captured both the beauty and the brutality of mother nature at its core. The song is divided in three very specific movements, each named after one of her male servants:

  1. Guatauba (0:00–2:04): Just like her servant, this section is characterized by booming drums and rhythmic patterns.
  2. Coatriskie (2:05–3:24): This section flows like the floods of water that the servant would create. In the middle of it all, we find a beautiful and powerful guitar solo by fellow Boricua Israel Romero Pérez.
  3. Hurakan (3:25–4:05): The manifestation of all storms, all chaos ensues towards the end of the song, creating a beautiful cacophony of melody and agony.

Guabancex is a strong, guitar driven instrumental song with metal/djent flavors and tribal percussion elements that help bridge the gap between its heavy grooves with my island roots. The blistering guitar solo by fellow Puerto Rican guitar virtuoso Israel Romero Pérez from the band The Wrong Sides elevates it to a whole new level, in my opinion. I chose this as my first single off “WITHOUT WORDS” because it is a perfect representation of my musical palette. Rock, metal, prog, djent, salsa, shifting time signatures, etc. It is everything that I basically listen to, all in a single ditty.

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JP2

JP2, SPAWNDIE, Jetsaholic Productions, Indian River Music Company, endorsed by Tsunami Cables.