People have always asked me “how long have you been playing guitar?” and it is such a hard question to answer. I really can’t recall a moment in my life when a guitar wasn’t around, it has always been a part of me. However, for as much time as I have spent around guitars, I have always felt overwhelmed by them. Call it instinctive self defense, but I have always lived in absolute fear of the instrument which I love the most. Perhaps it is my own inability to cope with my unrealistic standards of who I should become when I play.
The concept for “WITHOUT WORDS” originated back in March of 2020. I had recently acquired two new guitars and the combination of a pandemic lockdown and a brain that doesn’t want to stop working gave me the idea of doing these video guitar reviews which are currently on my YouTube channel. The first one was well received, the second one did way better. People started asking where they could find the song. It was at that very same moment when the whole idea almost didn’t happen. Unbeknownst to me, and as is the case usually, I was dealing with some anxiety issues last year which, when added to my lifelong guitar paranoia, started making things very difficult. See, the thing was that, as much as people liked the songs on those reviews, those weren’t really “the songs”.
The compositions as I had originally recorded them, had a lot of extra parts; different melodies, guitar solos, etc. But in order to keep the reviews short and sweet and keep viewers engaged, I stripped the songs down, cut them as far as length went in some cases and made them more “Consumer Reports” friendly if you want to use that term. So the conundrum became, am I ready for the world to see me, to hear me, for real? I couldn’t hide behind my lyrics or my voice or my synth arrangements this time. These songs were guitar driven songs and as such they should be presented.
“WITHOUT WORDS” is the culmination of four beautiful songs written each on four different guitars, at four inconsistent times with four very divergent ideas in mind. The EP artwork shows four semi-identical forms coinciding with each other but heading in different directions, which I think summarizes the feel of the album perfectly.
The opening track “Anthem” is the only song which remained close to the original version from the YouTube review video. It is grandiose, chaotic, beautiful and meant to feel like a hymn to perhaps the guitar gods who have allowed me to finally step out of my comfort zone. “Guabancex” is the supreme storm deity of the ancient Taino people. Being 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 features a blistering guitar solo by fellow Puerto Rican guitar virtuoso Israel Romero Pérez from the band The Wrong Sides. If you have followed my musical career, then “Still A Beautiful Fever” will feel very familiar. The song is basically my tribute to my old band Runnin Blind and it is basically a collection of riffs and licks inspired by our old songs. I hope some of you can spot them. The best way I can describe “Win”, the last song of the EP, is by telling you to go watch “The Breakfast Club” and right at the end when Judd Nelson raises his fist and they start rolling the credits, this is the song that I hear in my head.
“WITHOUT WORDS” is going to be released on most digital music platforms on July 23rd, 2021. The journey up to this point has been incredible and I am beyond thrilled to share this music with all of you.