Music is the only thing I’ve always felt 100% comfortable doing. Regardless of venue or genre, an action as simple as fiddling with a toy piano in a department store brings me joy.
I can’t recall when I began playing guitar. It feels like something I’ve always done since I was a kid. I remember sneaking in my brother’s bedroom to “borrow” his acoustic and just jamming. I wasn’t taking lessons, I was just picking up stuff here and there from magazines or music videos. Got my first electric guitar at age 15 and became obsessed. I studied music theory and composition at the Interamerican University in San German, PR. After a few attempts at launching a professional musician career and just feeling out of place with the local cover band scene, a change of scenery felt like the right step to take and I ended up in Orlando, FL.
Runnin Blind was the brainchild of myself, Oscar Garcia (drums) & Carlos Francisco (voice). After releasing our first album “The Carpet Room” our lineup changed with the addition of Italo Garcia (bass) & Eduardo De La Vara (keyboard). With this final lineup, we were able to push the boundaries of our music beyond what we had originally envisioned, completely revamping our sound. My guitar sound changed as well, as I made the switch to a 7 string guitar during this time and I haven’t looked back since. Our music had lots of progressive and jazz influences yet still sounded contemporary. Unfortunately, the band ended up dismantling before the second album was ever released. Shortly after, I hooked up again with Oscar as well as longtime friend Juan Bautista (voice, guitar) & Brian Benton (bass) to form Over The Radar. Though short lived, Over The Radar was a fun metal project and a blast to perform live. However, after another band breakup, I felt like I came out a bit beaten up, perhaps defeated and, unknowingly at the time, went ahead and hung up my musical gloves for eight long years.
A while ago I started jamming with a few friends (now known as Alphæus). It didn’t last long, my heart still wasn’t in the right place and I quit. However, I had written a guitar solo for the song “The Virulent” (featured in their debut album Apoptosis) and they asked me to record it for their album and I did. Jason Banning (guitarist for Alphæus) was aware of my video talent/hobby/business and asked me to film a music video for them. Awesome, right? However, he also asked me to get onstage and play my guitar solo during their show that I’d be filming. That I had to process a bit. Not because I couldn’t play the solo anymore, I could play that thing with my eyes closed, but because I was afraid that I’d get onstage and I wouldn’t feel anything. I was afraid that I’d be presented with the chance to do the thing that I love the most and I would come out with the certainty that I don’t love it anymore. So I went ahead and accepted both gigs. I guess I just needed to know. Video shoot went amazing. But the guitar solo, something
It was still there! The fire, the need, the urge to play, to create music! After I got offstage and for the next six months I started figuring out a musical master plan: what will I do, how will I do it, who will I do it with, etc. One thing was for certain: this time around, I wasn’t going to make music to get a record deal, to get on the radio, to become famous, blah, blah, blah. None of that nonsense. This time, I was going to make music for me, music that makes me happy with musicians I wanted to work with, with no agenda, no pressure.
That’s what JP2 is. It’s my manifesto. It’s my creativity unchained.