Jan Rivera announces debut record, Existential Paranoia, out on October 14th
The incredible Puerto Rican progressive guitarist Jan Rivera has just revealed his third single and announced his debut record! Well-regarded as a music educator, Rivera is a graduate of the revered Musicians Institute’s Guitar Institute of Technology in Los Angeles, where he studied under Alex Machacek, Greg Howe and Scott Henderson, among others. His 2014 textbook Advanced Rhythmic Concepts for Guitar was a bestseller, receiving rave reviews globally, and as an on-set consultant and curriculum designer for Fender Guitars, he has taught and performed with Guitar Workshop Plus, which commonly features guitarists such as Tosin Abasi, Paul Gilbert and Andy McKee, just to name a few. With a curriculum like that, it’s no wonder that a full-length release by Jan Rivera would be as anticipated as it is inevitable, and with two singles already unveiled, none could wait much longer for more.
Of his third single, “Fractional Lineage”, which you can listen and the video for below this article, Rivera comments, “This song was so much fun to make! I think you’ll be able to tell from the video alone! Shooting at a rooftop in Downtown LA at 6am, drones flying around, cracking jokes. That’s my idea of a fun time. Don’t worry, we only woke up about half of the city!”. Featuring bass guitar virtuoso Mohini Dey (Jordan Rudess, Jordan Richardson, AR Rahman) as well as drumming legend Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats), “Fractional Lineage” is another enticing glimpse into the impressive sonic world Jan Rivera is building, an authentic prog rock tour de force.
With the news of his third single, comes also the news of his debut record. Entitled Existential Paranoia, this upcoming release continues the theme provided by the singles – a superlative first offering from this new artist, accompanied by a host of musical stars. Alongside the aforementioned Mohini Dey and Marco Minnemann, the record also includes appearances from Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Gary Husband (John Mclaughlin, Allan Holdsworth), Nili Brosh (Danny Elfman), and Chad Wackerman (Frank Zappa), among others. Most notably, Existential Paranoia includes the first instance of drumming legends Chad Wackerman and Marco Minnemann appearing on the same track – the closer, “The Grey Sticky Note”. Jan Rivera comments, “Existential Paranoia is a play on words. It’s simply a reflection of the times. The high amount of noise in the world almost makes it feel like for many, paranoia is a direct result of existing… Using the word existential also makes reference to the fact that the space created the last few years has propelled introspection and sort of given fuel to the existential crisis. This is why many people have not returned to their previous jobs. They had a view into “the world that could be” and decided to pursue it”. Of participating in Jan Rivera’s debut record, Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater fame also adds, “I get asked to do a lot of projects. I have to say that many of them are really good, but it’s not very often that you find a unique compositional voice. When I first heard Jan Rivera’s music, I was freaking out!”
On the record’s artwork, Jan comments: “The “world that could be” is visible in the album’s artwork. You can see that the colors outside of the door are monotone, while inside the door everything is full of color. This represents “what could be”. The surreal elements you see within the city represent the dreams and creative parts that capture our imaginations and propel us to seek something more, something meaningful. This is something that I deeply identify with, as it also mirrors my own struggles with finding my voice as a musician.”
Existential Paranoia will be released on October 14th. Digital pre-orders are now available here.