The heart and soul of Jaguares is Saul Hernandez, who is the closest thing to a brujo, or Mexican shaman, that you'll find in contemporary rock. His songs allow you can take flight from the madness that is modern life, to find your inner spiritual essence, listen to the wisdom in the wind, the song of a bird. He knows what the jaguar knows, that to get through our time in this world, you must learn the way to be a warrior. Hernandez avoids the rock star lifestyle, making yearly pilgrimages to the inner jungles of southern Mexico to commune with and learn from various indigenous communities.
Jaguares was born out of the ashes of Caifanes, the legendary group whose albums Caifanes, El Diablito, El Silencio, and El Nervio del Volcan transfixed rock devotees in Mexico, Latin America and beyond with its charismatic songs about the mysteries of life, love, and the intrinsic magic of each individual. Saul Hernandez's songs connected to Latin American youth who were looking for answers to adolescent angst in countries where life can be a lot more difficult than in North America. With drummer/collaborator Alfonso Andre, Hernandez explored the mystical side of growing up in Mexico, where revering the indigenous past, and rejecting the manipulations of the material world is second nature.
Caifanes reached heights previously unattained by Mexican rockers through a combination of great songwriting and inspired instrumental excellence. Originally influenced by progressive rock and post-punk like the Cure and King Crimson (ex-Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew produced El Silencio) Caifanes has metamorphosed into Jaguares, whose music can leap into a kind of deranged guitar madness, then somehow return to a mid-tempo rock groove, and, increasingly, the Latin rock sound Santana and Los Lobos made famous. Jaguares's first two albums, El Equilibrio (The Equilibrium) and Bajo El Azul de tu Misterio, (Beneath the Blue of Your Mystery), produced by Don Was (Rolling Stones) and Greg Ladanyi, respectively, only deepened and amplified Hernandez's and Andre's quest to make a rock opera out of the magic of the Mexican spirit.
By Ed Morales