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Local Band Spotlight: For Peace Keeps Guam Rock and Reggae Alive

CREDIT: @forpeaceband

As small as the island of Guam might be, it’s always been home to an eclectic and lively music scene. Old souls who frequented the Mermaid Tavern will remember watching legendary jazz pianist Patrick Palomo playing live behind his Yamaha P115 keyboard. On some nights, he would be playing with young musicians who would later go on to become their own prominent jazz outfit called Paluma. Meanwhile, those who hung out in places like Green Lizard were treated to the sounds of reggae-punk bands like Rebel Lion or the chill acoustic, soulful sounds of Jesse and Ruby. For fans of alternative hardcore outfits like Flinched, the place to go to was Livehouse.

It is from this eclectic, electric scene that the band For Peace established their roots. Today, they’ve become one of the most prominent and successful rock-reggae bands on both sides of the North Pacific Ocean.

A short history of For Peace

It all began when drummer and vocalist Freddy Bordallo met keyboardist and vocalist Jacob “JC” Iosia back in 2012. The musicians started as a duo, but were shortly after joined by bassist Danton Cruz and guitarist and vocalist Ronald “RJ” Pereira. All four not only hail from Guam, but also come from many other prominent local music acts. The four-piece released their first album as a band back in 2014. Called Forwards Ever, their debut album solidified For Peace’s place in leading Guam’s reggae-rock renaissance, eventually allowing them to tour across the U.S. West Coast. It also allowed them to take home the Island Music Awards for Best Song in 2014, and the award for Best Reggae Band in 2015.

Their first biggest break in terms of touring happened back in 2017, when they joined fellow reggae frontrunners Josh Heinrichs and Fortunate Youth in a 20-state, nine-week tour across the country. By the time the band was playing venues like the Cali Roots Festival at around 2018 and 2019, they were starting to play with other musicians and evolving into a stronger group. As the only reggae-rock band from Guam that regularly played in the U.S., For Peace represented the hopes and dreams of an entire island of talented artists.

It was around this time that the band released their sophomore album, Always Love, which solidified their status even more. In two of the tracks from Always Love, the band collaborated with artists like Star of The Steppas and Nathan Feinstein of Iya Terra. And during their tours, they would frequently jam onstage with the likes of The Expanders, Fortunate Youth, Tribal Seeds, and other favorites in the Guam, Palau, and U.S. reggae music scene.

It is from these awesome collaborative experiences that For Peace decided to add new members to the band. Arguably the most interesting addition is the charismatic soul guitarist Kamaron Quinata and his Boss ME-80 multi-effects pedal. From his Hendrix-like licks and the way he commands the classic rock overdrive, all the way to his rock star fashion sense and onstage presence, Quinata has emerged as a standout talent, particularly during live shows. Other than Quinata, For Peace sometimes plays with a handful of different trumpet players and saxophonists for that old-school reggae vibe.

CREDIT: @forpeaceband

Where to Catch For Peace

For now, in lieu of live dates, you can catch For Peace online on their Facebook page, Instagram accounts, and platforms like Sugarshack Music Channel, Bandcamp, Spotify, or Soundcloud. It’ll be awhile before For Peace and the rest of the reggae scene can get back to touring. Until then, you can support them through these digital platforms.

Local Band Spotlight: For Peace Keeps Guam Rock and Reggae Alive
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