Tom Lugo interview with Antoine “Tony” Paty of Forum FR (interview in French and English)  discussing Panophonic, Stellarscope, Patetico Recordings, and more.

Interview (english version):

When did you start playing music, and what made you chose this path?

-First, I would express my gratitude for the time and consideration taken to talk over my musical experiences. The answer to the question is: I started singing in church when I was a child, when I got to my teens I started singing in punk and hardcore bands, plus I also did some hip hop music for a couple of years. Music has been one of the only constant things in my life, it is what I do, and it is who I am.
Did you play in any other band before Stellarscope? If you did, what was their musical style?

-I been in and out of bands since I was 13 years old, the one I got further with was called Arnold Layne (yes, we were Pink Floyd fans). We were based in Puerto Rico, at the time there weren’t many alternative rock bands in Puerto Rico at the time. We disbanded towards 1994 and we all went on to work on other projects. Gardy Perez, the guitar player, went on to form a very influential Puerto Rican shoegaze band named Un.Real. Quique Ramirez, the bass player, went on to play with another seminal Puerto Rican Goth band called Burning Face. And Danny Soto, the drummer, went on to play with La Mancha del Jardin, Puerto Rico’s pop ska legends.

Currently, you are Stellarscope’s leader. How did you meet with the other members of the band?

-I met Bob Forman through a band ad I posted on a local music store for a drummer; we jammed once, and became very good friends. Rob DeFlaviis joined us a couple years ago; he was introduced to us by our exiting bass player at the time, Peter Ohlert.

How long have you been playing together?

-Bob and I have been playing together for over a decade; Rob has been playing with us for over 4 years.

In your previous record, “Living Under the Radar”, melodies sounded like “pop”, and still sticking to the shoegaze, in your latest record, “This Is Who We Are”, it looks like you are so easily playing with a kaleidoscope of rock, going from psychedelic and progressive pieces, such as “En El Principio”, “Quite Frankly”, or “Ready to Blow” (which makes a real intro on its own from “Still Standing”) to some pieces which could described as being more nervous, like “Just Like Flowers”, you even go further, playing with metal riffs, like in “Sell Your Soul”, or “Sound of God”. Did you intend to put together your multiple rock influences, or is it just the musical themes of the album?

-Our influences are very varied from band member to band member so, all of our individual musical influences started to blend in. For the last couple of years we have been moving away from the sound that we initially went for. For “Living Under the Radar” we were going for a more raw approach without losing site of the melodies and the pop undertones, though it is not really pop rock. We then release an EP titled “…Another Beginning’s End” with which we explored a little bit more of our “harder” sound and approach to songwriting. And finally with our latest release, “This is Who We Are” our focus was not so much on uniformity but more about having fun with what we were recording at the time.
We are almost done recording yet another full length album and we will be releasing it in the spring of this year. This one brings us back full circle; this next album will be more on the shoegaze side but with our unique twists as usual.

How do you work with the other members of Stellarscope, as far as composition is concerned? Does each one of you work on his own, then you mix it all up, do you compose together, or is there a specific composer in the band?

-I tend to write most of the music or the basic ideas for the songs, we then jam them out and every one adds their flavor to it. Lately the songs have been also coming from straight up jams… one example is “still standing”, which was a jam recorded live in one take (except the vocals)- we liked how it sounded and I just recorded vocals over it.

What are the artists which were the most important to you, and influenced you the most?

-That is a hard question to answer because the list is so long but I would say that Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Smashing Pumpkins, My Bloody Valentine, Joy Division, The Verve, The Cure, Bauhaus, etc.

What contemporary bands to you listen to?

-I mostly listen to bands we play or have played with like A Place To Bury Strangers (NYC), Un.Real (Puerto Rico)Autodrone (NYC), Soundpool(NYC), Project Skyward (NYC), Resplandor (Peru), Malory (Germany), Bell Hollow (NYC), Apollo Heights (NYC), If When (NJ/NYC), The Lost Patrol (NJ), Ceremony (VA), December Sound (NYC), Burning Face (Puerto Rico), Psiconautas (Puerto Rico), Panda Riot (Philadelphia), Airiel (Chicago), Shade (Pittsburgh), The Opposite Sex (DC), Hartfield (Japan), Overlook (Philadelphia), Skydivers (MD), Alcian Blue (DC), Scattered Planets (PA), Lockgroove (Toronto), The Defog (Philadelphia), Insect Guide (UK), Screen Vinyl Image (DC), 28 Degrees Taurus (Boston), Sanguine Drone (Boston), Plumerai (Boston), Sciflyer (San Francisco), Run Run Run (L.A.), The Manhattan Love Suicides (UK), Bebek (Philadelphia), Music for Headphones (Philadelphia), 98millionmilesfromthesun (UK), SPC ECO (UK), Stellarium (Indonesia), etc.

What are your best, and your worst memories on stage?

-Best memory on stage was a couple of years ago, we had to play a very important gig on my daughter’s birthday so I spoke to the venue and the promoter to allow us to bring her along for our early sound check and we performed for only her. Worst memory, a couple of years a go we did a show after a 3 foot snowfall, needless to say we were the only ones there with the sound person and the bartender- but they liked it so it was worth it wink1.gif

You’re also working on a personal project aside Stellarscope (Panophonic), how long did you have those two things on the go?

-I started Panophonic in 2002 as an avenue to express my emotions through the layering of sounds; most of the sounds on the recordings are created on guitar though many sound like synths. Most the music is created on a whim, once the ideas hit my brain I start arranging into songs and then I just records them.

Though it is much more dreampop/electro-shoegaze (like “Pygmalion” of Slowdive), Panophonic feels and sounds much more intimate than Stellarscope. Is there a direct link between Panophonic’s and Stellarscope’s music?

-A fan from Australia, named Nick King (who co-wrote the words to the Panophonic track “light of youth”), once said that Stellarscope was the raw emotion of what I write and that Panophonic was the more romantic tropical emotion. I would agree with him.

What is Panaphonic to you? Is it like your own playing field? Like an outlet to express what you cannot, or do not want to express in Stellarscope? Does it feel like a laboratory, where you can experiment for Stellarscope? Or is it just something personal, in which you can put more of yourself?

-I try to do with Panophonic what I know won’t fit in with what we do with Stellarscope though sometimes songs that started as Panophonic end up on the Stellarscope side and vice versa. With Panophonic I also have less limitation as to how many layers I can add to a song, with Stellarscope we like to record the song who we would sound live hence the DIY approach to the recording process.
I also collaborate with many artists in the scene with panophonic like Paul Baker (ceremony/skywave), Jake Reid (screen vinyl image/alcian blue), Doug White (tearwave/markara’s pen), Joey Levenson (spc eco/so young), the band Un.Real and Psiconautas, and many more. I am currently on a cross Atlantic project with Joey Levenson, and I am also working on an EP with the members of the UK band Insect Guide.

Aside from Panaphonic, and Stellarscope, along with the about twenty recordings they made, you’re also the head of Patetico Recordings. So, I just have to ask… How do you do that, what is your secret biggrin.gif ? How do you manage to be both so prolific and so creative?

-Time management and no sleep! laugh.gif
Seriously, I have learned through out the years that possibilities are endless if you focus and make time for different things in your life. In addition to running the label and writing for the two projects I love to spend time with my family, work a full time job as a corporate recruiter for a global corporation, and I am also a kickboxing, martial arts, and sparring instructor and competitor.

You’re also the initiator of the PopNoise Festival. Can you tell us a few things about it?

-I started the PopNoise Festival with one idea in mind expose a broader audience to the “left of dial” sounds of a lot of overlooked bands, to my knowledge it was one of the first festivals of its type at the time. I sought out help from the University of Pennsylvania to hold FREE ALL AGES ALL DAY festivals for several years in a row which had bands from allover the world playing from 10 AM to 2 AM (the next day) while we had video art projections on the walls, local artist’s paintings, photography, etc. on display as well. We also collected canned food items for the Greater Philadelphia Food Bank. In addition, I also was involved in the organization of the Walls of Soundfest in Virginia for a couple of years, which was born from the initial concept of the PopNoise Festival. Now, we use the name as branding for shows and mini tours of bands we have worked with in the past.

I am not a native English speaker, but in the way you use both English and Spanish in your songs, your albums, or in another field like on “Queremos Pas”, I can feel you are a committed artist. What kind of messages do you wish your songs to convey?

-I can relate to the language situation, my primary language is Spanish and English my secondary. The songs I craft are to express the feeling of what I am going through at the time- good, bad, or otherwise- sometimes they are introspective and other times they are straight forward. Though I don’t like to mix politics with music but I feel that sometimes it is necessary to express our discontent of how corporations and governments handle situations world wide through songs.

If you had to choose one song from Panophonic, and one song from Stellarscope, what would they be? Why? What are their stories?

-I would say “Beauty Of Your Eyes” by Panophonic- I created this track based on a short bassline sent to me by Un.Real’s bass player Hector “Caolo” Alvarez, once I had the basic track recorded I sent it back for Jose “Gardy” Perez to record additional guitars, and Sammy Diaz to record the drums.

My favorite track by Stellarscope is “Nameless Future” which was from our “Sonic Soundscapes from the Blue” album released in 2001. Of the most recent material I would say “Just Like Flowers” because of its energy and simplicity.

Before ending this interview, just for the fun of it, this question is off topic: what are your favorite dish and dessert?

-I am a sucker for Spanish rice and beans (its comfort food) but sushi is my favorite food and my favorite dessert is Crème brûlée.

Finally, which musical advice would you give to the community of ForumFr?

Sting (of the Police) once said “music is its own reward” and that struck a chord with me. I never set out to conquer the world, become famous, or to be a celebrity all I ever wanted and still want is for my music to be heard. My advice is: stick to your guns, don’t compromise, and never give up on your dreams. With time and dedication you can achieve many successes in life. It is better to have tried than look backing at your life and feel unfulfilled because you never attempted something you always wanted to do.
Thanks a lot for playing the game of the interview, that was really very nice of you. smile.gif

Again, it is my pleasure. Thank you!

 Merci à Kinwena pour son travail de traduction,
ainsi qu’à Blackmesa pour son aide lors de la
réalisation de cet interview.


  1. Hi everyone I am new here at Site looks great.
    If you want to Watch UFC 113 Online for FREE
    This site Watch UFC 113 Online FREE has it for FREE

    This thing is gonna be bad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s