The following is an ongoing series of interviews that will accompany the Perspectives guest mixes. Special thanks to Nate Sartain for putting it all together.
Whether you’re a dj, producer, clubber, or just an average joe who likes to frequent night clubs, enjoying the sounds and energy of dance music, chances are that at some point Thomas Penton’s music has found its way into your ear and moved you in some way. As one of the pillars in high energy dance music, his productions and remixes span the globe, and they’ve been making a powerful impact for well over a decade. With over 100 projects being released since his start in 1992, his sound and style can be found on some of the biggest labels around. His tracks have been praised and played by some of the world’s biggest talent, as well as the everyday djs covering just about ever corner of a map. I personally recall playing some of his vinyl, and it finding a home in my record crate back in the day.
Since those days, seemingly forever ago, all the way into this digital age of music, Thomas has remained a strong member and artist in the global dance music scene, continuing to turn out track after pulse-pounding track. He also continues to reveal his passion for music through the art of djing. Thomas has touched down in plenty of places on the globe and has helped out with a hearty contribution to spreading the love of electronic music. He is truly a well rounded artist with a lot of time being spent in the studio, as well as plenty of it spent touring and lighting up dance floors across multiple continents. I myself, have been involved with the scene for many years, and I can say with all honesty, its rare to see someone who has had this much influence on the scene and contributed so much. Thomas was gracious enough to take some time from his busy schedule to do an interview and answer some of my questions. I wanted to ask him some questions about both sides of music, being production and djing.
Thanks again Thomas, for not only your time, but for your passion of dance music and what you have brought to it. I hope everyone enjoys this month’s featured artist set, and that we all get to know a little bit more about Thomas Penton and his music.
Perspectives: Q&A w/ Thomas Penton
By Nate Sartain
Which began first? Production or djing?
D.J.ing. But I got my first sampler and was working in recording studios just months after. Starting both when I was just 14.
Who or what were some of your inspirations in early EDM? When and how did you begin to get into the underground dance music scene?
I was first introduced to 'house' music in 1991. I then quickly became aware of the trance scene mostly coming from Germany at the time. At the time artists like Pete Namlook, Earth Nation, Oliver Lieb were the inspirations for me. Labels like Fax, Harthouse, Eye-Q, and more. I also started following classics like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schultz, and more. In 1992 I meet another local producer, Luis Duran. We then collaborated are studios and talent to release our first record in 1992.
What have been some of your greatest achievements as a dj/producer?
To still be doing this, something I love for a living. But times are much harder now. By far the greatest achievement is the travel benifits when playing. I love seeing other countries & lifestyles. I take advantage of this as much as possible.
How did the changes of this industry going digital, personally effect you as producer?
I love it, it makes business much easier to manage. But I feel the profit for artists is down a lot due to it. So you need to be more clever in ways of selling your product. But honestly it makes things so much easier overall. I love just buying a for mp3s, then playing out with just a few cds in hand. So much easier then the vinyl days.
Outside of music, what are some of your others passions and interests?
I really hope to do some outdoor hiking & camping this year. Visit some national parks to get away from it all. I still love the water, kayaking, sailing. And a good bike ride also rules!
Some of your favorite cities or countries you've played? Favorite club?
By far the best city in the world to play....Buenos Aires! Pacha there is the best in the world by far. Also my second home is Japan. I love playing there and just visiting. All Asia is such a different and amazing place to experience.
Some upcoming shows and gigs this year you’re looking forward to?
We're setting up my next Euro tour now, so really looking forward to that. And we're setting up also an Electric Candy Tour in South America soon. Both should be wicked!
Best/worst dj experience?
Best..always Buenos Aires! Worst...New Delhi, India. The club just fell apart on me when I played. A total dissaster (not my fault!!!)
Do you have a favorite song or track of all time?
Vernons Wonderland, Stairway to Heaven.
Favorite club to play?
Again and again...Pacha, Buenos Aires.
Favorite track you've have produced/remixed?
Always the newest one!
How are you liking L.A.? Compared to Florida? How do the clubs and scenes differ?
Both cities have their 'super clubs' and their smaller venues. I find both very simular and of very good quality. You'll find big talent performing in both cities every week. So both places are great to party.
Does your production sound run parallel to your djing sound or are they pretty different at times? How so?
Both are very simular. Always trying to bring power & energy to both.
What are some of your own goals and things you want to accomplish in the industry?
To make music I love, see people have a great time enjoying it out, and just seeing more of the world.
For more on Thomas, visit http://www.myspace.com/djthomaspenton for latest info & releases