Pato Lange is an Argentine singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer of rock and pop music. In 2016 he released his debut album entitled “Ahora”. “A set of unbeatable melodies,” Rolling Stone Argentina wrote for the album in April 2016. Lange is also known for his work as a writer, editor, stylist and fashion editor for magazines such as Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair. He has recorded and played with pop and underground musicians from Argentina. In 2016 he founded “La Confitería”, a nightclub in the city of Buenos Aires that became the epicenter of the underground and emerging art scene in his country, but his passion is still to compose songs.
In 2020 he released three new songs: “Todos tenemos”, “La siguen rompiendo” and “En Cualquier Momento”. All three of them will be part of a forthcoming full-length album with which Pato will try to put his name firmly back in the latin music scene. With the first reactions from the audience being more than hopeful and with an aesthetic that certainly leaves no one indifferent, Pato Lange spoke -with disarming honesty- to SounDarts.gr about this new record, his dreams, his other activities but also his future plans!
Read everything you want to know about Pato Lange in the interview that follows!
Photo: Pato Lange x Steven Sierra
Hello Pato and welcome to SounDarts.gr! You are about to release your next studio album. What should we expect from this release?
Well, it is an album of songs in which I expanded my sound a lot, it became really much more new wave style, but it retains that love for popular songs and Argentine rock that I have since I was a child. Also, something I love is that the electric guitar has a central place in this record. There’s a guitar solo on every track -except one-, and that’s something I definitely don’t hear on almost any new album. They are melodious solos, some great. Ha ha.
What was your motive to go back to the studio for the recording of this album?
After spending several years without releasing a full album, I started to feel really bad. I’d been busy with so much work, everyday life, some big projects, and somehow my personal discography was lagging behind. So after quite a painful bumps I realized that what matters most to me is releasing my own records. Not even that includes introducing them, going on tour, etc. All of these things can happen, and Will happen. But my main goal is to compose, record and edit songs. I don’t care about almost anything more than that.
In 2016 you released your album “Ahora”. What are the musical innovations between this album and your forthcoming one?
Well, “Ahora”, my debut solo álbum is basically a folk album, or a folk rock álbum. And this album new work is much more new wave style, more like 80´s music. I mean, there are more synthesizers! But at the same time the guitar took on a more important role. Everything grew. Besides this new album sounds a lot better, and to make it I worked with many of the most talented musician in actual argentine music escene. In all this time of having played with different musicians and having been recording in different projects I learned a lot. Especially in what has to do with producing myself at home, and finishing outlining the songs there, in my own home studio (if you can call it that!)
Your latest single “En Cualquier Momento” is already becoming a big hit everywhere. What’s the story behind its writing?
I hope so! My bank account will thank you! Ha ha. It is a lyric that talks about “living as if we were going to die any moment”. Basically, not too long ago, due to some health episodes that luckily I almost ruled out, I thought that my life could be at risk from one moment to the next. That made me think and re-evaluate the fact that we are alive here and now, and we have to take action and move forward as if the world were going to end right now, or at any time. It is something obvious, a truism or “una verdad de perogrullo”, as we say in Argentina, but sometimes it is difficult for us to internalize that, and we live as if life were a gift that will never end. And also the theme talks about leaving the past behind, forgetting the failures and starting over. We all had failures right? Well, in a way that’s true. But you can always forget and start again.
You have recorded and played with popular and underground musicians from Argentina. Which of these collaborations stand out for you and why?
Having played in the group with Joaquín Levinton, leader of Turf, which is a popular group in Argentina, taught me several things. Above all, to identify the spark that ignites a truly popular song in the public. Later, having worked on this album with producers Fernando Caloia and Nicolás Ottavianelli, also members of Turf, made me learn a lot about music production and also about my own sound. And later, having recorded guitars in a song in which Cristian “Pity” Álvarez (from Intoxicados y Viejas Locas) sings, It is something that I keep in my heart. He is now in prisión, but he is a great cult figure in Argentina and one of the most genuine and popular rock authors of the last 25 years.
You are also known for your work as a writer, editor, stylist and fashion editor for magazines such as Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair. What attracts you into these fields?
Magazines have their epic. And although today I no longer enjoy that job so much, for several years I enjoyed it very much. Also, those are great magazines, the best in the world, and working there for me was a great experience. Being able to write, tell stories, publish, meet fascinating people, travel a lot and learn about culture, art and fashion at that level really blow out my head. And besides, writing is magnificent, a great task. It just takes a lot of time and energy, just as much as composing music. And music has always been my priority. Only for a while those lights distracted me a bit! Ha ha.
Have you ever thought of combining any of these fields with music and if you had to choose one of these what would it be and why?
I do that all the time, cross art, fashion, rock, journalism, magazines. Not only in my music, when I make video clips and work with fashion people, or when I choose de way I dress, but also in my own cultural center, La Confitería, an iconic place for the art scene in Argentina for the last five years, which became an epicenter where rock, indie, fashion, plastic art, sexual diversity, local avant-garde intersected. All that universe intersects all the time in what I do and that is what amuses me the most. But If I had to choose, I would choose fashion. It’s a fascinating thing to cross with music. And besides, it has always been like that. Rock and fashion walk on the same catwalk most of the times.
Can you recall the most emotional moment of your career so far? Can you describe it for us?
It is very difficult to choose a moment. Usually it gives me enormous happiness to publish songs. That is my point of fulfillment, it makes me very happy, it fills me enormously. It’s amazing, because a song is something virtually useless. I mean: a song is not going to change a law in Congress. Or yes, I don’t know. But surely a policy modifies a concrete reality much faster than a song. Even so, I believe that human beings need music to be happy. It is something magical.
Now, if you ask me a specific moment, I choose one. When I was very young, when I was about 18 years old, I went to play with my teenage band, Setnova, to a place in the City of Buenos Aires (I am from the province, I was born and lived more than two thirds of my life in the outskirts, almost 40 km from Ciudad from Buenos Aires, that’s very, very far when you’re young) and we filled one of the most important rock clubs. That night suddenly Charly García, the greatest rock musician and composer in Argentina (a kind of argentine John Lennon), came up and told me that he wanted to come up to play with us, that we would lend him a guitar and we would go out. We played for half an hour, or more, I don’t remember, I was very excited, it was a dream for me at that age, and me being from such a small-town! Ha ha. So, I would choose that one.
As an artist, have you learned to protect your soul?
Yes, the death of some very young people who touched me closely made me change. I am quite little self-destructive. I protect myself a lot.
Do you have any musical ambitions that you have not yet fulfilled?
Yes a lot. In the short term I tell you, I want to release at least one album per year for the next ten years. And I would like to have a really popular song, wich football fans sing during matches in stadiums.
What did you lose and what did you gain during the pandemic?
I gained a lot of time, organization, and I realized that I need few things. I realized that there were people that I really didn’t need to see, places that I didn’t really need to go, and things that really didn’t matter. And above all I gained focus. I am much more focused on my priorities now than before the pandemic.
What would you like us to wish for you?
A life full of music, health, money and love!
Interview: Thodoris Kolliopoulos