Welcome to Tony Choy Music

This is a music store selling digital music, apparel and accessories of Tony Choy a Grammy nominated artist adored by millions of rock fans worldwide for his dynamic presence and signature style of playing, and several number one hits on Billboard.

Why I became a musician?
Simply because of The love for music.
Some may say a similar answer but we all know this is not true. Before we start and for the record.

I didn't choose music, music chose me.

Tony Choy Bass Guitar

Let’s talk about why we are here

About the passion behind Tony Choy Music

Our driven force is aiming to facilitate the artist with advantages.

Just being an artist, to encourage not discourage, to elevate not manipulate, to bring the best out of them not exploit them.

Organic nature is our goal, being in the Business for 32 years and recording my first album when I was 17 years young I hardly knew how to play my instrument and hardly a pro at what i did so I thought, which my life long fans would tell you different since my first 2 albums were of bands like Atheist - Unquestionable Presence one of the most iconic albums of the Progressive Metal.

Genre which at its time did not even have a name it was just referred to as Death Metal, later on after 15 years of being ridiculed and literally laugh at that fans and other Metal listeners started calling it Progressive Metal or Brain Metal, Math Metal. So many names but to me I knew from the day that I started writing towards this music that I had alongside musicians like

To name a few that we had created a new genre of music. 25 years later you have bands like:

 

and tons right along that line.

 

Julio Iglesias
Divorcio

Juan Gabriel
Por los siglos

LATIN GRAMMY AWARDS NOMINEES

 

Don’t forget where you came from nothing just happens.
It is born from something, that said here at Tony Choy Music we are a platform of recording, music production, full artist development by an artist for an artist.

 

We give you commitment and you give us yours.

 


 

Driven by Passion

 

A team fully capable of making the artist who they were intended to be we work together to stay together.
With almost 55 releases to date as an artist my self, musician, song writer or music producer, I am an entrepreneur waiting for the next potential music sensation.

 

We have no boundaries or genre of preference if your great we will cultivate you.

 

It’s all about the Artist and the Music

 

Pestilence - Resurrection Macabre

Atheist-Elements

Synkronizity

Synkronizity

Synkronizity first album

Members:

Tony Choy: Bass (2010-present)
See also: ex-C-187, Area 305, Fire for Effect, Neuromorph, ex-Atheist, ex-Cynic, ex-Pestilence, ex-Strike Master (live)

Matt Thompson: Drums (2010-present)
See also: King Diamond, Legacy of Disorder, Shaolin Death Squad, Wings of Dahak, ex-Surgeon, ex-Truncator, ex-Aghora, Deuxmonkey, ex-Michael Harris, ex-Autumn Silence, ex-Bat Castle, ex-Judgement

Santiago Dobles: Guitars (2010-present)
See also: ex-Council of the Fallen, ex-Aghora, ex-Cynic, ex-Order of Ennead, ex-Pestilence Arbise Gonzalez Keyboards (2010-present) Grant Petty Vocals (2010-present)

Grammy-nominated bassist Tony Choy has been a force of nature at the low end for more than 25 years, pioneering new approaches in metal, Latin, funk and even pop music. We meet the great man... Best known for his astounding bass playing in the experimental US metal band Atheist, Tony Choy first entered the public eye in 1991 with that band’s second album Unquestionable Presence.

“I heard people call what I did ‘salsa metal’! I created a rhythm section for metal music, which is what people often miss”

Aficionados of the more unorthodox end of metal from the era will be familiar with the mind-blowing jazz and funk grooves which Choy introduced into Atheist’s complex sound, an approach which he continued with the Dutch band Pestilence and a huge list of solo and collaborative albums, producing gigs and sessions ever since. Notable among these was Cultivation, an album he wrote and released in 2011 under the band name of Synkronizity.

“I’ve never been pigeonholed: everyone I’ve ever worked with has told me, ‘T, be who you are: do what you do’,” explains Choy down the line from Florida.

“That said, with Synkronizity I was able to just be me. Elements, Atheist’s third album from ’93, was another album where I was able to be myself. I heard people call what I did ‘salsa metal’! I created a rhythm section for metal music, which is what people often miss in metal. I also like a lot of the stuff I’ve done in pop music, just because of the groove that it has.”

Known for his ability to solo with enormous speed and fluency, Choy has taken a more pocketed approach in recent years, he tells us. “There’s a time and a place for everything. I don’t like to overplay. The bass was made to be a rhythmic instrument, and that’s why I chose to play it in the first place.

“I’m all about the groove, and the connection between the melodic and the rhythm section. I marry myself to the kick drum, because at the end of the day that’s what the bass guitar is - a kick drum with notes! That’s how I see it. If you want to impress people, it’s not about how many notes you play, it’s how you play them. Stick to that kick. Move around gracefully, but stick with it, and actually the bass will be heard even more.”

“The bass needs to sound like a bass, I’ve always said that. Put effects on the guitar and vocals, not the bass”

This back-to-basics approach also extends to gear, he continues. Although Choy remains an Ibanez endorser and also played Zon basses for many years, he recently returned to tried-and-tested gear.

“I play a 1970s reissue four-string Fender Jazz now,” he says. “I left all my boutique basses behind - I don’t want to deal with five strings any more! I’m totally in love with that Jazz, and I’ll never go back. It’s funny how you sometimes avoid things through ignorance... I pride myself on being open-minded, and I picked up that bass and we connected immediately.

“There’s definitely a connection between the bassist and the bass. People say to me ‘I want a bass that is brand new!’ and I’ll say, ‘No, brother, you don’t understand. You need to find a connection with that bass in that rack: you might not have the connection you need with that bass straight out of the box’. Know what I’m saying? “I’m a three-control guy: I just need volume, bass and treble. The bass needs to sound like a bass, I’ve always said that. Put effects on the guitar and vocals, not the bass. The sound needs to be punchy, dry and organic, because what you hear is what you get. I set all the EQ flat because the bass player should make the sound. That’s why I picked the Jazz, because it’s all about the sound. I’ve found a happy marriage with dynamics and a plush, clear sound.”

Tony Choy talks Atheist, his love of Fender Jazz basses and pioneering playing

Choy’s career has been first-class: he’s worked on 50-plus albums, from that first Atheist record to the Latin Grammy-nominated album Hay Que Cambiar in 2004 with the band Area 305. He looks back on those early days with humility: his spot on Unquestionable Presence came about after Atheist’s previous bass player, Roger Patterson, lost his life in a road accident.

“I often think back to Unquestionable,” he says, “because I was playing my friend Roger’s music and continuing his legacy. May he rest in peace. He was such a beast of a musician, and so humble. He would have dominated the music business if he’d survived.”

After 25 years of this you learn a lot about how not to do it - that’s what I tell people!
Choy has a full plate of gigs ahead of him, he explains. “I lived in Miami for 30 years and I couldn’t take it any more, so recently I moved up north and partnered up with Rising Starz Music Academy in Davie, Florida. I started an artist development programme there, working with kids and showing them the tricks of the trade. After 25 years of this you learn a lot about how not to do it - that’s what I tell people!”


He adds: “I’m also working on a project called Neuromorph with Patrick Mameli from Pestilence, and just produced an album for a Mexican thrash metal band called Strike Master.
“Not only that, me, [renowned session drummer] Derek Roddy and [Cannibal Corpse guitarist] Rob Barrett are going to do a little side project. Rob and I have been friends for over 20 years, since we were kids and I was in [death metal band] Cynic. He knew I’d been producing music for 17 years and suggested we form a band like Rush but with an edge and a melodic bass. I thought that sounded really cool.”


Does Choy have any tips for budding career bassists? He starts with a grim warning. “All today’s musicians are on a race to zero, thanks to the internet. Everybody does everything themselves now. Everybody’s a producer with a home studio and musicians are practically obsolete.
Knowledge is power: learn as much as you can! That’s what I tell my kids and my students

“You can put a track together in minutes, perhaps not professionally, but good enough to get by. In the term ‘music business’, the music part is small and the business part is big. We’ve lost the essence of what music is really about.”

It’s not all bad news, though: “That said, nothing is impossible, as long as you approach your instrument - and your career, and your life - with passion,” he states. “That will take you a long, long way. I definitely recommend that you study theory. I learned to play bass on the street, in the school of hard knocks, and it’s a blessing that I got to learn from amazing musicians. That was how I learned my theory, but you can learn your theory in school too. Knowledge is power: learn as much as you can! That’s what I tell my kids and my students. With that knowledge you can get out there and make music - good music.”

From the vaults: Tony Choy

Tony Choy

Tony Choy’s pioneering fusion of world music and extreme metal has made him a legend. We ask him how he did it

BP Staff

Jun 28, 2019

Synkronizity, Tony Choy’s new band, has its name for a reason: the Florida quintet combine a breathtaking range of influences into music that you genuinely haven’t heard before. The basic template is progressive rock and metal, but there are so many jazz, Latin and funk elements bubbling under the surface of the tunes that it’s impossible to slap any single genre tag onto the band.

Then again, this refusal to adhere to perceived genre boundaries is nothing new for Choy, who first established a reputation in the 1990s in the metal band Atheist. Their 1993 album Elements is the best place to go for a taster of his powerful, Latin-infused fingerstyle lines, although Choy had first left his mark on the Florida metal scene with the equally adventurous Cynic.

“I’m Cuban-born and I moved to the USA when I was about seven,” he tells us. “My dad was a political prisoner from Cuba: he was against Communism, and basically if you ever spoke against the revolution there you would be put in jail. My dad was a musician, and he had three albums out on RCA in the midst of all this. He travelled to Germany and Japan, representing Cuba, and I remember him bringing home spearmint gum, which was a huge deal. Those were very happy days, until he was jailed by the government.”

He continues: “I started playing bass around the age of 15. It was weird: when I picked up the bass, I almost knew how to play it already. It came very naturally to me. My very first bass was a Hondo tobacco sunburst Jazz copy with P and J pickups. It had this big silver pickguard, which I took off because I couldn’t understand how you could play it with that thing on there. I didn’t sleep and eat – I would just practise for seven hours a day. My mom used to yell at me in Spanish, ‘You better come and eat right now!’ I’d be like, ‘Mom, I’m practising!’”

Asked if his background informed his bass playing, Choy nods: “As far back as I can remember, I was listening to salsa and the classic Cuban forms of music. There’s a lot of different forms of salsa, of course – Columbian salsa, Puerto Rican salsa, Cuban salsa – and the bass players had a huge influence on me. Salsa is a very rhythmic music, and the bass is the backbone. You’ve got your horns playing the melody, and the piano being melodic and percussive at the same time, but the bass is the core of the syncopation of the music. Everything else follows behind it.”

Not that this early influence prevented Choy from getting into other forms of music: once his older brother introduced him to heavy metal at an early age, he soon moved in that direction with his own playing. As he recalls, “I’ve always been into music for itself, not because it’s a specific genre. I started with Sabbath, Purple, Zeppelin and Maiden and the classic metal bands, and after a while I wanted the heaviest music out there, so I got into thrash metal. I know for sure that I was one of the first Metallica fans in Florida. Paul and Sean [Masvidal and Reinert, Cynic guitarist and drummer] were friends of mine from school and they asked me if I’d like to jam with their band, and the rest is history. The band I was in at the time got mad at me, because I was their singer as well as their bass player, but I had to go…”

With Cynic and Atheist, Choy played an integral role in music that recognized few limitations. All these years later, he chuckles. “I don’t know what the hell we were thinking! We used to listen to Chick Corea and Frank Zappa and then play death metal. The transition between those styles of music used to freak people out. But we were just into everything: we listened to anything that was fast and left-field, and we were always trying to be different. We didn’t want to be normal: we wanted to be crazy and different, and people were like ‘What is this? What are you doing?’ We were shoving 15 riffs into one song. I wouldn’t change a thing: it made me the player I am today.”

Always a fan of high-end bass guitars, Choy played a Zon for many years. He explains, “I had a six-string Tobias, and I liked Ken Smith basses too, but I always wanted a Zon. They were too expensive, though, and I never thought I could afford one. But when I got signed to BMG in a Latin pop band, my share of the advance cheque was $10,000, so I said ‘I’m gonna go get my Zon now!’ I got me an amber Zon and I played it forever. Later, Joe Zon gave me an artist endorsement and he was super helpful. I was always into plush, modified basses, which is why I played Zons for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I love Fenders, but I’m a big Bartolini fan. You could get a hunk of wood and stick a Bartolini on there and it would sound good.”

He adds: “I did the graphite neck thing for a long time, and I truly love the feel of those things because they play like butter. They don’t warp, either: it’ll stay precisely in tune no matter what happens. I fell through a stage in Italy once – and the stage plank damaged the body of the bass, but didn’t do anything to the neck!”

synkronizity new release coming soon

 

Gretch'N - Moving On (Acoustic VIDEO)