patrick lew and dave arceo were former members of the san francisco post-hardcore band the band of asians during the mid 2000s. band of asians toured locally and recorded music in the studio to varying degrees of moderate success. during the tail end of the band of asians second and final local tour in autumn of 2007 across the bay area, lew began tinkering with the prospects of a solo project and began assembling a home recording studio for himself and his bandmates. however, the band's lineup of musicians dwindled down to lew and arceo for deeply personal and opposite career differences. lew and arceo would play together under the "band of asians" name in the studio, until march 2008, after realizing they couldn't carry on without their departed bandmates as they settled onto other life avenues or college. three years of hard work was destroyed, and friendships were lost as a result.
lew mostly was deeply devastated by the demise of band of asians and experienced a year-long battle with depression and post-teenage struggles. lew however, didn't give up his music career and his passion for being a musician despite the tumultuous period he faced with others and himself even.
lew began experimenting in his home recording studio afterwards, working on bettering his musical work and his songwriting and guitar skills. demoing song ideas that was more anthemic and chaotically raw, yet at the same time more melodic and attempting something new and fresh. lew's inspiration to make music and play guitar again was based on his 80's and early to mid 90's hard rock and punk influences, and the thriving garage band rock that was being heard on the internet's indie music pages.
a few months later, lew reconnected with arceo with plans to take his musical ideas and creation as a solo project, with added assistance of other musicians credited in the studio he's close friends with. after experimenting and jamming alone or together for awhile, lew began setting up the first of very many band websites online. also known as the patrick lew band, lew gave the final amen to band of asians by the end of 2008. a band that has much prospects and dreams to it, but ended with tears, loss, and struggle. in january 2009, based on the experimentation with the music lew and sometimes arceo recorded in their home recording studio, plb distributed digitally their erratic debut album "curb your wild life." and began hyping the new project slowly but steadily through gathering afacebook.com listening party on the patrick lew facebook timeline with close friends and family.
with the addition of ex-distorted harmony guitarist jeremy alfonso, whom lew acquainted through social-networking locally on facebook.com itself, they began busking unpermitted gigs locally in san francisco.
critical success (2009)
taking time in between college or personal priorities and struggles, plb army re-located their home and band practice room to antioch, california, at patrick lew's new house. and began recording its second, and their first breakthrough album, "let it rise and against" in march 2009. it became apparent this was going to be mainly a freelance project, with the added assistance of other members who are also permitted to play music in other bands or alone. the band chose to record all their albums at home using digital studio technology, to avoid the expensive nature of recording inside a real studio. by autumn of 2009, the band finished recording their second and soon-to-be breakthrough album. before the end of the year, lew began to show slowly but surely stead recognition in the bay area as a musician. much thanks to self-improvement and persistence.
released on december 22, 2009, "let it rise and against" contained fourteen tracks dealing with dark subjects such as depression, political and social discontent, suicide, loneliness, and retribution. the album's musical style, clearly influenced by 80's and early 90's classic rock such as pearl jam, white lion, steelheart, nirvana, and even metallica, combined chaotic or unconventional musical arrangements, guitar-based and singalong chorus elements of aor, and expansive dynamics. the album was slow to sell, but by early 2011 it became a runaway critical success locally and online, certifying plb at #16 most famous rock band/musician in east bay, california region.
with the critical and modest success of "let it rise and against," plb became a key member of the san francisco sound, along with their peers of numerous bands who socially networked with each other within their music scene.
initially dissatisifed with the original track listing and recording and production of the album when sold on itunes, lew made a new songlist and reissued "let it rise and against" as a free digital download and physical cd on their website, by october 2011. nearly two years since its release, its still considered the album that first got patrick lew band recognized and became a new and fresh sound for the indies regionally in san francisco.
on october 30, 2009, lew reconnected with his long-time girlfriend faith marie lew (nee lambright) via internet, and began making their romantic relationship serious and permanent. faith also became the band's auxiliary member, on keyboards and extra assistance with electronics.
dealing with setbacks (2009-2011)
the band members grew uncomfortable behind their music, dealing with problems with numerous people outside their music and band. much of this became a critical setback for lew and his girlfriend faith marie. while patrick and faith lew were a solid couple and planning out their future whilst separated by long-distance between northern california and texas (where faith resides), a lot of the negativity from lew's circle on facebook apparently gave lew or faith marie a rather difficult time, either disapproving of the relationship or worse, intervened and made the couple undeserving scapegoats publicly. unfortunately, past egos on both sides collided prior and during their relationship, making it difficult for lew and faith marie to be civilized as a couple.
despite this, lew kept busy with playing guitar and making music. hiring his college friends greg lynch and david hunter from csu east bay's jazz department. on february 9, 2011, plb performed at the university's open mic event which was later broadcasted via youtube and other social-media websites. tragically, a few weeks later lew and faith marie's son steven died during birth. undeterred, lew and the band managed to graduate college with a philosophy b.a. and sporadically performed locally in antioch and brentwood in 2011. compiling various song ideas recorded between october to june 2011 in the studio, plb digitally distributed their third album "murder bay" to coincide with lew's college graduation and to commemorate his 10th anniversary since his arrival in the indie music scene as a teenager. the album while not as successful as "let it rise and against," it still managed to further expand patrick lew band in the indies. by september 24, 2011, patrick lew's band peaked at #2 on reverbnation as the east bay's most famous rock musician/band.
following the release of "murder bay," lead guitarist jeremy alfonso quietly left on mutual terms to re-locate his residence in toronto, canada after college. lew and faith marie fully reconciled as a couple since then.
indefinite hiatus and future (2011-present)
as early as october of 2011, the band members were experimenting with music alone outside of the plb army.
patrick lew began working with a solo project/one-man band called heavy sigma alongside contributing locally as a freelance rock guitarist. patrick's solo music under the moniker heavy sigma was taken seriously in his home recording studio in late 2011, and by christmas, he self-released and posted the heavy sigma demo "oddities" online on file sharing websites and hyping the music via social-media like facebook. recent additions to the band david hunter and greg lynch were also exploring outside adventures, greg was working as a freelance keyboardist in music locally and repairing pianos through self-employed music entreneurship. david hunter was working at citibank and contributing freelance as a bass player in various small-scale jazz bands in the east bay, alongside investing in digital musical gear. drummer david arceo spent more time with the rave scene and drum n' bass dj'ing. lew's fiancee and long-time girlfriend faith marie was working on motivational modeling through youtube and facebook.
the band performed a free concert at dolores park in san francisco on february 4, 2012. a month later on march 6th, the band announced an indefinite hiatus to work alone in a variety of musical and personal projects in the bay area.
The Patrick Lew Bands story doesnt start off too atypically, its the age-old tale of a young thirteen year-old boy that picks up the guitar and finds out that rock & roll makes life a whole lot cooler than what it was. Flash forward through the years of friends, start-up bands, school, life in general, and eventually Lew found himself playing with his group, Band of Asians before having to invest his energies fulltime into college. Once he enrolled in California State University, going for his B.A. in Philosophy and Music, Lew found himself too busy to keep performing live. His musical talent still flourished in his writing and self-recording, especially partway through college in 2009. It was around this point that he began investing time into the Patrick Lew Band.
While primarily a rhythm guitar player, Lews been able to self-record much of his own music with a larger band sound by picking up the bass and programming some drum and percussion tracks to accompany him. Through the magic of the internet and home recording equipment, Lews also been able to collaborate with a lot of different musicians over the last ten years, each of them contributing to the library of songs in Heavy Sigmas arsenal. The legion of talented performers has included drummers David Arceo and Tommy Loi, guitarists Eddie Blackburn and Jeremy Alfonso, and keyboardist Zack Huang. Currently Lew is supported by keyboardist Greg Lynch, bassist David Hunter, and drummer and loving wife, Faith Marie Lew.
Amongst the reasons why so many musicians have been willing to lend their skills to the Patrick Lew Band and its various forms are the uniqueness and the sheer quality of the music Lew creates. With influences that span four decades worth of music, Lew has developed a sonic blend, inspired by some of the best guitarists and songwriters in the history of popular music. Musicians like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac, Paul McCartney, Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, and songwriters like John Lennon, Joe Stummer of The Clash, Eddie Vedder, Noel Gallagher; they all have impacted Lew and elements of their work show up in his.
Most of Heavy Sigmas material is instrumental, and self-described as well as described by others as garage punk and grunge meets 70s classic rock. When Lew does sing, his voice has been compared to Kurt Cobains and Liam Gallaghers, a compliment held in high esteem by Lew, considering his love for those musicians. Regardless of vocal comparisons, Lew defines himself as an unconventional yet interesting punk rock musician. He fully acknowledges that some of his east coast contemporaries may be making music thats more radio-friendly, but stylistically, Lew would, If presented with the choice, Id rather be an artist than an entertainer. Ever since leaving Band of Asians, this is the direction his music has gone in, and the results have been very impressive.
Heavy Sigma has steadily been gaining popularity due to the entrepreneurial efforts of Patrick and Faith Marie Lee. Popular independent music website, ReverbNation.com currently ranks the band as the #1 group on the Punk genre charts from the Contra Costa County section of the Bay Area. Similar distinctions have been earned from the continued success of Lews music on other musical websites such as SoundCloud and SoundClick. Full versions of several of Lews songs can be found on these sites, and the reviews coming in have been stellar:
I swear when it comes time to hear a tune by Patrick in our Critics Corner contestI have an odd tingly feeling like you get when you realize the unexpected is happening.
Larry Ludwick Sounclick.com Critics Corner
Patrick is a great believer in free music, free thought, and his music reflects that; so its best not to expect too much in the way of conventional structure or any of the rigors of normal music standards.
Steve Gilmores Rebel Riffs (Indie Music Reviews)
Patrick has good form, direction, energy, and an ability to beautifully convey organize chaos. Great stuff!
Howard Billingtons Indie Music Podcast
Patrick stands firm in his relationship with his style and nothing anyone can say will sway him. For this, I applaud him.
Gabriel Soundclick.com Critics Corner
In Patricks own words, I want to be successful in my music career by playing gigs across America and overseas, while making great and interesting rock & roll music in the studio. Then I can help give back to the local music scene that I found my muse in. That success may have originally been coming in fits and spurts, but the last few years have seen a consistent string of album releases. 2009 brought about the releases of Curb Your Wild Life and Let it Rise and Against. These were followed up by 2011s Murder Bay, and the 2012 Heavy Sigma release, Oddities: Studio Demos. And if you want to hear the progression of Lews music, you can also find the albums he released with Band of Asians, Band of Asians, Live!, Revenge, and The I Product. All of Lews catalog can be purchased through iTunes.
The phrase, guitar hero has been tossed around lately with an almost casual disregard, but Patrick Lew embodies many of the qualities one needs to have to truly be a guitar hero. Through the years hes worked his way up from being a young Taiwanese boy with a passion for music, to a one-man, garage, punk, grunge, hard rock band. By always remaining true to himself, true to his music, and true to his artistic vision, Patrick Lew has created in the Patrick Lew Band and Heavy Sigma, a dynamic sound, unparalleled in the burgeoning music industry.
ReverbNation - http://www.reverbnation.com/patricklewsband
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/heavysigma
MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/patricklewsband
Sound Click http://www.soundclick.com/patricklewband
Written by Heath Andrews
Tell me about yourself, or about your band as a group.
My name is Patrick Lew. 1/2 Chinese, 2/3 Taiwanese, and 1/3 Japanese of Asian descent. Age 27. I currently live in Northern California in between Antioch and San Francisco. About one year ago, I graduated from college at the California State University, East Bay, with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Music. I've been playing punk/hard rock music for quite a long awhile already. I am mostly a rhythm guitarist, and to some extent, a bass player. I've been playing and creating my own brand of garage punk music since I was an 8th grader at the infamous Rooftop Middle School. I was jamming and freelancing in temporary local rock/post-hardcore bands since the tail end of the 90's with my friends whom happen to be passionate about playing music and spending leisure time rocking out in our basement!
I struggled and procrastinated for many years as a guitarist, songwriter, and musician. Most of the local based Bay Area garage bands I played rock & roll music with, were for the most part unsuccessful and had a short-term existence as far as being a band goes. I procrastinated a lot while learning how to play rock-based guitar. It wasn't until 2009, when I was able to fully develop my own distinct style and sound as a guitarist and as a musician in freelance jam band moments temporarily, and this was pretty much the same time, I took my music and musical entrepreneurship full-time to see where music gets me as far as long-term benefits and rewards goes! In 2009, I basically after plowing through aborted or unsuccessful local post-hardcore/punk bands for a long while, I pursued my current band as a solo musician under the moniker "Heavy Sigma" (sometimes known as the Patrick Lew Band). Gone were the 2000s post-hardcore and nu metal, and I began creating music digitally at home which was essentially, my trademark "garage punk and grunge meets 70's classic rock" sound I've been intending to do for quite some time, but couldn't do so because I was committed to my former band Band of Asians at the time. I could have only presented my own direction in making music by being solo in the one-man band Heavy Sigma.
Other than that, I've been promoting myself online as a rock musician since May of 2001 while I was in high school still. And I have the best friends and best beloved fiancee Faith Marie, who is also responsible for Heavy Sigma's musical entrepreneurship!
List 5-10 words that describe you as a person/as people.
People normally describe in many different kind of ways. It varies and depends. But the six words I'm mostly often described as personality wise is: Unique, Quirky, Creative, Knowledgeable, Determined, and Down to Earth.
What makes you unique among other musicians?
Well what separates me as far as my uniqueness compared to other musicians is, that I'm pretty open-minded and always try new things and take risks. I never limit myself to a certain audience of a certain style of music. Most of the time, I am a very unconventional yet interesting punk rock musician. Basically, separating me from other musicians and bands locally, I've been known to have skills and experience playing and making rock & roll music. Although! Yet, I'm very limited in conventional music theory when it is applied to many different genres of rock & roll. I don't really know how to tune guitars properly, and I usually have trouble memorizing the Key of every note and power chord I play on guitar in freelance Bay Area local bands or as a solo musician. But then again, I still play above average to be brutally honest, as a guitar player. I've received some critical acclaim from some indie music social-media via Internet, saying that me and my solo project Heavy Sigma (the Patrick Lew Band) is raw and musically loose, but has a lot of originality and creativity when recording new music. I mainly record my musical ideas in my bedroom at home in my San Francisco apartment, through cheap guitars, my PC laptop, and various digital music software and stuff like that.
Other things that makes me unique among other musicians is, I am a good musical entrepreneur when it comes to creating hype for Heavy Sigma and persuading others to build a fan base when it comes to the Internet. I've been complimented many times in both positive or negative reasons, for being myself for the most part and remaining true to my intentions and artistry as a punk rock musician in San Francisco.
What do you have in common with other musicians?
Other than personality and stylistic differences with other musicians here locally, I have some things in common with other bands and the musicians locally. We come from a city where pretty much a lot of people in this region know each other locally and are aware of one another in the San Francisco Bay Area music scene. I happen to be one of the musicians that a handful of the local scene is familiar with. Despite competition, many of the bands here in San Francisco know each other and sometimes even support the bands themselves. There's a lot of community right here as far as supporting local music is concerned. Although I'm more eccentrically eclectic in my repertoire performing rock & roll music as Heavy Sigma, a lot of the bands here I know are more contemporary radio-friendly rock music. But I can't argue with that, because some of those bands are my friends and supporters too.
What do you love about music?
I just do. It's my passion and soundtrack for living for the moment and tomorrow. I love music too much to give it up, and the reason why I like doing music despite the fact, I haven't really formally performed a live show locally since 2007 with my old band Band of Asians, the Internet and the San Francisco local music scene has always fostered my uniqueness, my eccentric quirkiness, and my creativity as a musician and multi-media artist. I love having my music connect to an audience as consumers, and I feel that whenever I head into my home recording studio, something big or awesome will happen when making new music and records themselves. Even in the live performing field, I enjoy playing music onstage with a rock band. Meeting and greeting fans, it gives you that great interaction with life and bring positive people together.
How and when did you start playing music?
I first began playing guitar when I was aged 13. I was mainly into extreme sports prior to playing and learning the guitar. However, I was getting myself hurt a lot while skateboarding and playing basketball. Originally, my dream was to be a basketball player. But considering rock & roll music played a huge part of my life growing up, I decided to play music and invest in some musical gear. A lot of my rivals in Rooftop Middle School were already in bands or playing guitar or drums themselves. So I went to the guitar shop and bought me a Fender Stratocaster and small practice amp. The lessons I took for guitar and to develop myself as a songwriter and rhythm guitarist took a lot longer than expected, but taking a few music classes at City College of San Francisco and CSU Hayward did improve me as a musician and it helped me enable myself to produce music at home on a computer more diligently. Most of the music I grew up listening to was 60's and 70's classic rock like Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Stones. Alongside, but for the most part, Seattle grunge and Britpop bands of the 90's.
Who are your favorite musicians and songwriters?
My favorite musicians as far as guitar playing goes has to be Slash, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Vito Bratta, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lindsey Buckingham, Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Mike McCready, and many more. If a guitar player is passionate and plays well to amaze others in a good way, they have my 100% respect and appreciation. As far as songwriters goes, it has to be John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Tom Delonge, Eddie Vedder, Daniel Johns, Noel Gallagher, Pete Townshend, and Joe Strummer.
What are the 5 most important messages/concepts/statements people need to know about you:
1. "I live for the moment!"
2. "Life is not about what you've done, but what you've gained."
3. "Be yourself. Imitation is suicide."
4. "If I had to choose between being an artist or entertainer. I'd be an artist."
5. "If it weren't for rock & roll and being all about the music growing up, I could have been 6 feet under or way less cool than I am now."
Where is your hometown?
San Francisco, California, USA.
Where do you live now?
I live in between San Francisco and Antioch in Northern California.
Which city/state are you or your band based out of now?
I mostly list and describe my one man band Heavy Sigma based mostly in Antioch, California. Despite mainly growing up in San Francisco, the Contra Costa County in Northern California has been very good to me as far as musical recognition goes. Recently, my solo project Heavy Sigma was ranked #1 on the Punk genre charts on ReverbNation.com locally through the Contra Costa County region of the Bay Area. I believe as of this interview on March 19, 2012, I'm still ranked #1 punk band of that part of the Bay Area's local punk scene.
Do you have any positive quirks or attributes that would add some personality and whimsy to the bio?
Well I've been told by a few friends through compliments on that social-media giant Facebook.com, that I look like an Asian version of Beatle John Lennon. I have the moptop, the Britpop mod style physically, and I wear the glasses too since I'm near-sighted. I also am a pure multi-media artist and of course, a pure musician and guitar player. And oh yeah, I'm engaged to my girlfriend and fiancee who has a role in keeping my music in Heavy Sigma new and fresh through PR, Faith Marie. And I have the best friends I call family here, in the Bay Area.
Hometown: San Francisco & Antioch, California, USA
Genres: Garage Punk, Grunge, Rock And Roll, Alternative Rock, Punk Rock
Years Active: 2008-present
Patrick Lew - Guitar, Electronics, Vocals
Greg Lynch - Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
David Hunter - Bass
Faith Marie Lew - Drums
Jeremy Alfonso - Lead Guitar, Electronics
David Arceo - Drums
For the last five years, Patrick, Dave, and the rest of the musicians and friends associated with Patrick Lew's Electric Army are positive everyday people doing music as a passionate hobby, and balancing everything important essentially before getting together to make music.
Patrick Lew's Electric Army reign over localized Bay Area rock music - and for that matter, the social-media - was a critical success and sporadic struggle since 2008. As a cult-like social media phenomenon on the Internet and their very own hometown of San Francisco, California, Facebook "likes" and Internet virality through the Electric Army's music websites online varied but never kept themselves or their fans quiet worldwide since their 2008 formation, the garage punk band while often a critical jackpot or success within the music industry - depending who you ask - have created very extraordinary experiences for themselves in contemporary society. Before they became band, Patrick, Dave, Faith, and the rest of the musicians and friends associated with this garage band phenomenon in Patrick Lew's Electric Army, were merely misfits and fairly below the status quo of society. They struggled years to accomplish what they've dreamed about, musically procrastinated for a long time, and yearned for in their pre-adolescent childhood aspirations to become and feel like a part of something, after being isolated for so long. Anyone who had played music, made contributions, and recorded with these peeps, was a precursor for bigger things to come in life generally speaking.
All the band members (former and current) were 1980's babies, who had their childhoods growing up in the 1990's, but growing up in that essence was found comfortable through the Grunge (Nirvana and Pearl Jam) and later, Britpop musical movement that found their way through the pre-YouTube, pre-Facebook, and still fairly primitive technologically resourced days of cable TV on a Magnavox.
Patrick was just 13 years old when he found out what he wanted to put his passions and interest towards, whether it made him successful or not. He was a pre-teen rebel at the infamous Rooftop Middle School in the city of San Francisco. Life wasn't easy for the de-facto leader of the band growing up. His beloved grandfather passed away when Patrick was aged four, and spent nearly his whole childhood sheltered and isolated from "the in-crowd." When he was just aged 13, he bought his first electric guitar at a mom-and-pop music store, and painstakingly practiced and procastinated when learning how to play the guitar.
While he wasn't particularly skilled as a musician, at least not yet by conventional standards, Patrick was going to Cumberland Church every Sunday in the Chinatown. It was here! Where he met his soon-to-be high school classmate Tommy and struck a close friendship which lasted since day one. The two friends began establishing themselves with aspirations to become professional - or semi-professional yet amateur - musicians and were damn passionate about playing rock & roll music. Regardless what many critics and haters thought of them since day one, never letting those jeers and poor criticism discourage their passion for playing music in garage bands. Tommy and Patrick formed a garage punk duo called Goldenweasel (which eventually became Band of Asians), and it was the tail end of the 90's as the two were about to graduate from 8th grade with diplomas before luxoriously attending Raoul Wallenberg Traditonal High School as freshmen.
Whilst their freshmen years in high school, Napster and mp3 technology was changing the way the music industry and how bands, musicians, any many other things could be heard and distributed. Computers and Internet, while still in its pre-Facebook days, were becoming more affordable for home office usage and digital music software was replacing the 4-track Tascam! While the Internet didn't virally made Patrick Lew a very successful millionaire rock & roll superstar with millions of "likes" or "fans" on Facebook, it did give him and a million other unsigned bands locally an option to get heard. But realizing the oversaturation of the Net of dozens and dozens of unsigned bands putting themselves out there, Lew had a lesson to learn in later years.
The next step meant! Jamming in their garage, playing their music aimlessly to create instrumental and songwriting ideas, fine tuning their musicianship, and everything else. This took quite a long time, as Lew procrastinated and practiced for years on-and-off to consolidate himself as a guitarist, songwriter, and musician. Plowing through a series of unsuccessful garage bands, and battling his own problems in his life before putting it back together.
In 2008, that dream being a successful musician making money, touring and performing in bands across nightclubs and theaters, and being super publicized and making professional studio recordings, were slowly but surely fading. Even though realizing music wasn't going to pay the utility bills, groceries, and the rent, Lew enrolled into a university in Hayward called CSUEB. Resumed his music as mainly a hobby, but cutting any expensive seriousness that would devour time, money, and effort into making a music career work in the long run. He graduated university in June 2011 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Music. Although music was no longer meant for seriousness for a potential career and benefit. It didn't mean he had to quit doing what he loved doing. He had to make music primarily as a hobby, and play guitar with the friends he chose carefully to play music with as a favorite past-time when everyone isn't busy with school, work, and other important or busy things in life. Flashing back three years prior to graduating college, Lew formed the Patrick Lew Band - later band named the Electric Army or simply, Patrick Lew's Electric Army.
Together, the PLB Army recorded and created music at the expense of their much heavily invested musical gear that Lew spent on with some of his college aid money. Somewhere in Patrick Lew's king-size bedroom inside a house in Antioch, California, that became the band practice room for the PLB Army where they made music. Sometimes, digital and electronic collaboration via Internet was related to the music making priorities. Through Skype and private email messages through social-media website GIANT, Facebook. This led to how Lew created music alone and with the assistance of others as sidemen musicians on record.
To get themselves out there however! They had to have a website. Most of Lew's free time leisurely on his Netbook was spent making a few websites here and there and posting the music by Patrick Lew's Electric Army up for everyone to hear online - SoundCloud, Reverbnation, etc etc. Lew and the rest knew this was going to be mainly a passionate past-time hobby recreationally, not a career path for success and to make a living financially. While the PLB Army doesn't really perform locally live, given the lack of many kinds of resources to do so. This doesn't mean the Patrick Lew Band doesn't perform onstage. They busk low-key shows and gigs anywhere they can. Whether it be downtown SF near the Powell BART station, churches, Antioch house parties, or secluded small Contra Costa County warehouses. That's their philosophy on how they handle their musical entrepreneurship. While the Patrick Lew Band is open about opportunities for exposure in music, they're not getting their hopes up. Many of the band members are rapidly approaching the big Three-O, and have other personal and career priorities for the most part.
But let's hope the music stays what it is and forever. Music will always be the weapon for the Patrick Lew Band.
At age 4, grandfather Wayne unexpectedly and tragically passed away. My childhood was in shambles with the financially challenged social inequality my mom and dad, and also my elder brother Ricky endured over the early years of my life. At age 6, I got into the burgeoning Seattle grunge scene and the remants (whatever was left of it) of the 80's hard rock and metal musically speaking. I also moved to the house I currently reside in the metropolitan beautiful city of San Francisco on-and-off. My parents later re-located to Antioch, California, a Contra Costa County suburb about 42 miles Northeast of where I grew up. Flashing back to ancient history, my mother sacrificed and struggled years to raise me and my brother Ricky, taking a 9 to 5 job working at the Holiday Inn. The Chinese American locals resented my mother and particularly me, due to our shattering of the Asian American stereotypes and stigmas of how things should be forced and done. I struggled and endured years of solitiude and hardship throughout the 90's, despite having a nuturing childhood growing up in one of the most prolific decades for my Generation alone, the 70's and 80's babies. We had everything! From Super Nintendo, to 90's TV Land and Nickelodeon, and the list goes on. I began playing music at the tender ripe old age of seven or eight, taking up violin for a short time at Guadalupe Elementary School. But considering my love for classic rock, 80's and early to mid 90's hard rock and metal, and contemporary punk/indie music. I wanted to be a guitar hero, or even to my wildest dreams, a rock & roll superstar. And I knew I had to do something about it to get me there!
To prepare for a challenging and prospectively lucrative field in rock music, I left the intense physically demanding world of basketball and extreme sports, and at age 13, I received my first electric guitar as a birthday gift. A worn out, beat up, and scratched and dent Fender Squier copy. By the tail end of the 90's as an 8th grade student at Rooftop Middle School, a place having the serious misfortune for adolescent elitism and hard-headed clique-ish narrow mentality out of many schools in San Francisco (if you knew me from Rooftop, admit it it's true). I met a close friend who I later went to high school with named Tommy Loi, and being lectured at the city's School of Rock, we decided because of frequent boredom and mostly interested in doing something productive, start a punk rock band in our basement. I was only able to very barely play the guitar then, but whatever it was. I did it and played music with my good friend Tommy anyways. So began my pursuit and career as a musician locally.
Like every other graduate at Wallenberg High School and of course, the School of Rock in San Francisco (yes, we do exist), I then began freelancing with other musicians I knew from high school or college, jamming and performing rock & roll music in our bedroom and seeing where the possibilities takes us. Alongside, keeping it real and making sure that music was going to be our passion in life, a hobby, and a top priority with other ways to survive. In 2005, the Bush Administration years were getting painstaking, and I've endured a number of hardships personally at the time which I won't get into since it's all irrelevant now. There were still a few good years left before the economy plundered and we as Americans lost all trust and good things to believe and hope for in our government, as it became (though not the first time it happened) the exclusive playground for the elite and supposed Illimunati. Anyone see the Occupy Wall Street teaser, peeps? I played in a couple short-lived local Bay Area garage bands around town pretty much, in pretty much every situation that permitted me to play music (my guitar, guys and gals) passionately with others if they wanted me to. Some gigs and recording studio sessions were artistically challenging and other forms of musical entrepreneurship were very rewarding to an extent. Some did neither, but feul the bemusement and resentment of that unfortunate moment called "blatant criticism" by the norms of the music industry and closed-minded music critics via Internet on many websites I adminstered my music as the PATRICK LEW BAND online. Getting a couple close friends from San Francisco's local music scene along with my social-network helped make everything better and encouraged me to foster my gift and passion for playing guitar and making music alone or with others.
Over the years, I got to jam with some cool musicians and befriended a couple local bands who were even supportive of my own music as PLB Army, the bands I've became cool with included Tinkture, Distored Harmony, LongShot (featuring DH's Erick Salazar), The Dillingers, Red Night, The Nocturnal Rock Turtles (featuring my high school band's former lead guitarist Eddie), and the list goes on and on! I even performed in numerous temporary or freelance Bay Area rock bands outside the PLB: Band of Asians (with my good friends Augusto Hernandez and Dave Arceo), the Patrick & Greg Blues Band (with my college schoolmates from CSUEB's Jazz Dept, David Hunter and Greg Lynch), and more recently, the neo-Grunge band Heavy Sigma with my soon-to-be wife Faith Marie. No joke! This all really happened during my last 11 years as a local Bay Area rock musician and artist. I also often create music in my own solo project, the PATRICK LEW BAND and musically entrepreneur my own brand of Punk-fused Grunge and Hard Rock on my laptop via Internet. I have recorded three CDs and digital mp3 albums with PLB Army, "Curb Your Wild Life" (2009), "Let It Rise And Against!" (2009), and "Murder Bay" (2011). I could in long story short describe the distinct originality and strange uniqueness of my musical work in a brutally honest way, but you better go to my website (www.reverbnation.com/patricklewsband) for that. If you must, for all you Facebookers out there, you can find many of my essential PLB websites including searching for the official "Patrick Lew Band" Facebook profile where ever you are browsing and handling Facebook on your laptop or personal computer. I am a musician, pure and simple. And I make rock & roll music, and I often publish all my new songs on my website, and you will expect some surprises or how awesome it is! But maybe youre the type whos not easily surprised, so perhaps I shouldnt make any assumptions. In the meantime, I strongly advise and encourage you to share multiple copies of my music website and mulitple copies of my previous albums on CD, just in case.
While in Hayward, I studied a B.A. in Philosophy and minored in Music at one of the finest CSU schools that California has to offer, California State University, East Bay (previously named Hayward, but rectified from "Hayward" to "East Bay" following grand openings of new campuses). Eventually, after all those long hard years of struggle and persistence, I accomplished it and proved my skeptics wrong that I officially did graduate college with a Bachelor's in Philosophy alongside, the minor in Music. That all happened in June of 2011! Transcending back to my music career, some time around September 24, 2011 (the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's "Nevermind" and the Seattle grunge movement), I was certified at a peaked #2 most famous musician/band under the Rock genre on Reverbnation.com for Contra Costa County's burgeoning list of most notable and recognized rock bands and solo musicians. I recently reconciled with my fiancee and soon-to-be wife Faith Marie, my best friend and long-time girlfriend for the last six years. And I plan to dominate East Bay's musical entrepeneurship and punk rock scene with either the PLB Army, Heavy Sigma, or any other band I will be eventually officially be a part of. As a proud rock & roll primitive musician and guitar hero, I plan to do more big things in Northern California's independent music, and rock & roll will be an important part of that, so for now, I am making plans to overcome the past 100% and live it up gracefully and making plans to rock the world. While the future is unwritten, expect more great things and great moments to come in the life and times of the Patrick Lew Band!
The Patrick Lew Band mainly created music, freelanced with other musicians in the Bay Area community in garage bands, and busked free low-key gigs locally in bars, churches, high schools, even outside of retailers in downtown San Francisco.
One of the most notable moments during their brief time as a live performing Garage Punk band was opening up for the all-girl SF pop punk trio Tinkture, Scarlett Bombs, and former lead guitarist Eddie Blackburn's other band Nocturnal Rock Turtles during a 2007 local tour across recreational centers sponsored by KLC Productions.
Some time in 2008, the Patrick Lew Band dwindled into being more of a Patrick Lew solo project with the occasional contributions of other musicians Lew was close to from City College SF and Cal State University, Hayward. By this time, Lew no longer performed live gigs and assembled a homegrown rock band recording studio in his own bedroom, to create his own music alone. Despite many turbulent times, Lew persisted and determined himself to improve as an artist, songwriter, guitar player, and musician after years of being deemed "amateurish" as a musician playing and making rock & roll music given the lack of experience at the time playing guitar and creating music. This led to three more albums, "Curb Your Wild Life" (2009), "Let It Rise And Against!" (2010), and "Murder Bay" (2011). The Patrick Lew Band took an indefinite hiatus in Fall of 2011 to devote more time to other extracurricular side projects, such as The P & G. And because of consistent expansion of the Patrick Lew Band, Lew finally receive slight recognition for his efforts and earned some online fame as a musician. Alongside, a creative lull for the Patrick Lew Band itself when making new music.
Although the Patrick Lew Band never signed with a major or indie record label, and were also turned down by a lot of the Internet music critics and the rock music industry for its uniqueness or unconventional sound or alleged notoriety, and never appeared on mainstream multi-media publications, the Patrick Lew Band nearing the end of 2011 has become somewhat of a critical moderate success in the independent rock music scene across the universe, and attracts a cult-like following via Internet based on persistence and uniqueness.
PLB Army: The Authorized Soundclick takes us from the early days of the rock & roll underground in San Francisco, via freelance jam sessions in Patricks bedroom, busking on the street corners of downtown SF, missing band members, dear journal controversies and highlights, Patrick Lews relationship with long-time girlfriend and current PLB member Faith Marie, and rebellious cats to their current state of global domination and compromise. Who is Patrick Lew? Who wants to live it up and be a rock star despite it all? And what on earth is it with Patrick jumping and poaching from band-to-band freelance in his spare time?
All is revealed inside. With a hundred pages of in-depth text, dozens of historical photographs, a comprehensive discography and essential Patrick Lew Band resources, this book is everything you need to know about Patrick Lew, Faith Marie, Dave Arceo, and several other musicians a part of this headbanging journey.
1) band name: Patrick Lew's Band
2) formation date: May 2001
3) years active: 2000s, 2010s
4) web address to use as a link that can be seen by all users:
5) preferred genre classification: Grunge, Garage Punk, Alternative Rock, Hard Rock
6) home state (or country if not U.S.): Antioch, California, USA
7) band members:
Patrick Lew - Guitar, Bass, Electronics, Lead Vocals
Faith Marie - Drums, Percussion
See the "members" list above on this Facebook profile.
1st album: Psychotic Love (2002) --!!! OUT OF PRINT !!!--
2nd album: Revenge (2006) --!!! OUT OF PRINT !!!--
3rd album: Curb Your Wild Life (2009)
4th album: Let It Rise And Against (2009)
5th album: Murder Bay (2011)
Patrick Lew (born November 15, 1985) is an Asian American musician and multi-media artist, best known as the sole member and musical entrepreneur of the Garage Punk band Patrick Lew's Band. In addition to his solo musical pursuits, he also freelances with other local Bay Area musicians in "temporary" garage bands prospectively from his social-network.
Lew was born in San Francisco, California on November 15, 1985, and also later resided in Contra Costa County in the San Franciscan bedroom community and hometown Antioch, and is of mainly Chinese and Taiwanese descent, alongside partial Japanese ethnically and culturally. He played in several local bands with high school and college friends in his teenage and young adult moments in life. Lew began his music career at the age of 15 online promoting his own brand of Garage Punk home recordings he did alone, and with childhood friend Tommy Loi on drums.
In 2005, Lew joined the San Francisco post-hardcore "interracial" local band, the Band of Asians. He played rhythm guitar and sporadically gigged locally with them until early 2008. At the time, he was transferring out of City College of San Francisco and planned to re-locate to Antioch, California, and furthering his higher-level college education at California State University, East Bay located in Hayward. Before attending university, Lew read several electronic music magazines and assembled a one-man rock band called the Patrick Lew Band. Making music in his spare time using his guitar/musical gear and recording software via computer laptop. He also was able to musically entrepreneur his own solo project PLB by making many websites to post his music on independently via Internet, and see whatever indie music prospects would occur by doing so or simply building an organization for his own one-man rock band. Lew would go onto earn a Bachelors Degree in Philosophy from the California State University, East Bay, and continued to seek employment through Bay Area temp agencies after graduating from college and pursue his passion for rock & roll music.
The Patrick Lew Band musically is very eclectic. While Lew is mainly influenced by 80's hard rock & metal, early 90's grunge and Britpop, and contemporary punk music. Much of Lew's own interesting yet not-so-surprising influences are incorporated and blended into his own brand of Garage Punk Band music. Some of PLB's music even contains a few elements and dabbles with EDM (Electronic Dance Music). For the most part, Lew best describes his music in PLB as a blend of Grunge, 70's & 80's Arena Rock, and modern Punk music. Much of the lyrical matters of PLB dabbles with social discontent, alienation, and personal persistence among the struggle.
Outside of music, Lew is also a creative writer, aspiring YouTube actor, and Internet personality or celebrity. He also penned the short story to 2009's "Journey of a Paper Son" and as a musical entrepreneur, posted his music for the social-networking websites and YouTube to expand his potentials as a rock musician and guitar player.
In 2008, Lew published his first solo album with the Patrick Lew Band called "Curb Your Wild Life" independently without a record label, big mass media promotion, or radio/TV airplay. He done so through digitially distributing his music through ReverbNation.com, and got his CD being digitally sold through iTunes and other digital mp3 record stores. He posted more and more new home-recorded music online and released two more albums so far, "Let It Rise And Against" (2010) and "Murder Bay" (2011). At some point, Lew gathered with college friends from the CSUEB music department to freelance as a garage band jamming (some band practices filmed) on 80's and 90's alternative rock cover songs in Lew's bedroom with Lew on playing bass. One of these projects included, the local Antioch bands "The Patrick & Greg Blues Band" and HEAVY SIGMA. Lew has also busked and done open mics locally as a songwriter and one-man rock band. Lew also currently is employed with Advantage Sales & Marketing LLC. He still plays and pursues music whether it be independently as a hobby, or seriously for a career even!
All we can say is, watch this space and be on the look out!
If you dont know Patrick then maybe you should prepare yourself for his form of Punk Rock. Even then you might be surprised. This is an excellent example of what he is about. For content, I would be at a loss other than it does suggest going back to a Garage Band sound.
So you might listen to it and say WTF? I have stopped feeling that way about Patrick. I am intrigued by one aspect of his music which does not mean I will be lining up his songs for an extended listen. But he is unique in a way that is not apparent at first.
There are two factors of interest about Patrick. One is that his music disconnects from itself. If you listen to this piece, there is a drum with a kind of consistency of rhythm (this is not always the case with Patricks music). Then there is a guitar lead and strum that is in no way connected to the drum beat. Later there is another lead mixed in which again does not match either drum or 1st guitar. Well what about it? The amazing thing is that each part is oblivious of the other. Could you do this? I dont think so because your natural inclination would pull you back on the beat, but Patrick can through whatever way he channels music internally keep them all separate. I swear to you that most musicians could not do this. It is also extended into pitch because there is no connection between the musical lines or chord structure between parts.
The second factor is that Patrick lets everything go. You could hear this more in his songs with vocals that exhibit the above characteristics. But in his songs he expresses himself just at it pours out of his head. You would think things would not make sense that way because it would be essentially thoughtless, but if you listen to the message of the song, it often makes perfect sense and has a central theme.
Unlike many musicians who try to play within the boundaries and fail, Patrick does not care for or recognize the boundaries. I am serious. It is like a different kind of music. I will not listen on my own because I am so bound melodically. But I swear when it comes time to hear a tune by Patrick in our CC contest or as in this review, I have an odd tingly feeling like you get when you realize the unexpected is happening.