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The Patrick Lew Band, also known as PBL, is a Sino-Japanese punk rock band from San Francisco, California. They have been active on-and-off from 2001 to the present day. They play and compose in many different styles of music including Rock, Electronic, and Metal.

PLB has had a vast array of musical influences, however they accredit their pivotal influences in the music to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, The Beatles, and many more. This all culminates in the Patrick Lew Band producing a musical experience that is not only enjoyable, easy going, and fun, but still seeks to provoke thought through storytelling and exploring various perspectives.

 

The band recently released a new album in August titled "Xclamation!", and a cover of J-Pop singer, Ann Lewis's, hit song "Woman". Listen to PBL's recent music on all digital streaming platforms now!

 

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"It's the music that may not change the world, but can change the people in the world." - Patrick Lew

When did you first discover your passion for music?

 Well,  I  was  always  into  music  since  a  very  early  age.  I  grew  up  listening  to  The  Beatles,  The Rolling  Stones,  Jimi Hendrix,  and  a  lot  of  60's  and  70's  classic  rock  bands  from  my  mother's generation  through  the  vinyl  records and turntable.

I  didn't  have  much  stability  growing  up,  but  I  wouldn't  say  that  my  childhood  was  super  tragic though!  I  mean, I  didn't  have  many  friends  in  school  and  there  was  a  lot  of  things  from  my upbringing  that  wasn't  always  on point.  But  going  on  family  vacations,  professional  wrestling, video  games  and  cable  TV  programming  were  what kept  me  out  of  trouble.  By  the  time  I  got  a little  older  as  a  pre-teen  during  the  mid-90's,  I  was  already  listening to  bands  like  Nirvana, Oasis,  Guns  N'  Roses,  Metallica,  Green  Day, and  I  was  also  listening  to  J-Pop  from  my mother's  culture  and  a  lot  of  punk  rock  and  metal.

When  my cousin Andy  was  living  with  me  from Asia  as  a  foreign  exchange  student  at  a  local community  college here  in  San  Francisco,  he  would  always  be  playing  guitar  that  my  brother  left sitting  in  the  closet.  Originally,  my older  brother  Rick  used  to  play  electric  guitar  but  computers, sports  cars  and  video  games  was  more  his  thing. My  Sino-Japanese  cousin Andy  would  play Hendrix,  Black  Sabbath  and  Deep  Purple  songs  on  that  Fender  guitar and  amp  pretty  much  on our  days  off  school!  That's  when  I  knew,  I  found  my  true  calling  card  in  life!

I  began  playing  guitar  at  the  young  age  of  13  all  those  years  ago  back  in  the  Summer  of  1999. Took  a  few guitar  lessons  here  and  there,  but  mostly  self-taught.

In  2001  at  the  age  of  15,  I  started  my  first  band  which  would  eventually  become  PLB  (Patrick Lew  Band)  with some  friends  of  mines  in  high  school.  At  the  time,  the  Internet  and  indie "unsigned"  and  "DIY"  music  because  of the  Internet  was  still  a  relatively  new  thing!  I  just  jumped right  on  it!

In  my  21  year  indie  music  career  semi-professionally,  I’ve  been  through  some  highs  and  some lowest  of  lows. Like  a  typical  episode  of  VH1  Behind  the  Music  about  a  band  you  liked  as  a  kid. I  played  in  many  local bands  in  the  Bay  Area  outside  of  PLB  which  includes  Pleasure Gallows,  TheVerse,  Benigneglect,  The  Steel  Lions and  Crazy  Loser  in  a  Box!
 
When  I  was  in  college  back  in  the  late  2000s,  I  decided  to  take  PLB  (Patrick  Lew  Band)  very seriously  in  the music  scene  and  the  indie  music  circuit  for  sure!  After  several  years  of  turmoil, lineup  changes  and  other  stuff, my  on-and-off  girlfriend  (cross-dressing  alter-ego)  Madeline  Lew officially  joined  PLB  as  the  bassist  and  occasional lead  vocalist  on  Halloween  2015.  Suddenly,  we  began  our  first  serious  run  as  a  legit  Sino-Japanese  rock  and roll project  from  San Francisco!  The  press  was  better,  we  began  getting  more  stans  on  social-media  and  all  our music spread  to  at  least  38  countries  worldwide  on  iTunes/Apple  Music  to  thousands  of listeners!  That’s  when my purpose  with  making  music  was  reassured  and  getting  those  attention and  good  things  made  me  happier  and want  to  keep  doing  music  and  putting  myself  out  there for  sure!

Oh yeah, and Madeline’s  good  friend  Madoku  Raye  just  recently  joined  the  band  PLB last  month  in October!

What three words would you say best summarize your music?

 I can honestly say the  three  best  words  to  describe  PLB  and  our  music would be: Fierce, Empowering,  and Dynamic.

Tell me about your latest music release.. what  was  the  inspiration  behind  it?

 Recently,  we  dropped  a  new  single called, "WOMAN",  worldwide  on all digital streaming platforms. It’s  actually  a cover  song  from  the  70’s  and  80’s  J-POP  idol  Ann  Lewis!

 Japanese  culture  is  a  common  theme  and  is  very  strong  in  me  and  Madeline’s  upbringing  and personality.  We were  raised  in  a  local  Asian-American  community  here  in  San  Francisco  but  still adapted  to  the  American  culture and  society,  we  suppose.  Me  and  Madeline  from  the  band  PLB are  actually  Sino-Japanese  (Chinese  &  Japanese mixed  heritage)  and  like  the  Hannah  Montana theme  song,  we  really  do  got  the  best  of  both  worlds  for  sure. We grew  up  listening  to  J-POP, watching  Anime  and  being  immersed  in  our  own  culture  back  home.  While  at  the same  time,  we are  very  much  adapted  to American  culture  and  its  people  as  well.

 We also  released  two  other  albums  this  year  worldwide  in  2021.  Our  latest  album  "Xclamation!", and  our  first  live concert  album called, "IN  YOUR  HOUSE!". The  live  album  was  a long  time  coming,  since  we  never  did  one throughout  our  21 year  run  as  PLB.  We  basically  went  into  the archives  in  our  closet  digging  through  some  live recordings  we  might  have  done,  and  finally  put  together  a  PLB live  album!

 Patrick  Lew  Band  (PLB)  is  very  different  as  a  live  band  compared  to  our  studio  work  and  online content.  We still got  the  punk  rock  in  us  for  sure.  Whereas,  our  records  nowadays  have  more  in common  with  K-Pop  than  punk rock  these  days!

Most artists say that through their art they learn more about themselves… in what ways has music helped you?

 It  certainly  got  me  out  of  trouble,  that’s  for  sure!  Had  it  not  been  for  PLB  and  the  music,  God only  knows  how bad  life  would  have  turned  out  for  me  pretty  much!  I  had  a  lot  of  problems  in  my past  related  to  a  lot  of things,  such  as  crappy  people  and  all.  Tons  of  them.  But  making  music, playing  guitar  and  putting  it  out  there worldwide  on  social-media,  IRL  and  where  ever  always helped  gave  me  more  confidence  to  be  myself  and  more reassurance  with  where  I  stand!  I  like to  use  my  music  in  PLB  to  reach  all  nations  worldwide  and  try  and  make people’s  lives  merrier and  healthier,  as  long  as  they’re  not  bad  people  or  have  questionable  motives  and personality! That’s  for  sure!  It’s  what  we  were  born  to  do.  The  Patrick  Lew  Band  and  our  music,  that  is!

How do you want your music to help other people?

 Interestingly  enough,  PLB’s  music  has  reached  38  countries  worldwide  with  thousands  of supporters  and  listeners on  Apple  Music.  People  on  their  phones  or  computers  be  hearing  us out  on  the Apple  Music  app!  We  want PLB’s music  to  reach  larger  audiences  and  as  we  said, make  their  lives  easier  and  merrier  in  this  crazy  world  we  live in  for  sure!

My  band  PLB  is  also  a  certified  and  legitimate  registered  business  in  San  Francisco. My  house  and  my music  in PLB  is  now  a  certified  business  in  San  Francisco,  CA. I  run  a  start-up  as  a  musical  entrepreneur  in  my own house  with  the  Patrick  Lew  Band!  We are  a  legit  business  pretty  much,  and  I  earn  passive  income  whenever and pay  taxes  yearly because  of  my  music  in  the  band  PLB.

My  goal  for  my  start-up  and  my  own  music  is  if  it  ever  becomes  more  profitable  and  if  I  I ever  do  make  a  lot of  money  perhaps  with  my  business/side-hustle  as  a  musician  and  artist, I  was  gonna  probably  lease  a  mid-sized empty  building  here  in  the  Bay  Area  with  a  small team  running  PLB  HQ  and  expand  PLB  to  other  things besides  just  music  and  YouTube videos,  like  non-dairy  ice  cream,  organic  non-GMO  soup  and  stuff  like  that.

I  was  also  interested  if  I  ever  move  my  HQ  for  PLB  outside  my  house  to  another  building,  I was  gonna  have  a state-of-the-art  recording  studio  inside  the  New  PLB  HQ  and  maybe, help  other  artists  and  musicians  in  a  very charitable  way.  Like  give  back  to  the  scene  who gave  me  the  tools  to  be  me  and  my  PLB. And  help  create  a new generation  of  awesome indie  music  artists  too. I  also  don’t  want  to  pocket  all  the  profits  like  a  greedy  evil  man that  I  make  through  PLB  if we  have  a  small  team  of  10  people  running  the  HQ.  I  want  some  of  our  revenue  to be donated  to  charitable  causes  to  make  people’s  lives  better  and  benefit  society  too.

I’m  thinking  Madoku  Raye  and  Madeline  Lew  are  the  best  people  so  far  to  run  the  New  PLB HQ if  it  ever becomes  a  reality  someday! That’s  my  dream  as  an  artist  running  my  band  PLB.  If  we  ever  expand  and  ever  get to  that level  someday  or  whenever!  I  want  to  use  my  music  in  PLB  to  help  other  people  and  make their  lives merrier  and  encourage  their  creativity  and  tell  em',  “Always  do  you,  boo".

What is your songwriting process?

 Me and  Madeline  used  to  date  each  other  in  the Alternative  Timeline.  We’re  also  in  the  same band  together  and we’re  still  very  close  to  each  other  as  friends  after we  stopped  being boyfriend  and  girlfriend.  We  usually collaborate  in  our  home  recording  studios  separately through  modern  technology  and  as  an  Internet-based  rock band.

That’s  what  PLB  pretty  much  is  mostly.  An  Internet  type  of  rock  band! Madeline  doesn’t  live  with  me,  neither does  Madoku.  So  we  exchange  our  ideas  through Facebook  private  messages  or  even  LINE  app  on  our  phones. Like  I  would  record  my  parts  first at  home  through  my  old  iMac  running  Logic  Pro  with  the  guitars  plugged  in and  fiddle  around with  the  electronic  instruments  too.  Keep  in  mind!  My  house  in  San  Francisco  is  a  basic  home recording  studio!  And  where  I  do  business  with  PLB!  Then,  Madeline  sends  her  bass  part  to  me via  email  or Dropbox.  Then,  Madoku  sends  her  parts  too.  And  they  all  record  their  parts  for  each new  piece  of  music separately! Then  once  I  got  all  the  files  needed  for  the  new  song,  I  observe  each  part  meticulously.  Once I’m  ready,  I  will  layer  everything  and  do  all  the  engineering  and  digital  music  production  on  my MacBook Air  or  iMac  and  put  everything  to  place!  I  also  am  responsible  for  the  mixing  stage  of each  new  piece  of  music  we  do.  
Once  that’s  done,  no  matter  how  draining  it  can  be,  I  send  all the  finished  recordings  online  to  get  it  Mastered. Then  voila!  There’s  a  brand  new  PLB  song  for everyone  to  hear! If  the  song  is  good  enough,  I  would  work  with CDBaby  and  get  it  out  there  worldwide  on  Spotify and Apple  Music.  If  not,  I  leave  it  on  Soundcloud  or Bandcamp  just  for  people  to  stream.  Maybe later  if  possible,  we  will  try  and  get  that  song  out  there  on  Spotify while  working  with  CDBaby!  I usually  text  Madoku  and  Madeline  about  that  before  making  any  arrangements with  that.  Lol. The  beauty  of  modern  technology  and  the  Internet  allowed  PLB  to  be  what  it  is.  Make  music  in  a band  with  your  closest  friends  who  don’t  live  near  you  and  have  full-time  jobs  and  other  things going  on  in  life. I’m  a  pretty  busy  guy  too,  I  work  at  a  grocery  warehouse  full-time  doing graveyard  shifts.  And  I  got  this and that  going  on  too.  But  the  Internet  and  its  advancements definitely  made  it  possible  for  three  close  friends separated  by  distance  and  other  things,  to come  together  and  create  music  virtually  via  online  collaboration!

Who were the first musical artists that inspired you?

 I  was  always  a  huge  fan  of  the  bands  Nirvana,  X  Japan  and  Metallica  growing  up.  They’re  the reasons  why  I started  playing  guitar  and  wanting  to  make  music  in  a  band  in  the  first  place!  I’m probably  one  of  the  few Asians  in  my  circle  of  friends  in  the  Asian  community  who  is  a  HUGE FAN  of  the  band  Nirvana!  They  really inspired  me  and  without  them,  there  would  be  no  Patrick Lew  Band  or  PLB  for  sure!  I’m  a  huge  fan  of  the band  X  Japan  too,  because  they’re  one  of those  “game  changing”  rock  bands  from  my  culture  and  they  really  set the  standards  as  well  in Japan  and  their  music  scene.  They  changed  the  game  out  there  for  sure!  And  they’re great musicians  and  have  an  awesome  look  too  as  an Asian  rock  band!

What is your favorite song you've recorded to date?

 I’d  say  everything  I’ve  done  in  the  band  PLB  pretty  much. It’s  what  people  will  remember  me  for  when  it’s  all said  and  done.  When  I’m  gone  someday  and at  peace  back  in  Heaven  with  mom  and  everyone  else,  they  can always  go  on  my  social-media and  all  over  the  Internet  and  my  YouTube  channel  to  check  out  Patrick  Lew  Band (PLB)  and remember  me  for  being  the  awesome  and  most  coolest  Sino-Japanese  rock  star  and  person  in general! Doing  those  other  bands  outside  of  PLB  too  was  also  amazing.  It  made  me  have  more credentials  as  an  indie music  artist.  That’s  for  sure!