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!
"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!