Who is Patrick Lew?
"Who is Patrick Lew?"
As guitarist, composer and the lead vocalist for the Patrick Lew Band and also as a guitarist for TheVerse and Band of Asians, Patrick Lew is well known for his eccentric charm, unique singing voice and identifiable guitar riffs and style of rhythm.
He was born on November 15, 1985 to Winnie and Winson Lew. He is a second generation Asian American of Japanese, Chinese and Taiwanese descent. Life wasn’t easy for the young Patrick Lew growing up as his beloved grandfather passed away at the age of four and spent his youth getting bullied and getting himself into misadventure and trouble with his peers. He played little league sports as a hobby until he began playing guitar and fell in love with it at the age of fourteen.
While in school, Lew was desperate and determined to play music in a band. Aside from his troubles as a teenager, he was also known for being a mischievous and rebellious prankster - ultimately questioning and challenging public education and the “more” popular crowd in school. At Wallenberg High School, he was introduced to future bandmates (which ultimately became the first lineup for Patrick Lew Band) Tommy Loi and Eddie Blackburn. On his days off during high school, he would often play guitar and attempt to write his own music on a Portastudio. Eventually, he convinced his friends from Wallenberg Tommy and Eddie to join a garage band with him and attempt to play music together, forming the first incarnation of the Patrick Lew Band. They would begin putting themselves out there on the Internet and upload their home-recorded ideas hoping to make a niche. Between 2005 to 2008, Lew played guitar in the Band of Asians, a metalcore outfit he formed and connected with friends from college. Which included his long-time friend and bandmate David Arceo.
Out of all his former bandmates, Lew’s artistic transformation was the most profound. Following the demise of his then-band Band of Asians, he decided to revive Patrick Lew Band from being an intermittent and sporadic project into becoming a full-time home recording band locally. His intentions were to approach his music in a more independent and do-it-yourself idea rather than depending on the traditional music industry and middle men to get himself out there locally and throughout social-media and maybe the world even. Following the release of 2009’s Let It Rise And Against, he had grown uncomfortable with the lack of support and level of creative control wielded by the politics of the music industry, the independent scene and even his own bandmates he recruited to collaborate with him in the Patrick Lew Band, and decided to express himself through different channels and other formats. With the Steel Lions, started with PLB and Band of Asians drummer David Arceo’s support in 2012, Lew experimented for a short while with punk blues, garage rock and dubstep elements inspired by deadmau5, the White Stripes and the Black Keys.
When this side-project fell through and tensions and toxic relations with his then-fiancee Faith and former bandmate and friend Greg Lynch brought Patrick Lew Band to their hiatus by the end of 2012. Lew, following an extended period of silence and reflection, as a well as a struggle with toxic ex-girlfriends and friends on social-media, eventually announced his plans to revive Patrick Lew Band as his solo project. For this new era of PLB, he enlisted the help of his long-time friend and bandmate David Arceo and continued where he left off in the Bay Area music scene. He also began experimenting with side-projects outside the Patrick Lew Band, working with former Distorted Harmony drummer Erick Salazar in the newly revived Steel Lions collaborating respectively in their own home studios and filling in as a bass player for the San Francisco punk band The Tortured for two shows in 2016. Lew and Arceo joined forces with long-time friend Janny Rodriguez forming the San Francisco alternative rock supergroup TheVerse. Lew would play guitar, co-write the songs with Janny and record with TheVerse in his home studio until April 2017.
New Era PLB’s lyrics tend to deal with themes similar to the grunge gods Lew was inspired by: alienation, empowerment and the desire to reach immortality. He considers the music of Patrick Lew Band a purer reflection of his personality and to uplift the underprivileged and minority during the struggle than he could have ever achieved in PLB shortly before their hiatus. He says that the PLB of the old prior to their hiatus was him at his adolescent years trying to get his foot in the door musically and personally, while the newer PLB combines characteristics of punk, grunge, alternative and melodic hard rock which lays a much broader canvas for communication between man and his relationship with society and his fellow minority. That being the case, he nevertheless values the different interplay of styles that exists in PLB and the Steel Lions today. Some of his signature riffs and style of guitar playing has also been prominent during his time with TheVerse.
Besides his musical projects, Lew also is an Ambassador for Antennas Direct (TV antenna maker) and also founded The Promised Land Inc. The latter, being an indie label and home recording studio based out of San Francisco which showcases anything Patrick Lew Band and Steel Lions related away from the more traditional and corporate music industry and middle men from getting involved. Another venture of his, he also created a petition Facebook page to deregulate children’s programming regulations from the FCC in the United States. He has also written a short story for the film Journey of a Paper Son and has acted in a few YouTube shorts.
He is also a die-hard fan of WWE, San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers. It looks as if his days of playing little league sports has kept him interested in keeping up with sports and attending sporting events!
Lew currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his family and his best friend Kurt and his two dogs and cat Jinks.
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