1. How did you get your band name?
As a teenager, I played rhythm guitar and bass in a couple of garage bands where I live in San Francisco growing up. Playing a variety of genres of rock such as post-hardcore, nu metal, 80ís hard rock and everything we were supposedly influenced by while in high school. I always took time playing music in these garage bands, craving the music and trying to get somewhere as a bunch of 15 and 16-year-old musicians, but I've also been playing guitar and composing/recording my own music alone since I was 15 (circa 2001). After my former band, the Band of Asians, disbanded, I began taking my solo musical pursuits more seriously because I had trouble looking for other reliable and serious dedicated players to play music in a band with. I was mainly a freelance punk rock guitarist for the most part, taking offers and jamming with friends usually. So I did this one man band under my real name so I can explore what I can do creatively that I couldnít do in a garage band or any local band I was a part of.
2. How did this band get started?
I started playing guitar when I was 13, and I began writing my own material around the time I first picked up the guitar. I played in a very amateur and primitive punk band called Goldenweasel. I however, havenít begun using the internet seriously as a form of getting myself out there until 2001 or so. Technically, the Patrick Lew Band was formed in 2001. But I really got the solo project rolling after my band the Band of Asians broke up for our reasons. Which was 2008. It wasnít an easy time for me - I'd been struggling with a lot of problems at the time and my fiancee Faith was with other crappy ex-boyfriends at the time. But I knew I wouldnít give up as an artist and would continue to do what I am most passionate about. Which is making and performing music, regardless.
3. What bands are you influenced by?
My mom was always into a lot of classic rock bands from the 60ís and 70ís such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and a bunch of others. She basically had a huge collection of Vinylís from these bands when I was born, and sometimes she would play them at home whenever I was home watching TV or playing Nintendo. My first major musical awakening was 80ís hair metal bands such as Tesla, White Lion, Motley Crue, Steelheart, Guns Ní Roses and many many others! But around Ď92 or Ď93, I was watching MTV as a little boy in my room and was mesmerized by the alternative rock scenes coming out of Seattle with Grunge bands. I was a big Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins fan. I got into contemporary punk soon after I first heard Green Day and Rancid while watching a lot of TV, reading, and listening to the radio and shit. I was 9 or 10 when that happened. But even the days before the internet got really powerful and advanced as far as technology goes, I always knew the best and worst of rock music as I grew up on.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I would have loved to play Lollapalooza during the 90ís. It sounds pretty fun and it seemed like a very interesting time. As far as bands go, I would have loved to have been an opening act if Nirvana and Green Day had done a concert tour together if Kurt Cobain lived on. I was influenced mainly by grunge and the punk revival of the 90ís and early 2000s, so to perform on tour with Nirvana and Green Day doing a tour together would have been an amazing experience.
5. Best food to eat on tour?
Sushi and Dim Sum. Iím Asian, and those ethnic foods hold a special place for my appetite any place, anywhere! Other than that, I would love pizza on any given occasion.
6. Why should people listen to your band?
If you were born in the 70ís and 80ís like me, growing up during a time where there was still good music in the masses, good TV shows and other things, you would love to hear the interesting fusions I attempt to create in my own music. I sing about deeper meanings of life and the real world that Iím sure anybody can relate to. I try to bring the music that Iím making to people who care and can understand what the struggles of life can be but persist and overcome all the odds! People nowadays want grunge music to come back and miss the 90ís and keep saying, ďOh, we need music with more meaning in a time like this in America.Ē I would love to give that to those people who want that. And another reason you should listen to Patrick Lewís Band is that after the many years of oppression and lack of opportunity for Asian Americans in the music industry and other shit like Asian stereotypes and having to own up to that stressful stigma, you can relate to what I sing about based on the frustrations of being an Asian American man living the struggle in the U.S. and expanding to transcend to others in a big way outside of the negative. So Iím turning real meanings and real thoughts into positive creativity for people who can relate to me.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Iím a big professional wrestling junkie. If I had to choose an athlete I can think of, I would definitely be the WWE wrestler Edge. He had a cool look, gimmick, and he was able to overcome difficult times to make it into the wrestling world. He also was pretty much a solid wrestler. He was in the WWE during a time when Stone Cold and The Rock were the hype, and doing those ladder matches with The Hardy Boyz intrigued me while watching a lot of wrestling growing up.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank?
I am not playing rock & roll music to win trophies, but I would strongly encourage everyone after winning an award like a Grammy to excel as people and be good to everyone around you and find ways to live life to the fullest during the toughest of times and situations. I would like to thank mainly the fans, my wife/fiancee Faith and those friends and family who stuck with me always and being the true social-network I can always smile and take my relationships seriously with. But I dedicate the Grammy if I won one to the world to achieve whatís possible and overcoming the odds, you know!
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Hmm. Itís a long story. I think the internet has changed a lot of ways musicians and artists can be heard, promote themselves and get themselves out there. Technology and the internet made music being out there a lot easier for independent or unsigned bands or musicians not signed with major record labels. If I had to change one thing, I do feel the music industry needs to offer music of all genres with meaning rather than this superficial and bland stuff we usually hear nowadays on the radio. I donít understand Auto-Tune and all these new formulated sounding bands and artists with no distinct sounds that separate one band over the other. I think music should be more about being creative and doing music because you are passionate about it, rather than just go out there to be rich and famous and shit, you know? I also think the music industry needs to develop and scout talents better when finding new bands online on websites like MySpace or something, but also give the creativity and some freedom back to the musicians themselves. Profit, greed and capitalism rule rock and hip hop now. But Patrick Lew was never about that, like many other rock bands from the 60ís, who mainly did music for the sake of making and performing music and seldom cared about what everyone thought about them and did things uniquely in their own creative way!
10. Memorable tour experience?
I mainly toured locally in northern California. But my most memorable tour experience officially hasnít happened yet. I donít play live shows too much due to the lack of a backup band of sidemen and other complicated stuff. But when you see me onstage next time, be prepared to experience something unique, raw, and dynamic.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
AP.net is a good website dedicated to the music. Not just punk but other genres as well. I think overall, AP.net is one of the better music-related websites in helping and spreading the word of mouth on a lot of great new bands and great new music. I find it very helpful and a very informative music-related website online that caters to whatís new and hot, but at the same time helps other unsigned or lesser known bands and musicians get themselves out there.
12. What is your favorite song to play?
I am often fiddling and tinkering with my guitars. I just play whatever I can when Iím playing the guitar. Like sketching and recording sketch ideas of what I am playing on guitar on my Macbook running GarageBand. I use them as a reference point in creating new music or just being creative and artistic in general. When I jam with friends in freelance garage bands here in the bay area, we play mainly cover songs ranging from 80ís and 90ís rock of all kinds.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
I would love to visit England and Japan someday. I've been around some places in my life, but I would love to visit those two countries someday.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Anything I listened to growing up. Itís all on my mp3 player too. I never get tired of listening to it at all. But I do maintain and keep updated on the latest music and new bands out there through what I research on the internet.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
The ability to time travel. Just to experience what life was like in an earlier time. Or even fix the bullshit that went wrong in the past and rewrite history and see what could have happened if something did not happen or was changed in some kind of way.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals?
Not really. I am usually either socializing with my bandmates, fiancee Faith Lew, or practicing how to play the music before hitting the stage. I take the music very seriously. But I know Iím here to have a good time like my audience is, and I use the music as the soundtrack of our lives in many different kinds of ways.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
I sometimes wish I could have been born a woman instead. I always wondered what life or things might have been like if I was born a woman instead of a man. But Iíll save that experience in the next life, if reincarnation does exist.
18.What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish?
I have no idea. I think the current state of radio is in a very bad state right now. Theyíre playing the same fucking crap over and over again. Itís tedious usually. Popular music nowadays lacks a lot of meaning and substance. Itís sad, really. Everything sounds too much the same, and itís even harder to tell bands and other artists apart now because everything has no distinction or originality. But whoís to blame? It canít be always the bands themselves. It could be how the politics and the way the music industry works nowadays. Some bands do it for superficial reasons like money, fame and women. But thereís some folks that do it for the sake of music. I think the radio would be great for my band to get myself or my other projects more attention. But the way technology works now, it seems the radio is playing music catered to whatís hip and trendy today. But the internet has a load of talent and a load of crap too on various music websites. But if I were to stay underground or go viral? I would go viral. I never had intentions of keeping my music a small thing, I want to make some impact in some sort of way. But I also want peeps to remember that I am doing music still for the passion and sake of making music. But whether or not I get the exposure virally or not, Iíll be still be happy if Iím still an underground or independent musician just putting himself out everywhere on the internet. As long as I am making music, right?
19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to spend time communicating with my fiancee Faith Lew, with whom I am currently in a long-distance relationship for the last 5 years. Sheís my best friend and the best woman I've ever been with in my life! We usually keep in contact through Skype, social-media websites like Facebook, and on the phone. I would do anything to live and spend the rest of my life with her again, but my financial and personal roadblocks are preventing that currently. But I will always love her no matter what! And she will too, no matter how hard things can be. My other hobbies besides music are reading/writing, playing video games, and watching TV and cheesy movies. I am usually a home body, but I do go out and have fun with the close friends I do have every now and then in the bay area. And oh, I like food and driving my car too! But music is my top passion and priority. Itís more than just a hobby.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
I always wanted to pursue acting on film and TV. I acted in a few school plays in high school and college locally. As far as other hidden talents goes? Multimedia. Such as photography, video producing and editing, and creative writing. Basically anything artistic. I have the gift of the artist.