Bio: The modern era of music has given way to enigmas and artists of all shapes and forms who break the norm of what we have come to expect as far as what an artist truly is. The Patrick Lew Band is one such entity that epitomizes the essence of the modern era. A multi-talented Sino-Japanese rock band lead by Patrick Lew, and his alter ego sister Madeline Lew. Patrick was born in San Francisco, CA. The Band is making music that is thoughtful, conscious, and driven by a desire to motivate, inspire, comfort, and spread love and joy to all those that hear it.
Patrick Lew Band currently has 12 official projects in their repertoire namely, Jump! Rattle! And Roll!!! (2006), Let It Rise and Against (2009), Murder Bay (2011), Angry Yellow – EP (2012), Bubblegum Babylon (2015), Oakland (2017), Cold Sirens (2017), History Pt. 1: 2001-2016 Boxed Set (2018), Immortality (2020), Codebreaker (2020), Rolling Thunder (2021) and No Sleep Till San Francisco! (2021). The Band will be releasing more music that will serve as motivation to face the new challenges that every day brings. The ambition is for the music to fully empower the people worldwide and make them have positive vibes all around them. To turn every negative situation into a positive one, and have a good time. Their music will showcase their lyricism in a uniquely constructed piece of musical artistry with a sound exhibits not only versatility and prowess but will surely cement their style and pave the way for the varied expressions of their musical ideas and artistic craft. This is the music that will push the boundaries of our perception as well as inspire and drive us to introspective conversations. It’s the music that may not change the world but can change the people in the world.
Getmybuzzup: Tell us a little about yourself?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I was born in San Francisco in 1985 to a Chinese father and a Japanese mother of mixed descent. I grew up in San Francisco too! I wouldn’t say that I had a bad childhood, although some of my upbringings was rather uneasy at times. My grandfather Wayne (dad’s dad) passed away when I was very young, so I was mostly raised by my mother and sometimes, my father. As a child, to get away from all the stress and tension from going to school and dealing with negative people, I turned to professional wrestling (like WWF), video games, and television. I was always into music at an early age, my mother saw The Beatles in concert in Hong Kong back in 1964. My mom got me mostly into the Classic Rock stuff like Beatles and Stones. My dad was more into Motown, Funk, and R&B type of music! Today, I am 35 years old and still living in San Francisco as of 2021. Been through some highs, and some lowest of lows, that’s for sure! But I always remained true to myself and kept doing me. I went to Wallenberg High School in San Francisco and later attended college at CSU East Bay, graduating in 2011 with a B.A. in Philosophy and minoring in Music Composition. I’m also a Class of 2019 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame inductee at my alma mater, getting in because of my accomplishments and services with PLB (Patrick Lew Band) at age 33. I was also the first Japanese-American male to receive the honor. I have two siblings, my older brother Ricky and my fictional younger sister Madeline (cross-dressing alter-ego).
Getmybuzzup: How long have you been in the music industry?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I started doing or trying to do music professionally in 2001. I was already teaching myself how to play the guitar and write my own songs. Even as early as 2001 when I was 15 or 16 years old, I was already putting myself out there online with my music I was making at home. The music that I was uploading online was a mix of solo and my high school band, and we were under various brand names at the time! Later on, that project would evolve into Patrick Lew Band later on in the 2000s.
Getmybuzzup: How did you get started in the first place?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: My cousin Andy from British Hong Kong was studying as a foreign exchange student at a community college out here. I was around 13 at the time, and it was during the Summer and Fall of 1999! Before that, my older brother Ricky had a Fender guitar and amp sitting in the closet gathering dust in the bedroom.
When my brother Ricky turned 15, my mom bought him a Fender guitar and amp bundle from a music store. Turns out, the guitar was just a phase for him. He was more into cars, computers, and video gaming! So, when Andy was living with me and my family that year, he would pick up the guitar and start jamming on Hendrix, Sabbath, Deep Purple, and a lot of other classic rock bands! That’s when I knew, I found my true calling in life! I was going to Rooftop Middle School here in San Francisco, and god damn, I fucking hated that school growing up! I was bullied a lot and didn’t have very many friends there. Going to Rooftop opened my eyes to segregation, racism, and being the underdog and underrepresented ethnic minority here in the United States! So, on my days off from school, my mom and I would hang out, or I and Andy would begin a deep musical bond and relationship as relatives. That’s where it all began for me really. I was dating my childhood sweetheart, this Vietnamese girl from the block named Betty. But even she knew, I wanted to become a rock and roll star or idol! Lol. I was into wrestling and sports initially, thinking, I could have trained and became a professional wrestler at age 18. But music was more of my thing really.
Getmybuzzup: When did you first learn to play the guitar? Were you self-taught or you took lessons?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I started playing guitar at age 13 or 14 once my cousin Andy was living with me! I initially took guitar lessons but grew to hate learning by-the-book. I am largely self-taught as a guitar player. I learned to play through the Internet during the days before YouTube and smartphone apps! I learned basically, through guitar tabs and all that. Eventually, I took some music-related courses in college, and that helped a little bit with my playing. My mom would always tell me, “You’re not gonna play guitar in a band unless you properly learn how to play!”
Getmybuzzup: How did the band PLB (Patrick Lew Band) get started?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: So, when I was in high school as a freshman. I was desperate and insistent to start a band to play guitar or just fuck around and play music in. I really had no grand ambitions or goals to become famous at that time, because I didn’t have my life figured out just yet! I just wanted to play some music with other cool people! So in 2001, I met my classmate Joey and Tommy. Tommy was PLB’s first and original drummer at the time, and we knew each other from Chinese class at school. Later on, with my insistent whining and complaining to my friend Joe, he later introduced me to his best friend’s younger brother Eddie, who would later join the band and play lead guitar. That was pretty much the Genesis of the Patrick Lew Band! We would go to school during the weekdays and play music together on-and-off over the years at either my or Eddie’s houses in San Francisco on the weekends. We were under a bunch of different band names at the time, such as Samurai Sorcerers and Famiglia. Don’t ask. Lol. By the time I went off to college, Eddie and I drifted apart musically, and I was left without a consistent and stable band to play guitar and make music in! Early on in our music career when I was 18 or 19 years old, we got signed to a developmental deal with an indie label but fell through. I would do other things outside the band like I was a roadie for the New Jersey-based Asian-American fusion rock duo FANTASIA (Jack Hsu’s previous band) and I did photography for my friend’s bands as well. By the time the mid-2000s rolled around, I realized, I wanted to take this music seriously and keep playing guitar and rocking it by any means necessary! I would play a couple of shows in 2007 with the band, and we had a revolving door of musicians coming-and-going. The line-ups changed frequently! By August 2008, I decided to rebrand this project under the name Patrick Lew Band (PLB). The name really had no meaning or special reason. I was just booking time in a private recording studio here in SF, I went on the studio’s computer and was writing a MySpace blog confirming the name. But somehow, it stuck! When I was going to CSU East Bay, I rebuilt the Patrick Lew Band with some toxic former friends of mine on-campus with my childhood friend David on drums! That band was a fucking convoluted mess bud! I was also dealing with a lot of problems at the time, such as haters online and a failed six-year relationship dating my ex Faith. I wanted to pursue music professionally as early as the late 2000s, but it was sidetracked by a lot of crappy things going on at the time! By 2015 however, I broke up with my ex Faith and me and my friend David relaunched and rebooted PLB as the band we know today. On Halloween 2015, my sister Madeline officially joined Patrick Lew Band, which was the final piece of the puzzle in the saga! That’s basically when all the good things started happening and taking off! David would eventually part ways with the band in mid-2016 to do his own thing, leaving me and my sister Madeline to carry on the PLB to glory.
Getmybuzzup: How would you describe your latest single?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: The latest single is actually “BE YOURSELF!” There’s actually a music video for it on our YouTube channel! My sister Madeline sings in the track in the Japanese language. The MV was actually filmed and shot on a Seek Thermal video camera by our photographer/videographer James. Speaking of Madeline, she’s my younger sister in the alternate dimension, but in reality, she’s an alter-ego created by me cross-dressing and edited through Photoshop and CGI. Her singing voice was created through the app Vocaloid 5. The same app used to create the Japanese cyber pop star Hatsune Miku.
Getmybuzzup: Any plans on touring to promote your latest single?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Right now, touring and live stream concerts have been postponed temporarily for the time being. I work a full-time day job at Safeway. And I never really performed live shows much with PLB. It’s really hard to present Patrick Lew Band live and loud in concert! For many reasons. James thinks I need a utility man or tape-op to present all the sophisticated live backing tracks. I would really have to invest with scientists and tech people to create a live life-like hologram of my sister Madeline to go on tour and go onstage with me! The Madeline Lew, that I created in the band of course. But we don’t have that kind of money. Lol. I did, however, toured with my former band TheVerse. I played guitar with them for four years during the second half of the 2010s. I also did a few gigs filling-in for other bands as a bassist. Seems to me, I prefer playing guitar or bass in bands live and onstage touring outside of Patrick Lew Band. It’s more comfortable for me as a selfless type of musician. I prefer it that way. I just don’t like touring with PLB for many reasons, maybe it’s stage fright, maybe it’s the risks involved doing so financially and physically on my own. Maybe it could be even something else like I’ve just said early on! To be frank, I’ve completed about 300 something songs with PLB but can only remember how to play maybe, like seven or eight of the songs entirely on guitar and singing! I could use an iPad or laptop as a musical arsenal, but it’s well, rather complicated…
Getmybuzzup: How difficult is it with COVID restrictions to promote your music?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I was playing guitar in the band Benigneglect (formerly Lewnatic) with my good friend and Filipino-American rapper A. K.A.YE. We were once-a-month live performing residents at SF’s DNA Lounge until COVID got out of hand. So the band kind of went our own way right after. I find that COVID delayed all my travel and live performing options indefinitely. But it also benefitted me too. Because I really like being a stay-at-home digital music creator and all that. I also play guitar for another band with my good friend Yandie called Crazy Loser in a Box! And that’s also a studio-based band as well. I feel more comfortable being relegated to the walls of my home recording studio, and putting everything out there online and on social media right after.
Getmybuzzup: What tactics have you used to take advantage of the COVID restrictions in order to continue pushing your likeness forward?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I just keep doing me and putting myself out there! I’m actually very dedicated to PLB since DAY ONE and I would love for PLB to become even greater, bigger, and badder than before in the indie music scene. We use social-media to present all the latest breathtaking and awesome digital content. It showcases the best, most eccentric yet interesting of both me and my sister Madeline’s public personas. Our goal really is to become the GOAT for sure. But we don’t want to adhere to any traditional music industry format. We just wanna keep doing PLB in the music scene on our own terms and do things our way.
Getmybuzzup: Who are your inspirations in the music industry?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: That is a very good question. We’re inspired by a lot of different bands, genres, and artists. I guess you can say but not
Getmybuzzup: How do you go about writing a song and what is your process?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I am very meticulous when it comes to music production and always have a quality over quantity mindset. But I also experiment a lot because of the freedom of having a home recording studio. And the blessings of having experience doing so. I try to ensure every new piece of music that PLB tops whatever we did before last time, and we can always grow and step up creatively as music creators and artists.
Getmybuzzup: What is the concept behind your forthcoming project?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Our latest album is Rolling Thunder, which was released worldwide in 2021 on Spotify, Apple Music, and everywhere else. The concept deals with the current theme that deeply affected my Asian-American community last year, all because of COVID. And 2020 in general. The new PLB album is probably going to be more experimental, less commercial, and very unconventional for sure. It’s hard to say what it’s going to be and sound like! But PLB will always continue making music, even with limited appearances publicly and more focus as digital creators in music and with our own destiny. Lol.
Getmybuzzup: What did you buy with your first check-off music?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Gee, I don’t remember! I guess food, groceries, and cigarettes. I only make passive income through PLB’s royalties. Lol.
Getmybuzzup: What are must-haves when you’re in the studio working?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Asian porn. Like JAV idol Ayano Murasaki’s videos on Pornhub. Lol. No, but real talk! A lot of patience, time, energy and drive to keep working hard at making a great song on my laptop and Logic. But keep the good vibes and creative flow going.
Getmybuzzup: What is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I actually thought the best advice was to keep at it and to keep your drive, dedication, and passion going in music. To be really honest with you, I didn’t expect Patrick Lew Band to be still around 20 years later after we started in the year 2021. But I was really fortunate enough to have this strong-willed Samurai fighting spirit to keep doing this. I also don’t typically let toxic people past and present and my haters/ unfollowers on social-media to hinder my PLB either. Lol. Bad press is better than no press of course! And that’s generating more attention towards me in the end really. But those haters/ unfollowers can suck it too. Lol. But real talk. I think the best advice was taken off some important guides I downloaded from CDBaby about “being” this indie musician and how together it out there on my computer. I used it as a handbook to get better at what I do, and to preserver with Patrick Lew Band for the most part.
Getmybuzzup: Will you be collaborating with any other artists in the future?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I definitely would love to play guitar and bass with other musicians in another band again, once this COVID is done with or the pandemic starts to tone down. I prefer touring and playing shows with a band outside of PLB. But right now, I’m collaborating with Madeline and my friend Yandie in the band Crazy Loser in a Box! via online collaboration. You can look us up on Spotify and Apple Music, and we have a Facebook page too!
Getmybuzzup: Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the musical flow and content?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I dunno. I’m guessing a mix of both? As long as they enjoy it, that’s all that matters.
Getmybuzzup: What area do you need to improve on in regards to your career? (Example: Better production, Delivery, Stage presence, etc..)
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I want to play better shows and tour more. And I want to become bigger and better than where I’m at now. If not, I’m totally fine where I stand with PLB right now. I think we’re at our best stage right now in our career despite being still largely an underground Sino-Japanese punk rock band from San Francisco.
Getmybuzzup: What’s your all-time favorite song?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Oh man, there’s a lot. I could vent for hours about that. If I trust you fully, look at my playlist on Apple Music on my iPhone. You’ll see the diversity in music choices. I don’t listen to the same music every day. Band, song, genre. Whatever. Lol.
Getmybuzzup: What was the last album you listened to?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I just got done listening to Baby Metal’s latest album on my Apple Music playlist on my phone. They’re a Japanese power metal band and they’re pretty popping right now.
Getmybuzzup: In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: So, lemme tell ya, I’m Asian-American. We are some of the most underrepresented groups of people in society and in the music industry. It wasn’t until K-Pop blew up where Asian people got more attention and exposure in popular music and Top 40. Like BTS and Blackpink and all that! But as far as I know, the most influential and successful artist in my genre would have to be The Slants. Simon Tam from the band is also one of my mentors in the music scene. They’re one of the trailblazers in Asian- American music. Look up their credentials online, that’s for sure!
Getmybuzzup: Who have been some of your favorite artists that you’ve been able to work with?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Working with A.K.A.YE was a blast indeed in the band Benigneglect. I also loved playing with my friend Janny in the band TheVerse. Jenny was previously an EDM DJ in the Bay Area under the stage name GEM JEWELS. I also loved having to work with a lot of different local bands in my area as fans and for them to support me as well!
Getmybuzzup: How do you feel about the current state of music?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I don’t really listen to commercial music these days in most genres. Unless you’re talking about K-Pop and metal. Lol. I think music has gotten much better since the Internet got more sophisticated and there were more platforms for more interesting bands and artists all over the world to put themselves out there. That’s what you call the indies. The traditional music industry is not-as-in as it used to be. They just want something safe and stable. As far as their Top 40 mainstream roster goes, they can have that man. I’m more content checking out other interesting types of music all because of the Internet and being very well-invested in my region. I have friends in bands selling me CD-R’s of their demos or music, and man, I rather have that for sure!
Getmybuzzup: Any dream award shows you hope to one day play at?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Not sure about that one. I don’t typically create and perform music to win trophies or awards. But that’s nice. If not, it’s fine by me.
Getmybuzzup: What is your main goal as far as music?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I want to become the GOAT. The GOAT Sino-Japanese rock and roll band, for sure. If I haven’t yet. In the end, really, there will never be another Asian person like Patrick or Madeline Lew.
Getmybuzzup: Who would you say your music relates to the most?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I’m guessing Millennials and Gen-Z are my biggest consumers of PLB. But people who are into Nirvana, K-Pop, J-Rock/J-Pop, and punk really dig what I do though.
Getmybuzzup: What separates you from other artists? (What’s makes you different?)
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I’m Patrick Lew Hayashi. I’m the one and only man. Look me up on Google and read my social media posts and you’ll see right through me. There will never be another Asian man or vice versa like me ever again someday. And that ain’t me sounding conceited or vain, it’s the truth bud.
Getmybuzzup: When you’re not in the studio, What do you like to do for fun and relaxation?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I watch a lot of Anime, All Elite Wrestling, wrestling in general and miscellaneous videos on various apps and over-the-air on my 4K flat-screen TV. Lol. And I read. Plus, I play video games on PS4. If not that, I’m making sweet sweet love to some lady in VR behind closed doors. Lol.
Getmybuzzup: If you could work with any producer who would it be?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Not too sure. But I would love Andy Wallace to be my dream mixer guy for PLB’s music really.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the biggest highlight of your career thus far?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: “Awards and Accomplishments received by Patrick Lew…”
- One Time Hall of Fame Inductee – CSU East Bay 40 Under 40 Class of 2019 as a member of Patrick Lew Band and as a solo
- Interracial Dating Grand Slam Champion. He has romantically dated every major ethnicity from the opposite gender: White, Black, Asian, Hispanic.
- Celebrity Endorsee with Antennas Direct
- The first male 40 Under 40 Hall of Famer of Japanese descent at CSU East Bay.
AWARDS & ACCOLADES BY YEARS
- 2004: Rookie Band of the Month (with Patrick Lew Band, courtesy of an unofficial Poison fan website); Record Deal (with Patrick Lew Band, via Statue Records)
- 2007: Rising Up-And-Coming Artist (with Patrick Lew Band, Dmusic.com); Soundclick.com 10th Anniversary Songwriting
- 2005: Sexy Asian Guitarist (with Patrick Lew Band, MySpace.com) Contest Quarter Finalist (with Patrick Lew Band)
- 2008: Most Hated Indie Artist of the Year (with Patrick Lew Band, Soundclick.com)
- 2011: No. 1 Local Rock Band (with Patrick Lew Band, ReverbNation.com – Antioch, CA); Bachelors Degree in Philosophy
- 2010: Most Hated Indie Artist of the Year (with Patrick Lew Band, Soundclick.com)
- 2012: No. 1 Local Punk Band (with The Steel Lions, ReverbNation.com – Antioch, CA); Record Deal (with The Steel from CSU East Bay Lions, via A.N.N)
- 2016: July’s Best Experimental Rock Song (with Patrick Lew Band, Akademia Music Awards – “Game Changer”)
- 2015: Comeback of the Year (with Patrick Lew Band, Unknown Source); Appointed as an Ambassador for Antennas Direct
- 2017: No. 1 Local Rock Band (with The Steel Lions, ReverbNation.com – Taipei, Taiwan); Headlines Brick & Mortar Promisedland Inc Music Hall (with TheVerse; 11/26/2017)
- 2018: May’s Employee of the Month (Chocolate Heaven Pier 39, Day Job); Certificate of Achievement (Chocolate Heaven Pier 39, Day Job)
- 2019: Inducted in the CSU East Bay 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame (with Patrick Lew Band) at age 33
Getmybuzzup: What is your dream venue to perform at?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Dream venue? Probably the Budokan or Tokyo Dome out in Japan.
Getmybuzzup: What artist music are you currently a fan of?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I’m right now really digging Japanese rock bands like ONE OK ROCK and Miyavi. And I’m a K-Pop stan. I love BTS and Blackpink.
Getmybuzzup: When performing live what are some of the things you do to get the crowd involved?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I do whatever that comes to mind. I speak in both English and Japanese, say weird interesting stuff, and showcase my flamboyant showmanship and charisma. I have a good stage presence as I’ve been told and know how to reach audiences with words and how I present myself on stage, I guess.
Getmybuzzup: When performing live and the crowd is singing along how does that energy make you feel?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Well, PLB fans are like die-hard wrestling fans. I’ve heard crowds chanting PLB like wrestling fans chanting EC-Dub! EC-Dub! It brings great joy and pleasure indeed. Not some Pleasure Gallows shit. Lol. But really, I love that loyalty that they have towards Patrick Lew Band for reals.
Getmybuzzup: What’s the name of the last book you read and by whom?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Keith Richards autobiography. It’s a great and fascinating read!
Getmybuzzup: What’s your favorite sports team and why?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: I’m a Frisco Kid. So I’m just gonna say San Francisco Giants and the 49ers! Gotta support my SF though!
Getmybuzzup: Whose your favorite actor or actress and their best movie?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: My favorite actor is Leonardo DiCaprio. I can’t really say which movie I like from him the most, because most of them are great films. But as a kid in the 90’s, I grew up watching his movies like Basketball Diaries and of course, TITANIC.
Getmybuzzup: What can we expect from you in the future?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: Expect way more great things to come from PLB. It ain’t over until the BBW lady sings at my wake. I hope I find real love with the right lady eventually. But my main focus is PLB in the music industry and to keep at it. Like, keep making more music with PLB without having to conform to the traditional music industry system, putting more great digital content online, and like I said, man, I want to become the GOAT. And oh yeah, anyone toxic like my exes and former friends and randoms from my past and recent can suck it too. I’ll definitely have the last laugh bud!
Getmybuzzup: Anything else you wanna add?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: If you like Nirvana, 90’s Rock, K-Pop, J-Pop, Visual Kei, and Anime music. Check out Patrick Lew Band (PLB)! Support.
Getmybuzzup: Where can the fans check out for your music?
Patrick Lew Hayashi: See Links:
Social-Media: facebook.com/patricklewband (Facebook)
instagram.com/IAmMadelineLew (Madeline Lew’s Instagram)
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