A new release from Lewnatic Is an absolute blitzkrieg of fierce guitar work, attitude and Gusto that all come together in a bright but fiery style and presence complete with hard-hitting backbone and loads of character that all managed to come through in the performances especially on those guitars.
The range of dynamics and songwriting styles is pretty impressive here especially given the fact that there's so many killer subgenres and styles that lay underneath the bed of hard rock that these songs portray.
This is a pure guitar rock album that has loads of drive and plenty of heart and works in the way of what a concept album would by telling these, sort of stories that align with each other and let you take a bit of a musical journey with the artist.
Now, within that rock and roll range you do also get some of these wonderfully colored contemporary pop songs scattered about the Rapid Fire! EP.
These songs give the record a little bit of extra breathing room and life as well. It's absolutely wonderful to hear these uber creative styles being combined and really working together in this way that makes everything fluent.
You hear elements of even Jazz undertones, pop overtones, heavy metal and so much more all rolled into this outlandish but addictive record.
It feels almost over the top but it's really not it's done just right.
With the release of this killer portrayal a massively creative EP we wanted to have a chat with Patrick Lew of Lewnatic to find out where this all came from.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: So I wanted to begin with talking about the Rapid Fire EP! The style was unique and I love it! How did this EP come about for you?
Oh yes! This EP was a long time coming for everyone involved. In July 2022, I signed a 1-year deal with Bentley Records under my band name Lewnatic. Before that, Lewnatic was mostly like a touring and live-streaming experiment for me musically and personally. I played a few shows at San Francisco's DNA Lounge with the Lewnatic project. But most people should know me by this stage, most of my success and greatest accomplishments in life came from the Patrick Lew Band (PLB). I was a part of that project with my fictitious cousin Madeline and many other contributors since the early 2000s. By the time I signed with Bentley Records, I felt like Patrick Lew Band saga was cemented officially. I got what I always wanted in my life: 1. My music going legit. 2. Getting my current girlfriend, Amanda (aspiring writer/poet). Those two things eluded me for a long time.
When I was recording Rapid Fire, I contacted Sound Raw Japan for some licensed beats. Then, a few weeks after signing with Bentley. I was dealing with a lot of problems privately. I was going through a bad meltdown directly caused by fake friends on my personal Facebook profile on my posts and in general, and someone who I once knew through Only Fans. That anger and recurring setback quickly inspired me to open up Logic Pro on my laptop, and I took 6 licensed beats that Sound Raw Japan custom made for me, and began adding all my guitar and piano parts to it.
My intentions for my first major release under a record label as a signed artist was to continue some elements of the Patrick Lew Band musically, like the fusion of J-Pop and Grunge. But also add new landscapes and upgrade what I was doing in PLB with Lewnatic in the bedroom recording studio of mines. There's a lot of familiar styles and themes, such as angst-filled content and stuff like that. Sometimes, what you've gone through when you were younger never really goes away. But I also make the music uplifting and moving as well.
The music can be best analyzed as a continuation of Patrick Lew Band's "fusion of J-Pop and Grunge." But with more depth and varying levels of new elements pushed right in for sure.
Originally, my idea was to sing in Japanese and English in all 6 of the songs that I was producing in my bedroom. I am not a very good singer, although I can sing other people's music just fine. Like I did with Patrick Lew Band, I decided with this mindset, "Not every song needs lead vocals to be a banger really." So I kept everything as Instrumental Rock for sure. Man, I feel, I played some of my best guitar solos on this record too!
Buzz Slayers: Is there something that normally inspires you to write songs?
I actually am very spontaneous when making music. I'm like Tom Delonge from Blink 182, "I have to make music. If I don't make music, I go crazy." Every year in different time intervals, I'm always having musical ideas in my head. Some of those ideas are still incomplete and sitting on my computer's hard drive. But some of the music I be making quite often is on point, that I always feel the urge and need to put it all out there on social-media and on all the streaming apps like Spotify. I am the type of fella that really needs to be doing something, like creating music. Not because I want to become more famous or attract hella numbers on social-media. But personal and creative fulfillment. Making music is always a big part of me while I'm at home here in San Francisco in my bedroom. Thankfully, with the technology and platforms we got now, possibilities are now endless! Almost anybody can get famous and have their "15 MINUTES OF FAME" today on YouTube! Making music just so happens, is a huge part of my lifestyle and what I am passionate about. Whether it's a good song or terrible song.
Buzz Slayers: What are the instruments you are playing and performing on this release?
Well, Sound Raw Japan produced and custom made the beats for me. I originally, wanted to do everything from scratch. But considering modern technology is more efficient and convenient and takes up less time, I contacted those guys to license me some beats. Once I got all the WAV files, I opened up Logic Pro on my old laptop and began adding guitars, effects, computer-based instruments, and the whole 9 yards. Like I did mostly with Patrick Lew Band, I play most of the instruments almost on this record. Except, what I just mentioned. I was inspired by guys like Paul McCartney, Prince, and Trent Reznor, when doing the whole one-man studio band thing.
Buzz Slayers: How do you record your songs? Do you have a home studio?
I record all my guitar parts through an inexpensive Digital Audio Interface from PreSonus hooked up to my old 2012 MacBook Pro running Logic. I definitely have the perks and privileges of owning a home studio. Most of my home studio is computer-based, which is kind of hella Asian of me. Lol. But I own three electric guitars, a bass guitar, three amps, and a broken MIDI keyboard. I practically renovated my 2-Floor family house in the Excelsior District in San Francisco into my own rock star playground. Hahaha.
Buzz Slayers: Do you put together any music videos for your release?
Oh, yes indeed! My best friend James Conrad does the videography and band photos for Lewnatic. He developed a concept for Lewnatic's music video for the EP's single We The People. It was created as an inspirational and lifting anthem for the #STOPASIANHATE and #BLM movement here in America. So, we were in San Francisco Chinatown one Saturday afternoon and began filming scenes for the video. He does an excellent job shooting videos for Lewnatic, whether it's a music video for a single or whenever I play live locally. You can view all my content and music videos past and present directly on my main YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@patricklewofficial
Buzz Slayers: Do you perform these songs live?
I don't usually play live. I do occasionally play live shows locally here in San Francisco. There's even videos of those performances uploaded on YouTube! Sometimes, in short, I do play shows live. I do a mix of Lewnatic and selective PLB songs on the setlist. However, the musical arrangements and everything else is done differently than how the records sound. I didn't want my concerts to sound like an exact replica of the CD, you know! The guitar solos are different. Sometimes, I stumble on singing and I can't remember all my lyrics! Whenever something ain't looking or sounding right, that's when I gotta improvise and play it by ear! For my live shows, I use my old laptop hooked up to the venue's PA system via AUX cable. I do need a good sound engineer every time I do so. And of course, I use my 50W Marshall combo amp and Fender Telecaster onstage too. I don't own a car, so I need to streamline all my live gear before hitting the stage at every venue I play locally!
I mostly do virtual concerts (via live-stream) as a substitute exclusively on my YouTube. To make up for lack of live shows locally in front of paid audiences. And that's also what's keeping everyone tuned in to what I do too, since I'm a digital creator, I guess!
Buzz Slayers: Was guitar your first instrument or did your musical journey start somewhere else?
Yes, indeed. The guitar was my first instrument. I started playing at age 13 back in the Summer of 1999. I also played bass guitar and piano too. My musical journey primarily began with the Patrick Lew Band (https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/596332771/dynamic-fusion-of-rock-j-pop-and-grunge-asian-american-icon-patrick-lew-band-plb-inspires-positivity-with-new-music) since 2001 or so. I also played in a few other local bands in San Francisco too: I played lead guitar in TheVerse , Benigneglect, and Crazy Loser in a Box! And I filled-in as a bassist for my friend Johnny Lawrie's punk band The Tortured (https://instagram.com/the.tortured) too back in 2016! Most of my success, like I've said before, came from the Patrick Lew Band (PLB). It was pretty much a long audition to get signed to an indie label, and continue my journey as a solo artist with Lewnatic!
Buzz Slayers: Are you planning anything new for Lewnatic?
Lewnatic is planning to drop a mixtape later on in January 2023 worldwide on behalf of Bentley Records. It's definitely more 70's rock inspired, if anything. But raw, loose, atonal. But at the same time, fun and exuberant at the same time. It should arrive on Spotify and Apple Music before the month is over though!
Buzz Slayers: How have people been responding to this release?
It's been rather moderate. But for the most part, positive! I am the type of music artist that cares less about algorithms and numbers of likes/followers on social-media. But most of the satisfaction I have, comes from the places related to music that showcases what I do or did in Lewnatic or Patrick Lew Band for sure! My most happiest moment was when Top Music Japan showcased the EP Rapid Fire as a featured rock album in the Japanese music scene! Of course, I'm partially Japanese descent and proud of it too. So, it means a lot that I got to share my name alongside other heavy hitters from J-ROCK and J-POP on that same website, like Miyavi and X Japan!
Buzz Slayers: What bands really pushed you to create music?
I was mostly influenced by the 90's band Nirvana. But I also was heavily influenced by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Green Day, X Japan, Yutaka Ozaki, Miyavi, Beyond (HK), Oasis, Blink 182, The White Stripes, Nine Inch Nails, Guns N' Roses, Metallica, The Clash, The Who, and many others for sure. I take my inspirations from yesteryear in rock music, and try and make it own for sure!
Buzz Slayers: What would you like to express to your fan base?
Keep supporting me, and keep loving what I do. And be real with me all day everyday! I hope to see you all soon either at the next live-stream concert on my YouTube channel, or through my next musical creation and idea spontaneously through Spotify!
Top Music Japan: https://topmusic.jp/product_info_english.php?products_id=3899
Bentley Records Blog: https://www.bentleygang.com/check-out-lewnatic-new-music/