Patrick Lew Hayashi, better known by his stage name LEWNATIC, rose to become one of the Internet’s most prolific yet underappreciated rising rock stars of his time, mainly because of the success of his Metaverse-themed punk rock band Patrick Lew Band (PLB), although his output with other bands and collaborations with other lesser known Bay Area musicians also solidified his reputation as well.
Born to a Chinese father and Japanese mother of mixed descent in November 1985, Hayashi developed his obsession and passion for rock music at a relatively early age, simply from listening to his mother’s classic rock records from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Motley Crue, Elvis, Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, to begin playing his older brother Ricky’s electric guitar at age 12 and quickly receiving some formal musical education in high school and college. When his cousin Andy was living with his family one Summer as a foreign exchange student at City College of San Francisco, Patrick Lew Hayashi began playing guitar after watching his older cousin play Jimi Hendrix and Deep Purple songs on his guitar at home.
While not the most technical and not the most disciplined type of musician and guitarist, Hayahsi makes up for it with his stage presence, unprecedented charm, and gritty lyrics and image. Largely self-taught as a musician, Hayashi also taught himself how to create his own music as a bedroom producer and began quickly uploading his tracks online. By 2007 at the tender young age of 21, Patrick Lew Hayashi created his YouTube channel, which several years later, he would gradually become a moderately known influencer and digital creator.
He began his indie music career in 2001 whilst still in high school, by forming a garage band with his schoolmates. Years later, after all his friends “moved on” from playing music onto other life avenues, Hayashi wanted to continue making music and playing guitar. With dreams of one day cementing his status in the music scene. He graduated from Wallenberg High School in 2004, and also graduated from Soko Gakuen Japanese Language School in San Francisco that same period, and enrolled in CSU East Bay, studying Philosophy. His devotion sort of paid off, although he experienced some prejudice on social-media and had difficulty maintaining a stable lineup for his band. Playing music with some band members that he didn’t quite get along with, and a bitterly dysfunctional six-year relationship with his then-girlfriend.
Eventually, he took his vision, his ideas, and created the Patrick Lew Band (PLB). Realizing he couldn’t find other members to articulate his musical ideas and stay committed to it. He instead began using his computer as a musical stage and tool, augmented with his guitar playing skills. Alongside, occasional angst-filled lyrics related to alienation and abjection. Later on in 2015, together with his cross-dressing alter-ego Madeline Lew (marketed as Patrick’s ex-girlfriend and cousin), embarked on an exciting yet breathtaking journey which would later push the Patrick Lew Band to becoming Asian-American icons on the Internet by 2020.
While PLB isn’t the most rock and roll band ever created on Earth in a traditional sense, they are certainly one of the more successful ones, and are one of the most prolific Internet-based virtual rock bands of their time. A number of bloggers, curators, and digital music magazines have since extensively written about the Patrick Lew Band in the press.
However, PLB didn’t suffice as the only musical vehicle for Hayashi, who never stopped periodic side-projects and branching out. He also toured, recorded, and performed for the San Francisco-based Shoegaze band TheVerse between 2015 and 2019, releasing one EP during his tenure with the group. And he also played guitar with his then-girlfriend Madoku Raye’s Silicon Valley-based Post-Rock band Crazy Loser in a Box occasionally since 2018. His solo discography under the banner LEWNATIC, includes several EP’s, singles, and two full-length albums since he created his solo project in 2019. LEWNATIC has also sporadically perofrmed live occasionally, and also does live-streaming directly on his YouTube channel. Hayashi also made a brief filmed uncredited cameo appearance on Season 4 and Episode 1 on the critically acclaimed Amazon TV series The Man in the High Castle. By 2019, the Patrick Lew Band was inducted in the 40 Under 40 Hall of Fame at their alma mater CSU East Bay.
The band’s name LEWNATIC is a direct spoonerism of his father’s surname Lew and the word “Lunatic.”
In July 2022, Lewnatic signed a one-year deal with New York-based record label Bentley Records. And quickly began releasing new music and content as a signed artist. And Patrick Lew Hayashi continues pursuing his musical journey with both PLB and Lewnatic in the meantime, hoping to continue delivering unique music and cutting-edge digital content worldwide!
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GEAR USED: Mid-2012 MacBook Pro, Fender Telecaster, Marshall CODE50, Assorted "Licensed" Backing Tracks, Logic Pro, A.I. Music Generators, Launchpad iOS App, iPhone 13 PRO, Inexpensive Digital Audio Interface, Epiphone Les Paul.