Pedro the Lion

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Pedro the Lion
PedrotheLionMar08.jpg
Pedro the Lion performing
Background information
Origin Seattle, Washington, United States
Genres Indie rock, slowcore
Years active 1995–2006
Labels Jade Tree, Suicide Squeeze, Architecture Label, Tooth & Nail, Made in Mexico
Website www.pedrothelion.com
Members David Bazan, various backing musicians

Pedro the Lion was an indie rock band from Seattle, Washington. David Bazan formed the band in 1995 and represented its main creative force, backed by a varying rotation of collaborating musicians. TW Walsh is considered to be the sole official band member besides Bazan. In 2006 Bazan and Walsh split amicably and Pedro the Lion was dissolved as Bazan went solo. Releasing four full-length albums and five EPs over 11 years, the band was known for its first person narrative lyrics with political and religious themes. Pedro the Lion was managed by Bob Andrews at Undertow Music Collective.

Biography[edit]

Pedro the Lion was formed by David Bazan in 1995[1] and released its debut EP Whole in April 1997. Bazan played nearly every instrument on the band's first two full-length albums, It's Hard to Find a Friend (1998), and Winners Never Quit (2000).

Winners marked Pedro the Lion's first concept album.[2] After its completion, Bazan has claimed he initially decided not to continue writing concept albums.[2] However, in the process of writing his next full-length Control, he realized he had inadvertently created a narrative link "about 70% of the way through [the album]" and decided to finish it in the same vein.[2] The album's thematic content criticizes American capitalism, which Bazan notes was largely inspired by the sentiments surrounding the World Trade Organization protests in 1999.[2]

Control also saw Casey Foubert of Seattle-based Seldom join Pedro the Lion to play the drums and keyboard. Additionally, he co-wrote "Penetration" and "Second Best", the third and eighth tracks, respectively, on the album, which was released in 2002.

Achilles Heel followed, released on May 24, 2004, and marked the beginning of Bazan's partnership with TW Walsh as the band's primary writers and musicians.[3] Bazan described the tracks in the third full-length from Pedro the Lion as a return to the songwriting characterized by Friend and the Secure EP in the sense that there was no "pretense of anything bigger", an allusion to his previous concept albums.[2]

In early January 2006, Pedro the Lion formally announced that they had split. The split was amicable; Bazan and Walsh continue to be good friends. Bazan said that their friendship has even been strengthened by the breakup.[4] Bazan toured in support of Fewer Moving Parts, his solo debut EP. Walsh returned to his career as a Web application developer[5] and is busy with his band, The Soft Drugs, and their debut release, In Moderation. David Bazan released his debut solo LP, Curse Your Branches, on Seattle-based Barsuk Records in 2009.

The Pedro The Lion catalog was remastered for vinyl by TW Walsh and reissued in 2012.

Bazan is a member of Overseas with Will Johnson of Centro-matic and Bubba & Matt Kadane of Bedhead and The New Year. Their self-titled debut album was released on June 11, 2013.

Discography[edit]

Pedro the Lion performing in 2004, Bazan is at the far left playing guitar

Albums[edit]

EPs[edit]

Compilations[edit]

  • "The Longer I Lay Here" (live) - Exploitation of Sound Vol. 1 - Hero Music - 1999
  • "Breadwinner You" - The Unaccompanied Voice : An A Capella Compilation - Secretly Canadian - 1998
  • "Rapture", "Backwoods Nation" - Location Is Everything Vol. 1 - Jade Tree - 2002
  • "I Do" (live) - Location Is Everything Vol. 2 - Jade Tree - 2004
  • "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" (new rendition) - Maybe This Christmas Tree - Nettwerk - 2004

Singles[edit]

The band released various 45 rpm singles in limited quantities:

Title Year      Label Pressings
"Big Trucks" 1998 Made In Mexico 1,000
"Song A" / "Song B" (Sub Pop Singles Club) 1999 Sub Pop 1,300
"Helicopter" 1999 Homemade Recordings *Not an official PTL release 1,000: 250 on red vinyl, 750 on black vinyl
"Progress" / A Guitar for Janie 2000 Suicide Squeeze 2,000: black vinyl + story book
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" 2002 Suicide Squeeze 1,500: 500 on green vinyl, 1,000 on red vinyl
"The Poison Makes" / "Walk Slow" (Pedro the Lion / Seldom split) 2003 Bedside Recordings 500: hand-numbered
"The First Noel" 2003 Suicide Squeeze 3,000: white vinyl
"God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" 2005 Suicide Squeeze 2,000: marbled vinyl

See also: David Bazan discography, Headphones discography

Personnel[edit]

Member Contribution      Tenure Associated acts
David Bazan vocals, guitar, bass, drums, synthesizer, percussion 1997–2005 Headphones, The Undertow Orchestra, Unwed Sailor, others
Benjamin Brubaker drums 1998-1999, 2003 Damien Jurado, Denison Witmer  
Jeremy Dybash drums 1998 Velour 100
Johnathon Ford bass 1998 Unwed Sailor
Casey Foubert drums, keyboards 2001–2004 Seldom, Crystal Skulls, Sufjan Stevens
Ben Gibbard bass 2000 Death Cab For Cutie, The Postal Service, ¡All-Time Quarterback!
Josh Golden bass 1998–2000 Damien Jurado
Frank Lenz drums 2004–2005 Starflyer 59, Headphones, Fold Zandura, The Lassie Foundation, others
Ken Maiuri bass 2004–2005 The Mammals, The Soft Drugs, Mark Mulcahy
Trey Many drums, bass, guitar 1998, 2000–2001, 2005 Velour 100, Starflyer 59, His Name Is Alive
Yuuki Matthews keyboards 2000–2001 Seldom, Crystal Skulls, Sufjan Stevens, The Shins
James McAlister keys, percussion, drums 2004 Ester Drang, Sufjan Stevens, Denison Witmer
Paul Mumaw drums 1998 Rose Blossom Punch
Brian Olson drums 1997  
Nick Peterson guitar 1997–1999 Fleet Foxes, Headphones
Tim Schiefer guitar 1997  
Travis Smith bass 1997  
Tim Walsh bass, guitar, keys, drums 2000, 2002, 2003–2005 The Soft Drugs, Headphones
Christian Wargo guitar 2003 Fleet Foxes, Crystal Skulls, Scientific
Blake Wescott drums 1998 Seldom, Crystal Skulls, Damien Jurado, Denison Witmer, others
Casey Wescott   2001 Fleet Foxes, The Vogue, Seldom, Crystal Skulls

Soundtracks[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "David Bazan – Official Website". DavidBazan.com. Archived from the original on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2006-12-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Josh Holden (2004-01-12). "An interview with David Bazan". The Other Journal at Mars Hill Graduate School. Retrieved 2010-03-29. 
  3. ^ "Pedro the Lion: Sharing the Lion's Den". TimMcMahan.com. Retrieved 2006-06-09. 
  4. ^ Brundage, Matthew (February 11, 2006). "Interview with David Bazan". Iota Club and Cafe, Arlington, VA. 
  5. ^ "A Conversation with TW Walsh". http://hardtofindafriend.com. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  6. ^ "DVD Review: Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2006-05-04. [dead link]

External links[edit]