Pedro the Lion
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Genres||Indie rock, slowcore, emo|
|Years active||1995–2006, 2017–present|
|Labels||Jade Tree, Suicide Squeeze, Architecture Label, Tooth & Nail, Made in Mexico, Big Scary Monsters|
|Past members||See list of former members|
Pedro the Lion is an American indie rock band from Seattle, Washington, United States. David Bazan formed the band in 1995 and represented its main creative force, backed by a varying rotation of collaborating musicians. In 2006 Pedro the Lion was dissolved as Bazan went solo; Bazan reformed the band and resumed performing under the Pedro the Lion moniker in late 2017. Releasing five full-length albums and five EPs over 11 years, the band is known for its first person narrative lyrics with political and religious themes.
Pedro the Lion was formed by David Bazan in 1995. The name of the band comes from a character that would have been interwoven into the band's first album. In 1997 they released their debut EP Whole with Bazan playing nearly every instrument, a format he continued 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. After its completion, Bazan has claimed he initially decided not to continue writing concept albums. 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. 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.
Control also saw Casey Foubert of Seattle-based Seldom join Pedro the Lion to play bass on the album. Additionally, Foubert co-wrote "Penetration" and "Second Best", the third and eighth tracks, respectively, on the album, which was released in 2002. Among other collaborations with music artists, Foubert has subsequently worked as a touring musician for singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens and the Portland-based indie rock band, The Shins.
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. Bazan described the tracks in the fourth 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.
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. Bazan toured in support of Fewer Moving Parts, his solo debut EP. Walsh returned to his career as a Web application developer 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.
Beginning in spring 2017, Bazan began forming a new band which he initially envisioned billing as "David Bazan Band" or something similar. In October 2017, Bazan announced that Pedro the Lion would be reforming beginning with several shows in December 2017. Asked if there would be new material Bazan explained that the band will initially be playing Pedro the Lion's existing catalog along with limited performances of songs from Headphones and Bazan's solo catalog, with new material to follow.
- It's Hard to Find a Friend – Made In Mexico/Jade Tree – 1998
- Winners Never Quit – Jade Tree – 2000
- Control – Jade Tree – 2002
- Achilles Heel – Jade Tree – 2004
- Phoenix – Polyvinyl and Big Scary Monsters – 2019
- Havasu – Polyvinyl and Big Scary Monsters – 2022
- Whole EP – Tooth & Nail – 1997
- The Only Reason I Feel Secure – Made In Mexico / Jade Tree – 1999
- Progress – Suicide Squeeze – 2000
- Tour EP '04 – Self-released / Jade Tree – 2004
- Stations – 2004
- "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 – 2000
- "Rapture", "Backwoods Nation" – Location Is Everything Vol. 1 – Jade Tree – 2002
- "I Do" (live) – Location Is Everything Vol. 2 – Jade Tree – 2004
- "Discretion" – "Take Action! Volume 04" – Sub City Records – 2004
- "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" (new rendition) – Maybe This Christmas Tree – Nettwerk – 2004
The band released various 45 rpm singles in limited quantities:
|"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|
|David Bazan||vocals, guitar, bass, drums, keys, percussion||1997–2006, 2017–present||Headphones, The Undertow Orchestra, Unwed Sailor, Lo Tom, others|
|Erik Walters||guitar||2017–present||Silver Torches, The Globes, Perfume Genius|
|Terence Ankeny||drums||2020–present||Spirit Award|
|Benjamin Brubaker||drums||1998–1999, 2003||Damien Jurado, Denison Witmer|
|Jeremy Dybash||drums||1998||Velour 100|
|Johnathon Ford||bass||1998||Unwed Sailor, Roadside Monument|
|Casey Foubert||drums, keyboards||2001–2004||Seldom, Crystal Skulls, Sufjan Stevens, The Shins|
|Josh Golden||bass||1998–2000||Damien Jurado|
|Sean Lane||drums||2017–2019||Perfume Genius, Yppah, Pickwick, Noah Gundersen, Hey Marseilles, others|
|Frank Lenz||drums||2004–2005||Starflyer 59, Headphones, Fold Zandura, The Lassie Foundation|
|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, Lo Tom|
|Yuuki Matthews||keys||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|
|Nick Peterson||guitar||1997–1999||Fleet Foxes, Headphones|
|Tim Walsh||bass, guitar, keys, drums||2000, 2002, 2003–2006||The Soft Drugs, Headphones, Lo Tom|
|Christian Wargo||guitar||2003||Fleet Foxes, Crystal Skulls, Scientific|
|Blake Wescott||drums||1998||Seldom, Crystal Skulls, Damien Jurado, Denison Witmer, Bloomsday|
|Casey Wescott||keys||2001||Fleet Foxes, The Vogue, Seldom, Crystal Skulls|
- The band is featured in the 2004 Christian music documentary Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?
- "David Bazan – Official Website". DavidBazan.com. Archived from the original on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
- "HYBRIDMAGAZINE.COM | FEATURES | PEDRO THE LION". www.hybridmagazine.com. Retrieved 2021-12-12.
- Josh Holden (2004-01-12). "An interview with David Bazan". The Other Journal at Mars Hill Graduate School. Archived from the original on 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2010-03-29.
- "After stints with Sufjan Stevens, The Shins: Musician to perform debut EP in Galesburg". Galesburg Register Mail. Retrieved 2023-03-24.
- "Pedro the Lion: Sharing the Lion's Den". TimMcMahan.com. Retrieved 2006-06-09.
- Brundage, Matthew (February 11, 2006). "Interview with David Bazan". Iota Club and Cafe, Arlington, VA.
- "A Conversation with TW Walsh". hardtofindafriend.com. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
- "Sasquatch! 2018 Music Festival Lineup". Sasquatch Festival. LiveNation. 2018-05-01. Archived from the original on 2018-05-08. Retrieved 2018-05-07.
Last spring, after 11 years of performing and recording under his own name, Dave Bazan's growing fatigue with working alone hit a tipping point. "I missed the energy of making music with other people on stage and constantly traveling alone was starting to really sting", Bazan recalls. "I needed to be in a band again". At that point, assuming this new band would be billed as "David Bazan Band" or similar, he began to set the wheels in motion to make it happen. He rented a rehearsal space again, hired a couple buddies for upcoming tours, and started fleshing out demos for the band to cue off of. He didn't realize it at first, but by mid-summer something big started to dawn on him: he had stumbled back into the very same process that yielded the first three Pedro the Lion records. "To my surprise, it felt a bit like coming home."
- David Bazan [@davidbazan] (2017-10-04). "Here we go" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- David Bazan [@davidbazan] (2017-10-04). "Full band playing pedro catalog to start. New material to follow" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- David Bazan [@davidbazan] (2017-10-04). "Basically it will all happen under the Pedro brand 4 awhile (LPs/tour). We'll include Headphones/bazan songs live (tho minimally at first)" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "DVD Review: Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on February 19, 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-04.