A Brief History
Known for his work fronting the enigmatic rock band Pedro the Lion, David Bazan’s emotionally charged narratives, eye for telling detail, and mournful voice have more in common with J.D. Salinger’s “Nine Stories” or Flannery O’Connor’s “Wise Blood” than with the usual lyrical slant of popular music. Bazan is a gifted storyteller, weaving parables of spiritual conflict, suburban ennui, and personal surrender into magnetic, well-crafted songs.
His debut solo full-length album, Curse Your Branches (out now on Barsuk), is a masterwork by a modern American poet at the height of his powers. Paste Magazine called him one of the “100 Best Living Songwriters”. This record is the deepest and most explicit exploration of his struggles with faith and a meditation on all things passed between the generations.
David Bazan forms Pedro The Lion while attending a Pentecostal liberal arts college in Kirkland, WA.
Whole EP released on Tooth n Nail Records. The band plays several shows a month for church youth groups around western Washington.
Pedro The Lion embarks on their first west coast tour (new band line-up). A US tour follows (new band line-up) with Pedro Lion playing first of four. The tour is mostly for church youth groups.
It’s Hard To Find a Friend (Made In Mexico Records) released just in time for Pedro the Lion’s first appearance at the Cornerstone Festival (new band line-up). All 500 copies of the album sell at the festival in one day. The album garners critical acclaim from both religious and mainstream press including Spin Magazine’s year-end Top 10 Hidden Treasures list.
First headlining tour of the US (new band line-up).
The Only Reason I Feel Secure (Made In Mexico Records) released. US tour with future Jade Tree Records label mates Jets To Brazil. Touring continues throughout 1999 (new band line-up).
Bazan marries his high school sweetheart. Starts working on next album.
Winners Never Quit (Jade Tree Records) is released and quickly outsells previous Pedro The Lion albums. David has a hard time discerning if those attending the shows are leftovers from his early Christian fan base or new fans from the recent success. Extensive US touring continues (new band line-up, including TW Walsh).
Control (Jade Tree Records) is released and Bazan finds himself in the awkward position of having to justify the subject matter of his new songs to a handful of disenchanted and frustrated Christian fans in each city along the tour. Receives high fives from others. Control goes on to outsell previous albums. Much touring follows (new band line up).
TW Walsh moves to Seattle to join Pedro The Lion full-time. First tour of Europe. Bazan and Walsh begin work on next album.
Achilles Heel (Jade Tree Records) is released. David’s drinking starts to become a problem and he begins losing the plot.
Bazan and Walsh create synthesizer and drum based band and release an album under the name Headphones (Suicide Squeeze Records). Bazan continues to mean well but doesn’t actually do well by Walsh and others around him.
Final Pedro The Lion show at Crocodile Cafe, Seattle WA
Plays solo show at SXSW. It does not go well. Bazan’s manager thinks about other ways to make a living.
Watches “Otis Redding Live DVD” while drinking bottle of vodka. Rediscovers the plot. Explores atheism for a summer. First release under his own name, Fewer Moving Parts, is self- released. Bazan is named in Paste Magazine’s 100 Best Living Songwriter’s list.
Bazan stops getting drunk before shows. Plays sober for the first time since maybe 2003. Live performances improve.
Signs to Barsuk Records. Fewer Moving Parts EP is re-released.
Bazan realizes that his new songs are mostly autobiographical, detailing his struggles with faith (or lackthereof), drinking and how both things affect his family. Panics. After playing the songs at a few shows he realizes he loves them anyway.
Starts recording first full-length solo album. Deadlines come and go. Record label is very supportive and mildly concerned.
Alone At the Microphone DVD is released featuring Bazan playing some of his favorite Pedro the Lion, Headphones, and Bazan solo songs in his home studio.
TW Walsh begins work on mixing and mastering Curse Your Branches. Record label’s concerns about deadline grow.
Work is complete on Curse Your Branches. Everyone breathes a sign of relief.
In an effort to “lay low” Bazan plays 70 sold-out house shows across the country.
Begins rehearsals with new band. Eric Elbogen (Say Hi), Andy Fitts (Aqueduct), Casey Foubert (Richard Swift, Sufjan Stevens), Blake Wescott (long-time Bazan collaborator).
Bazan plays at the Cornerstone Festival for the first time in four years, without incident. Everyone has a great time.
Curse Your Branches is released.
Bazan embarks on his first tour with a band in four years.