Former Pedro the Lion front man, David Bazan, to play Cafe 11 Nov. 28

By Ryan Buffa|

Former front man of Pedro the Lion, former alcoholic, former evangelical Christian and rooted lyricist David Bazan will be playing at the Original Cafe Eleven on Nov. 29 for his “Strange Negotiations” tour.

Once part of acclaimed Indie rock band, Pedro the Lion, and favored as Christian artists and predating Sufjan Stevens, Bazan fell off the church wagon and used drinking as the cure for almost 18 months of his life.

Since the split with Pedro the Lion back in 2005, Bazan has sense been born again in pursuing a disbelief in faith, but an even stronger belief in equality of man and the strengthening of social engagement in the 21st century.  This is reflected in his poetic lyrics and during his more intimate shows on his spring 2011 Living Room Tour where he basically couch surfed and played in houses and living rooms across the country.

“I like the contrast … people get to hear the songs from both side,” Bazan said.

This is the first full length album that Bazan recorded with a band, consisting of bassists Andy Fitts and drummer Alex Westcoat, who he will be touring with for “Strange Negotiations.”

“With the band it’s just a lot more rock and roll. We play pretty loud and aggressively,” Bazan said. “I’ve always really liked rock and roll. For a lot of years, the band Pedro the Lion played a lot of that. The quieter more intimate songs were more of the departure from that.”

Pedro the Lion is still a part of Bazan musically and is especially reflected in the rock and roll tone of the album. “I don’t know if I have separated myself … Each of the songs I write have each set of characteristics from that,” Bazan said. “I see a lot on this tour.”

“Strange Negotiations” is still Bazan at the heart, with his soul wrenching lyrics and hauntingly warm and powerful vocals. However, rather than expressing his battle with his faith (or lack of), like on previous album “Curse Your Branches,” his lyrics now take on a more political tone.

“I suppose … my interaction with faith is not the main focus of this record … but there are little references,” Bazan said. “Having already expressed the theme of I’m not Christian anymore like I was when I was younger, there are still little residual references. I don’t shy away from the theme, but that is not what this album is about.”

Rather than expressing his personal break up with religion, he focuses on the external influences of religious belief and his views of how it affects the world.

“It just came out because of the intersection between politics and my break with religion … It was on my mind,” Bazan said. “That was always a frustration of mine when I was younger … just how much interaction between the two (religion and politics) there was and how inappropriate it seemed to me.”

“I have become very interested in politics to the degree that I express my point of view of the world through my music and desire to express politics in my music,” Bazan said.

Once apart of the Evangelical Christian society, many fans were lost and even hurt with the release of “Cross Your Branches.” But Bazan continues to express his true beliefs, emotions and total self as he attempts to figure religion, politics and the continuance of “global social fragmentation” in America.

“I just try to express myself honestly and I’m just happy to hear what people have to say. Sometimes people hear things that I’m not even aware … I like that,” Bazan said. “I just want people to listen to the record for what it is and what it is for them.”

David Bazan will play at the Original Café Eleven on Tuesday, Nov. 28, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are available now for $10 at

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