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Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States | SELF

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Meriwether's music evolving with record. CD release party..."

By Holly A. Phillips
Entertainment Writer

October 22, 2004

Heat crowds the tiny room as sweat begins to dampen their red faces. The consistent repetition of electric guitar and heavy drums vibrate the white walls. In a small house toward the middle of Iris Street near the north-side of campus, Meriwether is practicing for their CD release party. It is in this living room that the band mates have rehearsed and written their own music for the past year.

Tomorrow at midnight, the four musicians, Drew Reilley, Brett Schexnayder, Stefon Bergeron and Josh Barbier, will celebrate their first full-production CD with a concert at The Caterie.

“We don’t expect to sell a lot of CDs,” said Reilley, Meriwether’s vocalist and guitarist. “Hopefully, it will open some doors so we can tour in January.”

According to Reilley, Meriwether is giving away CDs to the first 100 guests to arrive. The band also promises a special guest appearance among several other surprises.

But, before The Caterie opens its doors to Meriwether fans, the band must perform at this year’s “Battle of the Bands” competition, held at the University’s Greek Amphitheatre.

“We play long songs, so we’re only going to play about four or five,” Reilley said. “But, it’s so cool to be a part of something like that with other bands.”

Bergeron, who plays bass for Meriwether, describes their sound as “driven and energetic,” straying away from any categorical listing.

“It’s so difficult to say what we are,” Bergeron said. “We just play what we want.”

The band performs all original songs, which are created as a group.

“I’ll get an idea and then bring it to the band,” Reilley said. “Then, we talk about what we like and don’t like.”

Reilley, a general studies junior, sees the change the band has made after they added Bergeron in January 2004.

“The music on this CD has evolved. Everybody is on the same page now,” he said. “We were full as a three-piece, but adding Steve just topped it off.”

The band finds performing to be the greatest reward after all of their hard work.

“There’s a point when you’re playing and you just get lost,” Bergeron said. “I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true.”

Despite their status as musicians, Meriwether does not fit the usual stereotypes.

“Everyone thinks rock bands are promiscuous, do drugs and drink,” Reilley said. “We aren’t like that.”

Although several of their lyrics reflect heartbreak, the members are quiet on the topic of girls.

“Every song has an underlying meaning about girls. They’re easy to write about and people can relate to bad relationships,” Reilley said. “If someone can take our words and relate them to something in their life, that’s what it’s about.”

Meriwether attributes their success to the friendship they share.

“The chemistry between us is really good and exciting,” Schexnayder said. “In order for everything to work, you have to click with your band mates.”

During their practices, the four friends show a true bond and love for music, and are constantly cracking smiles while playing.

“I will spend an entire show trying to make Drew laugh,” Bergeron said. “It’s so hard to be serious with these guys.”

However, with individual band breakups behind them, Meriwether is reminded of reality.

“You don’t see me getting any Meriwether tattoos,” Bergeron said, who already has three tattoos on his arms. “I don’t look at it as we’re getting signed. This is a nasty business, and I have learned that.”

The band agrees enjoying themselves is the most important aspect in keeping things going smoothly.

“We are always having fun,” Reilley said. “Our songs are serious, but we still have fun.”

- LSU Reveille

"Meriwether Finds Adventure in America"

Published: Jan 20, 2006

They accidentally clocked a deer, somewhere in Pennsylvania. Shivering and out of smokes, the four musicians walked a mile and a half in the rain to a Wendy's and a motel. Four days and some canceled gigs later, they replaced their ruined van with a newer one, one with maroon stripes, crushed velvet curtains and a table to make bologna sandwiches. The band finished its East Coast tour and returned home to Baton Rouge with new stories and the scars to prove them.

The four friends have been sharing adventures like that since 2003, when they formed their rock band, Meriwether. They've jammed at The Roxy on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard. They've opened for Living Colour. They've broken a 5-foot chandelier and smashed every window at their manager's house, all in the name of rock 'n roll.

"There's a purity with Meriwether; they’re all genuine guys,â€? said Bert Landry, the band’s manager, who’s still picking up shards of glass in his Los Angeles home. Theyâre almost like the anti-rock stars.?

But they are becoming rock stars.

Meriwether's first full-length CD, Make Your Move, has become a sensation across Japan and the United States since its June release. In six months, visits to their Web site,, have tripled, said Landry, who counted more than 740,000 hits in December alone. The number of visits to their and combined has exceeded half a million.

Publishing company Fabtone, a subsidiary of the same company that promotes Pokeman, found Meriwether on the Internet and immediately wanted to license Make Your Move on its indie rock label, Landry said. Meriwether redesigned its CD cover and recorded two songs specifically for audiences in Japan. The band is planning a tour in Japan after finishing a second album, which is in the works now.

“It still hasn't gotten to our heads, said 21-year-old Drew Reilley, lead singer and songwriter for Meriwether. "We're just regular guys having fun writing and playing music."

Being from a city where venues book cover bands every weekend, the musicians say they work together to find their original sound. Reilley plays guitar and sings with guitarist Steve Bergeron, bass guitarist Josh “Lazor� Barbier and drummer Brett Schexnayder.

“Usually I have an idea, and it’ll just be a piece of something, a verse, a guitar line,� said Reilley, who writes all of the lyrics. “Then I’ll bring it to the band, and together we’ll compose and arrange. … We’ll give it a shot and trash it if it doesn’t work.�

Reilley keeps Meriwether’s lyrics simple for people to relate to. “I try to be as honest as possible without finding some deep, artsy way of saying something people don’t understand.�

Meriwether’s fans seem to understand the music, especially at the band’s hometown dive, The Caterie. Just before Christmas, the venue was crowded with 20-somethings who knew all the words to the songs, “B Quiet� and “Aye Julian.�

“It’s a crazy feeling hearing people sing a song that you’ve written,� Reilley said. “It’s very gratifying. It makes the three or four hours of sleep and bologna sandwiches out on the road more worth it.�

The band can survive on 50 bucks and a bar tab, and each band member has his own distinct personality, on and off stage. Reilley describes each bandmate as “pretty shy in social situations, then totally alive on stage.�

Schexnayder appears quiet and reserved off stage, but transforms into a shirtless maniac behind the drums. “I just kind of lose control when I play,� he said. “How hard do I have to beat these things before going into cardiac arrest?�

The more-outspoken Bergeron wears a pirate T-shirt and drinks his usual chalice of Jagermeister, which he’s nicknamed Harry Potter’s Goblet of Fire. “I’m not trying to be one of those good-looking guys. I just wanna rock,� Bergeron exclaims before the show, holding up his Jager in a toast.

Both Reilley and Barbier are soft-spoken, but metamorphose into head-banging, guitar-slinging, leaping virtuosos on stage. Reilley’s face almost turns dark purple when he wails into the microphone.

“I don’t tell those guys what’s cool. They already know what’s cool,� said Landry, described by Reilley as the silent fifth member of Meriwether. “You can write them off as another one of those bands, but there’s something about what Drew does you can’t really describe. Their act is just something you can see and feel.�

Landry says 2006 is going to be a big year for Meriwether. Their tour takes them through America’s east and west coasts, Germany to coincide with the World Cup, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands. They’re even scheduled to perform at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.

“The most consistent element of our music is the honesty,� - The Advocate 1/20/06

"Meriwether hits big time, but on their own terms"

Meriwether hits big time, but on their own terms

By Alex V. Cook

Friday, September 29, 2006

Hard-working Baton Rouge band Meriwether has signed a multi-record deal with a major record label, something most young musicians would dream about.

Meriwether spent the past several years touring, writing songs and recording an independent CD. Then, as manager Bert Landry puts it, performing at New York City’s CBGB’s changed their lives.

“In the industry, they always say that, ‘It only takes one person to get excited about the band.’ And we’ve had a few.”

The band is named for Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame—singer Drew Reilley is a direct descendant. Its music is along the amped-up, rock style of Weezer and New Found Glory, and now they share the same label. The quartet has signed a multi-record deal with Suretone records, a new imprint of music industry powerhouse Interscope.

“It all started with a guy from Sony Publishing who saw us at CBGB’s in New York who showed his friend, the A&R guy, our stuff,” explains singer Drew Reilley.

From there, it was one fortuitous connection after another: entertainment lawyer Todd Rubenstein, and then a Suretone exec jetted to Baton Rouge to hear them live.

“A week later, we were flying to L.A. for one of those secret private showcases you always here about and played for a room of five or six people from Suretone, including President Jordan Schur, who offered to sign the band immediately.”

“I don’t wanna say there was a bidding war, but there were a dozen labels who had contacted me in one way or another,” Landry adds, “and a few who were pretty upset when we chose to go with Suretone.”

The group is still feeling out what impact the deal is having on them. Reilley admits, “Funny, we haven’t even announced it to the public, but we’re already getting congrats. It hasn’t really changed much. We’re still doing the same things we’ve been doing...practicing and writing a lot.”

But there are plenty of pitfalls along the way to national commercial success. Does Meriwether, a band that has spent years making its bones touring, risk the kind of backlash experienced by The Terms? That band of former LSU students enjoyed rapidly growing popularity, signed a record contract with Maple Jam/ICON records, then drew caustic reactions from LSU students who felt the band sold out after agreeing to an LSU marketing gig.

“Really, I haven’t seen any of that,” says Reilley. “We are the band we are because of our fans. We are the same band we were three years ago—will be the same band three years from now—no matter what happens with the record deal.”

There were no signs of backlash at a recent Varsity Theatre show. The building was packed to capacity with fans who knew the words to every song and who kept the guys at the merchandise table busy. One local fan, John Brannan, gushed, “They busted their a-- touring and getting out there to get their recognition. They did it the right way.”

The band has built a following on their own, playing more than 250 shows nationwide, opening for acts such as Staind, Hoobastank and My Chemical Romance. Reilley says they’ve sold 10,000 records “out of the trunk.”

The band has also made smart use of online grassroots marketing, garnering upwards of 1.2 million plays on their MySpace and PureVolume sites.

So what trappings of success await a band that has embraced the DIY aesthetic whole-heartedly, and for so long?

“I’m gonna pay off my debt and buy a nice three-piece suit, maybe a nice haircut,” Reilly says. “It’d be cool to do a real music video and such, and maybe be able to play decent gear instead of $200 beaters.”

Of course, signing to a major label does not always equal immediate or lasting success. Music companies sign plenty of bands on exploratory deals to see what sticks and what doesn’t.

Why does Meriwether have a shot at lasting fame?

“New rock music really needs more artists from down here that have something to say for the genre,” Landry says. “As down-home Southern boys, Meriwether has a purity that you really don’t see in the mainstream.”

Meriwether certainly isn’t the first Baton Rouge band to sign a major league deal.

Local group Becky Sharp signed a deal with MCA in the 1990s, and Better Than Ezra went platinum for their album “Deluxe.”

The running joke about bands from Baton Rouge that hit it big is that the first thing they do is say they are from New Orleans. When asked if the band is going to stay rooted in town, Reilley offers, “We’ll probably do the record in Los Angeles and then hit the road for a long time. But we’ll always call Louisiana home. We won’t be one of those bands that moves to Los Angeles and claims to be from there, and we definitely won’t claim to be from New Orleans.”

Meriwether is recording a new record this month, then plans to spend the better part of the next year on the road before the album’s major label release. Their previous independen - 225 Magazine

"Meriwether: Make Your Move"

By Shane Foster

Baton Rouge is about to claim another success story for its LSU based music scene. Meriwether is taking the next step as musical professors of young male angst on June 28th when they release their second EP “Make your Move.” The Caterie will be throwing a release party for the new album June 25. Meriwether will be joined by Punch People and the American Tragedy. The group is releasing the album to huge anticipation as they have collected a large and loyal fan base here in Baton Rouge.

Meriwether is a well known act for local venues and one name that seems to fall off the lips of nearly every other rock act in the Baton Rouge area. The combination of respect and popularity sparked by talent for powerful heartfelt tunes is the combustion under this group’s upcoming take off. Not only will “Make Your Move” be released internationally, but also a distributor in Japan will make the album available on July 6. The release of the album will be followed by a several instances of mass exposure. Meriwether had another stroke of commercial success when they were named Continental Airlines’ Artist of the Month. Tracks from the upcoming album will be included in MTV’s reality shows the Real World, Road Rules and the Real World and Road Rules Challenge.

Meriwether’s success is undoubtedly due not only due to their talents but also to their most recent business collaborations. The group has recently signed with Good vs. Evil Records, which based out of Baton Rouge and headed by Rhett Mouton, front man for Liquid Sand. In addition to reaching new markets here in the U.S., they Japanese audiences are full of young people thirsty for American rock of all kinds. “Make Your Move” could be the last step the group makes as a small town band as the door to stardom is creaking open for them.

- Tiger Weekly 6/22/05


New album - PLUG IN THE SNAKES - digital released March 22, 2010!

Sold 20K+ units of debut release - MAKE YOUR MOVE (GVE/Suretone/Interscope Records)

10 million+ plays streaming via various online outlets!



MERIWETHER is a Baton-Rouge-based rock band that wears its' Louisiana pride like a badge of honor. MERIWETHER contends that honesty is the key to good music, and honesty flows through every note they write and play. Along with an earnestness that’s found throughout the South, the band is influenced by their home state’s musical foundation, as singer/guitarist Drew Reilley offers, “Not so much with instrumentation, but more with the emotion, like, ‘Fuck Yeah! We’re here to rock!’“

MERIWETHER is currently out on tour after a summer of recording and Warped Tour dates, followed by high-profile gigs such as shows supporting The Starting Line, the Madina Lake / Mayday Parade Tour, a Voodoo Music Experience main stage appearance, a Nov-Dec stretch warming up crowds for Papa Roach, and a Jan-Feb run with Saosin and Armor For Sleep. Heavy touring is nothing new to the band that clocked 500 shows over the last 3 years, sharing stages with the likes of 30 Seconds To Mars, Coheed and Cambria, Staind, Three Days Grace, Puddle of Mudd, Saving Abel, 10 Years, Hoobastank, and Anberlin.

The members of MERIWETHER are ambitious, focused and driven, and they were born to make music; they’ve got rock ‘n roll in their DNA.

As for the music itself, it’s a potent, high-octane, addictively catchy blend of rock, pop hooks and emotionally raw vocals. Reilley says, “We write the lyrics and melodies in almost a singer-songwriter type of way, and that makes it easy for people to relate to, because they are well-written and well thought-out. I don’t think we’re doing something that hasn’t ever been done before, but we have a sound that isn’t the norm. We draw people into it.”

Time to ROCK? “Fuck Yeah!”