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Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Merrill to release new single "Love of Yesterday""

It's not often you hear about pop/radio rock coming out of the pacific northwest - but Merrill likes to be the exception to the rule.

From cover band fun nights to pop/radio rock origionals, these guys are on fire.

Recent collaborations with top industry writers such as George Merrill ("Waiting for a Star to Fall", "How Will I Know", "I Wanna Dance With Somebody") have the creative juices flowing, as you will hear with their latest single, "Loves of Yesterday."

"Loves of Yesterday" is the most recent single to be released by Portland based artist.

With two albums (Evolutions and A Beautiful Disaster) already released, the guys are ready to take Portland's pop/rock scene to the next level with their latest heartfelt song that will have you tapping your feet and singing along with a single that evokes the soul of Lady Antebellum with the grit of Kings of Leon.

Since 2006, lead vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Chris Merrill has been leading the band to success with first place awards for songwriting and performance in multiple west coast musical competitions, opened shows for big named artists such as Maroon 5 and Counting Crows, played the Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle and signed a licensing agreement with Fox Sports for use of their music.

Merrill plays regularly at popular venues throughout the Pacific Northwest and has toured with other up and coming artists throughout much of the U.S.

"Loves of Yesterday" was co-written by Chris Merrill and Elijah Johnson. - Band Weblogs

"Rising pop rocker takes stage at M&M"

Chris Merrill, a 1996 graduate of Reynolds High School, licensed one of his songs a couple years ago to Fox Sports, which used “Back 4 More” during a TV broadcast of a Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game.

“Actually, I’ve got a highlight reel of LeBron (James) to ‘Back 4 More,’ ” Merrill says.

He then pauses when he realizes James left Cleveland on a sour note in 2010 to play for the Miami Heat, who just lost to Dallas in the NBA championship series.

“And no one wants to see (the reel) anymore, especially in Cleveland,” Merrill says with a laugh.

He’s not as rich as James, but Merrill may someday be as famous as he promotes his band’s unapologetically mainstream pop-rock tunes, which could be compared to Nickelback and Kings of Leon, but definitely possess a sound all Merrill’s own.

He notes his band doesn’t quite fit in with Portland’s indie hipster scene, where live music fans often prefer quirkier or more eclectic music than might be found in other cities. Yet, Merrill still plays regularly around town when the band is not gigging up and down the West Coast, and his group has shared the stage with national acts, including Counting Crows and Maroon 5.

“We want to write and record commercial music and try to reach the masses,” he says. “There’s just something about awesome hooks and fantastic singing and a polished product. People’s ears have gotten a little tired of just kind of canned music. Those great hooks, the polished product, is giving the listeners what they really want.”

The Rockwood native and his band, which includes lead guitarist/vocalist Eli Johnson, bassist Brian Powell and keyboardist Blake Padilla, plays the M&M Lounge this Saturday.

Merrill will share the stage with Chris Margolin & The Dregs, a ’90s style alternative rock band that’s been compared to Matchbox Twenty and Seven Mary Three. Merrill promises to pull out the works, with lights, smoke and “anything we can pretty much think of.

“We’re going blow the doors off the place!”
Long way to the top

Merrill got a relatively late start in the music business, starting to play piano when he was 21.

“I discovered I could sing pretty decently and found out that was something I enjoyed doing.”

Since 2006, he’s played with his current outfit and has steadily made inroads in the music industry. The group’s song “The One Thing” was named “2010 Portland Song of the Year” by West Coast Songwriters, an industry organization.

The single also placed second at the WCS 2010 annual songwriting competition in Berkeley, Calif. Merrill remembered the moment with a laugh, noting he and co-songwriter Johnson had van trouble that almost made them miss it.

“We literally ran into the venue with minutes to spare,” he says. “Me and Eli ran onto the stage, dripping with sweat, and took second place.”

Merrill also was awarded “Best Performance” at the WCS Portland chapter finals in April 2011. The group’s hard work paid off when they met multi-platinum songwriter George Merrill – no relation – who’s penned such hits as Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”

Merrill has taken Merrill and Johnson under his wing and is co-writing songs with them.

“He’s a fantastic writer, and he’s really good to me and Eli,” Merrill says.

The band has released two albums and plans to release singles digitally this summer, including “Loves of Yesterday,” which features Merrill on a vocal duet with Christie Bradley, a Portland singer/percussionist.

“The song is definitely the strongest thing that we will have released to date, so we feel strong about its potential,” Merrill says.

He adds that his ultimate goal is to tour nationally and to keep improving his craft. No matter how long you’re at it, there’s always room to improve your music game, he says, recalling how he felt after opening for Maroon 5 a few years back.

“At the time I was feeling good,” he says. “I remember thinking to myself the only difference between them and us was the gear.”

He pauses a moment, then says with a laugh: “But they were really polished. Once I was able to think about it and get past my ego, you could tell they had taken the time to put together a great show. I want my guys to put that same commitment in, and I think we do.” - The Gresham Outlook

"Merrill rocks Bumbershoot"

Though the band Merrill has only been together for a short time you wouldn't have known it from watching their performance. Their flawless execution of their songs as well as a great cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" had the crowd on it's feet through their whole set. Merrill is what rock music is supposed to sound like! -

"Previews & Reviews: Headlights, The Subterranean Howl and Merrill"

Finally if you’re into ‘Radio Rock’ you shouldn’t miss the CD release show of Merrill (the band) at the Ponderosa Lounge, on October 29. Baffled by the appeal I’ve been following Chris Merrill for some time and discussing my dumbfoundedness regards the genre. Merrill is a genuine and talented musician who at least doesn’t do the false posing. He does sound a bit Vedderish and he writes well structured anguished songs true to the genre. Now that his star’s rising (opening for Maroon 5, Counting Crows, and Augustana - having his music used for a Nascar ad) here’s the properly produced album "A Beautiful Disaster" which certainly fit’s the PR “record that isn’t afraid to be sensitive – but also isn’t afraid to rock.” - I just don’t ‘get’ this genre but millions of people love it and maybe you’re one of them.
- Zaph Mann - OPB Music

"Merrill opens for Maroon 5"

With recent success, landing a spot opening Maroon 5 and Counting Crows, pop-rockers, Merrill have been tearing it up. Honoring their recent accomplishment we have a track for download today that proves, “It’s U” (helping great music succeed!) A shockingly sunny sound from oft rainy/cloudy Portland, Ore., Merrill overcame missing equipment and technical difficulties, at the Maroon 5 set, to rock the crowd. Discover, Merrill! -

"Merrill releases "A Beautiful Disaster""

Merrill's high-energy rock presence has made them the perfect opening act for such bands as Maroon 5, Counting Crows, and Augustana. And, on "A Beautiful Disaster" they step up the game a notch, delivering a ten-track collection of songs that celebrate melody, hooks, and plenty of crunchy guitars, embodying a record that isn't afraid to be sensitive - but also isn't afraid to rock.

Album opener "Alive" is the perfect song for a late-night walk home down a
rainy street with a broken heart, while "The First Time" is a bouncy,
toe-tapping exploration of radio-ready rock, equal parts energy and
crunch. "Walk Alone" shows the band has a sensitive side as they tone it
down to give you time to take everything in for awhile.

Meanwhile, "Just Do" blends the band's two styles perfectly, offering up a
song that would find itself just as at home on a AAA radio station as it
would a modern rock one.

"Let Me Go" delivers more energy and sweat in a rock nugget, while "The
One Thing" will get you up and on the dance-floor with its melodies and

Closing with "Save Me," the album goes out with an ethereal,
heart-wrenching twist, still embodying the pop hooks of the rest of the
album, while also toning it down a bit to really reach out and touch the
listener. But, as the song builds, it delivers enough rock to keep you
guessing before hitting the chorus and fully reeling you in. - In Music We Trust

"Rockers local free show at Boon's"

When is the last time you went to a great, free rock show — and enjoyed some delicious McMenamins fries?

Even if your answer is "yesterday," there's really never a bad time to do such things.

Merrill, a Portland pop-rock outfit, is touring in support of its new album, "A Beautiful Disaster," and will be in Salem at Boon's Treasury on Friday.

The quintet — there's singer Chris Merrill, guitarist Eli Johnson, Robert Finn on bass, Jeremy Dan on keyboards and drummer Michael Johnson — plays infectiously energetic music, with driving, accessible progressions.

They've opened for bands including the Counting Crows and Maroon 5.

The show at Boon's will be an acoustic one, one of the only such stops on the band's tour, which has already stopped in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and California. - The Statesman Journal


A Beautiful Disaster (LP) 2010
Evolutions (EP) 2008
The One Thing 2010 (Regional Airplay)



Packing houses since 2006 with self-described, “emotionally charged rock ‘n roll for the masses,” Merrill will pull you in and just possibly melt your heart. Whether it's with their high energy full band rock shows, or stripped down, intimate acoustic sets with Merrill Lite, these guys are full of energy and pure positive vibes.
While born and bred in the great city of Portland, Oregon, don’t be expecting your typical northwest grunge rock or melodic hipster tunes from the guys of Merrill. In fact, they pride themselves on offering an alternative sound from Grungetown by taking on a more classic pop-rock vibe.
When it comes to street cred, Merrill doesn’t fall short. In addition to playing regular shows throughout the great northwest, they have rocked the house as opening acts for bands such as Maroon 5, Counting Crows, and Augustana. They also played at the 2007 Bumbershoot Music Festival in Seattle among artists like Crowded House, Fergie, and Kings Of Leon and have received regional airplay for their song "The One Thing" off their first album Evolutions.
In fact, "The One Thing" was also selected as the “2010 Portland Song of the Year” by West Coast Songwriters (WCS), and went on to place second in the western US that same year at WCS’s annual songwriting competition. Fox Sports was also feeling the rock love when they signed a licensing agreement with Merrill for the use of their song, “Back 4 More.”