Written by Camille Germain
Photo by Katie Kauss
“It’s the universal language of emotion,” John Lewis told me on the phone when we discussed the impact that music has on people. John Lewis and his bandmates Beau Bailey and Logan Maggio want their band, The Revelries, not only to unite people through that language, but to also create an atmosphere where every person feels welcome. It is rare to find musicians who set out to be good people and to simply be kind to others before all else. Their music is truly important to them and is their dream, but not before being authentically kind. When speaking with Lewis, it comes through in the way he talks. He spoke of his life, his band, and their goals with a smile in his voice, and not once did he hold a condescending tone or speak ill of anyone. He was honest and full of the same kind of spirit that is heard in their music. The Revelries began in Baton Rouge in 2016. Bailey and Lewis were students at Louisiana State University and in the same fraternity where Bailey was Lewis’ little brother. They quickly began talking about music and meeting up to jam together which led them to their accidental first band show. “There was one little house party that we had with a sorority where he and I were kind of just playing in the corner as background music for the party. It was more of a low-key party, kind of a dinner party, wasn’t like a rager or anything. We were supposed to play background music and then it kind of turned into a small-scale rager where we kind of became the center of the party, which was really cool. He and I had been writing these songs, and we had two or three originals at the time. And at the height of it all we were like ‘What if we played one of our originals?’ and that was actually our first single, ‘Blonde Hair. Blue Eyes’ and people actually liked it. And everybody was singing the chorus by the end of the song and that’s how we got our start.” Lewis described before talking about their days playing the bar scene. Which started after that party when people heard about it and began booking them around town. Their next big gig was a week later at one of the large bars on campus. “They asked us to play a two-hour set and we didn’t even have a band. We didn’t even decide if we were going to be a band at that point, but then we were like ‘let’s just go for it,’ so we got another guitarist and a bassist and we practiced. We practiced all the songs that Beau knew the words to,” Lewis said. The Revelries create their music with a sense of synergy, each of the three members working together to create a shared sound that can best be described as a contagious party. They lean on each other for support and are confident in themselves as a group. Lewis described their writing and development, “There’s all kinds of ways that we can come up with music. Honestly, I don’t know how some bands can have a strict way of coming up with songs. I feel like that just kind of chokes creativity. There is a wide variety of ways to come up with an idea, which is something that we all enjoy. But at the same time, we try not to have too many cooks in the kitchen. Typically if it’s all three of us writing at the same time there’s going to be a lot of disagreements. Once too many disagreements happen you lose the vibe and ya’ll are just pissed off at each other. Then that song will always just remind you of that, so we try to stay away from that.” Their organic way of writing music and working together has paid off for them. Recently they released a music video for their single “Cliché Love.” They also released a new single titled “Little Things,” which is about how the little things are what make you feel alive. It is a song about reflection when you’re going through a tough time, and it is about figuring out what makes you feel happy and alive in order to overcome whatever struggle you may be going through. Lewis described it as “our most anthemic song that appeals to the widest target audience.” So you have these three guys accidentally becoming a band in Louisiana while going to school for accounting (John Lewis) and finance (both Beau Bailey and Logan Maggio). “We all graduated, not very Rock ‘n’ Roll but uh maybe it’ll come in handy one day,” Lewis said with a laugh. Luckily for them, they ended up getting signed by EDGEOUT Records, which is a new label that is designed to find and develop bands who are the next generation of rock music. They focus on signing and working with artists by building their fanbase through recorded music, touring, and festivals throughout the United States as well as internationally. Their main mission is to assist in the development of every aspect of the artists’ careers. All of their releases are then distributed through Universal Music Group. The band found out about EDGEOUT Records through their manager who had worked closely with a person who is now one of the primary marketing representatives. Lewis explained, “When we had come out with our song ‘Blonde Hair. Blue Eyes,’ I believe that Tony Guanci, (the president of the label) had heard that song and I guess he was impressed with it. I guess he liked it. They had reached out to our manager about the showcase, so we packed our bags and we flew out to LA and had the week of a lifetime. Having never been out there before it was like a different planet.” They then played the showcase at the Viper Room, which has housed the big names of classic rock such as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, and so many others. “Anybody who is anyone has played that venue and we got to play that. It was just a very surreal experience. There was also that feeling of ‘we’re playing a gig in LA at a well-known venue,’ and there’s that sense of that ‘oh gosh we made it,’ but then at the same time it was more like ‘oh we’re just getting started.’ I always like to think of it like a dream is just something you dream about and a goal is something you’re actually working towards. And that was kind of the point where our dreams became the goal. That was a big moment for us at that showcase, and was kind of a big turning point for the band as far as realizing that this is kind of an actual goal that we can work towards,” said Lewis. The band has nine more singles coming out throughout the year, which may end up being grouped together for an EP or an LP. Their main focus is on developing their sound and writing music. The Revelries are starting to line up shows for 2021/2022 and are ready to bring their feel-good music to the stage again.