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About Lareau | The Band

Lareau is a band that has explored their original sound right from the beginning, evolving as it went. "Our goal is to create all the elements of its songwriting for our live audiences."

Based in the Jamestown/Warren area of Western New York, LAREAU (pronounced La Row), is an original five-piece band whose music is reminiscent of Ben Folds Five, The Dave Matthews Band, Three Doors Down and Ben Harper. LAREAU’s highly anticipated self-titled CD on Los Angeles based WARRIOR/UMGD Records was released July 3, 2007.

The members of LAREAU are……. founding member & lead vocalist Larry Lareau, drummer/multi-instrumentalist Darrin Payne, guitarist Pete Gool, bassist Roger Christopherson and keyboardist Anthony Brown. Larry Lareau was originally from Henderson, Kentucky. He was the youngest of five boys and the family later settled in Warren, Pennsylvania, where Larry started formal piano training at age 7. He also started Cello lessons at age 10, when he first began writing the music for his own songs, and played in the orchestra all through high school, as well as in district & regional orchestras.

During college and shortly after, he continued writing music and being heavily influenced by The Beatles, The Moody Blues, Elton John and Billy Joel. He won a spot to sing in the choir, performed in two operas, and even appeared at the Academy Of Music in Philadelphia. Lareau also honed his craft during college, performing at numerous coffee houses.

Several years after college, Larry Lareau moved to Warren, PA., where he started up AllSound Recording with close friend Dave Hone, a well known engineer/technical expert. By this time Larry had written about 200 songs, and, through his work at the studio, he began meeting many area musicians, including current bandmate and musical director Darrin Payne. Prior to meeting Darrin, the most exciting thing Larry had done musically was to take his first, and only, solo CD, Reasons Why to Germany for a three week tour around the Munich area in 2001. The disc, released on his own Captiva Records, got the support of a German radio station, which encouraged Larry to take the trip.

Shortly after that, Lareau began work on his follow-up CD, initially recording some tracks with a Nashville-based contemporary Christian group called Sonic Flood, before hooking up with members of a popular regional band, Brandy Lies. The first of those was Darrin Payne, who has since become Larry Lareau’s main musical collaborator and the band’s musical director. Payne’s background also included classical keyboard training, with an interest in such progressive rock bands as Rush, Styx and Dream Theater. Payne was born into a very musical family in Erie, PA. and was raised in Jamestown, NY. His mother is a classical/operatic soprano who received much notoriety, while attending Mercyhurst College, singing with the Erie Philharmonic. His father is an actor, and young Darrin grew up attending recitals, plays, concerts, and stage musicals, watching mom and dad perform. His parents were both huge Elvis fans, but his main musical influences as a youngster were classical and show tunes. He began piano lessons at age 4. As Darrin grew into his teens, he discovered bands like Genesis, Asia, Iron Maiden, Yes, Styx, Journey, etc., and focused on drummers like Phil Collins, Neil Peart, Steve Smith, Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) and Rod Morgenstein (Steve Morse, Dixie Dregs). After realizing he was destined to play drums, Darrin began private lessons with several noted area instructors, studying all symphonic percussion, drum set and drum line. As a teenager, Darrin became greatly affected by area band 10,000 Maniacs and singer Natalie Merchant, who became a good friend. Watching 10,000 Maniacs career progress made Darrin want to start his own band. He was later exposed to Buddy Rich and played big-band jazz style in school for a few years. Darren soon created the band that would later become Brandy Lies.

Along with LAREAU founding guitarist Pete Gool, they soon assembled the other players. Gool, from Erie, PA, brought along elements of alternative rock, which he grew up listening to with his brothers. He was also influenced by David Bowie, Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, guitarist Steve Stevens, U2, Adrian Belew and Van Halen.

Bassist Roger Christopherson and keyboardist Anthony Brown round out the group, which enabled Larry Lareau to flesh out his universally appealing keyboard-based ballads and energetic rock tunes in a way he couldn’t do on his own. The unique spin that LAREAU has comes from the members’ vast array of musical experiences and current musical tastes, including bands Maroon 5, the Dave Matthews Band, Matchbox 20, 3 Doors Down, Alter Bridge, Ween and Offspring.

Lareau's latest single “Don’t Let Me Go” entered the charts at #39 on 10.09.09. Their first single "Changes" reached Top 10 status on the FMQB AC Charts in May 2007 and in June began to climb the Billboard Charts peaking at # 25 and Radio & Records #25. Their second single “Change My World” reached #28 on all A/C Charts in 2008. The band is signed with Los Angeles based Warrior Records/UMGD.