Excerpted from the magazine for Billboard.com.

Los Angeles quartet the Exies entered the studio to record its major-label debut with one simple goal, according to lead singer Scott Stevens. "We wanted to make the best, most perfect record we could," he says of "Inertia," which was relesed Jan. 7 by Virgin, and debuts this week at No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart.

Assisting the group in that effort was producer Matt Serletic, well-known for his work with matchbox twenty, who had been impressed by the Exies' performance at Birmingham, Ala.'s 2000 City Stages Festival. At the time, Stevens says, the band was "very much just finding ourselves."

While the group's eponymous debut had a live sound, Stevens says that Serletic "helped us make this a little more elaborate," contributing string arrangements and keyboards. But, Stevens adds, "he kept the band at the forefront. He really let us just be who we are."

The incendiary lead track, "My Goddess," has made impressive inroads at both U.S. rock stations since it went to radio Oct. 1. The track reached No. 20 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and No. 32 on the Modern Rock Tracks tally. "My Goddess" and album track "Without" can both be heard streaming from the band's official Web site.

So far, the band has also received support from MTV. The Exies' performance was a highlight of MTV's "Tailgate Party" at Auburn University, and it was recently spotlighted on a segment of the channel's "You Hear It First." Tonight (Jan. 15), the band will perform on NBC's "Last Call With Carson Daly."

Additionally, the band will have a track on MTV's "Advance Warning" CD, which is due Feb. 18 and will be available exclusively through the network's Web site. Other artists featured on the disc include T.O.K., Deyvonn, the Format, Sahara Hot Nights, Maroon 5, and the Ravonettes.

The group -- rounded out by guitarist David Walsh, bassist Freddie Herrar, and drummer Dennis Wolfe -- formed in 1997 in Los Angeles. Wolfe joined the fold in late 2000, replacing original drummer Thom Sullivan. Named after John Lennon's nickname for existentialists, the band released its first, self-titled album, in 2000 on the independent Ultimatum Records label.





Excerpted from the Jan. 18, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Billboard.com members section.

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