Eric DiMarzio's band is a Chapel Hill favorite
By Katie Scarvey
If you’re a student at UNC Chapel Hill and you’re at all tuned in to local entertainment, you’ve probably seen Eric and the DiMarzios. The band — led by Salisbury native Eric DiMarzio — plays regularly in and around UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University in Durham
Last year, the band was named favorite local band by UNC students in the Daily Tar Heel.
DiMarzio, who graduated from Salisbury High School in 2007, describes the band’s music as “alternative folk” — similar to the upbeat folk music played by Mumford and Sons or The Avett Brothers.
“We like it to be fun to play and fun to listen to, but we also want it to mean something lyrically,” DiMarzio says.
In the past few years, DiMarzio formed the band by adding one member at a time until he finally had the sound he was looking for.
“They’re great musicians, and we really work well togehter,” he said.
Eric and the DiMarzios won a Battle of the Bands, which gave them the opportunity to play at UNC’s dance marathon. That led to exposure and bookings.
The band wants to record a studio album so that fans of the live shows can have something to take home. Having a CD will also help the band get bookings, says DiMarzio, who writes most of the band’s material.
To fund that album, they’re looking to raise $1,000 by Sept. 24 through kickstarter.com.
DiMarzio got his undergraduate degree last year with a degree in vocal performance.
He’s now in a one-year Master of Arts in teaching program. He hopes to teach middle school chorus after he gets his degree.
He plans to stay in the Chapel Hill area and would like for his teaching career and his music to co-exist, he says.
DiMarzio got interested in music as a chorus student at Salisbury High School. He started putting together some bands with his high school friends, including one his junior year called Clay Dies Young.
The high school music scene in Salisbury was pretty vibrant back then, and DiMarzio organized two “Live at the Hive” music events at Salisbury High School in 2006 and 2007, which gave young bands a performance venue locally.
“The music scene in Salisbury really helped nurture what I wanted to do,” he says. “It was nice to grow up someplace that had live music and positive outlets for teenagers and coffee shops (like Escape the Daily Grind) that let us do things.”
DiMarzio says that back then, he was a “pretty shoddy” musician but learned from the musicians he played with.
He was driven to become better.
“I had a lot of room to improve, so I went about improving,” he says.
If you’d like to donate to help make the group’s first album a reality, go to the Kickstarter.com site and put “Eric and the DiMarzios” in the search field.
“We’re hoping that people will see what we do and think it’s something worth being supported and help us out any way they can,” DiMarzio says.
There are different “rewards” for different levels of donations, from CDs to T-shirts to live performances.
If you give $1,000, “a member of the band will sit (in person!) and attentively listen to your problems, only giving advice if you explicitly ask for it.”
They’re a little more than halfway to their goal right now.
Eric and the DiMarzios have performances coming up in the Chapel Hill and Durham.To see their schedule and sample their music, you can find them on Facebook.