Bands offer energy, emotion

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 28, 2013

SALISBURY — Despite being in a band in high school, Eric DiMarzio didn’t become a fluent guitar player until after he graduated in 2007.
“I was taught a little bit in middle school at Sacred Heart (Catholic School), then I picked it back up in high school, but I wasn’t really the guitar player for the band,” he said. “I learned from the guitar player.”
DiMarzio said he didn’t get serious about learning how to play an instrument until he left Salisbury High for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“I realized I wanted to be an independent singer, songwriter and really pushed myself more and more,” he said.
During college, DiMarzio learned how to play guitar, drums and piano and started his own band called Eric and the DiMarzios, based out of Chapel Hill.
“I would describe our sound as very high energy folk music,” he said. “There is a lot of emotion invested in every song.
“It is very lyric-centric, but also very focused on music that’s fun to play, fun to listen to and fun to dance to.”
DiMarzio said he’s “constantly trying to draw influence and wisdom” from other musicians.
“The Avett Brothers, more for their content and optimism and somewhat for their style,” he said. “Mumford & Sons is another group that I really listen closely to for ideas.
“Really every song I listen to — pop, rap, country — I’m always listening actively for other kinds of techniques.”
DiMarzio writes the music for the five-piece band, which includes UNC students Kati Moore on violin, Will Wright on piano and mandolin, Chris Wright on double bass and Rushi Gajjar on drums.
They’ll be performing at Looking Glass Artists Center’s black box theater Friday.
DiMarzio, a Salisbury native who is now the choral director at Graham High School, is looking forward to returning home for the performance, which will be the third in the past year.
“Coming back is an incredibly rewarding experience,” he said. “I wasn’t much of a musician when I left Salisbury … so it’s great to be able to show my family and friends what I’ve learned, what I’ve accomplished.
“Salisbury in particular — and I’m not just saying this because it’s my hometown — always has really inviting, energetic crowds.”
Expect “a lot of energy and a lot of dancing” at Friday’s show, he said.
“I think the theater mantra goes ‘Always make them laugh, try to make them cry, always take the stage like it’s the last night of your life,’” he said. “That’s what I try to do.”
The Salisbury-based band Big Break will open for Eric and the DiMarzios at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
“We play quite a range really, we play some newgrass, folk-type music and also do rock, reggae and blues,” said frontman David Myers. “Our music falls mainly in the rock category.”
Myers said the band will play a few tunes from their upcoming albumduring their 45-minute opening set.
“We’ll also be able to play all our favorite songs,” he said.
Myers plays guitar and sings alongside Alan Erickson on bass, Ashley Honbarrier on congas and Matt Burnside on drums. Erickson and Honbarrier provide the backup vocals.
Myers said Friday is the band’s first performance in the area in several months since they changing drummers.
“It’s definitely exciting for us,” he said. “I feel like we’ve switched into second gear as a band and we’re just kind of shedding a layer of skin.”

Contact lifestyle editor Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.


Who: Big Break opening for Eric and the DiMarzios
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Looking Glass Artists Center’s black box theater
Cost: $5 at door