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Petrograd in Transit

Petrograd in Transit is, from left, Josh Perrotto, Brian Steele, Josh Harrington, Ted Flynn and Doug Nelson.

Photo by Julie Garisto

Petrograd in Transit is, from left, Josh Perrotto, Brian Steele, Josh Harrington, Ted Flynn and Doug Nelson.

On the move: Ted Flynn, guitar; Josh Perrotto, drums; Doug Nelson, bass; Brian Steele, guitar; and Josh Harrington, keyboards and sampler.

Slow start: Formed by Steele in early 2007 as a solo instrumental project. The current line-up solidified March 2008.

The name: Inspired by his wife's Eastern European studies, Steele says he liked Petrograd because it's the Russian word for St. Petersburg.

CD: Lifesize Balloon Animals EP on Wise Owl Records, a label that distributes entire albums for free at They're recording new songs for a full-length to be released later this year.

Youth and experience: Their wide age range spans 14 years: Perrotto is 22; Steele, 25; Harrington, 27; Nelson, 35; and Flynn, 36. Likewise, the members have a wide range of background and tastes, making Petrograd in Transit's blend all the more distinctive.

An intoxicating concoction: The band's strictly instrumental style has ever-changing moods with arrangements that go from lush to sparse and back again. New wave-style keyboards get mighty reinforcements by solid and varied rhythms and tight guitar interplay. Though Steele founded the band and it sounded much more minimal in the beginning, further additions and modifications came peacefully and democratically from all of the members.

Are they serious? Focused, yes. Serious, no. Though the guys enjoy meeting other local musicians and hearing bands, they don't spend a whole lot of time socializing at the local haunts. "Music is not a lifestyle for us," Steele says.

Outside the band: Flynn is a Web developer. Nelson is married with a 21⁄2-year-old son and works in human resources for a printing company. Steele is married and teaches language arts at Mann Middle School. Harrington is a warehouse manager, and Perrotto is studying toward an education degree and works at Sam's Club.

Technically savvy: At Petrograd in Transit's band practice at Audio Labs, tons of equipment takes up what little room is left in the tiny space. Each member tweaks, plugs and pushes buttons. Perrotto yells, "What's our pedal count?" and Steele announces the current total is 21. "On the fly, we know how to adjust the sound for any live situation," says Nelson.

Coincidence? Nelson named his son Ian MacKaye Nelson. The middle name is his wife's family name, but he jokes that the connection to the Fugazi frontman is merely convenient. Nelson says of his son: "He's going to grow up and be bald, crotchety and straight-edge!"

Hear 'em: Saturday at 9 p.m. at New World Brewery in Ybor City as part of the Summer Jam 4 festival (also at Crowbar). Event begins 5 p.m. Tickets are $7 for one venue, $12 for both. Call (813) 248-4969.

Petrograd in Transit 06/19/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 12:10pm]
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