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The DSC Project

The DSC Project: Tim Smith, Nick Dietz, John Bitner and Adam Burton.

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The DSC Project: Tim Smith, Nick Dietz, John Bitner and Adam Burton.

Project management: Nick Dietz, lead vocals and guitar; Adam Burton, guitar, backup vocals; Tim Smith, bass; and John Bitner, drums and backup vocals.

Background: Dietz and Smith formed the band with pal John Cheadle — hence the initials behind the band name — in 2002 in Port St. Lucie, and moved to Tampa last year, when Dietz enrolled in University of South Florida's mass communications program. The friends since childhood played in the past with Burton, who moved to Tampa in 2000. Once reunited, the three longtime pals enlisted Bitner, and the Tampa version of DSC solidified in November.

CD: Animato, 2006, self-released. Their rock is a little Weezer-ish, quirky meets big badassness. The tunes tell poignant stories about everyday people, lyrics written by Dietz.

Spirited title: "When we were recording the album," Dietz recalls, "I was taking singing lessons, and I saw this word on the sheet music, and it was animato. I asked the teacher what it means, and she said, 'to sing with great spirit.' I thought that was really cool."

Art guy: Smith does all of the band's graphic design.

Skins tight: How did they hook up with Bitner? "Craigslist," he said. "I've just been answering ads the past year and half, bringing the whole drum kit and showing up and playing with strangers, realizing that either they have really good ambition and I'm not liking the way they play or they can play really well and they're dicks."

Occupational hazards: "On stage, we're very animato," Dietz says. "We're very all over the place. We risk injury. I've been smacked in the face with (Smith's) bass guitar."

Dad's influence: "The first concert I ever went to was the Allman Brothers," Dietz recalls. "It changed my life. That was my dad's favorite band. He was a roadie for a long time. He was a hippie and he was working for a band called Newspaper Taxi. It was during the Vietnam War. He'd come out wearing an army helmet and, like, he'd start beating himself on the head with drumsticks to get the crowd going."

A late bloomer: Burton, a professional instructor of string instruments, is a little late to rock 'n' roll, learning about bands he liked after high school. "Nick got me into Smashing Pumpkins, which changed the way I appreciated music," he says. "Tim got me into bands like Braid and the Impossibles. Whenever they'd come to visit me in Tampa, they'd come over with some burnt CDs and say, 'Come on, listen to this.'"

Smith: "What did you listen to before? I'm interested to know."

Burton: "New Kids on the Block. I still have the videotape — the Hanging Tough tour."

Hear 'em: 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Pegasus Lounge, 10008 30th St., Tampa. $5, $7. (813) 971-1679.

The DSC Project 05/15/08 [Last modified: Sunday, May 18, 2008 1:44pm]
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