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CUMMING — Vivian Zingleman, one of the members of local band Dot 22, is quick to point out the group is “friends first.”
“We’ve been doing this for several years and it’s only been uphill,” she said. “I think that’s mostly because we’re friends first, band second. And that’s been the most beneficial for us.”
That philosophy apparently is paying off for the group, which includes Aaron Sanders and Alex Crain. All three are graduates of Forsyth County high schools.
Zingleman, 19, and Crain, 20, both graduated from South Forsyth High, while Sanders, also 19, started at South but finished up at the Forsyth Academy.
Now, Sanders and Crain attend the University of North Georgia, while Zingleman goes to the University of Georgia.
The trio has been playing together as Dot 22 since 2011. They came together after the guys had been working to develop a band and were in need of a bassist.
“Vivian was the best bass player I knew, so I was like, ‘Please join our band,’” drummer Sanders said.
That drew a response of, “‘Sure, totally,’” Zingleman said. “And we went to one practice together and then we were just a band. That’s it, there was no discussion. We were just a band after that.”
Crain handles lead vocals and writes most of the music for the group, which for the past three years has been playing wherever it can around Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.
“We’ve just performed at a lot of small venues and at the Masquerade, which is pretty well-known, in Atlanta and Rome,” Crain said.
Over the next couple of weeks, however, the band will be traveling much farther.
Recently, Dot 22 was scheduled to take what the members jokingly referred to as their “first road trip” to Virginia. They were scheduled to perform with their friends from the band Bottom of the Ninth, whom they met in Atlanta earlier this year. Later this month, they’re scheduled for a performance in Alabama.
But July 25, they went all the way to California for the International Pop Overthrow festival. They took to the stage at a club in Los Angeles on July 27.
They hoped the miles traveled to perform during the event, which began in 1998 by former music journalist David Bash and has spread to cities all over the world, will help take them far in the industry.
“It’s a huge music festival all about our genre — power pop, pop-rock, all that stuff — and it’s grown so now it’s in a number of cities every year,” said Zingleman of the festival, known as IPO for short.
“(Bash) invited us to perform at the one in L.A. and then also perform at the one in Atlanta, which will be this September.”
According to the IPO website, each festival features “between 25 and 180 of the best pop bands from around the world” who perform for hundreds of spectators.
Dot 22 members were looking forward to the experience and hope they can catch the ear of someone who could help move their career along.
“I think it’s a little more industry-geared, so there will be a lot of key players wandering in and out,” Zingleman said. “We’d love it if someone heard us and wanted to pick us up (for an album).”
So far in that arena, the trio has put out two EPs, musical recordings containing more music than a single but too short to be considered a full album.
Their first was “White Noise” in 2012, and in February they released the second, “Bottle Rocket Romance,” which includes an introduction and six original tracks.
“Bottle Rocket Romance” can be found on the group’s website, www.dot22band.com, its Facebook page, and through music sites such as Spotify and iTunes.