At 6 feet 4 and 270 pounds, Centreville senior Colin Miller is hard to miss. But he says he prefers to stay out of the spotlight, which is one reason he embraces two often-overlooked roles -- playing on the defensive line in football and playing bass in a rock band.
"I don't need to be the cool, outstanding guitar player with the solos and the looks," said Miller, who teamed with three other Centreville students to form the band Carpe Pisces. "I just want to be a good guitar player."
Miller developed an interest in music in eighth grade. He took an introductory guitar class as a freshman and quickly learned to play bass.
"He came in as a deer-in-the-headlights type thing," said Bill Burke, Miller's teacher. "I expect a lot in that class. He kept his head above water."
"You don't need to teach me much," Miller added. "If I really enjoy learning it, then I'll pick it up a lot faster."
Drummer Jon Edwards came up with the group's name while in Latin class; it translates as "seize the fish." The quartet -- known for its wild, energetic style -- set list includes Lynyrd Skynyrd and Weezer covers.
It suits Miller, a defensive lineman for the Wildcats whom Centreville Coach Mike Skinner called "a ride around on a skateboard, shopping cart guy."
"It's a lot of jumping around, craziness," Miller said. "It's so spur of the moment."
Carpe Pisces normally practices on the weekends and plays at student parties and a few local gigs -- never for money. The band has a loyal student following and distributed T-shirts to its fans. The bandmates are hoping to record a CD before going to college.
"Getting together and just playing music," Miller said, "is great."