Rock 'n' roll high schoolers

Being in a high school rock band with their buddies is how most musicians make their first tentative steps into music. In most cases, the band is no more than a footnote by the time its members receive any accolades or notoriety. But that is not so for the four teens who comprise Columbus' Lakeside.

These precocious 16- and 17-year-olds have already outstripped their high school peers and even many local bands with a series of triumphs that suggest a promising future. The rumbling pop-punksters received their first break this summer when an e-mail exchange with Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman resulted in a slot on the Atlanta stop.

"It seemed like all the bands we'd seen on TV and at the Warped Tour in the past [were there]. We all got to meet them and be like, 'Hey, we just got done playing, when are you guys going on,'" says lead singer/bassist Cale Dodds.

The Warped gig proved that the group had made a lot progress since forming in summer 2002. Dodds started the band with his brother, Chase, and guitarists Chase Hilsinger and Michael Mashburn. They've been going at it hard ever since. Their manager, Chad White of Artist Only Enterprises, says he normally wouldn't bother with a band so young, but he could see Lakeside was different and unusually dedicated.

That paid off recently when they were asked to contribute a track to a forthcoming compilation by Drive Thru Records, one of the country's premier pop-punk labels. The song, "Note to Self," was recorded with engineer Jeff Tomei (Smashing Pumpkins, Matchbox 20).

Dodds says the infectious track is about acknowledging personal responsibility. "The closing stanza is, 'Note to self, this is what I wanted/Note to self, this is what I got,' like this is what you asked for," Dodds explains. "You brought it upon yourself."

Lakeside plays the Masquerade Thurs., Dec. 23, 8 p.m. $8. With Winston Audio, 7-10 Split and Waving at Strangers.