Dashboard Confessional The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Published Aug 01, 2003What are you up to?
Promoting the new record (A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar) and preparing for a fall tour with Vendetta Red, Brand New, MXPX and Remedy Session. I really miss the road, I really miss the kids and I'm really excited to be out there again.
What are your current fixations?
Making the Band 2 on MTV, Adult Swim (animated shows for grown-ups on Cartoon Network), my nephews.
Why do you live where you do?
Because they're willing to give me the key to the city. It's beautiful, the people are wonderful, it's tropical, it's summer all year round and there's a wonderful music scene. And it's summer all year round.
Name something you consider a mind-altering work of art:
Anything by [19th century Japanese painter and wood carver] Hokusai. I've got his paintings all over my house.
What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Coldplay at the KROQ Christmas party in Los Angeles. It changes all the time, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a band do a live show as well as that. From the lighting to the passion to the perfection it was absolutely amazing.
What have been your career highs and lows?
Winning a video music award on MTV that the kids picked was a high. Because of that I got to say hello to Kirsten Dunst and the Olsen Twins.
A low? Further Seems Forever broke down in St. Louis for nine days. It was us and our roadie locked in a one room motel. That was no fun.
What's the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?
The kids that come to tour shows are our fans so they don't say too many mean things.
What should everyone shut up about?
Say What? Karaoke on MTV.
What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
Hyperactivity. It can be the most advantageous and disadvantageous thing. I can focus on a million things and conversely, I can't focus on anything from time to time.
What advice should you have taken, but did not?
I've been very lucky with listening to the right advice.
What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?
We kicked someone out of the band for simply not being a team player. The same could be said for the bed.
What do you think of when you think of Canada?
John Candy. Probably one of the most incredible actors and comedians of the late 20th century.
What is your vital daily ritual?
Listening to my iPod. It's the thing I do for myself. Just losing myself in songs.
What are your feelings on piracy, internet or otherwise?
I figure if you can afford it you should buy it and if you can't you should enjoy it for free.
What was your most memorable day job?
Elementary pre-school teacher and running an after-school program for Grades K-5.
If I wasn't playing music I would be:
Teaching. I'm hyperactive and goofy and creative enough to thrive in that life.
What do you fear most?
Complacency. I think once you run out of things to strive for you're pretty much old.
What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
White wine from New Zealand. That's when I get really easy.
What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Meeting Principal Anderson from the Adam Sandler movie Billy Madison on the street and getting my picture taken. And Data from Star Trek:TNG.
Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?
Sharon Osbourne and I'd serve Cuban food from one of the local restaurants. She's a riot and I have an affinity for smart and competent women.
What does your mom wish you were doing instead?
Nothing, this is it for her. When MTV premiered she sat me down in front of the television and said this is what you're going to do. She's comfortable with my profession.
Given the opportunity to choose, how would you like to die?
Painlessly and old and having said my proper good-byes. I'd like to get a good run in and make people happy and thank them for making me happy.
Although the terms emo and emo-core have been around since the mid-80s, it wasn't until the meteoric rise of Dashboard Confessional that the term truly became part of the pop lexicon. After all, before Chris Carrabba became the poster boy for sensitive punks everywhere, it wasn't really cool (or financially lucrative) for punk rockers to get all weepy and croon about lost love.
Dashboard Confessional started out as a one man band, a way for singer/songwriter Carrabba to get his acoustic ya-yas out while fronting hard rocking emo-prog noodlers Further Seems Forever but has, in just three years, morphed into something bigger than just one man and an acoustic guitar.
The third D/C full-length, A Mark, A Mission, a Brand, A Scar, finds Carrabba back in full rock mode for the first time since his FSF days. "When I wrote a lot of those [early D/C] songs I had Further Seems Forever to be an outlet and I don't have that anymore," Carrabba says while walking around his hometown of Boca Raton dodging traffic and ordering lunch. "I still like to write to rock tunes. I think a lot of the songs I've written are rock, period, but I like to present them in more of a full way so it was a conscious choice to structure things in what I consider to be a slightly more energetic, exciting and cogent way."
The new direction and the solidifying of a permanent band line-up that includes former Promise Ring bassist Scott Schoenbeck is sure to have even more people making confession. The widening appeal of D/C has already caught the eye of one prominent Floridian. Earlier this year, Boca Raton Mayor Steven Abrams presented Carrabba with the key to the city before a show.
"It was absolutely an honour. It was completely unexpected and I'm incredibly grateful because I feel a strong connection to that community," the transplanted Connecticut native says. "I've done a lot of good work there, I'm proud that I've done it but I'm surprised that anybody actually noticed."