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Dashboard Confessional Biography
The alternative rock outfit Dashboard Confessional hails from Boca Raton, FL, and is headed by singer/songwriter Christopher Carrabba, who became the poster boy for a new generation of emo fans in the early 2000s. Starting the group purely as a solo act, he marked his first proper effort with the release of 2000's acoustic guitar-driven Swiss Army Romance. Carrabba had previously fronted other rock bands such as Further Seems Forever and the Vacant Andys; he turned his attention to Dashboard after a friend heard some songs he'd been writing on his own and encouraged Carrabba to pursue them full-time. Dashboard Confessional allowed him to mold simple acoustics with passionate, personal wordplay to make for a delightful introduction to his individual work. Even in his earliest solo days, when Carrabba often played bills primarily composed of hardcore punk bands, fans latched on to the naked honesty of his lyrics, and an immensely devout following began. Both the Drowning EP and the second full-length, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most, the latter of which began their full band sound, were issued in early 2001.
Pop kids of the TRL generation united for Dashboard Confessional's emocore style, and 2001 proved golden for Carrabba. Screaming Infidelities became a modern rock hit and a joint tour with the Weakerthans was also a monumental move for Dashboard Confessional. The Vagrant Across America tour in summer 2001 with labelmates No Motiv, Hot Rod Circuit, and Alkaline Trio pushed Dashboard Confessional further into the spotlight, while proving that this punk revival thing wasn't a fluke. With the buzz still on, the lovelorn So Impossible EP was released in early 2002; later that year, an MTV Unplugged date was released, and a summer tour opening for Weezer followed. Sunny Day Real Estate's Dan Hoerner also joined Carrabba for what was now a duo.
Carrabba returned in 2003 with a full band -- including bassist Scott Schoenbeck, guitarist/pianist Johnny Lefler, and drummer Mike Marsh -- for A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar. The album topped the Billboard charts and spawned another hit, Hands Down, which peaked at number eight on the modern rock charts. However, it was the band's contribution of the hit single Vindicated to 2004's Spider-Man 2 soundtrack that really resonated to a wide-spanning audience, peaking at number two. Dashboard Confessional hit the road in late spring with Thrice on the 2004 Honda Civic tour, and played a spot at the following year's Lollapalooza.
Set to work with producer Don Gilmore (Pearl Jam, Good Charlotte) on their next effort, Daniel Lanois (U2, Peter Gabriel) randomly got in touch with Carrabba after hearing some demos through a mutual friend. The two consequently began recording together, but ultimately didn't have enough time amid both of their touring commitments to finish all that they wanted. Vagrant allowed Carrabba to keep writing and working; he and Gilmore wound up recording another album's worth of songs. Instead of releasing one album or the other, the decision was made to combine the efforts of both into one seamless ten-song record. The result, the more intimate Dusk and Summer, eventually appeared in June 2006, and the band supported it on nationwide dates with Ben Lee and Say Anything opening before spending fall with Brand New. The album entered the Billboard charts at number two. ~ MacKenzie Wilson & Corey Apar, All Music Guide
Written by MacKenzie Wilson