A lot of musicians get their first instrument as a gift. A fifteen-year-old Chris Carrabba got a guitar from his uncle. While he learned how to play it, Carrabba was far more interested in skateboarding and didn't get serious about music until after high school when he joined Vacant Andys.
Carrabba seemed to be one of those guys who showed up here and there, as a solo performer ("The Swiss Army Romance" album - later re-issued as a Dashboard Confessional album) or fronting various bands (in addition to Vacant Andys, there was The Agency and Further Seems Forever). The Florida-based singer/songwriter created the acoustic oriented Dashboard Confessional because he didn't want a group named after him or be seen as a solo. Carrabba felt it might discourage the audience from joining in and being part of the show. The name was inspired by Carrabba's song "The Sharp Hint of New Tears." It has the line "On the way home, this car hears my confessions." The EP "Drowning" on Fiddler Records preceded the full-length "Places You Have Come To Fear The Most," in '01. At the end of the year another EP "So Impossible" came out.
The acoustic/Emo approach provided an excellent framework for Carrabba's lyrics. While hardly profound, mercifully, they did show some depth and thought, a trait that drew attention and attracted fans.
"This basement's a coffin, I'm buried alive. I'll die in here just to be safe. I'll die here just to be safe. 'Cause you're gone I get nothing. And you're off with barely a sigh. I never said "Goodbye." ("This Ruined Puzzle")
Former Vacant Andys bassist Dan Bonebrake and one-time Agency drummer Mike Marsh took time off from their group Seville to work on the Dashboard Confessional album and tour. Rocking Horse Winner singer Jolie Lindholm provided additional vocals.
While still the mayor of Emo Rock, Carrabba kicked up some dust in the neighborhood with the '03 release "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar." The album had more focus and drive than previous efforts. Continuing in much the same vein, Dashboard Confessional released "Dusk And Summer" three years later.
Dashboard Confessional played the final show of '07's mtvU Campus Invasion Tour in Philly and a few weeks later their Madison Square Garden show, featuring "Don't Wait," "Stolen," and "Screaming Infidelities" was taped for PBS' Soundstage. Dashboard Confessional's fifth studio album, "The Shade Of The Poison Trees," containing, "Thick As Thieves," "Little Bombs" and "Keep Watch For The Mines," dropped that October.
A short time later, Carrabba did a solo U.K. acoustic tour and the group contributed "Finishing School" to the Jennifer's Body soundtrack and "Belle Of The Boulevard" for the film Cirque Du Freak: The Vampires Assistant.
A last-minute family emergency forced Dashboard Confessional to bail on their '09 tour with New Found Glory. However, less than a month later, following the release of "Alter The Ending," Carrabba and Dashboard Confessional guitarist John Lefler embarked on a brief (13 dates) acoustic tour with New Found Glory (who also played an acoustic set).
Aside from marking the 10th anniversary of "The Swiss Army Romance" album, there wasn't much news regarding Dashboard Confessional until '17 when they surprised fans with the release of a covers EP, "Covered + Taped" featuring some of Carrabba's his favorite songs.
2000 The Swiss Army Romance
2001 The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most
2003 A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar
2006 Dusk and Summer
2007 The Shade of Poison Trees
2009 Alter the Ending
Carrabba sounds like a guy who's just been dumped by his girlfriend, probably for the second or third time, and decides to go home and write an album about it. Carrabba emotes his way through the personal minefields before him. Some people rave about the self-actualizing lyrics - yes, he can write beyond simple rhymes. There's passion, no doubt, but not a lot of Rock.