#AlternativeFacts Podcast: Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba Reflects on a Life of Punk Rule-Breaking

Chris Carrabba
David Bean

Chris Carrabba

“Punk rock, hardcore, pop-punk and indie rock. It was this method of survival, like lifeblood.”

Chris Carrabba's life in music is deep and complex, like the myriad subgenres he's woven into his 42 years. Pop fans know him as the dude from Dashboard Confessional, but aside from that, he's fronted the pre-D.C., more amp-friendly emo band Further Seems Forever, gotten folksy with his 2010s side project Twin Forks, and even done behind-the-scenes songwriting work for American Idol winners. It all started as a teen growing up in South Florida, where he discovered punk from kids he met while living and working with his mother at a home for abused youth. That's where those "survival" and "lifeblood" themes came in.   

“Boca Raton’s a pretty wealthy place, but we were a ragtag group of kids,” he says. “I was learning the ethos of that scene, the DIY nature of it, a network of bands working together."    

Previous Episodes: The Front Bottoms | Jeff Rosenstock | Tonight Alive | Washed Up Emo’s Tom Mullen

Right now, Carrabba is in Dashboard mode. The seminal emo outfit is back with its first LP since 2009, the nine-track gut-punch Crooked Shadows, also Carrabba's first release for longtime scene staple Fueled by Ramen. It's a fitting time to hear Carrabba's story, and on this week's #AlternativeFacts, he's here with just that: why he revived Dashboard after the lengthy layoff, the most absurd things he's been called a "sellout" for, the burgeoning intersection of hip-hop and emo culture and whether or not punks really threw stuff at him at early Dashboard shows. 

Listen to the 'cast below: 

#AlternativeFacts is a weekly Billboard podcast devoted to all things alternative music. Click here to subscribe to the #AlternativeFacts Podcast on iTunes. Let us know what you think on Twitter (@cpayneonaplane) and by rating the podcast on iTunes.


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.