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Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carraba: Listen to Scientists, Not the President

Carraba on his quarantine life and why he’s finding comfort in Built to Spill, Counting Crows and Fugazi

Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba is currently self-isolating in Tennessee while preparing for a charity livestream concert.

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Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba is self-isolating at his home in Tennessee as he prepares for his charity livestream, As Social As I Get Now, Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST. All proceeds will go to Music Health Alliance to fund COVID-19 relief efforts, and Spotify will match donations.

In the meantime, Carrabba has been belatedly diving into social media, texting with fans, and listening to some new music. Here’s what he had to say in response to the quarantine questions we’ve been asking some of our favorite artists.

What are you doing with your unexpected time at home?
I’m reading a lot. I read A Very Stable Genius, by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, which had a lot of insightful, shocking information that seems absolutely quaint today. I also read The Watergate Girl by Jill Wine-Banks, which was incredible and encouraging, knowing that the world can be changed. Currently, I’m reading Grant by Ron Chernow and it is so long. I think I’ll still be reading it by the time the world starts to spin again.

The thing that I’ve been doing most is something that I was slow to do for a long time. I’ve been diving headlong into social media because I’ve never had that connection that people feel through social media. I’ve grown used to in a time where social media was a little bit different than actual in-person social engagement … but in absence of that, I have finally really found myself truly embracing and enjoying social media in a way that I just didn’t think I was ever going to like … But since this has started, I’ve loved it. I’ve posted, I’ve been livestreaming a lot, posting about how I’m feeling, and spending a lot of time reading the comments because I want to know how people feel.

I posted a phone number that fans could text me at, and I spend like half my day answering text messages by the thousands. I think I was wrong about social media. It has always been meaningful. 

What music do you turn to in times of crisis for solace and comfort, and why?
Well, in times of turmoil, music is my salvation. I’m turning to the things that have historically been massively restorative to me, like Built to Spill, the Cure, Counting Crows, Fugazi, and Jawbox. You know, these things that have been with me since I was young that always make me feel like the world can be conquered.

I will say, Brian Fallon’s new record [Local Honey] has probably been the thing that’s spun the most on this turntable, my Spotify turntable.

Anything else you want to say to your fans right now?
This is a difficult time and we’re in difficult times to come. But, we will weather it and we’ll come out different but better in a lot of ways.

I think we need to figuratively hold onto each other tightly now. I really implore you to please use your best common sense and your best judgment as the president rushes to open things too quickly. Listen to the scientists and let the scientists lead us. This is something that is not going to be swept or easily brushed away because the weather gets better.

We got to listen to the hard scientific facts and we’ve got to deal with the hard repercussions of those scientific facts. I really believe if we get to things too soon, this will last much, much longer and we’ll be much more devastated. Be brave enough to work harder than you’d like to and endure this for longer than we’d like to because we have to.