By Ashley Zimmerman
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"Well, notice that we didn't say who O.D.'d, just that somebody did," laughs the tall, narrow redhead, a carefully contrived tuft of rock-star bedhead pointing skyward and designer specs gracing his freckled face. Before the show, Bonebrake (nephew of X drummer DJ Bonebrake) explained what really brought an early end to the half-Pompano Beach, half-Miami emo-pop-punk band, which disintegrated midway into a two-month U.S. tour.
"Somebody was going to get killed in that second month if we had kept going on," he half-jokes. "We got out on the road, and we were having a tough time. We were doing some rides where we weren't talking to each other, and we just said, 'This is ridiculous.' We're all such good friends, but we just weren't having fun. Nobody was yelling and fighting, it just became more silent. Finally, we had to stop and evaluate why."
The band finally hit bottom July 30 at Twister's in Richmond, Virginia, a poorly promoted show that turned out to be Seville's last.
"I was looking out into the audience, and some of them weren't getting it or didn't know who we were," the bassist recalls. "And I was like, 'Yeah, dude, I'm not getting it right now either.'"
Different songwriting directions virtually drew and quartered the group, he continues. A history lesson: Bonebrake, singer Christopher Carrabba, and guitarist John "Johnny O" Owens played together in the seminal Pompano Beach emo-outfit the Vacant Andys. Carrabba went on to front Further Seems Forever, and Owens and Bonebrake teamed with singer/guitarist Chris Drueke (ex-the Agency) and drummer Mike Marsh to form Seville. By the time Carrabba began his solo project, (Dashboard Confessional, the trajectory of which is still straining necks) both Marsh and Bonebrake were on-stage characters in his stupendous success story. After Seville released a six-song EP, Waiting in Seville, the band supported Dashboard on a major sold-out tour.
"I started out as a roadie, driving him around the country," Bonebrake says. "I didn't expect to be playing with him. I just believed in it and wanted to help him."
Marsh remains with Dashboard, but Bonebrake returned to Seville, where 305 native Kris King (former drummer for Machete and Against All Authority) had enlisted.
"The band dynamic changed when Mike Marsh left," explains Bonebrake. "Mike and Chris had such a history of writing together. Chris and John are polar opposites as far as what they think about music, and it caused a little too much tension." Finally, during Seville's July tour, all these disagreements intensified. The day after the Richmond disaster, the foursome sat down for a van discussion.
"We talked for five minutes, and everybody agreed," Bonebrake remembers. "We had a blast driving home. We were just back to being friends without the band breaking us apart."
Seville, which had been on the road with Schatzi and the Rocking Horse Winner, was also to play a series of summer dates with Minneapolis indie-rockers Cadillac Blindside (the Cadillac/Seville tour?) but that band similarly imploded last month. Bonebrake wrote an August 4 update on Seville's Website, explaining the breakup and telling fans to be on the lookout for new projects, such as Drueke's solo album to be released on local label Purple Skunk Records. In October, four tough, memorable Seville swan songs will be issued on This Time Everything Is Mine, a split CD with Duval.
Bonebrake, who bailed from Dashboard Confessional in the midst of a sellout national tour bolstered by a hugely successful MTV Unplugged episode, is optimistically counting the days until he becomes the primary force behind his own endeavor.
"I still want to do something that is my project or that I'm an equal partner in," he explains. Bonebrake's anxiety grew because he had already traded a steady paycheck for a less-lucrative life with Seville, where he was feeling like a hired hand again.
Is grabbing the stool and milking Carrabba's cash cow still an option?
"I don't anticipate him asking me back, although I wouldn't look the other way," Bonebrake says. "I'll be fine. I'd rather be supportive than say, 'Dude, that guy's got my spot, and I need a job now.' I don't want to be defined by Dashboard Confessional. I can't write the kind of songs he does. I'd like to stand alone -- I know I'm capable of doing it -- and say, 'This is what I can contribute to the music world.'"