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Box Car Racer Biography
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Tom DeLonge - Vocals, Guitar

Travis Barker - Drums, Percussion

Anthony Celestino - Bass

David Kennedy - Guitar

 

Box Car Racer began as a side project of Blink 182 members Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker. After already recording their debut album, they added guitarist David Kennedy and bassist Anthony Celestino from the punk band "Over My Dead Body" to complete the line up in 2001.

 

"This record is directly influenced by the bands that mean the most to me. It's a tribute to the music that made me want to be in a band in the first place." - Thomas DeLonge

 

With Tom and Travis' roots entrenched in hardcore punk, influential bands included underground icons Fugazi, New York City's Quicksand, Swedish anarchists Refused and California funk-punks the Minutemen. Subsequently these bands were major influences behind the evolution of Box Car Racer.

 

It all began during 2001 when Blink 182 were in the midst of recording and releasing "Take off Your Pants". Tom with the help of Travis started writing some more traditional and serious punk music. With some describing the lyrics as mature and dark, Tom knew he would not be able to combine this with Blink 182's current catalogue. It served such a stark contrast to what their fans expected from the trio so a side project was the best option.

 

Tom with the help of Travis, originally wrote and recorded the album during the same time as Blinks Take Off Your Pants album, but never planned to release it. After some time off from Blink though Tom and Travis changed their minds.

 

The album was released in 2002 with Tom writing everything on the album except the drums, being guitar, bass and vocals. For the first time Tom was displaying a much deeper talent than he ever would have musically gained credit for with Blink, and Boxcar's full line up began touring.

 

The album itself was surprisingly successful with critics welcoming Tom's maturity and edgy, darker lyrics. Along with this the musicianship and evolution of Travis on drums also raised eyebrows. Despite this many still labelled it as essentially the same music as Blink without the sarcasm. Whilst musically this project was not a big step, sounding similar in many regards to Blink, the lyrics and themes made this album much more serious and mature. Blink's music was often upbeat, finding humour and laughter in lighter themes such as teenage break-ups and crushes. The themes on Box Cars debut were certainly not light, with the album exploring Tom's serious side with themes such as death and the end of the world. There is certainly no laughter or quirky jokes there.

 

The album was released on MCA Records and achieved immediate success on the charts peaking at number 12 in the U.S. The two singles, "I Feel So" and "There is" hit number 8 and 40 respectively on the Billboard Modern Rock Charts. This was more than any of the band members anticipated, especially considering Tom and Travis were reluctant to release their work.

 

Boxcars success has seen many fans question the viability of Blink 182 continuing, however Tom and Travis have quashed these rumours and put no timetable on completing Boxcars second studio album. With the debut album signalling a quantum leap in developing Tom and also Travis' talent, Boxcars future work remains eagerly awaited.

 

 

Mark Barnes

January, 2006

 

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