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Jonny Craig says his flagrant substance abuse, which led his former bandmates in Dance Gavin Dance to leave him passed out in a New Jersey hotel room while they were on tour, is over. In fact, the incident taught the 23-year-old vocalist with the most versatile chops in rock how to focus and prioritize. 2008’s Relativity marked his debut with the Kentucky band Emarosa, a formerly generic post-hardcore act. Make-em-quake breakdowns gave way to heart-rending melodies, smart use of pianissimo and acoustic guitars, and less-proggy guitar work that allowed Craig’s vocals to shine. It also proved that being forced to leave Dance Gavin Dance may have been the best thing that ever happened to the singer. He’s since made up with his old bandmates and is set to release a solo album in the fall that will likely feature him getting busy with R&B, his first love.
EMAROSA PERFORMS WITH BURDEN OF A DAY AT JAXX NIGHTCLUB, 6355 ROLLING ROAD, SPRINGFIELD, VA. $13-$15. (703) 569-5940.