Nick Dominguez spent his teenage years in Southern Florida, listening to and playing in hardcore bands. In 1993, he and a few other local musicians started a group called Strongarm. Although they didn't know it at the time, the band would go on to become one of the most influential hardcore acts in the Christian rock world.

After their breakup in 1998, Dominguez and his ex-Strongarm bandmates brought in vocalist Chris Carrabba (later of Dashboard Confessional), and dubbed themselves Further Seems Forever. Further Seems Forever eschewed most of the metal flourishes of Strongarm, and replaced them with a stronger sense of melody and sparser arrangements that allowed plenty of room for Carrabba's booming tenor to work its magic.

By this time, Dominguez already had a young family. With a heavy heart, he left Further Seems Forever after recording their debut album, 'The Moon is Down.' Carrabba also left the band around the same time. The rest of the band soldiered on for two more studio albums with two different vocalists before throwing in the towel. Since them, FSF have reunited for special festival appearances and recently announced a spring reunion tour.

For our first installment of Life After the Pit, Noisecreep caught up with Dominguez to see what he's been up to since leaving full-time musician-hood behind.

Noisecreep: You originally left Further Seems Forever in 2002. What led you to make that decision?

Nick Dominguez: I got to a point in my life where I wanted too many things that just weren't compatible with each other. I loved playing music and wanted to keep doing it, but there were other things I wanted more.

Tooth & Nail
Tooth & Nail

You then started a label called Pop Up Records. What was that experience like?

We started Pop Up just as the traditional music business model was beginning to crumble, so it was really hard. We mostly learned a lot about what not to do when starting a record label [laughs]. I'm glad we did it though, it was a great experience.

You've since played with Further Seems Forever on some reunion dates. You also played a Strongarm reunion. How strange is it jumping back into that world?

It wasn't very strange at all, I grew up listening to and playing mostly in the hardcore scene. Further Seems Forever was really the first time I left it, so it was good to go back.

What have you been up to aside from music?

I've always done graphic design in tandem with playing music, so when I stopped playing I basically went full-time with that. I also have a family now that takes up the majority of my time.

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently in regards to your music career?

This is a hard question to answer because I've always been someone who looks forward and not back. I don't think there is really anything I would change, maybe that's the easy answer. If there's any piece of advice for bands that want to do music for a living, it would be put your life on hold early and tour full-time. If the music is good, the rest should fall into place.

More From Noisecreep