In high school, Carney performs in a number of high school bands, including The Deprogrammers and Christopher Whispers. Friend Philip Swift says:
The Deprogrammers was me, Pat, Gabe and Steve and it was supposed to be this sort of like bizarre weird jazz idea with a whole back story of the band built into it. We were these deprogrammers who would come in and deprogram people from listening to the mainstream drivel that we were hearing on the radio. I played the clarinet although I didn’t really play the clarinet I just blew on it and I think Pat played drums, Steve played guitar and Gabe played keyboards or something.
…Christopher Whispers was more of like a classic…what I like to think of as mid-90s indie-rock like Pavement or the Frank Black solo stuff. Things like that. It had lyrics and it had more of a melody to it.