By Jamie Goyman
VANCOUVER – In 2000 the world was introduced to a storytelling lyrical style and distinct, melodic vocal flare accompanied by an acoustic guitar of Dashboard Confessional. The music styling given to fans with The Swiss Army Romance and The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most was fit to the era of music and to anyone listening 18 years ago there’s a soft spot that remains whenever the earlier work hits airwaves. Dashboard Confessional’s beginnings were etched out by Chris Carrabba’s outpour of those innermost feelings we all feel at one time or another, reaching fans on a personal level. Three years later Scott Schoenbeck would join him on bass guitar, with Armon Jay handling lead guitar/backing vocals and Chris Kamrada on drums coming on board in more recent years, pushing what began as a solo side project from Further Seems Forever for Carrabba to quickly become more than he imagined.
Fast forward to today and, after a lengthy and much needed hiatus, Dashboard Confessional is coming full force with the February 9 release of Crooked Shadows. “We’re just ready to tear the face off this thing,” tells Carrabba. “I think it was important to take a break, what we didn’t know was whether the songs would come back. I mean, I could have written Dashboard songs anytime I wanted because I know what it’s supposed to sound like, but I don’t think it would have been a genuine record and that’s what I needed to wait for.”
They say patience is a virtue and the notion can sometimes become lost on fans when the wait is prolonged. Be assured the new album not only showcases the band’s growth artistically, but will also gently send listeners down the golden path of memories and summer nights. The closing track “Just What To Say” might reunite fans with the sound that helped shape their younger identities, but songs like “We Fight,” “Heart Beat Here,” and “Belong” strike a chord to anyone who remembers the guitar strumming indie rock/emo era that helped shape so many fans between 2000-2009. The new album, while not completely stemming from the first albums, had a sense of familiarity for Carrabba as he wrote it.
“What kind of fuelled the fire was that it felt so much like [those first albums] and it was a really exciting place to be, I didn’t really have any expectation that I’d feel that again,” says Carrabba. “The lyrics from ‘Be Alright’ feel like they could have been pulled off one of my early records although the subject matter has evolved.”
With the new album touching down so soon, excitement is thick in the air around the band that the energy vibrating behind the band can’t be helped. “I’m so consumed with this feeling of release right now,” tells Carrabba. “Now I know bits are out there in the real world and it’s liberating. As for what the fans will feel I can’t predict so I guess I’m excited by the mystery of that.”
As with any new album, Dashboard Confessional is hitting Canada and America with the always changing scenery of touring. Rest assured though there are many releases set to come out, unheard songs that are just waiting. “I just find it inspiring that while I’m writing to people my age and my original fans, or sometimes to myself, that there is this other category of people who are exactly who we were, in a certain way. They may turn out like us or maybe not, it all depends on which wave they catch.”
Dashboard Confessional performs February 21 at the Commodore Ballroom (Vancouver) and February 23 at the Capital Ballroom (Victoria)Capital Ballroom, Commodore Ballroom, Dashboard Confessional