For a band that originally started out as a side project back in 1999, Dashboard Confessional certainly has made the most of the opportunities that have been presented over the years: not only have they released six albums, they’ve also done countless tours all across the globe! Not a bad list of achievements, considering Dashboard’s first LP The Swiss Army Romance was a solo album showcasing the talent of Chris Carrabba, the man who had the vision whilst still in Further Seems Forever all those years ago.
Since that initial brain child all those years ago, Carrabba (Lead Vocals/Rhythm Guitar/Piano) teamed up with Scott Schoenbeck (Bass), John Lefler (Lead Guitar/Piano/Backing Vocals) and Mike Marsh (Drums/Percussion/Backing Vocals) as well as an impressive list of live touring members to boot, to keep the wheels of the Dashboard Confessional juggernaut at full momentum until 2011! There was a small hiatus from 2011 to 2015 to allow for a recharging of batteries, which also unfortunately led to a shake up amongst the line up; both Lefler and Marsh left the band which made way for Armon Jay (Lead Guitar/Backing Vocals) and Ben Homola (Drums/Percussion) respectively to join the band.
Even though Dashboard Confessional haven’t released any new albums since reforming, they did release the Covered and Taped EP earlier this year; not to mention that they have also been touring frequently across the United States for the last 12 months! Thankfully for Australian fans on the East Coast (sorry Adelaide/Perth/Hobart!), Dashboard Confessional have decided to bring their live show to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for a three show tour, starting this upcoming Wednesday at The Forum in Melbourne. If you haven’t already gotten your tickets, make sure you do so!
OVERDRIVE got the opportunity to speak to Carrabba about the upcoming run of Australian shows, as well as the most recent run of shows across the United States; after thanking Carrabba for his time to speak to myself about the upcoming Australian tour, Carrabba couldn’t contain his excitement about coming back, opening the interview before the first question was even asked! He opened with “thank you; I’m so excited; we’re so excited about this! I’ve really enjoyed my time there so much and I’ve also enjoyed the kindness from fans over there! I’m rightfully aggravated that we can’t be there as much as we’d like to be, but I am thrilled that we’re able to come a couple days from now”
Touching further on the first topic of discussion about how excited Dashboard Confessional to get back to Australia after their five year hiatus; Carrabba added that “I think excited enough that we looked at the calendar and I said “Guys if we don’t go now, we’ll regret it!” I was looking at the calendar and I got thinking about how lucky we are; there are times that you have to access how lucky you are! The tour we were on was ending and I got thinking ‘Jesus, we get to do this; we’re allowed to do this!”. Thinking about that made me realise that we’ve got people wanting us to travel all around the world and to places that we’ve never thought imaginable in our wildest dreams, like Australia, so the thought was “we have to go to Australia and we have to go NOW!”; which my agent was a little stressed when I said now, because she knows I meant now and to put the tickets up today. I said to her that ‘if we wait for the right time, it will be deep into next year before we are able to get there and I think we just can’t wait anymore!” I think it’s nice to be able to throw caution into the wind every once in a while.”
Knowing that Dashboard Confessional are not getting to come back to Australia once again, but after finding out that this tour was created on a spur of the moment whim I had to find out what city Carrabba was most excited to get to visit and perform in again; he explained how “that’s not one we can really answer; if you were to ask us that about places that are regionally closer to us, we could answer that. I don’t mean to generalize and say that all of Australia is the same, as every city is different and has its own exciting things to do, but because it’s all uniquely foreign to us and such a different country I can’t help but lump it all together a bit as once. I think it’s only the fourth or fifth time that we’ve been there; I just wish there was more cities that we could do on this run! It’s a hard one to answer; it would be easier if we could travel there more frequently! We’ve been lucky to have connected with the Australian Dashboard fans in a way that is historically similar to our earliest American days; I don’t think it got away from us. There’s a special nature to the original fan base that you have, as that grows and changes over time; sometimes there’s newer folks coming in as older folks leave the fan base. It’s a peculiar thing to see them leave a show and then see them come back in a few months, whereas with Australia there’s this certain belief of ‘we might not see these people again and we might not have a chance to play this song better than we will tonight, so we better play it better than we think we can!’ Coming to Australia is just an extra piece to the puzzle; it’s different saying to a Philadelphian crowd that ‘this is our greatest show’ or that ‘our next show will be better, we’ll see you next year!’, because what if I say that ‘we’ll be back to Australia next year’ but it doesn’t happen? You know, you can’t always count that it will happen! What about if these same fans aren’t there and it’s an entirely different group next time we come back; we only have the one chance to make the best of that moment!”
Carrabba gave a small insight into songs what Australian fans are going to hear on the upcoming tour, after this interviewer asked whether fans are going to hear some long lost gems or massive hits from the first couple of Dashboard albums, as well as the very early days. Carrabba gave a very passionate and enthusiastic “of course, absolutely!” before explaining how “I know picking a set-list is usually a nightmare, but I think a lot of the choices are being made for us. One of those choices is which material to lean towards and that’s because we’re aware of what fans want; that because we’re on social media so we see what people are discussing about wanting to see, which gives us a massive advantage and we aim to play those songs.”
Knowing that Dashboard recently finished a run of shows across the USA, this interviewer wanted to know whether everything went as smoothly as Carrabba was hoping for, but also wanted to know whether it was more planned out than the Australian tour was! Carrabba explained how “it was just what I hoped it to be when I conceived it and tried to find out if my friends were free and able to spend the summer chasing some songs; it was better than I hoped for to be honest! This tour was only marginally more planned than the Australian tour (laughs). I’ve kind of fallen into this thing where even though I understand how everybody is better off when you plan out so far off in advance, I don’t feel like I’m living in the present. So I’m trying to do things as close to moment of inception as I can! We didn’t get to book Miami not too long ago on this recent tour; even though I didn’t grow up there, it’s one of my hometowns but I didn’t think anything of it. As the tour was coming to an end, we got this offer to do this corporate offer to perform a free show for the audience, so it worked out better in the long run! I guess that if you’re lucky like me to not only get successful, but are able to stay successful by putting your trust into your fans instead of into your record label I guess, you end up having longevity and these things can happen for you; you miss a city but you don’t need to worry because things can work out before too long.”
So what does Dashboard Confessional have planned for the rest of 2017? Carrabba let the Dashboard fans something that will make their hearts skip more than just a beat!!
“We’re focusing on how we’re going to release the new record we’re making; we’re well into the creation of the album and are hopefully being able to announce something before too long! Touching on the release date of the new album, if it were up to me it would be an early next year release date; maybe we’ll release one or two songs between now and the new year, but just make sure to keep your eyes out!”
PURCHASE TICKETS TO THE UPCOMING TOUR WHICH STARTS ON WEDNESDAY HERE!