When Chris Carrabba adopted the name Dashboard Confessional to record “The Swiss Army Romance” in 2000, he had no idea he was starting a new band.
At the time, the Florida musician considered it just a solo side project from his regular group, Further Seems Forever. “I was very happy in Further Seems Forever,” recalls Carrabba, 35, who’s currently on tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of “The Swiss Army Romance.”
“But the content of that band was complicated songs, which can be great. But I had turned my back on a simpler way of writing music that still appealed to me quite a bit, and I was missing that.
“So I began writing very stripped-down, nearly naked songs, and that became ‘The Swiss Army Romance.’ I had no real interest in releasing it, but then a friend convinced me to release it and do one tour, that I’d really enjoy that challenge of going out by myself — and he was right.”
Carrabba wound up leaving Further Seems Forever after that band’s next album, “The Moon is Down,” and devoting himself entirely to Dashboard Confessional, which evolved into a full band with a more full-blown electric approach and five more albums since. But neither Carrabba nor his fans forgot where things started, and he says they were instrumental in convincing him to revisit that inaugural album this year.
“Over the course of the last year or so people kept asking me what I was going to do to commemorate this anniversary, and it got me thinking about it,” Carrabba says. “It’s worthy of celebrating, I think. It changed my life.
“I didn’t want to overdo it, but I thought it would be a very nice thing to go out and play the songs in the order they appear on the record. I did it one time before, when I made the demo for a record into a Dictaphone. Other than that I’ve never played them all together like this.”
Even as he blasts through the past, however, Carrabba is thinking about the future and Dashboard’s follow-up to 2009’s “Alter the Ending.” “I write all the time,” he explains. “I’m in constant pursuit of that one (song) that will change the course of how I write, which happens every time I make a record. I write songs as a hobby, not as a profession. It’s a great extension of my hobby that I get to have a profession with it. So I wait for that new thing that gets you excited.
“I feel like I might have found that the other day, in fact; if I’m right I guess we’ve started. It’s too early to say, but I write quickly, so who knows ... ”
Dashboard Confessional brings its ‘Swiss Army Romance’ 10th Anniversary Tour to town Friday, Dec. 17, at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $28. Call 248-758-9770 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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