Dashboard Confessional preps 'poppy' album

Chris Carrabba touts power-pop writing on new effort

NEW YORK -- Dashboard Confessional's latest album won't be out until fall via Interscope, but the artist believes "it has a vibrance that is suited for summertime." Part of the reason? Sympathetic production by Adam Schlesinger of power-pop mavens Fountains of Wayne.

"Some producers do an amazing job of inventing new techniques. But Adam understands the palette of craftsmanship. He's really good," said Chris Carrabba, who's particularly enthused by tracks such as "If This Is Chemical" and "No News Is Bad News."

"It's a nice marriage of where I've come from and where I've gotten to. For me, it's the track that ties all the ends together," he said of the latter.

Carrabba enlisted Schlesinger because the material, "to be frank, it's a bit poppy. But not in a 'pop' popular music way -- in the grand tradition of a power-pop writing style, which Adam is spectacular at. This is as close as I get to it. I'm a bit of an angular writer and I felt myself being pulled in this new direction. He's a master of that end of the scope."

Carrabba said he wrote around 25 songs for the project, but instead of spending a lot of time arranging them, he emailed his Dashboard bandmates the demos so they could jointly discuss them.

"Months went by, and we went on another tour," he recalls. "So by the time we finally played the songs, we had this immense fire. It was like being in a garage band. It helped we were literally in a garage. Adam came in, and the benefit of only having played the songs for three days was, we were really pliable. We never lost the spark of the younger nature of the songs. They never had a chance to be overcooked. He understood that was important to us."

Dashboard plans to hit the road in support of the album later this year, but Carrabba has at least one other project on his mind, about which he declined to reveal details.

"If I can get these guys to actually all come into the room together on the same day, we'll see what happens," he said. "Right now, it's only just a bit more than 'in theory' right now."