After spending two years writing and recording his latest album, "Dusk and Summer," Chris Carrabba, lead singer and brainchild of emo-rock outfit Dashboard Confessional, is once again ready to bare his soul to the world.
The album, out June 27, paired Carrabba with Don Gilmore (Pearl Jam, Linkin Park) and Daniel Lanois (U2, Bob Dylan, Paul Oakenfold), who split production duties. It also features "So Long, So Long," a collaboration with Counting Crows singer Adam Duritz.
Carrabba will spend his summer doing a "classy" club tour before embarking on a larger arena tour in the fall.
AP: Why did you spend so much time writing this album?
Carrabba: Because they let me (laughs). I wanted it to be as good as it is now. I knew exactly what I wanted from it and I took a good amount of time making the record.
AP: What was it that you wanted from it, exactly?
Carrabba: Wow, you're the first person to ask me that so I don't know that I've put it in words. I envisioned it having a sonic grandeur. I wanted it to envelop me as if I were the listener. I wanted the music to be welcoming and carrying me where the songs intended to take you. I wanted you to be lifted up simply by the music without it being bloated. It was all about finding the simplest but most powerful ways to convey the moment in the song at all times.
AP: How has commercial success changed why you started making music in the first place?
Carrabba: I can honestly say that it hasn't. It really hasn't. You make this music to fill up some hole inside of you. All those people cheering for it doesn't fill up that hole. It's incredible and flattering. It's an extra, because with or without it I'm still looking to feel that high you get from creating that music. I think music and art is all about intangibles. You just feel lucky, like it's a gift.
AP: Are you a fairly accessible person emotionally or do you keep things to yourself, aside from songwriting?
Carrabba: Emotionally, I'm not accessible. I'm a welcoming person. If I met you at a bar we'd have a great conversation. As far as letting my feelings out, that 's why I write songs. I don't bottle them up to the point of insanity. That's my coping mechanism.
AP: What's the deal with eye sexing an audience member?
Carrabba: Excuse me?
AP: I heard you have this tendency to focus on one person at a show and stare and them and your fans termed it "eye sexing."
Carrabba: Wow, that's hysterical. I love that! Those kids are awesome — how witty is that? I guess I do do that. You can't help but look at the audience and if you find somebody and they're having that movement listening to a song that gets to you, I'll connect with them and have eye sex with them (laughs). Now I'm never going to be able to look anyone in the eye from stage again!
AP: I guess I tainted your ability to perform.
Carrabba: I'm eye-sexually impotent!