BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise. The paper started in June 2004 and continues to provide a healthy dose of perversity while exercising rock ‘n’ roll ethics.
DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL lifting the whole damn crowd up It’s been more than eight years since we last heard from Dashboard Confessional, but front man Chris Carrabba is feeling good about the band’s new album ‘Crooked Shadows’, out on February 9 via Dine Alone Records. Carrabba is hanging out in Nashville (where he now lives), rehearsing and waiting for the snow to fall when reached on a blustery January day. “I just feel like we had an objective and a creative goal, and we nailed it and then exceeded it,” Carrabba declares. “I owe a lot of credit to my band mates and producers and friends, but also to my fan base who said ‘take your time’ and allowed us to take a lot of time.” ‘Crooked Shadows’ encapsulates everything great about Dashboard Confessional: loud, bright guitars, driving rhythms, and emotionally rich lyrics, among others. However, Carrabba says crafting those soul-bearing lyrics and upbeat melodies took longer than usual. “It took more time than ever before to find my voice, your point of view, your melodic tenancies that make it identifiable as the band that you’re in,” he explains. He continues: “I needed to envision this record as if I was making the first Dashboard record. PIZZA BATH In crust we trust As zestful as a slice of well-seasoned za, the saucy foursome known as Pizza Bath enjoy the hell out of a good kitchen party. Punching upwards with a frantic and fraught punk rock sound, vocalist/guitarist Sean Hamilton, guitarist/vocalist Eric Andrews Svilpis, bassist/vocalist Gavin Howard and drummer Fergie McLean recall the thirsty days of yore when garage jams and Hot Pockets ruled the suburban wasteland. “We all play in a lot of bands,” Hamilton acknowledges. “Pizza Bath emerged as a project out of Rockin’ 4 Dollar$ at Broken City. I had all these punk songs I’d been writing while on tour drumming for Miesha and the Spanks and I just wanted them to have a purpose. Eric helped me put together a band that was only supposed to learn like four songs, but it just sounded too good to not pursue and put some energy into.” Pouring their collective steam into a fully-loaded EP seemed like the right direction to head in, and they got down to pounding out some speedy but generously proportioned tunes. “The goals and values of Pizza Bath stem from the lyrical content,” he elaborates. “We wanted to be fun and goofy, but then have a much darker message in our portrayal of what life means and what our role in the world is. What we try and promote through our lyrics and real life actions is just a willingness to become better; in everything we are and through all of our failures. We want to grow and learn be the best versions of ourselves with each new experience.” How would I make this record and how would it sound?” “We Fight” was the first single; a poignant anthem for the underdogs, the people who have had to stand up and fight for everything they’ve earned in life. In powerful chorus, Carrabba proclaims: “And we earned what we could from the ground up/ And tried to lift the whole damn crowd up/So we fight our way in/And we fight our way out.” “It’s a song that we’re excited to play in front of people. They started singing along to it recently,” he says with enthusiasm. Whether it’s for Dashboard Confessional or for Twin Forks, his newer folk-influenced side project, Carrabba wants to continue writing great songs and learning from the experience. “Just when you think you’ve got the hang of it, you break the pencil,” he confesses. “I love to write. I love to write great songs and I love to write terrible songs. And if I was bagging groceries at the Piggly Wiggly, I’d love to write songs. And if I was a stock boy at Sears, I’d love to write songs. If I was an investment banker, I’d love to write songs.” He concludes, “This is a thing I do because I love it. “ To each a calzone. Classic emo group releases ‘Crooked Shadows’ on February 9. Dashboard Confessional will be playing MacEwan Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 27 (Calgary), Salvation is where you find it. And in the case of the not-soflippant-after-all Pizza Bath, a compelling melody, unguarded confession or even a decisive downbeat can all illuminate the path to a more fulsome experience. Proof that the group’s philosophy isn’t hopelessly mired in glutinous psychoanalysis and sadness, Pizza Bath always makes short work out of providing audiences with a cheesy good time. “Don’t get me wrong, Pizza Bath is a lot of fun and games. That’s important, as well,” Hamilton affirms. “If you aren’t actively trying to enjoy life, then I’d like to meet up, give you a BY TREVOR MORELLI Union Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 28 (Edmonton), O’Brian’s Event Centre on Friday, Mar. 2 BY CHRISTINE LEONARD high five, and try to explain that if this blip of an existence isn’t the coolest thing in the universe, I don’t know what is. But, we do acknowledge the darkness. Because if you don’t see the desperation in life, you might be missing out on living a little bit of it.” Pizza Bath will celebrate their EP release show on Saturday, Feb. 17th at Nite Owl (Calgary) with Abductees, Old Wives and All Hands on Jane. Abductees will also be releasing a new recording that night! 20 | FEBRUARY 2018 • BEATROUTE ROCKPILE