When I’m writing, I have to allow that to be the most important thing that I could possibly be doing. That’s what happens with a lot of people when they make more and more records. There’s more important stuff that comes around. Responsibility creeps in, and it’s necessary and wonderful. But I think you have to make an agreement with yourself: When a song begins to feel like a real thing, you’re just going to have to let that be the moment you’re going to be in. And not be distracted and be selfish. Not meet your friend like you said you were going to. Or finish your bills. Or route your tour. Or whatever else your responsibilities are.
Jon Caramanica, writing for The New York Times:
Yes, and it wasn’t. If you were to have been my accountant at that time, you would say there might never be a better time than right this minute to release a record, but it just doesn’t work for me that way. So the waiting game began. We did our tour and a year passed. I wrote, like, snippets and then I would stop. I’d physically stop. I put the pencil and the paper down and said, “Stop it. You’re just eager, you’re eager to deliver.”
Then one day off tour I woke up one morning and I walked downstairs and I wrote a song, and it was evident from the first melodic idea that this was a Dashboard song. And the next morning I woke up and I bolted for my guitar. I realized, “I’m there.” After all that time I’d begun to wonder if they’d ever come back, and when they came back they came back in rapid succession. The whole thing was a cavalcade and I just surrendered to it.
This is a really well done and informative interview. I’ve been spinning the new album for a few weeks now, and there’s some really good classic Dashboard Confessional songs on it (and a few I’m not sold on), but man, I will go do my grave thinking Alter the Ending was criminally underrated.
The part that I don’t feel connected with was when certain bands started to use their songs as a platform to brag, about how much money they had or how wonderful they were. That’s when I checked out. When I say we got knocked down a peg, I think it’s maybe a better choice of words to say we got knocked off our perch a little bit. We weren’t played on the radio – we were kind of whipping boys who were made fun of.
“It’s probably not savvy to say this, but I’ve begun to admit that I like my older records better — and I know why,” he explains. “As time went on, people came along with good and different ideas, and one thing I kept hearing a lot is that lyrics don’t matter — and I think I’m not the right guy to say that to. They might be completely right, but that’s why I write songs. So this (upcoming) record, to me, is very much like the first three and a half records, where it’s just like — I have something to say, not just a nice thing to sing.”