Dashboard Rewards Core Fans With New Album

While most bands that achieve a modicum of mainstream success make a point of courting their new converts, Dashboard Confessional went the opposite direction on its new, acoustic record "The Shade of

While most bands that achieve a modicum of mainstream success make a point of courting their new converts, Dashboard Confessional went the opposite direction on its new, acoustic record "The Shade of Poison Trees" (Vagrant).

The album debuted last week at No. 18 on The Billboard 200 after selling 48,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It's a respectable entry for an indie band, but a drop-off from the act's previous two releases. Those albums, 2006's "Dusk and Summer" and 2003's "A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar," both debuted at No. 2.

But Vagrant president and band manager Rich Egan says, "When we made the record, we didn't want to think in terms of keeping all the pop fans we gained over the summer interested."

Dashboard frontman Chris Carrabba "made the record quickly, and we kept it under wraps until the last minute," Egan says. "It was meant to sound like the older records" -- meaning the band's first three albums, before it hit the top half of The Billboard 200.

"Chris wanted to get this to his core fans," Egan continues. "We didn't do a video and there is no single; none of us have any interest in playing the chart game with this record."

Despite this, a few stations have played cuts off "The Shade of Poison Trees," including modern rock KNDD Seattle and triple-A KENZ Salt Lake City. Carrabba is also touring in support of the new album, although he is playing small clubs and avoiding the arenas at which he previously performed.

After the tour, Carrabba plans to head back to the studio. "There will definitely be a new record out in eight to 10 months," Egan says. "The record is written, and he just needs to record it."