After a long break to make the latest Dashboard Confessional album, "Alter the Ending," frontman Chris Carrabba is happy to be back on the road -- and particularly thrilled about opening the initial leg of Bon Jovi's North American tour next year.
"They're an amazing band that I love," Carrabba tells Billboard.com. "There's a songwriting prowess that those guys have that's inspired me so much, although it's probably not evident in any of my songwriting. And they're one of the archetypal live bands of the last 30 years; I can't wait to watch them play every night."
Carrabba cites a comment from Jon Bon Jovi that has stuck wtih him throughout his own career. "I heard Bon Jovi say once, when I was a young kid, that if a song can't stand up with just an acoustic guitar then you don't really have a song there," Carrabba recalls. "I think there's truth in that. If boiled down to its simplest equation, it should still be effective if it's a good song. So that's a good litmus test."
The Bon Jovi dates -- which start Feb. 19 in Seattle and continue through April -- are just part of Dashboard Confessional's planned touring for 2010. Carrabba and guitarist John Lefler are currently out playing acoustic dates to support "Alter the Ending," which debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 in November; these are in lieu of a full-band tour that was abruptly canceled due to an undisclosed "family emergency." Carrabba remains discreet about the circumstances that led to the cancellation except to confirm it did not involve his family.
"I can't really say much about it out of respect for the situation," he notes, "but everybody's doing well, and I think we're through the thick of it -- the thickest part of it, anyway."
Dashboard Confessional will play some headlining shows in-between Bon Jovi dates and is also plotting its own headlining tour for North America and in other territories. "I also hope to do a lot of shows with a lot of friends," Carrabba adds. "I feel like it took us a lot of time to make this record and a lot of time off the road, and I look forward to getting out there and having that sort of sleepaway camp experience that is the touring life.
"I think it's easy to say that we won't be home much next year, and I'm happy about that."