Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba is about to get higher than he's ever been before -- at least with a guitar in his hands.
On July 31, Carrabba will perform at the top of Pikes Peak in Colorado for the second annual Love Hope Strength Foundation and Health ONE Pikes Peak Rocks benefit, honoring cancer survivors and raising money and awareness for research and treatment. More than 100 climbers will hike to the mountaintop to be serenaded by Carrabba, while Fastball's Miles Zuniga will perform for the hikers during their ascent.
"I'm a little nervous, but it'll be fun," Carrabba tells Billboard.com. "The charity and the spirit of the people involved...climbing to Pike's Peak is emblematic of the work they do. It really was an easy sell. I was very happy to be involved with such a unique cause."
As for tailoring a repertoire appropriate for an audience that just climbed 14,110 feet, Carrabba says, "I usually just shoot from the hip. There's so many factors that come into play on a show day, especially when the show day has a special connotation. I find trying to plan for it is inevitably erroneous."
Zuniga will also play a concert during a reception for the hikers on July 30, while Brett Dennen and Michael Franti & Spearhead will perform at another reception following the climb. A bone marrow registration drive will also be part of the event.
On the Dashboard Confessional front, meanwhile, Carrabba is preparing to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the first Dashboard Confessional release, "The Swiss Army Romance." "People have been suggesting ideas for quite a few years, actually, but I'm more aware of it now than I was," he says. "I feel like we should do something, maybe some shows or something." He says some sort of special edition of the album, with added material, is also a possibility.
"I've got so many shows on tape," he reports. "I'm sifting through tons and tons of stuff; I had to get a VCR off Craigslist to look at some things. I have audio feeds from a bunch of shows just before the record came out. I have my demo tape, which literally consists of me singing all the songs in one pass into a dictaphone. I'm certain that since I have the only copy of some of these things have never been seen and they're not on YouTube, so that makes it interesting to me.
"I wouldn't say I live in the past, but I think about those times fondly and it's kind of rewarding to revisit them," Carrabba adds. "It infuses you with energy to hear it."
Carrabba says some of that energy will likely be applied to a follow-up to last year's "Alter the Ending," although Dashboard Confessional is unlikely to hit the studio before some more touring through the rest of the year. "I'm always thinking about a next album," he says, "but I don't really think about writing a record until there's a certain spirit within a batch of songs I'm doing. I think I stumbled into that the other day, so it's time to be thinking about some more new music."