Dashboard Confessional began as a side project of Chris Carrabba while he was a member of the band Further Seems Forever. Carrabba left the Florida-based rock band in 2001, shortly after the release of their debut album, The Moon Is Down—Dashboard Confessional’s first album, The Swiss Army Romance, was actually released the previous year. After leaving Further, Carrabba recorded Dashboard Confessional’s second album, The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most (2001), and an EP, So Impossible (2001). Dashboard Confessional may have started with just Carrabba but by 2002 the band had grown to include guitarist John Lefler and drummer Mike Marsh. Bassist Dan Bonebrake had a brief stint with the band before being replaced by Scott Schoenbeck.
One of the newly formed band’s early big gigs came in 2001; it was as an appearance on MTV Unplugged. That Dashboard Confessional concert, and the live album that followed, was the first time many of their songs were recorded by a full band. The following year, Dashboard Confessional released their third album, A Mark, a Mission, a Brand, a Scar. The offering reached the penultimate spot on the Billboard 200.
Since the band’s inception they’ve had no problems selling Dashboard Confessional tickets or albums. However, the band received a tremendous amount of exposure after their song “Vindicated” was used in the film Spider-Man 2 (it was also part of the film’s soundtrack). Spider-Man 2 is not the only movie that’s showcased the music of Dashboard Confessional. The band’s song “Finishing School” was used in the 2009 dark comedy, Jennifer’s Body. Needless to say, that film didn’t give the band quite as much exposure as Spider-Man 2.
The band’s next release came in June of 2006. Called Dusk and Summer, the album was produced by the renowned Daniel Lanois and contained the single, “Don’t Wait.” Like its predecessor, Dusk and Summer peaked at number two on the Billboard 200. The band would release two more albums before the end of the decade, The Shade of Poison Trees in 2007 and Alter the Ending in 2009. Neither achieved the success of their third or fourth releases but both albums cracked the top 20.
Dashboard Confessional has toured with a number of well-known acts including Bon Jovi, Ben Lee, Say Anything, and Brand New. In 2009, the band announced plans for a Dashboard Confessional tour with New Found Glory and Never Shout Never. The trek was never launched due to a family emergency, but Carrabba and Lefler did launch a modest acoustic tour with New Found Glory at the end of 2009.