Being a long time fan of Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever, you can understand my excitement to interview the legendary Chris Carrabba. It was there at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, California where I was able to chat with one of my favorite people in the music world. Currently on tour with his amazing new band, Twin Forks, he and his close friends Jonathan Clark, Ben Homola and the adorable Suzie Zeldin, he kindly took the time to chat with me about tour life and the big dreams for this band.
Christe Gee: First off I want to thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview.
Chris Carrabba: Of course. It’s my pleasure.
CG: How is the tour going so far, and would you say it differs from your former tours?
CC: It’s going great. It’s been amazing actually. How is it different? Well, I guess it’s closer to the earlier days of my last band that it’s been in a long time. I’ve done a lot of rooms this size since my band got big enough to do bigger places because I like this size room. This time it’s more of a mystery if anybody will be there because we are not trading on the names of the bands that we have been in before. We are not promoting it as Dashboard, The Narrative, Bad Books or the many bands Jonathan has produced. So we are trying our best to see if it will succeed or fail on its own. And it seems to be, sometimes the numbers are packed and sometimes it’s like middle numbers. The fact is that everyone is leaving with a big smile on their face and I feel like they will come back with friends next time.
CG. That’s amazing. I am curious while on tour do you have a daily routine that you stick to, or do you live spontaneously throughout the tour?
CC: There is a lot of spontaneity but I have to infuse my daily routine into whatever is going to happen on any given day. There is no predicting what is going to happen. I don’t even know where we are going to be tomorrow. I am not even sure where we are today…(laughter).
CG: Today you are in the lovely Costa Mesa.
CC: So there are certain things I do and I do those the same way everyday. It’s really simple things, like when I warm up my voice, which guitar or songs I play when I am messing around. But mostly it is just like a leaf in the wind you know?
CG: Totally. I know of some bands who like to eat at certain places when on tour, or go to specific spots.
CC: Nope. The ONLY thing I do consistently is warm up my voice, so I don’t have to worry about any other routine for the rest of the day.
CG: That’s great. Now getting specifically into talking about Twin Forks. Obviously this band has a different sound than let’s say Dashboard Confessional or Further Seems Forever, yet it is somehow similar.
CG: How would you say the fan base has changed within the different bands?
CC: I think that depends on if it’s the same fan base. I believe it is. I would say it at lease half and half new fans and old fans. So have the fans changed? I wonder if that’s a question for them? (Laughs). They seem to be just as vocal and yet somehow the subject matter of what I am writing now seems to resonate more to where they are right now in their lives. That is a comment I have gotten a lot from the investigating I have done.
CG: I can defenitly relate with those folks. I know that when I think of Dashboard and Further I remember it meaning something different to me during that time in my life. And now, during this part of my life I can easily relate the Twin Forks songs to these moments.
CC: You know, me too. I was going through different things when I began Dashboard, and at the end of Dashboard I was going through totally different things. That had changed all along the way. This is where I am and who I am right now.
CG: What would you say your favorite part of Twin Forks is, or what makes it special?
CC: I think my favorite thing beyond the songs is the camaraderie that we have and the fact that it’s unbridled, even on stage. It’s very spirited and there is still so much spontaneity all the time that we are still reacting through hooting and hollering all the time. Even after 90 shows into a tour.
CG: How long has this tour been running for?
CC: This is day 40 of this specific tour. I could be completely wrong. I don’t know, (laughs). We have basically been out since April.
CC: It has been mostly overseas which was amazing.
CG: That’s really great to have an opportunity to travel the world with your friends and a band you love so much. What’s next for Twin Forks?
CC: Well…we have a full length coming out in January, so I think the goal for us becomes how to grow and adjust as the music get’s more attention. Right now there is this great element of surprise. We are surprised too. And that’s something I would miss if it was gone. It’s important to me that the bits of mystery stick around. That is what I am trying my hardest to hold on to. Part of it is just like planting a seed. That’s a bad analogy, (laughs). It’s like building some kind of brick and mortar foundation for what you are going to build the whole thing on and never deviating from that. The whole thing is about spontaneity, the feeling of joy that is infused into the songs and also into the live performance. Expectation of how that is going to proceed could totally negate that on stage, so that’s one thing I have been trying to decide. I don’t know the answer to that is. It’s more about going up there not knowing how we are going to do it. And part of what we do for that is that I don’t write a set list. Whatever songs we played yesterday, we put up on stage and then I play whatever and somehow those guys, and gal, just figure out what song it’s going to be. Sometimes I say, and sometimes I don’t. I’ll just start the song and they figure it out. That’s one device. I think it’s about finding all the right devices to keep it surprising.
CG: What would you say would be your biggest dream come true for this band?
CC: I think what would be awesome, I’ll make no bones about it, is for this to become a career band for me. I got very lucky with Dashboard. I’m very grateful. I don’t hold any illusions that I’ll never do it again. I enjoy their company too much. And I love the songs too much. They hold a different place for me now than they did before but I do love them. And I absolutely love the audience that made us who we were. To be able to do that with songs that are meaningful and stories that are meaningful to me now, to the person I am now, with this group of friends would be incredible.
CG: Like a dream come true?
CC: Yes, it would be a dream come true. I know it seems kind of trite but it is kind of a dream at this point.
CG: The other members of your band are obviously special to you. What is the story behind the band?
CC: They are all friends of mine independent of each other. So that was the idea to bring them together. I thought this would be really special. The way I connect with people and the way they connect with each other are the same way, and it’s been successful surprisingly.
CG: I recently made a friend of mine a Spotify playlist to listen to listen to while out on tour. I of course put a Twin Forks song on it. As soon as he heard it, he messaged me right away and told me that it should be a big hit. He loved it a lot.
CC: Thank you for spreading the word!
CG: You are very welcome. I am excited to hear the full length. I hope the remainder of your tour is amazing. Thank you so much again.
Interview by: Christie Gee