Twin Forks

Chris Carrabba. Loved by many for his incomparable talent when it comes to the music business, he's now the frontman of new band Twin Forks, made up of members from The Narrative and Bad Books as well as the obvious Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever.

We got the chance to chat to the heartthrob musician about the creation of the new band, exactly how they went about recording their new material and just what UK fans can expect from their tour, which they hope to reschedule as soon as possible. "We'll make it up to them!" Chris promised. Read on to see what else he had to say.

What led to the creation of Twin Forks?

A bit of a winding road. But, ultimately it was about me going further and further back into my earlier influences, so kind of becoming brave enough to tackle those without fear of, sounding as if I was copying them.

So how would you describe Twin Forks as a band?

I would say it's a beat-stompin' folk Americana, bluegrass mash-up.

How's the chemistry between everybody?

I couldn't have imagined a better chemistry. It really is phenomenal. The whole idea was that I assembled a group of people that I was friends of independently of each other, that I found to be really incredibly positive people, and that's what I was looking for. I figured that if there were a lot of joyful people in the band - and the goal of the music was to be joyful - then it owuld be representative of the music, and that's the case.

How would you say it compares to your previous work with Dashboard Confessional and Further Seems Forever?

Well, it's real hard for me to say. I think it's pretty hard to look at your own catalogue and find the lines that connect. I would say there's certain similarities because my sense of melodies is, my sense of melody. But, I would say there's a - even though I would say there's happy songs and sad songs within the catalogue of all three bands - I should say there are not there was - the overriding feeling with this band is joy, and I would say that's what we wanted to lead with.

I imagine that ties in well with your live shows and I know you're coming to the UK for a string of shows, what can fans expect from those?

They can expect a reschedule, unfortunately! (laughs) We had made a commitment before we booked this UK and Europe tour, and that commitment we were told was falling through, so we continued on to make plans to do the tour that you and I are discussing now. Murphy's Law of course came back and said 'Oh yeah, that tour's on', so we were stuck in a tight spot and now we have to go with - I think you always have to go with the commitment you made first - you're gonna disappoint somebody somewhere you know? So, in terms of karma, you just gotta go with the one you said you'd do first. So (laughs) there's no way that nobody's not gonna be angry about it, and I figured this way at least I know I did what I believe is the right thing. So, anyway, you can expect a reschedule and I hope that this is as soon as possible where we immediately, as soon as we realised this, we broke out the calendar and started to try to find holes to then use and what have you, so we're working on making that up immediately.

But, what you can expect when we do get there (laughs) if I can do this - is a very lively show. A very unrestrained and joyous approach to live music, which I think I was lucky enough to do with all the bands I've been in, but the music in this band is more conducive to that than anything I've done before. And also I think what you can expect is obviously we're there to play Twin Forks, otherwise we'd be advertising it as something which it isn't, but also, I've got a big catalogue of music I've made with different bands, and I've got people that are fans of all those different bands and I'm not opposed to playing those songs. All I hope for is that the people that come give us a real chance to be the band we are, and not demand us to be the band - my other band.

See, I have no like no hard-thatched rule 'I will not play Dashboard songs, I will not play Further songs', but I do have a hard-thatched rule that I will play Twin Forks songs! (laughs) That's what we're there for!

And I think the other thing that you can - this is just judging by how they've gone - something to expect is that there's some contagious crowd participation. Now of course I've experienced a lot of crowd participation in my career but this is a different kind of thing where it's a really physical one with hand clapping and boot stomping and whistling, shouting, cheering. It's really exciting. It's really exciting it's like, to me, from where I stand it's euphoric. I get transported to some kind of other place that I'm not used to, to be honest with you. I'm really excited about that. It's new, after all these years, for things to still continue to be new and lively, and surprising, who the hell gets that? That's pretty lucky.

Going back to when you put together your new material, what creative process did you go through?

Well, it was a real free-wheeling kind of thing, where - I'll spare you the long version - but it started out as one thing that became a very - knowing I wasn't gonna do a Dashboard record next I started to like, something akin to Alexi Murdoch or Nick Drake - those kinds of things - delicate finger-picking songs that can be intricate but delicate finger-picking songs with relatively simple but poignant lyrics and all that, but very understated. Then there was a point where a little bit of adrenaline came in, and that was the eureka moment.

So, the process then became that I would sit and I'd write a song - this is just the way it's gone this time, I expect it to be or well, it has become much more collaborative, in terms of the process of the writing, not the arranging - but at the time the guys and Suzie kind of decided amongst themselves that I have some understanding of what the songs ought to be and that I should be able to run with it first.

And so the process was that I would write a song, in the afternoon, the bandmates would flitter in and out of the garage, give me a nod here and there, or a funny work like 'that's not it!', you know? (laughs), but when I'd finished it, I'd record it just with an acoustic guitar and a vocal, we'd drive around and listen to it, seperately or together, we'd come back a couple of hours later with no expectations of what anybody was gonna do, and also without my clean memorisation of what I'd done, and so what I'd done would change in the moment, and we recorded it live in our dirty garage, with all the mics on, so there's tonnes of bleed and it's not a pristine, but it's really exciting, and there's moments of reaction all over the record where I can't help but hoot, and holler, because somebody's done something great. There's moments where Suzie's laughing at us - it's all over the mic. There's moments where Jonathan is announcing for example, 'Hey, here comes the next section', and the way he does it he just goes 'Hey!', and there it is, it's on the record.

So, the process was for lack of a better term, it was free-wheeling, and like nothing I'd done before. I love it. I loved it. I loved that process. I'd spent so many years after my first couple of records - which were like do it yourself, not sure what's going on - to the point where you're a more successful band and there's a lot of expectation, and one of the things that is expected in the process is a pristine approach. And where people maybe, even if they are singing at the same time, they're playing in different rooms maybe, and that was just not something we wanted to do on this.

So it's a very real record in that sense?

Yeah, it's hard to say that other records aren't real because people do it in a different fashion, but for me it was a very spontuneous record.

How would you say your work today reflects on where you are in life?

I'm not sure, that takes a while. That's something you see in hindsight I see, or with a little perspective of time passing, but I imagine it must, right? It has to. I just don't know how.

How would you describe the experience of life as a travelling musician?

Oh, it's equal parts adventure and monotony. It can be the most glorious, fun adventure of your life, and it can be the most boring, aggravating, mind-numbing bullsh*t you've ever gone through in your life. And so, you just wake up every morning, kinda hoping it's gonna be the adventure. And when it's not, you just hope there's enough booze left after the show (laughs) to turn it into something fun!

Twin Forks' self-titled debut album is released March 17.

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