When I found out that Dashboard Confessional’s lead singer Chris Carrabba not only started a new band, Twin Forks, but will also be performing at Food Network In Concert, I forgot how to breathe. In fact, I gasped so loud at the dinner table that I immediately gave away my secret DC obsession when I was then asked to interview Chris. In short, Spoon University and Food Network In Concert made my teenage dream come true.
After a chat with my new best friend Chris, I’m excited to share the thoughtful details behind Twin Forks’ beginning, and a taste of what it is like to be in a band and live a life that is constantly on the move. Which unsurprisingly, involves a lot of pizza.
You probably associate DC with your hoards of punky burnt CDs (you know you owned in the 2000’s) that also included tracks by Green Day and Weezer. Although Chris is still the principal singer of his new band, you would not find Twin Forks’ new album (which is awesome btw) on that said CD. Now, Chris’ incredible voice is joined with four others, creating a fresh folk-like sound that is still evocative of the camaraderie that shaped the classic singer-songwriter music Chris cannot seem to shake.
Chris’ “aha” moment came when he and his pals were sitting outside of their studio (aka garage) jamming one day. Jonathan, now Twin Forks’ producer, bass player and singer placed his hand on the front of Chris’ guitar, stopping the sound completely. He then asked Chris, “Why are you afraid to do what you love?” From that point on, Chris committed himself wholeheartedly to playing in the bluegrass style that has influenced him from a very early age.
Chris explained how the music chosen by the people in your household, played in your home, seem to stick with you the longest. For Chris it was artists chosen by his mother, like Fleetwood Mac and Steve Earl, and who he claims became his defective father figure. Defective or not, his influence and many others’ have led Chris to this point in his musical career where he can finally play what he always did on his own, on a stage.
Although this new endeavor initially began with the intentions of performing one show after a period of playing folk and bluegrass covers, it inevitably became Twin Forks. The band performing now, yet slightly different than the album, consists of: Jonathan (bass player and singer), Sean (drummer and singer), Sarah (singer and occasionally tambourinist), Kelsie (mandolin and singer) and finally, Chris who plays the guitar and sings.
Like Food Network in Concert, which combines food and music, the touring life of a musician revolves around both. The former mainly because I would assume after hours performing, your hunger feels as insatiable as a teenage boy’s, who must eat a dozen slices of pizza immediately or will rebel in such a manner that would rival the angst of all the punk rock bands combined. When I asked about his rumored love of pizza, Chris informed me that pizza is the most readily available food after shows, therefore, yes, he eats a lot of it. But he clarified by saying “asking if someone likes pizza is like asking if someone owns blue jeans.” Touché Chris.
In his early years of touring, weekend tours in high school and college in their crummy old van that ran on (and was called) Hope, Chris and his bandmates’ search for a home-cooked meal on the road led them to a friendly home somewhere in Atlanta. Note, he prefaced this story with the incredibly true statement that, “food presented to you in college is frankly delicious.” Although they left the home full from a delicious meal, mysteriously called “scrapple,” he also left scarred for life after learning that scrapple was in fact the leftovers of a hog:
Chris: “This did not come up as well as it went down.”
Spoon: “So, like a hot dog?”
Chris: “No, the pieces passed over when they make a hot dog.”
This lovely experience may in fact have deterred him from red meat completely. Now, a true lean meat, sushi and green eater, Chris enjoys throwing fresh veggies from his garden on top of homemade pizzas fired up on a pizza stone atop their grill. Some of his all time favorite foods include London’s fast food chain Wagamama, shrimp and grits and Memphis, ‘Gus’ “best in the world” fried chicken.
But no matter where Chris goes, whether he’s whipping up his grandmother’s poached egg in a chicken and peas pasta sauce recipe or drinking well-paired wine with rogue hippie lawyers in horse-country Australia, it seems like the company of good people, food and music is always close by. We look forward to these especially at the Food Network in Concert at Ravinia, September 20th. Don’t forget to snag your (possibly free) ticket here.
Thanks so much Chris for the chat and the awesome food recs.