Chris Carrabba rekindles the fire for Dashboard Confessional

By MIKE CHAIKEN

EDITIONS EDITOR

Last year, Chris Carrabba reconvened Dashboard Confessional after putting the band on ice for a while.

While Dashboard Confessional was on the shelf, Chris didn’t forego music altogether. Instead, he pulled together a more roots-acoustic oriented group called Twin Forks. He also did a slew of songwriting for other artists, including “American Idol” winner (and fellow Connecticut resident) Nick Fradiani.

Although Dashboard Confessional didn’t record any new music after regrouping, the band—which is now Chris, Scott Schoenbeck on bass, John Lefler on guitar, and Mike Marsh on drums— did head out on the road last summer on a tour with Third Eye Blind.

And that experience of playing live has refueled Chris’s passion for the band, he explained in a phone interview.

Dashboard Confessional is heading out on the road this summer with Taking Back Sunday. The tour stops in Connecticut on June 16.

Chris’s newfound love for the band where he got his start also has fueled fresh material for Dashboard Confessional.

“I’ve rediscovered my passion for this music,” said Chris. “I found my way back in. It was out of my reach. But it’s back.”

Although, Chris has new music for Dashboard Confessional, he said he doesn’t plan to turn the set list over entirely to new music. He said one or two new songs may turn up in the set list for the tour. But, he said, “That’s not what the people want.” The focus will be on the many songs in the band’s history.

However, Chris said, the set list has the ability to change every night. “We’ve kind of rehearsed every song that’s ever been on record (for Dashboard Confessional) to make sure if the mood is right, and we want to play it, we can.”

When Chris takes the stage at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, he will essentially be playing before a hometown crowd.

Although one would think performing before friendly faces would be easier than playing for a crowd of strangers, Chris—who grew up in West Hartford— said this is not the case.

“It’s daunting,” said Chris. “It’s the height of stage fright to play for family and friends.” They may be already on your side, said Chris, but you want to “give them a reason to be proud of you.”

That said, Chris explained, “I love playing my hometown. I’ve had nothnng but great experiences (there) from getting my very first guitar to writing my first song.”

Looking back on his younger days in Connecticut, Chris said his love for skateboarding in the Nutmeg State actually inspired him to be a musician.

There’s only so long each year you can skateboard in New England, said Chris. One fall , he said, the ground was too wet and there were too many leaves for him to skateboard.

That was a problem. “I had too much energy,” said Chris.

This is where the music came into his life.

“Skateboarding is about trying again and again (to learn stunts) and being fearless,” said Chris.

So that fall day, said Chris, he wanted to be outside with his board. But the weather  wasn’t cooperating, he explained.

“So I sat with my guitar and wrote a song,” said Chris.

“I knew it was bad,” said Chris of that first effort. However, he kept writing.

Like learning a stunt on his skateboard, Chris said he knew he should try to write again and again. The songs still could be bad. However, he said, some of them might turn out to be good.

Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday, Saosin, and Early November play the Toyota Oakdale in Wallingford on Thursday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, go to LiveNation.com or DashboardConfessional.com

Dashboard Confessional during 2015’s performance at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)

Dashboard Confessional during 2015’s performance at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino. (MIKE CHAIKEN PHOTO)

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