Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba Says 2020 Motorcycle Crash Gave Him ‘Deep, Deep Appreciation for Life’
Dashboard Confessional's Chris Carrabba is currently back on tour supporting the new album All the Truth That I Can Tell, but according to the singer, his return to the stage after a 2020 motorcycle accident was not always a given.
Carrabba opened up about the accident, his long recovery and the appreciation he has for the moments he's able to currently share with audiences during a chat with Stryker on the Tuna on Toast With Stryker podcast.
Reflecting on the incident that took place in June 2020, Carrabba recalled, “There was a piece of debris from a previous car accident there that hadn’t been cleared. And as I don’t have a great memory [of it], this is how it was explained to me, a piece of that debris got up in the fork of my motorcycle, I went over the bars and slammed into the concrete. Into the pavement. And I was pretty badly injured.”
According to the singer, his injuries were severe and he underwent a long recovery process after breaking his humerus, collarbones and shattered bones in his shoulders.
“The physical therapy, the dealing with the trauma of it all, the rigorous effort it’s taken to learn how to play guitar again … That was like the icing on the cake, cause first you have to learn how to brush your teeth, then you have to learn how to lift your arms up, and then you have to learn to dress yourself and all these things,” says the singer.
“Everything had to be rebuilt. Plus some of the muscles were lacerated in the accident, but also then they have to lacerate the muscles to fix the injury," says the singer, who says after the injury and surgeries he has "plates and screws and pins."
As the singer expressed that he had to relearn the guitar, Stryker asked about his initial prognosis. “The higher functionality was not a given," explained Carrabba, later revealing that he never really fully understood how uncertain his musical return was until doing a testimonial with the doctors from Vanderbilt hospital. "I didn't know that I knew that severity that they didn't know if they could save my shoulders at all," explained the singer.
Now, back on the concert stage, Carrabba revealed a recent moment that the audience may not have realized, but essentially was a key moment in his recovery. “At the end of the show, I often do this, I lift my guitar up over my head," explained the singer. “I did a couple shows last year and I remember thinking, ‘Is it gonna get up? Am I gonna raise this guitar all the way? Is it gonna fall over when I do? Will I be able to move my arm tomorrow if I do this?’"
But for his recent New York date, the singer says, "I didn’t think about it at all in this moment the other day. And I held it up, and there’s a picture of me from behind holding it up... And that was a beautiful moment to have had onstage.”
As for how he feels now, the singer says, “I just feel so good and lucky and happy. And I don’t look back at the accident with grief or sadness. Surely wish it hadn’t happen, but it has, and as these things will do, it has given me a deep, deep appreciation for life and the opportunity to keep living it.”
And speaking to that appreciation, the vocalist offers, "To know that I can embrace my children and my wife, to know that I can do housework or yard work, to know that I can do my work, just to know that I can be a fully realized human being in the face of what could've happened just makes you appreciate things with a hell of a lot more gratitude."
Dashboard Confessional will continue their "Surviving The Truth" tour with Jimmy Eat World tonight (March 2) in West Des Moines, Iowa, with dates coming up this week in Wichita, Fayetteville and Little Rock. Check out their whole itinerary and get ticketing information here and view the rest of Chris Carrabba's chat with Stryker on the Tuna on Toast podcast below.