An Interview With Active Duty Service Members Turned Musical Act, DASH|TEN!
Posted On 06 Jul 2016
Sgt. Corrin Campbell has been bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase “working musician”. As an active-duty U.S. Army Soldier and combat veteran, Sgt. Campbell has been working two careers – one of a Soldier, and one of an independent artist.
Finally the two merged and she began touring on behalf of the US Army in 2012, telling her Army story through music. “It’s amazing to be able to talk about what it means to be an individual with goals and aspirations, but have your character amplified by service as a Soldier. I am unique; I am still me.” says Campbell.
Recently developing a new band, the artist is excited to move forward with Staff Sgts. Peter Greenberg and Steve Ebert. The group now goes by the name Dash|Ten.
“The Army is a place where we can use our musical talents and skill sets to benefit a team – a incredible team of individuals who wear the same uniform and work for the same purpose: the protect the rights and life of the American people as we know it.”
Learn more about Dash|Ten in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! How’s 2016 been treating you all? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for the band and your music?
Thanks for having us! 2016 has been an amazing year for us. Our band was born this year! Our first performance was in March at the Warped Tour Kick-off in Orlando. We released our debut album in May, and put out an addition single on June 8th. Now we’re getting ramped up for Vans Warped Tour this summer. It has been a whirlwind!
How did this group first come to be? How did you come up with your band name? What other names were you considering?
All three of us are Army Soldiers, and we are all musicians by trade. Corrin has been the featured solo artist of our program, Army Musical Outreach, for some time. When they decided to move forward with a band, Corrin contacted Pete (drums) and Steve (guitars) and we collectively came up with the band name.
Our name, Dash Ten, is a little tongue-in-cheek for us. We really didn’t want a band name that was TOO Army (like Ricochet), but we did want something related to our military background. The “dash ten” manual (or -10) is the basic operating manual for a piece of equipment in the Army. Whether its small arms, a vehicle, or training device, these manuals are considered the “bible” for the operator. If you knew nothing about that piece of equipment, this manual would teach you the basics. We consider our musical sound as the basics of rock – just a power trio with no AutoTune, very little edits, not a lot of support tracks. We’re rock at it’s basic level.
How would you describe your sound to someone that hasn’t heard it yet?
Organic pop-grunge rock! Our album sounds like you walked into a room and a rock band started playing. Even the way we mic the drums, a simple three-mic triangular approach, really highlights the authenticity in our performances. If you hear it on the album, we play it that way. We take a lot of influence from the sounds of 90’s grunge, but love mixing it up with pop song-writing.
What’s it been like sharing your story through your music? Has this been difficult to do or an easy process?
Some songs are more vulnerable than others. A lot of the tracks from our debut album were written during tough times, and you can hear the angst, frustration, desperation of some of those times. It can be difficult to put it all out there, basically a page from our diary expressed in music, but in the end it means so much more to us – and to the fans who connect with it.
Where do you get the inspiration for your music? Is that constantly changing?
It’s our philosophy that the best music is inspired by real life, so it definitely changes depending on where we are in life. Even our most recent single, “Our Time Now”, was written as a calling to our generation. In a time where everyone seems so divided, polarized even, by issues of civil rights, classism, or other political issues, we really wanted to write a song that convinces us all to pull together. Our generation’s era is history is now, and if we pull together (instead of apart) we can make this era truly beautiful, not tragic.
Are you excited to play at Vans Warped Tour? Will this be the biggest crowd that you have played for?
We’re mostly excited to play at Warped because of the community that has developed on that tour. Whether between the bands, crew, and staff or the “coexistence” of the fans despite so many diverse interests, it’s really a perfect illustration of how people who are different from each other can be together and enjoy each other. The Warped kick-off had over 1,500 students present, plus it has been broadcast across the world, so that was probably our largest audience at one time. But we’d love to see that many people (or more) come out and see us at Warped Tour!
Who are some of your favorite artists? What artists have continued to inspire you and your music?
Corrin will tell you all day about how much she loves Dave Grohl and his collective career – from Nirvana to Foo Fighters, and all of his side projects. She’d be the first to fangirl if he walked into a room. But we take a lot of influence from that style. We also enjoy the songwriting of bands like Jimmy Eat World and Hoobastank. We’re most excited to see New Found Glory on Warped Tour all summer – though that isn’t really “our” style of music, they have been around almost 20 years and keep making great music. They stay current, while being true to their identity as a band. That is really the marker of a great artistry.
Are you all currently active service members? If so, how do you balance it all?
We are all active duty. Fortunately, being in Dash|Ten is our full-time job for the Army right now. That helps a bit. We spent over 300 days on tour in the last year! We still have to stay current on our PT (physical training) tests, our rifle marksmanship, all our Army training and safety procedures; it can be a lot to keep up with. But our military service gives us a background of hustle, so we’re used to it.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
Our musicianship is also really important to us. We want our listeners to really be able to appreciate the hard work and fluency of our craft. But most of all, we want our music to give listeners an ally – the struggles, the pain, the hope, the joy – all the things we go through are common to all men and women. We can connect and find common ground in the ups and downs of life. To serve our country, while bringing people together with music – what could possibly be better?