Warped Tour is known for bringing together all sorts of different people. This summer the tour hosted an act that you never would have thought existed, let alone play the Warped Tour: a power trio of active-duty soldiers.
Dash Ten is former solo artist Corrin Campbell’s newly-organized band, featuring herself alongside Steve Ebert and Pete Greenberg.
Dash Ten emits music that rocks hard and speaks from the guts of its members’ outlook and experiences. As the band’s frontwoman and primary songwriter, Campbell composes from the heart with an assertive, yet playful style. In one word, Dash Ten is badass.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Corrin back in July at the Vans Warped Tour stop in Syracuse about how she balances her Army and band duties, her thoughts on the state of the music industry, and how she hopes to create world peace.
Welcome to Viral Pirate, give us a quick introduction, please!
You guys have been very busy lately, namely because you just had your first album come out, right?
Yep, Dash Ten came out in May, and then we held back a single to be released exclusively through Warped so yeah, it’s been crazy. It’s good, I mean getting everybody’s feedback. We’re probably, like, the newest band on Warped, we’re getting a lot of people telling us what they think about the music even though they haven’t heard it before and that’s kind of cool.
Getting good vibes, and good positivity from the fans?
How’s the tour gone for you guys as a band so, like any troubles with the bus or anything?
It’s been pretty good, we’ve actually been driving ourselves, so that’s an adventure. You’re done with your set and have to hurry up, pack up and drive, try to sleep for two hours and then come back. We’re kinda tired but it’s totally worth it to be out here, Warped Tour fans are the best!
We’d do anything for them because they do a lot to show how much they love music. We’re just trying to keep up with the fans at this point.
What are the weirdest things you’ve seen on the tour so far?
Honestly, it’s been really normal. I think it might be because of the artists who are on this year. We’ve got a lot of veterans who’ve done Warped so many times. Last year was crazy — I did it as a solo artist before Dash Ten came together. Last year Riff Raff was on the tour, and the Youtubers, so Riff Raff would drive his four wheeler around where he wasn’t supposed to and the Youtubers brought in a young crowd.
It was like the Beatles were on tour-every time they went anywhere — girls would be screaming. This year has been really adult so far compared to last year. It’s really cool to check out all of the bands I listened to in high school.
For those who don’t know Dash Ten, what’s the band’s backstory in a few words?
All three of us are Army soldiers, we’re active duty. We met each other through the Army and just wanted to make some good rock music. We keep it really simple as a power trio, we do pretty straight ahead rock without any backing stuff. We like our music to be organic. We’re feeling out what it’s gonna be like, it’s so new. Still figuring it all out.
How did you guys meet and get the band together?
When I was doing stuff as a solo artist the guys were playing as my support, they each had toured with me before. I decided that I was kind of tired of being the center of attention, I’m not the kind of musician who wants fame. If I could play music for a living and nobody ever knew who I was that would be the dream.
Being the frontperson that’s never going to happen. But I was like let’s get a band together and see what music happens outside of my own little bubble. I really love it, both the guys are really creative and bring such a cool spin to the songs I am writing.
How do you get away with rocking out all summer as active-duty soldiers?
Right now it’s our job — isn’t that crazy? The Army says they like what we do because it shows how soldiers aren’t just machines in camouflage, we’re people with hobbies and passions. The Army wanted to take something creative and showcase that.
I feel like you guys are bridging the gap between the fanbase here and the different types of people who enlist in the Army. Have you talked to people about the Army?
Yeah, we talk to everybody about it because it’s a big part of who we are. We’re not out here to convince anyone that they should join the Army, it’s not for a lot of people and that’s ok. We like sharing it, it’s more about getting people to think of those wearing the uniform, versus what they see in the media.
We want them to be able to separate the person from the politics. Like, I’m not a Tea Party Republican just because I’m in the Army. Some people don’t realize that, they think that service means a certain thing about where you stand personally. I’m happy we’re breaking it all down.
I feel like it’s giving the high schoolers here at Warped another option besides the college route.
I think it’s amazing how many jobs are out there that are not college-based now. There’s so much creativity and so many different ways to learn. You can follow the college route, but sometimes college is a little bit behind. If you want to do something that is groundbreaking, you have to go at it your own way. I’m actually loving that, it’d be cool if we saw more people who did freelance and were self-employed.
What do you think about the state of the music industry and the decline of the record labels?
I hope it goes further and further away from big label machines. We have a song on our album called “The Scene” that is about how the industry eats musicians alive. Especially if you’re an independent musician: you’re hungry, you’re artistic, and you just want to get it out there. You have people who are like “OOO! Look at this label! Look at this deal!”
It totally compromises the art and how a person makes a living. I would love to see labels take a different role-not be totally gone, because they’re good at what they do, but I want more artists to be self-enabled. If you can write songs you should learn Photoshop, you should learn to make graphics. Get out there, learn to be multi-faceted and own your stuff, instead of signing your ownership over to a label that will take all of your money.
How did you guys manage to get on Warped Tour as such a new band?
Kevin Lyman, (founder of Warped Tour) and I have known each other for a while. I knew Hayley Williams and her family, they introduced me to Kevin a long time ago as a solo artist. The first date I did on Warped Tour was about four years ago. Kevin threw me a bone and was like “try this one date!”
He does that for bands all the time. When I came to him about the new project, he told me about the Full Sail stage and Kevin thought it would be cool since I’m a Full Sail student to be on that stage… It’s awesome because I can talk about my school stuff and how Full Sail teaches artists about the entertainment industry and how to take control of your art. Even though Kevin and I have known each other, I think it was the Full Sail thing that got me in.
How do you combat the stereotypes people have about those in the Army when people come talk to you after seeing your set?
I always say listen to the music. Honestly, people who aren’t huge military supporters for whatever personal reasons they have. If they like the music, I would take that person over someone who supports us just because we’re soldiers. That sounds kind of weird, but I think that music is something that brings us together.
You can support us just because we’re soldiers if you want, but if you don’t get the music you’re not really going to get what we’re about. I’m always trying to prove somebody’s stereotypes about the military wrong before they know I’m doing that. I encourage people to listen to the music first, and then let them discover that we’re in the Army-that’s going to change their thinking more than saying “We’re in the Army so you should listen to us.” We put the music first and let people make the call.
What do other service members, veterans, and soldiers think about your music?
I think a lot of them like it because it’s rock, and rock’s something that a lot of people like. They’re more weirded out that this is our job right now. They’re like “How did you get that gig? I want that job.” We’re the only original rock band touring on the behalf of any part of the service anywhere. There’s lots of military bands that do covers or marching gigs, stuff like that. But nobody else is writing their own rock music and going out to tour for it.
Usually service members are supportive because we’re doing something innovative-when you’re in the military that can be hard to do.
How does being on Warped Tour compare to your experience in the Army?
It’s like deployment… almost. It’s hot and dusty depending on where you’re at. I think as a band, or as a fan, you’re putting something first, as a higher priority, before your own comfort. It’s similar to being in the Army, you’re not going to be 100% comfortable. The Warped Tour community is so rad because the bands, crew, and fans all look out for one another even if they don’t know each other.
We’re all in this together, which is very similar to the Army. Knowing we’re all here for music and taking care of each other because of it-that’s what it’s all about.
Have you discovered any new bands while you’ve been out on tour this summer?
Yes, always. I had never heard of Palaye Royale and they’re phenomenal. We’re on the baby stage so that’s where you hear the best new music. Hail The Sun is very proggy, they have a lot of catchiness to their songwriting but are also pretty heavy.
Mother Feather is totally weird and awesome-they wear these elaborate costumes with feather boas, and it feels like a wannabe Britney Spears situation at first, but then they rock. Against the Current is really cool too. Getting to meet people who have been doing it longer than us is really cool.
What’s a question fans ask you most often and how do you answer it?
A lot of people ask me if I’m actually in the Army. Some people think we’re hired to look like we’re in the Army, but we really are! I get asked if I’ve shot anyone before but I don’t answer that. It’s tough to talk about, all three of us have deployed.
It’s almost a lack of reverence when we’re asked that, and people need to recognize the damage caused to both sides when there’s war. There are some snipers who keep score, but for me personally I think we need to try to find peace.
If you could wish for anything right now while on tour, what would it be?
World peace! (laughs) But I kinda mean that! It’s so funny that it’s a pageant answer. But my heart’s broken right now with the stuff that happened in Orlando, and all of the terrorist stuff that’s going on. My mindset is very pro-positive, anti-negative. I’m all for people doing what makes them happy as long as it’s not hurting anyone else.
We have a song out called “Our Time Now” about our generation’s opportunity to stand up and make our era in history right and to demand everyone be kind to each other. If I could just miraculously abolish hate I would…It has a lot to do with the media. Everyone is worried about profit and ratings, how much they can charge for ads. We have CNN on the left and Fox on the right, but where does someone find information that is objective? We need more media outlets, and people need to demand it. We need to cry out for unadulterated information.
Right now we’re all so opinionated and pitted against each other, it’s not making the world as cool as it could be.
So what do we have to look forward to coming from Dash Ten?
We’ll be touring a lot, we’ve got some fall tours kinda in the works right now. We’re almost ready to go into the studio again even though we just released our first album, which is pretty crazy. We’ve already experienced enough to have more to say, hopefully around May next year we’ll have another album out.
Every band goes through it after the first album, when you can’t edit it anymore or do another take, you have to just leave it. You hear what you could have done differently, which breathes a whole new burst of creativity into you so you can one-up yourself.