Dash|Ten is a three-piece band getting their start and finding their place in the music world. Fronted by rock star Corrin Campbell and compromised of fellow army soldiers Steve Ebert and Pete Greensberg; Dash|Ten released their first, self-titled album back in May and have been touring with the U.S. Army Musical Outreach Team – even doing a short run on this year’s Warped Tour. Dash|Ten has such a unique sound to them, with high energy and high passion that can be heard in every note.
Despite just getting their start as a band, all three members are seasoned musicians who have made music the center of their life. Corrin Campbell is the lead singer and main songwriter for Dash|Ten, and has played Warped Tour in 2012, 2014, and 2015 with previous projects. Earlier, Corrin Campbell sat down with our lead journalist to talk about Warped Tour, Army, the future of Dash|Ten, and new music projects.
Music Unlabeled: This is a question that I always try to ask to break the ice and get into the artist’s heads. But if you had to describe Dash|Ten’s sound to someone who had never heard it before, how would you describe it?
Corrin Campbell: I would describe it as organic pop rock. Mainly because we don’t use any kind of pitch or tone correction. We record it raw, all the performances are done in a couple of takes.
MU: A lot of the people who do know you know you through Warped Tour, as you’re something of a veteran having played Warped Tour 2012, 2014, and 2015. This year, you released a statement on your site, but a lot of people still missed you on Warped Tour. Can you explain a little bit more on that?
CC: Well, basically, Dash|Ten is an army sponsored band, and it comes down to politics. Everything we were doing gets paid by taxpayers, and people in politics wondered why taxpayer money was being spent on us going playing Warped Tour with the U.S. Army Musical Outreach Team. So we were pulled from Warped Tour because of things way above our heads on Capitol Hill. There was nothing we could do about it, but hopefully we can eventually get back on Warped Tour, I miss the fans and the people. And we have stuff coming up in the fall, so that’s good to look forward to.
So when you say that you guys have stuff coming up in the fall, does that mean more touring?
We spend about 300 days a year touring – it’ll be a few days short now that we’re off Warped Tour. We spend the weekdays touring and playing at high schools doing outreach and then night gigs at different venues. It’s really cool playing for high schoolers, about 45 minutes playing to kids and people who have never heard our music before, and they can be really raw and brutally honest with whether or not they like you, and you’re reaching out to young people at the same time. So yeah, it’s a really cool gig.
You guys also have a new album in the works, that’s supposed to be crowdfunded?
Yes! Our last album was kind of a compilation of songs written over a longer period of songs. We wanted to do something with a main story line and kind of let that theme travel through the album. Crowdfunding is something I have always been really skeptical of, but a lot of musicians do it successfully. We have a ton of cool, crafty high quality stuff we’re gonna be doing as reward perks too. It’s gonna be taking Dash|Ten from being a nonprofit band to being a profit band, which would take a lot of the politics out of our music and give us a lot more freedom.
Do you guys have a specific platform that you’d be running the campaign on?
The campaign will be launched through Kickstarter in the fall, running 30 days. It’s not something that I wanted to take lightly. If people were going to invest in us, I wanted to come up with some of the best rewards ever, including customized vinyl. We didn’t want fans to donate 50 dollars to an album and only get the album. We invested in a laser-engraver to make lyric art as a reward. Ariel from Icon for Hire successfully funded their album through a crowdfund campaign, and I think fans raised something like 120,000 dollars for the album. And they had really cool perks too. We were really inspired by them, and we really wanted to invest in making this campaign fun for everyone involved so she gave us a lot of advice.
Would you be touring in support of the new album?
Yes, absolutely. The way that army’s go out on these tours is they tour regionally, so we’ll be in one area for weeks and weeks and weeks. So when we’re actually launching this album – the first of May is the goal release time – the plan will be to go out on a nationwide tour and show everyone the music. It’ll be cool to do a more traditional tour, I’m really excited.
“The army helped me expand my way of thinking – I was kind of a sheltered kid and I joined in right after high school. I knew I didn’t know anything, and it forced my brain wide open.”
Would the Musical Outreach Program come with you on that tour?
No. All of us are in the army, which is what enables us to do the stuff with Musical Outreach Program. I think for me, especially as an artist, you have to follow your heart. I realize how much soldiers’ lives get tied into politics, and I’ve been in the army since I left high school – and I’m really grateful for my time spent there too. But it’s time for me to venture out on my own. I’d be totally leaving the army to see what else is out there, be able to dye my hair purple, do what I want. And again, it’d take a lot of the politics out of our music and let us be able to do what we want to with it.
So you’d be totally leaving the army?
And to clarify, you’ve been in the army how long?
That’s a lot of time.
Yeah. It’s a life time really, and I’m so grateful for it. The army helped me expand my way of thinking – I was kind of a sheltered kid and I joined in right after high school. I knew I didn’t know anything, and it forced my brain wide open. All kinds of different people from different places from different backgrounds, it’s been amazing and it helped me grow so much. I’m really grateful for all the opportunities it’s given me, especially to be able to play music without worrying about profit, but it’s time for a change.
Would your bandmates be leaving the army as well?
Everyone’s gonna make their own decisions, everyone’s got their own path to follow. I don’t know what they’ll decide to do but everyone’s gotta do what’s best for them.
If they decide to stay in the army, would the Musical Outreach Program still work with Dash|Ten?
Probably not. They’d probably replace me – the musical outreach program would. I think they have some singers lined up.
So if your bandmates decide to stay in the army with the musical outreach program, what would that mean for you? Back to being a solo artist, starting a whole new project?
No, Dash|Ten is mine, it’s coming with me. I don’t know what’s going to happen. We previously toured under my name, Corrin Campbell, but people kept getting confused about it, so we chose Dash|Ten to clarify that we were a band, friends all working together on a music project.
I really hope that it all works out for you guys, because Dash|Ten is such an amazing band.
Earlier you mentioned the new album having a theme and a main story line. Does that mean all the songs on the album are completed?
A lot of the writing is completed. I’ve got some sessions scheduled for demos between now and the actual recording but I’ve been really inspired by how our younger generations have banded together in this time – I mean 2016 has been scary. That’s kind of what “Our Time Now” is about, rising up and joining together. A lot of the songs are written in that vein, of being empowered and taking back the world and making it a better place. With the same kind of angsty edge that we’ve always liked. It’s my favorite thing in the world to make positive music with that high intensity sound.
Does the album have a name then, since a lot of the songs are written out?
Um, no. Some people would name a baby before it’s born. And I don’t think I’m having children any time soon, but I would want to see it’s little face before I name it. You wouldn’t name a puppy before you meet it, and I wanna get a chance to meet this album before I name it.
Is there anything else that you’re dying to share with fans about the new album?
I wanna keep it – it’s so far away, I wanna keep it a secret. It’s definitely going to be the edgiest album that we’ve put out, in the most positive aggression way possible if that makes sense. It’s good to be aggressively positive. It’s what the world needs. We’re very pro-pro and anti-anti, we want everyone to feel happy and free to do what they love. Sometimes you have to be a little bit more aggressive to make that happen, be louder than the voices that want to keep people from being happy. Um… We’re working on a couple of big guest vocals to feature on the album too; some powerful female vocalists, so we’ll see how they go. Girls that I’ve known for a while that are more well-known than me. I wanted to include vocalists that I looked up to, and there’s two women that I’ve talked to so far, and they’ve definitely inspired me.
That’s amazing. We’re so excited to hear the new album. And hopefully Music Unlabeled will see you on a Cleveland Stop in the future.
Of course! Why wouldn’t we come to Cleveland, you have the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and everything!