NYRMS Archive: Interview: DashǀTen talk debut album, Army ties and playing Warped Tour

(Originally published on Examiner.com on June 24, 2016)

Rock trio DashǀTen have been very busy over the last year. Besides releasing their debut full-length  album in May, the band is also one of the most talked about new bands on the 2016 Vans Warped Tour.

Singer/bassist Corrin Campbell has been a solo artist for years. Aside from her active duty in the United States Army with their Musical Outreach program, she has released an EP and two albums of her own. In 2015, she decided to start a band, recruiting two of her fellow army musicians, guitarist Steve Ebert and drummer Pete Greenberg, to complete their sound.

The band’s debut, self-titled album comes at you with raw rock emotion. Campbell’s lyrics are honest and direct, making both powerful personal and socially conscious statements. The lyrics are backed by forceful guitar playing and a rhythm section that provides unending momentum. Opening track “What You Wanted” comes out with an energy and aggressiveness that lasts throughout most the album. “Where I Stand” chugs along with soaring vocals, power and patriotism. “Not for Sale” makes a bold lyrical statement with pop-punk flair. Even slower songs, like “Truth” and “Equations,” still have this driving power that moves them along, guided by Campbell’s acrobatic vocals.

Aside from the album, the band also released a one-off single, “Our Time Now,” on June 8. The song was released as part of Warped Tour’s ’90 Days to Warped’ feature.

DashǀTen’s self-titled album is available for streaming now on Spotify. The band will be on the Full Sail University stage at the Vans Warped Tour as part of the Army Musical Outreach program all summer, where you can snag a physical copy of the album for yourself.

I had the opportunity to correspond with DashǀTen via email to discuss about their origins, their debut album, working with the U.S. Army’s Musical Outreach program, Warped Tour and more.

Elise Yablon (New York Rock Music Scene): How did the band form?

DashǀTen: Corrin has been a solo artist for several years, releasing her first EP in 2008 in the Baltimore scene. She had a great time with it, but decided last year that she really wanted to start a band, and make it less about “her” and more about a team. So she called up Steve (guitars) and Pete (drums) – who she knew from the U.S. Army bands – and asked if they wanted to start a power trio with her. They said “yes” and the rest is history!

EY: How did you decide that you wanted to get into music as a career?

DashǀTen: All of us have been playing music for most of our lives, and it’s a dream to be able to do it for a living! We all have our facets of how and why, but one common thing for all of us is the power of music to bring people together. It doesn’t matter where you’re from, how much money you have, how you dress, or who you love – music is a language we all speak! We love creating it, playing it, and then connecting with the fans through it.

EY: Congratulations on the release of your debut album! What was the songwriting/recording process like for the album?

DashǀTen: Thank you! Our debut album was really a compilation of a lot of music we’ve been working on for a long time. It wasn’t all recorded at once, or even all in the same studio. Dash|Ten has been in our minds for a while, so we really took our time and slowly brought all the pieces together so we could introduce the world to our sound exactly how we wanted to.

EY: What inspires you to write songs?

DashǀTen: Corrin is the primary songwriter in the group, and is constantly making notes in her phone. Whether life is easy or hard at the moment, fun or frustrating, writing songs is a great way to get out all the chaos in your head. Then, when a song comes together and is recorded, it’s a perfectly vulnerable admission of how imperfect we are as people. Whatever life dishes out, it can make a great song.

EY: You all have experience in the army. How does that experience factor into your music/songwriting?

DashǀTen: Being an independent band can be a lot of hard work, just like being a soldier. We work a lot of long days, and it takes a certain level of resilience – even stubbornness – to keep moving forward. The training we have gone through in the Army, as well as the ethics and values we’ve had instilled in us, make us work hard and live honestly. It’s a great foundation on which to build a music career.

EY: You’re run on the Warped Tour is being sponsored by the U.S. Army’s Musical Outreach program. How did that partnership come about?

DashǀTen: Corrin met Kevin Lyman through the Paramore camp, specifically Hayley William’s mom. She actually played a song of hers for him at a music conference in Atlanta. This was at the very beginning of her songwriting, back in 2009. He told her then that the songs were good, but not amazing, and it inspired her to work even harder. They ran into each other again in 2011, stayed in touch, and Kevin has been really supportive of her work with Army Musical Outreach. When we started Dash|Ten, he was incredibly encouraging; he invited us to play the tour, and even be one of the four bands that played the Warped Tour kick-off! This was especially cool because the kick-off was at Full Sail University, and Corrin is a student in their Internet Marketing program. We always joke that, because of his experience running one of the most complex touring festivals in the country, Kevin would make an amazing logistics officer!

EY: What are you most excited for on this year’s Warped Tour?

DashǀTen: Debuting the band on a tour with such a great fan base is an incredible opportunity. We’re really excited to see how people respond to the music and meet as many of them as possible! There are also a lot of great veteran bands this year that we can’t wait to see: Good Charlotte, Sum 41, Yellowcard, New Found Glory. Being on tour with bands we grew up listening to is a dream!

EY: Corrin Campbell played the tour last year. How do you think it will be different this year playing as a band?

DashǀTen: Being able to go out there as “the three of us” is a really great feeling. Corrin has a quirky personality, Steve is our resident sketch artist and horror film enthusiast, while Pete is a college sports nut. We’re excited [to] show how different the three of us are, but how we come together through music and have a great time. It’s not just about Corrin – it’s about what the three of us put together sounds like.

EY: What do you think new fans need to know about DashǀTen?

DashǀTen: Our music is pretty organic rock. We don’t use Auto Tune or any other pitch correction on any of the vocals. A lot of our album performances were recorded in minimal takes. We try not to edit the recordings too much or add a lot of fluff. We take pride in our musicianship and songwriting, really desire an authentic representation of how we play, and know there are more and more music fans out there looking for that kind of sound.

We also spend a lot of time chatting with fans online, especially on Twitter. It’s important to us to give back to the fans that are investing their time and care into us, so we get online and talk with people every single day. We make it a point to be accessible, so if anyone wants to chat hit us up pretty much anywhere online – @dashtenmusic!

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