Dash|Ten Vets of Life and Warped

dash-ten-interview-golden-mixtape
In between the time Corrin Campbell of Dash|Ten was sent these questions and now, the band announced with “heavy hearts” that “due to circumstances beyond our control,” they would be leaving Warped Tour. It’s never easy to have to go and change your plans and I wish them the best with whatever it is they are going through on their end. Alas, I wasn’t going to just ditch out on sharing what Corrin had to say about her time on the road this summer as part of one of the longest running traveling music festivals to date – from how they kept it clean to safety, we touched on it all and then some.

Kendra: I was thinking about this the other day, so I wanted to get your opinion. Why do you think bands often get defined by their lead singer? At first I thought it was only female-led bands, but then it seemed to be the case for a lot of bands that came to mind. Why do you think that is?

Corrin Campbell: A lot of people have hard opinion about that, but it really makes sense to me. The vocalist is speaking (singing) the language EVERYONE knows. The guitarist is speaking guitar, and the drummer is speaking drums. People who play those instruments probably have a different respect for what they do. But, for the person who is a music fan and doesn’t actually PLAY music, the singer is singing in words – fans don’t need to have a special skill to appreciate the lyrics coming out of our mouth. It also takes a certain level of personality to deal with the pressure of everybody waiting for you to say something, especially between songs. You’re speaking for your whole band at that point. So it only makes sense that fans would identify most with the person talking to them.

Kendra: You guys have a lot of mainstream influences like Paramore and Foo Fighters. Is that sort of the goal when you’re making music, something on a more universal rock level?

Corrin: We definitely want to have our own sound, like any band, but we’re definitely going for rock – with some pop songwriting sensibility. The best pop songs are singable, danceable. They have a “hook”. We want to incorporate that idea, but put it into our style – which is definitely rock. Sometimes, we get punk or grunge comparisons too, which is fine with us. But as a power trio, without a ton of backing tracks (which isn’t our thing), it makes sense to keep the music raw. We work hard on our musicianship, so our polish comes from the skills on our instrument, rather from the stuff done in production. We think rock fans are definitely the biggest fans of that mentality.

Kendra: So let’s talk about Warped. It seems hard as hell to stay so fresh and so clean, clean when on that bill. Do you have any tricks you’re going to try to keep things cool this summer?

Corrin: Baby wipes. All three of us are combat veterans, as is our tour manager. And anyone who has deployed will tell you – baby wipes will SAVE you. Also, Gold Bond. Haha We sound like 80-year-olds. But seriously, you do everything you can out there to just not feel 100% sticky ALL the time. Also, packing enough socks and underwear to switch them out a couple times a day is a good idea, because those are what get sweaty and gross the fastest. Taking a breather (or a nap) under the stage is also a good trick. We bring out those little bungee chairs (because they let your back and butt breathe) and camp out under the stage. Not only are you in the shade, but there is also, somehow, always this great breeze under there. In the end, though, everybody is just going to be DRENCHED in sweat, so at some point you have to embrace it and drink water so you don’t pass out.

Kendra: Do you have any safety concerns as a woman when it comes to Warped?

Corrin: I think the world is becoming a scarier place every day, but there is also more awareness. My mom is a 4th-degree black belt (crazy, right?) and had a self-defense non-profit for a while. I learned a lot of great stuff from her about how to defend myself, even without a “belt.” A hammer fist to the nose will take out most attackers even if you’re not super strong.

The biggest thing, though, is having a buddy you trust. The guys in my band are really careful to make sure I have a “battle buddy” most of the time, especially once the sun sets. We all watch each other’s backs, plus the backs of other bands and crew members – Warped is probably one of the safer tours I’m on because of how many people are looking out for each other.

Kendra: When you’re not on stage, where can fans expect to see you during the day?

Corrin: I’ll either be checking out other bands, especially with all the great throwbacks on the line-up this year, eavesdropping on some of the TEI workshops, or hanging out at our merch tent. We’ll have a set signing time every day, but I like to just pop in there unexpectedly to say “hi” and see how things are going. The U.S. Army is actually going to have a ton of Dash|Ten merch this year, and it’s all free. So find that tent (it’ll look like a big black and yellow dip cone), and you’ll probably find me.

Kendra: So many amazing bands have played Warped Tour over the years. So if you had to make a mixtape of your favorites from past years, what five bands and songs would have to be on it?

Corrin: Oh, MAN. So many good ones. I’d have to say:
Jimmy Eat World – “A Praise Chorus
Maxeen – “Block Out the World
Marmozets – “Captivate You
Box Car Racer – “Letters to God
Paramore – “Born for This

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