While the military asks many things of its soldiers, Corrin Campbell’s job as a sergeant requires her to rock her heart out on stage at the Warped Tour all summer. That may sound far-fetched, but she and her bandmates in Dash Ten are part of the 21st anniversary of the traveling rock festival.
They’re a lot like any other band, playing heavy rock anthems laced with positive messages and Campbell’s strong vocals – but they all have a rank, and have toured war-torn countries as part of the Army Band.
“The Army has us touring so we can talk about our passion and individuality, and show that that’s still a part of who we are as soldiers,” explains vocalist/bassist Sgt. Corrin Campbell. “I think the Army wants to show that stuff doesn’t get compromised. There are a lot of cool things you can do with those passions you love while you’re still serving.”
She and bandmates Staff Sgts. Steve Ebert and Pete Greenberg (guitar and drums, respectively) all joined the Army to become musicians.
“We’ve all done tours overseas,” Campbell says. “Steve and I in Iraq, and Pete to Afghanistan. It’s perfect training for Warped Tour – tons of sweating, you have to hydrate, and work long hours.”
Dash Ten is the only group of military musicians in any branch writing and performing original music.
“I’m sure the Air Force will catch up really quick,” she adds. “We actually beat them to something. We’re trailblazing!”
She continues: “There are military bands in all the branches, but what we do is different. We play music that we’ve written and recorded. That is the most fulfilling element.”
Campbell grew up a classically trained cellist, but her grandfather encouraged her to pick up bass. (“There weren’t cello positions in the Army,” she says.)
In 2003, she met Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams through their shared vocal coach. A few years later, Paramore made its Warped Tour debut, and Campbell was there.
“It was their first, and they were playing the stage on the side of a pink bread truck,” says Campbell, who met festival founder Kevin Lyman through Williams’ family.
Campbell was discharged and pursuing a solo career when the Army invited her back as part of Army Musical Outreach. She decided to put together a band instead of going it alone. Enter Ebert and Greenberg.
While the military is known for its stringent regulations, that doesn’t interfere with Dash Ten’s creative process.
“The Army doesn’t tell us what to write,” she says. “When we first came into it, we thought they’d tell us what to say. I’m the prime songwriter, and I don’t know that I could do that. They’ve been cool about it. They’re like, ‘We just want you to go out there and show who you are and how that merges with being a soldier.’ ”
Vans Warped Tour
Dash Ten, a trio of military musicians, plays Vans Warped Tour along with New Found Glory, Falling in Reverse, Sum 41, the Interrupters, Mayday Parade, Yellowcard, We the Kings, Less Than Jake, Four Year Strong, Reel Big Fish, the Maine, Every Time I Die, Whitechapel, Emarosa, Pepper, Sleeping with Sirens, Motionless in White, the Story So Far, and others.
When: 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Where: PNC Music Pavilion, 707 Pavilion Blvd.
Details: 800-745-3000; www.livenation.com.