Singer, bassist and songwriter, Corrin Campbell takes the term veteran to a whole new level, both as a veteran of the independent music industry and a literal veteran of the Armed Forces. A combat veteran of the 1st Cavalry Division of the US Army, Campbell was part of a unique recruiting initiative that saw her performing next to Toby Keith and Ted Nugent in Baghdad one day and A Day To Remember and Black Veil Brides the next, in clubs, theaters, festivals, schools, even major sporting events.
Over the past ten years, Campbell has amassed a diverse body of work, both as a solo artist and alongside different groups, that she is now reimagining and revisiting with her upcoming release, Greatest Hits Dual Disc, which explores a wide variety of her songs spanning over a decade. Each track gets an orchestral reimagining as well as a remix version, taking a typical Greatest Hits album to a whole new level.
Greatest Hits Dual Disc will be released on January 8th, 2021, but you don’t have to wait until next year to get a taste test of the album. So far, Campbell has released a handful of songs from the album (including reimagined and remixed versions of “Find Your Way“, “Pieces” and “Sunbeam“) and today, she is releasing another set of songs in the form of the orchestral version and the BAD ONE remix of “Remember Me”. We recently caught up with Campbell to talk about the upcoming release and the new versions of “Remember Me” – read more and listen to the reworked tracks below.
Prelude Press: 2020 has been a really uncertain and strange year in the music world, with the pandemic putting a stop to concerts and delaying album releases, but you’ve been keeping busy this year by teasing your upcoming Greatest Hits Dual Disc. What are you excited for fans to hear on the album when it’s finally out?
Corrin Campbell: Both of the discs of Greatest Hits are atmospheric, in a way. The remix disc feels kind of like an underground dance hall – the orchestral disc is pretty huge, really tapping into modern soundtrack vibes with a rock twist. I’m hoping listeners get kind of taken away to another world when they listen to them from top to bottom – especially since a lot of us are experiencing a world of four walls right now.
Greatest Hits Dual Disc is a really unique release because it contains two versions of each song – an orchestral mix and a remix. What inspired you to revisit these songs and tackle the album in this way?
Both electronic and orchestral music have always been sources of inspiration for me. Since my gig in the Army had somewhat rebranded all my music into a box that wasn’t totally me, I felt that this was a great way to give those songs a new and fresh voice. As all artists do, I poured a lot of my soul out into the lyrics, and I wanted them to have a chance to stand alone.
It’s also meant to illustrate little bit of a stance in my thoughts about the music industry. I feel as though many artists get typecast in the voice of their first couple of records, both by the major industry and by their fans. This is only because of how the industry has evolved over time, with artists having fairly consistent sounds over their career… and those who have made drastic changes have always dealt with “I like the old ____ better.” Just as we are seeing our society and evolve, albeit maybe not as quickly as we’d like, people evolve. Artists evolve. New inspiration is around every corner. So I’m hoping this will communicate that, as much as I didn’t want the Army to put me in a fixed box, I don’t want the music industry to either.
What was it like going back and revisiting some of those older songs?
Enlightening. Self-awakening. In some ways, I have changed so much since I wrote them. In others, I haven’t changed that much at all – some of that is good and some… I’d like to progress. It invoked some serious self-reflection on my part, and helped me see the things in myself that I like and others that I’d like to change. It was a pretty spiritual experience too, to just try to remove them so far from the originals and truly create something new. I’m very grateful for that journey.
I originally wrote the song when I was deployed to Baghdad, very specifically to my 12-year-old brother, who was still back home. Especially the lyrics “Put my face in a frame so I can watch over you; I’ll do the same”. Pre-teen life is really tough, especially as a gay kid, and I was busted up to not be able to be there for him in a more consistent way. He’s so strong now, and has really found his own strength. But we still live states apart and there’s still a little bit of missing each other. So some has changed… but the sentiment has stayed the same.
Sonically, was there anything you wanted to explore while reworking these songs that you maybe haven’t had the chance to do in the past?
Not to say that there isn’t brilliant “orchestration” of sound in rock, but there’s a whole other world of sonic illustration in both electronic and contemporary orchestral music. My remix producers were just BRILLIANT. They let me get my chef hat on in the kitchen some, but they really led the charge on leading me to a new understanding of dance, chillstep, trap and IDM. I was a big old house music fan as a kid, so this project was especially fun in pushing those boundaries.
How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist while working on this project?
More of the revelation came after it was finished, I think. While I was working on it, I was just so head-down and concentrating on getting it done. Afterwards, though, as I’ve been writing the next rock album, I realize how it has diversified my songwriting. I’m thinking in broader chord structures, writing parts that are more contrasting than unison. Good music has breath, space. It’s a living thing almost. I don’t think I had as much respect for that before – so now the challenge has become writing great riffs and hooks, but in a crunchy guitar-laden bubble. It has been a ton of fun.
What would you like for fans to take away from your music?
Hopefully the music inspires the same self-reflection as I experienced producing the project. I struggle with some mental health issues, mostly rooted in my time in service, and it has impacted me in some not-so-great ways. I’m far from perfect, but embracing those imperfections is what opens a path in front of us for the better. I hope that the music can inspire others to feel the same.
I know it’s kind of difficult to have any definitive show or touring plans right now, but do you have anything else exciting up your sleeve before the album drops early next year?
Outside of writing the next record, I’m just spending a lot of time chatting with my peeps online. It IS really difficult to plan, and I’m not sure if it would happen before the release or after, but I want to hire a local orchestra, buy out a concert hall and do one live performance of the orchestral side of the album. I’m also hoping to record that performance, visual and audio, and get a live DVD out for people to experience all those great parts performed by 40+ other talented musicians. For the remix side, I had been planning a UK/EU dance-party kind of tour. DJ by my side, heading through the UK into Belium, Germany, and the Netherlands, and more of a dance hall experience than a “performance” experience… I’d really just be the MC more than anything. Just as I’d like to change up the music release experience, I think it’d be cool to experiment with the show-going experience as well.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything you’d like to add?
Just thanks so much for having me. I love Prelude Press! I also have a ton of free stuff going on in my site for anyone who’s bored at home, including a giveaway with customs Vans shoes, my behind-the-scenes 5-day Gilded Experience, where I go through a lot of the songs and the stories behind the lyrics, plus a fun little messenger experience where people can play around and earn points to get free IRL gifts that I send in the mail. Just trying to get as much fun, accessible free stuff out into the world as I can while we’re all hunkering down.