Griffon on the marquee
By Brian Duskey
August 26, 2013
Three bands, one job, and nearing the finish line of a lengthy collegiate career.
Seth Campbell is the hardest working man in St. Joseph.
Currently a senior in Public Relations, there is much more to Campbell than his transcript.
Along with working for PR department, he also plays bass for three different bands in St. Joseph. Those three haven’t been the only bands on his track record, either. He used to play for County Road 5, a country rock band, for almost three years. While going to school, he also toured with the band on the weekends all across the United States.
Along with Jazz legend Charles Mingus, Campbell credits Dusty Sharp, the lead singer of County Road 5, as a huge part of his development as a musician.
“I took a lot from him. Crazy guy, but a businessman. He had a vision and direction for everything. “ Campbell said.
Campbell currently resides in three bands: The Souveneers, Tequila Mockingbird, and Hubcap Bandits.
Bandits is his passion project. “It’s my bread and butter. We play everything from bluegrass to old country standards…and we write our own stuff,” Campbell said, “it’s kind of a punk band too. Like acoustic punk.”
After doing it for so long, Campbell has naturally become the leader in a sense with his groups. There is a democratic way of dealing with things in Hubcap Bandits, but he tends to take care of most of the marketing and press for the group.
“I like to keep it pretty open, to make sure that we are all in the same direction together,” Campbell said.
With such a strong work ethic and passion for music, Campbell takes anything that deals with music ever so seriously.
“I’m pretty laid back, I don’t take things too seriously, but I do take my professional life and my music very seriously” Campbell said.
With that seriousness, there are bound to be some frustrations with being in a town like St. Joseph.
“I feel the problem is, and some other musicians do this too, they kind of get too comfortable with where they are.” Campbell said, “They become stagnant. They don’t branch out and discover other places.”
Meghan Vandever, Campbell’s girlfriend of 3 years and a Convergent Media major, can’t help but notice his strong passion on the subject.
“It just pulls a trigger in his brain… and it makes him want to better himself and aim higher.” Vandever said.
Part of the issue is being stuck in a town like St. Joe, which Campbell sees as more of a “consumer-based” town as opposed to a place like Kansas City, where a musician is a legitimate job title.
“St. Joe is difficult. The status of the town has gotten better as far as the art scene goes, but it’s a struggle,” Campbell said, “the important thing is to keep it fresh and think bigger than the town you are in.”
Vandever, an aspiring make-up artist, feels a part of the same machine. “In a way, I feel like I can relate to him. Even though they are different, we are in the arts, and they are ‘different’ to this town,” Vandever said.
Upon graduation, Campbell plans to go into advertising as a “day job” while also continuing to play live music as much as he can.
“It’s more fun as I go along,” Campbell said, “I like to say it’s getting paid to haul stuff in and then we play for free. So it’s more like a moving business.”
This positive attitude and constant hard-work mentality not only keeps him going also helps others around him feel safe.
“Everything he is doing is in preparation for us” Vandever said.
There is no predicting where he may end up, but it’s fair to say that there is no giving up in his attitude.