by Christian Webb: By any standard Dillon Campbell and I have a lot in common. Sons of famous collaborators. Products of messy divorces…

 

We also both made the difficult choice of following in our fathers footsteps (Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb) knowing full well that they both cast mighty long shadows… We have another less pleasant thing in common. We both suffer and have battled through crippling bouts of Manic-Depression. A stigma that has labeled us by many as ‘Crazy People’. Yet, undeniably there is a connection between this illness and great art and many successful people in the arts like Carrie Fisher and Robert Downey Jr have gone public with their own struggles with the illness.  I sat down with Dillon to discuss all of these things as well as his plans for 2017 and his work with the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Christian Webb: I was instantly drawn to your song ‘The Fall’. I immediately picked up on the references to Manic-Depression. Of course, We’ve known each other for some time and our mothers are close so you know I have battled with the same illness. Do you think you would be writing such strong material if you didn’t have the illness at all? How connected is your illness with your work as an artist?

Dillon: Yes, I feel that the disease does play a part in the writing.  I draw my lyrics and style from my life experiences, and mania being a part of my life, it is naturally drawn into my writing.  You can’t show people the light without residing in the dark for some time…and yes indeed, I have had my time in the shadows.

Christian: Do you think a lot of successful artists suffer with this illness but are just too ashamed or embarrassed to go public with their struggles?

Dillon: I’m not sure.  I cant speak for other artists.  I can only speak for me.

Christian: What was your relationship like with your father growing up? I need you to be candid here. Growing up in the music business is no picnic. It’s bizarre and full of mine fields especially for people like you and me. Do you consider yourself a survivor?

Dillon: I have a strange feeling that I understand my father a lot better than most.  There is a lot of me in him and a lot of him in me.  However, our relationship was a bit strained.

We could never get too deep.  Truthfully, through all the jokes and smiles, my father was quite haunted by his past.  When he looked at me, it almost seemed that he couldn’t get past his past.  Although I let him know that I forgave him for everything that happened with my mother, it was like he couldn’t forgive himself.  So it prevented us from ever getting too deep or having any deeper discussions than the ones we had about music or how the other one was doing.

I do consider myself a survivor.  But it has nothing to do with my father.  At a young age, I put myself on a path of my own choosing.  And through my own decisions and my own pit falls, I have wound up in some pretty dark, hopeless places.  but I’m here to tell the world: No matter how dark it gets, no matter how hopeless it may seem, there is a light and it is never extinguished.  The light always illuminates the dark.  There is a way back.

I’m living proof.

Christian: Have there been times in your life when you contemplated suicide? I know the thought has crossed my mind more than a few times.

Dillion: Honestly, never.  I knew at a very young age why I was put on this planet.  It came like a blazing epiphany.  That knowledge keeps me from ever trying to off myself.

Christian: Talk a little bit about the unreleased Dillon Campbell album. How did it come about. Did the songs come out easy or was it pains-taking work?

Dillon: Some of the songs off my unreleased album, Born Beneath Power Lines, were written years and years ago.  Others were relatively new, while a few were brand spanking new.  I truly feel that the best songs are ones that come like a flood, in no time at all.

It’s almost like you’re channeling something greater than yourself.  I actually don’t believe in a second draft when writing a song.  Which is why I most likely throw away more than I write.  If you are in a certain mindset to write a song, then you stop and try to come back to it, do you expect to step into that same mindset that you were in when you sat down to write the song?  Impossible.  I feel that a lot of writers don’t know the responsibility they have with a pen in their hand.

Christian: It’s public knowledge that your father Glen has six stage Alzheimer’s. My father works tirelessly to raise awareness. Share with us the work you will be doing next year to raise money and awareness to find a cure?

Dillion: I released Letter From A Son on itunes recently.  It was a song I wrote about my fathers diagnosis some years back.  I sent it to the Alzheimers Foundation of America and they loved it, so I decided to give 100 percent of the proceeds to the Foundation.

I went on Good Day LA, KLOS, and 100.3 The Sound to promote the song.  And I will be touring the country next year with the Alzheimers Foundation of America.  Two days in each market.  We need to spread all the awareness we can with this horrible disease being the number six cause of death in the US and there being no cure at all.

Christian: Thank you for your time and your honesty. I think this article can give hope to a lot of people suffering out there. We need to break the stigma of mental illness and the world has to know that a great deal of the art that entertains them so much comes from a small group of people that face crippling day to day struggles to maintain their well-being. Thank you for being so brave.

dilloncampbell.com

Source: AWAKEN