Drum Corps International
The DCI.org interview: Daniel K. Merwin, Phantom Regiment third bass

The DCI.org interview: Daniel K. Merwin, Phantom Regiment third bass

by Drum Corps International

Name, age, hometown: Daniel K. Merwin, 21, McAllen, Texas What corps are you in and what is your role this summer: I'm in the Phantom Regiment, where I'm the third bass drummer for the bass line. Give us your full drum corps/marching music background. I am currently section leader for the University of North Texas bass line. I previously played with the Madison Scouts bass line in 2002 and 2003, where I served as a section leader. Last summer was my first with the Phantom Regiment -- on bass three, of course.

Daniel K. Merwin
How did you decide to be a member of your corps? As crazy as it sounds, I had these weird moments watching the Phantom Regiment drum line during my 2003 season with the Scouts. I had feelings of envy, awe and even jealousy. I had many friends and acquaintances in the Regiment drum line that I knew from North Texas, including drum line caption head Paul Rennick. After the '03 season was over, I looked into Regiment and heard nothing but great things about the corps -- especially about the cook crew and the corps director Pat Seidling. I was sold. What first attracted you to the drum corps activity? Like any other young "bando," it was in after seeing drum corps videos. Certain videos that stick out in my mind that got me into it are the 1992 Cavaliers (especially Peterloo) and the 1994 Blue Devils. What advice would you give to young people who want to march? You're not going to get anywhere unless you feel confident in yourself as a performer. This confidence will not exist unless you work your butt off to where you gain your own satisfaction about your abilities as a player. These personal feelings about your own "self-esteem" as a performer are influenced by different factors that you should take into account, such as how much practice time you put into your effort, as well as your instructional guidance (make sure you have a good teacher that you trust). The last good book I read: The last REALLY GREAT book I read was "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky. The last great film I saw: I recently saw the film "A Walk to Remember." What!?!? I liked it! It was a good movie! Where I go to school and what I'm studying: I am a senior at the University of North Texas where I am working on my BA in Sociology. Jobs I have/have had: I've done plenty, from being a 16-year-old cart attendant for Sam's, to helping teach summer theatre arts for children. I am currently an office assistant for the University of North Texas admissions office. Three CDs I'd want on a deserted island:
1) My personal burned CD mix of 311
2) The soundtrack to the film "City of Angels." Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" is money!
3) Korn's debut album. As I heard it in a quote once, "This music is the glue of the world. It holds it all together. Without this -- life would be meaningless." My favorite TV show: I've been partial to "Saturday Night Live" for a while.
Favorite performers: UNT drum line, Phantom Regiment drum line, Pantera (R.I.P Dimebag Darrell), and Slipknot -- their live show is incredible! How do you "blow off steam?" I usually go running. I also do pushups, drum, listen to good music, or anything else that would work for self-therapy. What has been your formative drum corps moment? Singing "May You Never Walk Alone" with my Madison brothers on semifinals night in 2002. It was one of the most emotional and memorable moments I've had in drum corps. Our before-show talk from corps director Scott Stewart was also one of those moments that still stick out. Best drum corps show ever: 1995 Madison Scouts. Just when you think they've peaked -- they tease you and keep throwing more until every hair on you is standing. Most climatic ending ever! What are you most looking forward to about the summer? Getting in shape, being healthy, and aging out. Best thing about being in a drum corps: Your own good memories Worst thing about being in a drum corps: Either having to take the fall for someone else's mistake (which always happens), or sweat in your eye during rehearsal (the sweat is a mixture of sweat and sunblock). During tour, the best part of the day is: Rehearsal, of course! Just kidding. Performances are the best part of the day during tour. During tour, the worst part of the day is: REHEARSAL! Favorite drum corps personality and why: I'll give it to Steve Rondinaro. The guy is practically a celebrity. I'll admit that Jessica Allen is there as well. What I want to be when I "grow up": Many things: An actor, a writer, a scientist (sociology), etc. Describe what you think a typical DCI show will look in 2015. If things go the way they should, marching percussion will not have to use drum harnesses anymore. Instead, hover-carriers will finally be invented, patented, and used by every drum line in the world. Feel free to add anything else you'd like. Look out for the 2005 Phantom Regiment bass line. Have your cameras, mini-disc recorders, and hype ready for THE LOT!