By Jaclyn Prophet
“Luck is 99% of it, but that other 1% you have to be ready and willing to take advantage of. We were ready” says Ed Roland, lead singer of Collective Soul. Nearly 20 years ago, the Georgia based American rock band broke into the world of mainstream music with their hit single “Shine” and have gone on to produce dozens of rock hits. Fans can now be treated to the band’s latest studio album after taking a six-year break.
BM: What can you tell us about your ninth studio album, See What You Started by Continuing?
CS: We went back to where we started. We actually tried to start the album three years ago but we found we didn’t like each other at that point so we took a little time off. It was a necessary time to take a break and when we came back we added a new lead drummer, Johnny Rab and a new lead guitarist Jesse Triplett.
We gave ourselves the time to look back and feel comfortable and confident about what we do. It isn’t an ego thing or arrogance but rather confidence going into the recording; A lot of that had to do with Jesse and Johnny being new and came in ready to “rock”. It was a good little kick in the ass.
BM: What was the inspiration for your name, Collective Soul?
CS: We started as “Marching to Step” but that sounded a bit too southern and was actually the name of a publishing company in Chicago. So, I was reading “Anran the Fountainhead” and came across a line that said “a collection of soul” and upon further discussion with the band, we changed it to Collective Soul. There is really no meaning it just sounded cool. We didn’t want anything silly, we were trying to think ahead to ensure we had a name that would stand the test of time.
BM: What was it like being back on tour recently with the band?
CS: It goes from exciting to exhausting. Every night, the few hours we are on stage is always exciting but towards the end the travel time wears on you and all your focus is on those few hours on stage rather than the other hours you are having fun.
BM: What has your journey been like since your underground success of Shine leading into mainstream and all the way up to now?
CS: We had time to think; taking the time off gave us time to look back and appreciate our journey. To go from rehearsing in your parent’s basement to opening for Aerosmith and then touring with bands like The Cranberries and Metallica has been a very humbling experience. We are very comfortable where we are and of course we want everyone in the world to know what we do but, we have enough people that like us and give us the life and appreciate what we do.
BM: What is your take on today’s current music scene as compared to the 90’s?
CS: I don’t make comparisons like that, I honestly think it is exciting. There is a lot of music out there that needs to be discovered. I don’t think anything has changed artistically, I just think the music business has changed more than anything. There is amazing music out there and with today’s technology you can find a lot more of it. Today there is live streaming available where as in the 90’s you had to put your headphones on, go into Tower Records and put in a CD you wanted to listen to.
BM: Before your success with Shine, you played in a number of bands and had become frustrated and almost gave up; what kept you going?
CS: Well, I wanted to be a songwriter. The first record is just a collection of demos I made in the basement so I don’t really count that as a Collective Soul record. I was just trying to get a publishing deal at that point, writing songs for other people and wanting to showcase that I could be a songwriter. There is a lot of luck that goes with it, but you have to ready when that luck happens. Luck is 99% of it, but that other 1% you have to be ready and willing to take advantage of. We were ready.
BM: What advice can you give other aspiring musicians out there that want to make great art?
CS: Get an attorney. First thing, seriously! Find someone who will protect you and what you are doing. We didn’t do that early on and got nailed. It is up to you to make your own art. You can’t get into people’s heads; what is in their heart is what makes them a unique individual/artist. You want someone there watching and protecting you for your art. It is already tough enough to get paid in this business, you don’t want someone taking advantage of you and leaving you with nothing.
BM: Bellus is Latin for beauty. We strive to find the beauty in art, people and life. What is your definition of beauty?
CS: My sons. I’m a dad, I have two healthy boys and that is a sign of beauty. That is my definition of beauty.
BM: What is next for Collective Soul?
CS: We start making the next record February 1, 2016 and a tour in the summer.
For more information check out COLLECTIVE SOUL SITE
Also check out there new Music Video below..