Collective Soul gained a special place in the hearts of music lovers when they burst onto the scene in 1993 with the rock anthem “Shine.” It’s hard to imagine that the band has been making music for nearly 2 decades since then. Hard, that is, until you turn on the radio and find yourself singing along to “Staring Down,” the new radio smash from the band’s upcoming album Collective Soul (Rabbit).
What inspires a multi-platinum band with a catalog of #1 hit singles to keep going? It’s quite simple: the love of the music. While it would have been easy for the members of Collective Soul – Ed Roland, Dean Roland, Will Turpin and Joel Kosche - to rest on their laurels, the excitement they feel for their forthcoming (and 2nd self-titled) release is palpable. “Everybody just really took a big step, dug in, and worked together as a band. It was really nice,” says Ed Roland “It made everything smoother and that’s why I think it’s the best work we’ve done in years.” After years of touring together, with hit after successive hit, Collective Soul is as focused as ever.
2009 finds the band releasing their 8th studio album on a new label, Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records. The album opens with “Welcome All Again,” a rousing number about life in the studio (Roland’s lake house), and is a sure bet to be the concert opener on the new tour. “The lake house was extremely important to us,” says Ed, “It enclosed us so we had to get up in the morning and work all day. It’s a home, so it gave us freedom with time and schedules. Everyone can wake up, have their coffee, do their morning routine …then when the vibe starts you let it go until the vibe ends. I truly believe the lake house helped bring Collective Soul together, better than ever. ”
With first single “Staring Down,” Collective Soul is convincing us that the world doesn’t have to be a dark place after a bad relationship, “You get out of a relationship and you realize you can let go of that energy; if you leave yourself open to positive energy, you find it’s right there in front of you. Just let it find you.” Says Roland. Other hot tracks include the driving “Dig,” the sobering, yet funky riffed “My Days,” “You,” the first song Collective Soul has ever written as a unit, and “Fuzzy,” with the whole band harmonizing together as good as any Beach Boys single.
The record ends with a quiet, spiritual reflection in “Hymn For My Father:” “It's fitting,” says Ed, “I grew up singing hymns and with my father's passing 4 years ago it's truly a tribute to him. He taught me the music I grew up listening too which he loved and I really wanted to write a fitting tribute.”
Hailing from the city of Atlanta, Georgia, Collective Soul shot to international fame with their 1993 release Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, and their mega #1 hit “Shine.” The album was a collection of Ed Roland’s demos that spread quickly through the college underground circuit and caught fire, going on to achieve Double-Platinum status. After having been invited to the 25th Anniversary Woodstock concert, Collective Soul went into the studio to record their sophomore follow up. The self-titled Collective Soul, released in March of 1995, would be the album that would help define their sound of catchy melodies and guitar driven songs. Containing four outstanding singles (three of which reached #1), “December,” “The World I Know,” “Where The River Flows,” and “Gel,” it became Collective Soul's highest selling album to date. The album went Triple-Platinum and spent 76 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 charts.
Collective Soul went back into the studio and vented their spleen on 1997’s Platinum Disciplined Breakdown, which produced two more #1 hits, “Precious Declaration” and “Listen.” 1999 brought the album Dosage, a critically acclaimed set of songs that fans count as the band’s best. The album took a meticulous six months to record, and provided another strong showing for the band, producing the #1 hit song “Heavy,” which would take the top Billboard spot for a (then) record of 15 weeks. Of the band’s 5th studio album, Rolling Stone cheered, “Blender simply shreds with unapologetic classic-rock energy.” Once again, the band teamed with Resta, and created three more radio heavy smash hits with “Why, Part 2,” “Vent” and “Perfect Day,” a duet with Sir Elton John.
After releasing a Greatest Hits set entitled 7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits 1994-2001, Collective Soul ended their contract with Atlantic Records and created their own label El Music Group. The first release on the label was Youth (2004). The lyrics, in particular “Better Now,” declared the band's newfound confidence and independence. Two other records and a concert DVD were released under the El Music Group imprint: 2005’s EP From the Ground Up and 2006’s Home - their lush, live, concert event with the Atlanta City Youth Orchestra.
In 2007 the band made an exclusive deal with all Target stores to be the sole seller of their 7th Studio album, Afterwords. The fans dug it, opening at #25 on the Billboard Comprehensive Albums Chart and #5 on the Billboard Top Internet Albums Chart, proving Collective Soul was now conquering the digital world.
"Tremble For My Beloved" found Collective Soul on the soundtrack to one of the hottest movies of 2008 – Twilight. “We heard through the grapevine that Stephanie Meyer was a fan of Collective Soul's music and lyrics,” says Ed. Expanding to tweens opened up a whole new audience for the band.
Fast-forward to 2009 with new fans, a new label and new momentum. Collective Soul is excited by their latest studio effort and is back to having fun. And for all the “collective souls” who have followed the band from day one, Roland speaks from his heart: “Thank you for hanging in there with us and we hope you like the new album. We are all really proud of it.”
Collective Soul (Rabbit) will be released on Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records on August 25th.COLLECTIVE SOUL COLLECTIVE SOUL