Q&A: Dean Roland of Collective Soul
Though Collective Soul is celebrating 20 years in the music business, rhythm guitarist Dean Roland said that he and his bandmates haven't had the opportunity to properly reflect upon the milestone. The Georgia-based band has been focused on recording and touring instead.
That, however, doesn't mean the band isn't doing something special to mark its two-decade anniversary. This spring on a tour billed as "An Evening with Collective Soul," the chart-topping rock band will perform its 1999 platinum album "Dosage" in its entirety. The collection is a fan favorite that includes hits such as "Heavy," "Run" and "Tremble for My Beloved," the latter of which was featured in the "Twilight" movie.
After "Dosage," Collective Soul will take a short break and then return to perform other songs from a catalog that has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide and produced seven No. 1 radio hits. On the setlist is "Shine," "December," "The World I Know," "Where the River Flows," and others. Most notably, the band will premiere material from a forthcoming studio album, to be recorded later this year.
Roland -- who is also joined in Collective Soul by his brother and band co-founder, vocalist Ed Roland, as well as bassist Will Turpin and lead guitarist Joel Kosche -- spoke to SoundSpike about the anniversary, the nerves associated with it, and providing music for "Twilight."
SoundSpike: You must be excited about your tour.
Dean Roland: Yeah, I am . It's been a little while since we've done a tour. We've done some shows in the past couple years here and there, one-off-type things. It's been awhile since we put a tour together.
How long has it been?
Just a tour? It's been at least two years, maybe three
Does that make you nervous at all?
I'm a little nervous, but excited. We're going to pretty much every city in the U.S. I enjoy traveling. That side of the process I really enjoy.
How did Collective Soul arrive at the idea to perform "Dosage" in its entirety?
It just kind of came about organically. Since we hadn't toured so much the past couple years, we wanted to do something a little different. That album has always been one of our favorites. There are a bunch -- a few songs -- on that record that we never played live. We said, "All right, that sounds like it would be a fun little challenge for us to figure out how to transition some of those songs from the studio to a live thing."
What's the biggest challenge?
Learning songs. [Laughs] That's really it. Once we get a handle on that part, it'll be fun. Going back and listening to it, I don't think it's going to be as much of a challenge as we might have initially thought. It's going to be fun, though.
Have you begun writing a new album?
A little bit. We sort of have some seed ideas. We haven't started recording anything. Just getting some concepts going.
What is the songwriting process for Collective Soul?
A lot of times Ed, my brother who sings, he'll come in with a very clear idea of what he wants for a song. And then others, it could come from just being at soundcheck and just jamming and coming from a drum groove and we just build off of that. It's really kind of all over the place. It's a cheap answer but that's kind of really what happens.
Can you believe it's been 20 years since Collective Soul was founded?
It's kind of weird. For the longest time, we were just going -- recording records, touring -- you don't really stop to think, to reflect or think about where you've been. When you reach a benchmark like this, we were close to 20 years, we've been to some places and done some things. It's definitely an accomplishment a lot of bands don't get to experience.
What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment?
One of the main ones is saying together. Managing a bunch of different egos and still having one vision and making the top priority how to make that happen. Along the way though we've played with a lot of great bands and met some great people. We've had some cool experiences.
What have been some of the struggles or challenges?
The sacrifices. If you're gone that much and travel as much as we've had, you tend to sacrifice some personal stuff. A lot of relationships are left in the wind or whatever. The other guys are married with children. That's a difficult thing to balance out.
What advice would you give to an aspiring musician today. The music business is so different than 20 years ago.
Oh yeah. It really is. You have to be as honest as you can. Your music is important, but you need a clear vision and you have to have a team around you. On the business side, you have to have lawyers and managers and that kind of stuff. You have to have somebody that you trust, who you share your vision with.
What else do you have planned for this year?
We'll do that [the "Dosage" tour] and then we're going to do a South American tour at that point, and record an album, I imagine.
Do you know what label it will be on?
I don't. We're independent. We do our own thing, so we'll do deals. The last record was on Roadrunner Records. Each record can be different.
Were you surprised at the success of the "Twilight" films, for which you contributed "Tremble for My Beloved"?
Yeah, it was very cool. We've been around for almost 20 years and it introduced us to a younger audience, a new generation of listeners. It was great.
Did you see the movie?
Yeah, yeah, I actually went to the premiere for that one. They're fun movies.
11 - Fort Lauderdale, FL - Revolution
12 - Lake Buena Vista, FL - House of Blues
13 - North Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
15 - Charlotte, NC - Fillmore Charlotte
16 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre
18 - New York City, NY - Irving Plaza
19 - Buffalo, NY - The Town Ballroom
20 - Albany, NY - The Egg
22 - Ridgefield, CT - Ridgefield Playhouse
23 - Silver Spring, MD - The Fillmore Silver Spring
25 - Huntington, NY - The Paramount
26 - Asbury Park, NJ - Stone Pony
27 - Atlantic City, NJ - Harrah's Atlantic City
1 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
2 - Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa
3 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues
4 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
6 - Tempe, AZ - The Marquee
8 - Las Vegas, NV - Hard Rock Café on the Strip
10 - San Diego, CA - House of Blues
12 - West Hollywood, CA - House of Blues
13 - San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore
15 - Reno, NV - Silver Legacy Resort Casino
16 - Portland, OR - Roseland Theater
17 - Seattle, WA - The Neptune
19 - Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue
20 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater
23 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues
24 - Detroit, MI - St. Andrew's Hall
27 - Columbus, OH - Newport Music Hall
28 - Cincinnati, OH - Bogart's
30 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom
5 - Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works
7 - Atlanta, GA - The Tabernacle