Years of DaBelly! - This article first appeared in our 233rd
issue of DaBelly in September, 2019.
Collective Soul – Getting the Blood Flowing
Collective Soul is back on the road with their
new record, “Blood.” First listen will tell you that this is a
special record. A quick look at the charts and you get a clue
just how special. It’s been about 4 years since their last
album, “See What You Started by Continuing.” That is a
writing/touring cycle that’s a bit longer than the typical.
And as I watched the show at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, I
could tell just how much their fans had missed them.
A couple of days after the Comerica show,
bassist Will Turpin called in to DaBelly from Costa Mesa, CA to
discuss “Blood,” the new tour and the fun they are having on stage
each night. This is how the interview went…
DB: Well, let’s get going on the
interview. First of all, congratulations on your new record,
“Blood.” This is a really good record and you played much it a
couple nights ago at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. I’m
eager to hear how the album came together.
WT: “Blood” is in reference to [family],
now you’re also dealing with, especially me, Dean (Roland) and Ed
(Roland). I’ve known Dean and Ed a lifetime. We grew up
in a small town. One of my first choir teachers was their
father at the local church. My father owned a recording
studio. Even my grandparents and the Roland brothers’
grandparents knew each other. So, “Blood” is a reference to
legacy, the people who were before you, the people that are after
you and your friends and brothers while you’re still here. So,
it’s kind of a perspective thing as far as being a band and knowing
each other that long. The lyrical content, Ed got it and I
feel this is one of his best. All of the lyrical content has
to do with stuff that is relative to Ed. It’s about something
we either saw or witnessed or happened to one of us or somebody
close to us. So, the overall theme is brotherhood and legacy.
So when we get together and record, that’s creating and it’s still
one of the main things that get’s our hearts pumping and blood
flowing. I still get those goosebumps when I know something is
right. We’re proud of it.
DB: You mentioned the legacy of the band
itself. It is spectacular to know that you’re celebrating 25
years together. Congratulations. Did you ever suspect
that 25 years would go by this quickly?
WT: No, no. Perspective is always
so singular, right? It’s always independent of whatever else
you’re speaking about or referencing. No, the 22-year-old who
signed to Atlantic Records never thought about 25 years. We
kept focusing on what was right in front of us, the next record,
tour, let’s do another record, tour, let’s do another record…
And obviously we wanted to become a legacy band and be around this
long. But it’s nothing we really thought about or tried to
plan for. It was obviously about what’s the next record,
what’s the next song and the next music. So no, the youngsters
really didn’t think about that and like you said, 25 years flying by
this quickly – hell no! I have a 21-year-old son and I still
feel like, other than I’m a more mature and responsible person, I
still live this lifestyle! I still like doing the same things.
It’s been an amazing ride and we still enjoy each other’s company
and we still really do have fun.
DB: It does show through on stage.
Several times you’ve mentioned the bands focus on the music.
You played a large quantity of the new record on stage the other
night. That, of course, is spectacular. As you’re aware,
there are a lot of bands with your tenure that would salt and pepper
a few new songs into the set list and live primarily on the robust
legacy of their music. Playing as much new material as you do.
acknowledges the strength of the new songs. Collective Soul
continues to bring it fresh and that is remarkable.
Yeah, and as far as our set list goes, it’s a great problem to have
to say – ‘How can we create the flow to this set.’ That’s
really the most important thing. To get everybody’s energy
level and emotions on the same page and getting the flow and the
sequence of the songs proper. Like I said, it’s a great
problem to have. And also, we’re not going to be that band
that’s going to play all the new songs and leave out the hits our
fans want to hear. The bottom line is, the fans have allowed
Collective Soul music to become part of the fabric of their lives.
It’s part of the soundtrack to their memories. So, as eager we
are and as fun as it is to play the new songs, we try to get the
hits in there and make sure the flow is right. We are not the
band that is too cool to play the songs that you remember. I
mean, again, how can you take this lightly? How can we take it
lightly that the fans have allowed the music to become so
emotionally connected to them? So, we take it seriously.
We take it all seriously. We’re not going to leave off the
hit, but we are going to give you some new energy in the shape of
the new songs too. So, like I said, it’s a good problem.
It’s a good thing to have to work through and figure out.
Playing the new songs is kind of cool but the fans really know our
music. It gives us a fresh moment to be able to play the new
songs. To be honest, I kind of get offended when I see a band
who are too cool to play the songs that all their fans love.
To me, it’s a slap I the face of the people who love your music.
DB: Yes, and I completely understand that
the band has played the songs more than once or twice. It can
get old playing all the same songs over each night. Yet, there
is an obligation. But you’re absolutely right. Some of
the fans are at your show strictly because of the hits and you, the
band, is hoping that they will discover the new music along the
So, the new record, “Blood,” has been out for
just about a month now and the album really took a strong step into
the charts. Are you happy with the reception of this record?
WT: Yeah, absolutely. You know we
always used to chase charts. We used to really focus on that
and now, career-wise, I listen to the people who matter. I
listen to the fans and I listen to people like you when I’m talking
to you. I can tell that everybody thinks this is one of those
records that stands out. And I think it should stand out
amongst the studio records. We hit a special high on this one.
Like I said, we don’t fret over the charts too much. We’re
always looking for a good spot for our music. We’ve been known
to find our way into movies over the years. So, if something
like that happens, it would be fricken awesome! We put our
hearts and our emotions into the songs and we know they’re right.
The rest isn’t in our hands.
DB: I agree. The new single, “Right
As Rain,” is a classic Collective Soul song. While doing the
research for this interview, I read that Ed commented that the song
had a little bit of a Southern feel that you had avoided in the
past. It sounds like you’ve embraced that Southern feel
completely and as a result, “Right As Rain” is a classic Collective
WT: Yeah. Nobody else really sounds
like Collective Soul. This one is just a good, straight up the
middle, good feeling song. It’s got a little bit of a southern
sing to the hook – you know, “Right As Rain.” Obviously, they
don’t say that by you in Arizona where there is no rain!
(Laughs) And as far as the Southern musical vibe, we were thinking
about the Tom Petty acoustic sound while we were recording.
So, we were leaning on some of what Tom had done. His death
hit us all really hard. He was definitely one of our
favorites. So, there is definitely a tip of the hat to Tom’s
DB: You had a couple of guests on this
record. Peter Stroud (Sheryl Crow’s lead guitarist and musical
director) played on “Right As Rain” and the song “Porch Swing”
features background vocals and some tasteful dobro licks from Styx
guitarist/vocalist Tommy Shaw. Tommy was a surprise to me.
He is a name that I wouldn’t have immediately connected to
A common question to us is – “After 25 years, what’s your favorite
thing about this?” Or, “What’s the most rewarding thing about
this?” Obviously being financially successful is important but
the most rewarding thing is being able to call people like Tommy
Shaw your friend. Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, all those
people know us and respect us and they are friends. Ed
recorded a vocal for Tommy’s solo record maybe about 15 years ago.
So the relationship with them goes back pretty far. We saw
Tommy play the other night. We played with him at Sturgis.
He is just one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time.
There’s just no other way to say it.
DB: Agreed. I completely agree with
you. It’s nice to have those friends on your list when you
want to find someone to collaborate with in the studio. It
gives you that bridge to change up your sound ever so slightly if
you choose to.
So you’re calling this tour the “Now’s The Time
Tour.” You’re out with the Gin Blossoms and The Black Moods.
Is there a deeper meaning to the title beyond it’s the opening track
WT: It really just makes sense to call
it, “Now’s The Time.” That song is more of a sign of the
times, a little bit of a political statement.
DB: Ahhh, interesting. I didn’t
WT: Yeah, listen to it again. It’s
a political, social statement. Let’s say that.
DB: With the new record out I suspect
that you’re going to be doing a great deal of touring. Talk a
little bit about your future tour plans.
WT: Yeah, well it’s a two-part process.
Part of why we love this so much is the creative process. But
the other part is that we absolutely love being on these stages.
You look out there and see the people and how much joy these songs
bring them. I say it over and over again, we’re having a blast
out there. We’re real loose. We take the music seriously
as far as the performances but we’re real loose and having fun.
The give and take we experience – giving them our energy and getting
back their good vibes and emotions – that’s the other part of what
we do. Playing live gets our blood flowing.
I want to thank Will Turpin for calling in and
sharing a moment of his busy schedule. Make sure to follow
Collective Soul on the socials.
"Right As Rain"
Place To Start"
Collective Soul is:
Ed Roland –
lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards (1992–present)
Dean Roland – rhythm and lead guitar (1992–present)
Will Turpin – bass guitar, backing vocals (1992–present)
Johnny Rabb – drums, percussion (2012–present)
Triplett – lead guitar, backing vocals (2014–present)
For More Collective