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Last Updated: 03/28/05
Frequently Asked Questions/& Their Answers:

Who Are Collective Soul?
Collective Soul is composed of Ed Roland (lead singer, guitar, keyboards, producer, song writer), Dean Roland (rhythm guitars, keyboards, co-wrote two songs), Shane Evans (drums, percussion), Will Turpin (bass, percussion), and now Joel Kosche (lead guitars). The original lineup (1994-2001ish) included Ross Childress as lead guitarist, Joel is now the main man after Collective Soul asked Ross to leave mid-2001.
Where Is Collective Soul From?
Collective Soul is usually noted as being from Atlanta, but they are origianlly all from a small town 20 miles from Atlanta called Stockbridge. But Atlanta is home to most of them, at least part of the time.
How Did The Band Members Meet?
The guys have known each other pretty much their entire lives. In Stockbridge they actually lived within a 1 mile radius of each other except Shane who was only a few more miles away.
How Was Collective Soul formed?
In 1989, Ed Roland and Shave Evans were part of a Georgia-based band called Marching Two-Step, which also included a female vocalist. They added lead guitarist Ross Childress in 1991, after a band he was in opened for Marching Two-Step in Atlanta. In 1992, with the departure of the female vocalist, they decided to harden Marching Two-Step's sound and thus changed the name to Collective Soul in the process. Will Turpin, who had often lent his percussion skills and backing vocals to both Marching Two-Step and Collective Soul, became the official bassist in 1994 after noting "a major deficiency in the bass department" and watching the "revolving door of bassists come in and out."
Where Did The Name 'Collective Soul' Come From?
Ed Roland was reading Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead, and came across the phrase, "collective soul"...and he thought it sounded really cool! And, it was the only name that everyone could agree upon! Author Ayn Rand actually uses the phrase in a negative connotation, using the "collective soul" as a threat to the main character's sense of individualism, but Ed is quick to point out, "...we're not preaching Ayn Rand, objectivism, egoism, or anything...we just dug the name..." and "it [the band's name] could've come out of Motorcycle Magazine."
Is The Song "December" Actually About Oral Sex?
"Turn your head, now baby, just spit me out..."
No it's actually not. "December" is actually a song about "...being taken advantage of in a relationship, be it personal or business..." and is summed up in the opening line: "Why drink the water from my hand, contagious as you think I am?" In Ed's case, it was a business relationship; "December" was the last track written for Collective Soul's 2nd, self titled CD, when things began "getting weird" just prior to the band's nasty split and lawsuit with their then-manager. According to Ed, the song could have easily fit in with the theme of their cabin-recorded 3rd album, Disciplined Breakdown.
Is "Smashing Young Man" Actually A Song About Billy Corgan Of The Smashing Pumpkins?
This has kinda been highly debated. Ed Roland has, when asked, consistently denied both the meaning behind the song and any animosity towards Corgan, stating that "Smashing Young Man" was actually inspired by Englanders' use of the word "smashing" while Collective Soul was in London, and that they haven't a problem with the Pumpkins' music. Even so, this hypothetical anti-Pumpkins verse would not have been without provocation. Frontman Billy Corgan has publicly and viciously insulted Collective Soul, most notably with his claim that Collective Soul's "Shine" is a rip-off of the Pumpkins' "Rhinocerous."
[Just for the record, Smashing Pumpkins' Gish, on which "Rhinocerous" appears, was released in 1991; Collective Soul's "Shine" was resurrected from an old tape made by Ed Roland in 1987.]
I actually heard later that Ed admitted it was about
Why Did Collective Soul Split Back In 1993
Ed Roland, after struggling for nearly 12 years to land a recording contract, most recently with newly formed Collective Soul, had enough!! Ed was approaching the age of 30, and with that magical deal still elusive, something was amiss. " don't want to be 35 and still struggling, or 40 and still struggling; it doesn't make sense..." After countless rejections of his demos from every major record label, after playing convention upon convention from which label representatives left uninterested, he told his bandmates, "I'm dissolving the band--I do not want to do it anymore." And so, for about a 6 month period, the members of Collective Soul parted ways, with Shane Evans and Ross Childress deciding to join a frat cover band called Groove Box, fronted by Will Turpin. Ed, resigning himself to a career of writing songs for other people, holed himself up in a basement recording studio and began writing and recording songs for a demo he hoped would land him a publishing deal.
How Did "Hints..." The First CS Album Come About?
With Collective Soul not-so-collective and Ed Roland in a basement studio aiming for a publishing contract, he decided to write a fresh batch of tunes to showcase his songwriting abilities. (The instrumental, "Pretty Donna," was included among these tunes to show his flair for TV themes or movie soundtracks.) With a drum machine, some help from Shane, Ross, Will on backing vocals and percussion (note the congas on "Heaven's Already Here"...that's Will!!), the Atlanta Symphony, and friend Matt Serletic (who would later also produce the 2nd, self-titled CD), Ed formed his songwriter's demo. Borrowing the title of a poem written by a friend, he came to call this demo, Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid.
How Did "Hints..." All Come Together?
Looking for some feedback on his songwriter demo Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid, Ed sent a copy to a local college radio station at Georgia State, Album 88 WRAS. He submitted it under the fictitious band name, "Brothers and Brides." One of the songs in the bunch was a catchy piece called "Shine," which Ed had resurrected from an old, unfinished tape of a riff first penned in 1987. Listeners found the song irresistible and made it Album 88's most requested song, and "Brothers and Brides" was asked to play a few live dates! Obliging, Ed gathered Shane, Ross, Will on percussion (they had another bass player at the time), and now Ed's brother, Dean. With the band back together, they returned to the name Collective Soul (after much joking over who, exactly, were the "brides" of the group) and began promoting independently-pressed copies of Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid. WJRR in Orlando, Florida, became the first commercial radio station to play "Shine," and stations across the country soon followed suit. This song, a catchy, melodic plea for guidance, written during a harrowing time in Ed's music career, was shooting up the charts! Record labels took notice (FINALLY!), and in February 1994, Ed, Dean, Ross, Shane, and Will now on bass, were signed to Atlantic Records, and Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid, virtually unchanged, hit the presses on this label...the rest, they say, is history!! Collective Soul was soon whisked up to do opening slots for arena rock bands Aerosmith and then Van Halen, played in front of a sea of fans at Woodstock '94, and "Shine" went on to reach the top spot on Billboard. Between tour dates, Collective Soul quickly filed back into the recording studios to release their 2nd CD, Collective Soul, which they self-titled to emphasize that this CD was the first BAND effort.
What's The Deal With The Lawsuit Back Around '97?
Collective Soul was headlining their own club tour, their 2 albums had sold a combined 7 million...and they were receiving a meager $150 a week to cover food expenses on the road. Ed had received no money from publishing; the band had received no royalities...all thanks to a greedy, deceitful manager who had taken it upon himself to claim both the money and the publishing rights. ("December," off the self-titled album, was written when all of this began.) Following a nasty split with him, Collective Soul found themselves yanked off the road and into the courtroom to face a treacherous legal battle that would drag on for part of 1995 and most of 1996. During this time, funds were frozen, and Collective Soul could not tour or record in a "real" studio; for a gut-wrenching period, they weren't sure that they even owned their own name! To keep sane (and pass the time), they holed up in a tiny cabin in Stockbridge, situated in the middle of 40 acres of cow pasture...and let the music flow. They recorded into a computer their impromptu rehearsals of the songs Ed wrote during this time. These songs would become known as Disciplined Breakdown, chronicling this bleak time period and "directed at the emotions" they were feeling at the time. The case was, of course, eventually settled and both parties have been instructed to keep mum. As Ed puts it, "...we get paid now. Before, we didn't."
What Does The Swirly Symbol Mean On The Self Titled Album?
It's on the cover of their 2nd CD, Collective Soul, replacing the letter "o" in "Soul," and according to Ed Roland, who knows what it means!! He says the people in charge of the album artwork came up with the design!
Who Is Kid Browning?
In the liner notes of Disciplined Breakdown, the 3rd track, "Maybe," is dedicated to the memory of Kib Browning. He was the frontman of Atlanta band The Wishing Wall as well as a personal friend of Collective Soul--the two bands have toured together in the past, and Ed had the opportunity to produce a Wishing Wall album, also titled Maybe. Kib Browning passed away a few years ago, and Collective Soul's "Maybe" is a beautiful, loving tribute to a dear friend and his music.
What's Sugarfuzz?
Sugarfuzz! It's the name of Ed's publishing company, as well as the custom amp he plugs into on stage. He came up with the name during the lawsuit and recording of Disciplined Breakdown, when he and the band were, at one point, unsure of whether they would still be allowed to use the name Collective Soul. So, they began thinking up alternate names. Ed came up with 'Sugarfuzz,' which the rest of the guys hated with a passion--he just had to use it somewhere!
Did Ross Childress Leave The Band?
Yes. Ross has left the band. The band says he was making decisions that would indanger the band... There are lots of rumors, but I for one, don't know the entire truth. (QUIT E-MAILING ME!)
Why Did The Band Leave Atlantic Records?
This is not known exactly. I guess only Collective Soul and Atlantic themselves know. It must have been something descently major since several bands left the label. Probably having something to do with management changes.
What Does The Japanese Symbol Featured On The Back Cover Of Blender's Insert Mean?
It simply means "soul" in Japanese.
What Does The Japanese Phrase In "Over Tokyo" Translate To In English?
The Japanese phrase in "Over Tokyo"--"Siawasewo sagasite Tokyo nikite kokode mituketanone tanosinnde." Translates to "You came to Tokyo, seaching for happiness. And you found happiness here. Enjoy your stay."
Who Is Ross's Replacement And Is He An Official Member Of The Band?
Joel Kosche is Ross's replacement, he was Ross's guitartech for many years and took up Ross's position as soon as he left on tour mid-2001. Joel was only considered a hired gun, but Ed announced at the Riverfest Arkansas concert (5-30-04) [Which I attended] that two weeks prior to the concert Joel was named an official member of Collective Soul and that the Riverfest concert was his first gig under his new title.
What Does The EL In EL Music Group Stand For?
Well, it's actually "the" in Spanish. But Ed does admit if you wanna take it farther... that you could say it stands for *E*d and *L*insay Kris (his son).