When Collective Soul and 3 Doors Down were booked to co-headline a tour this summer, it brought together two bands that Collective Soul singer/guitarist Ed Roland feels have plenty in common — including an elusive quality that gets to the core of the music the two bands make.
“You know, they’re Southern boys, like us. We have a lot of things in common just being from the areas we’re from,” Roland said in a late-June phone interview, noting that 3 Doors Down comes from Mississippi, while Collective Soul is a Georgia-based group.
“The one thing we all have in common is we love rock ‘n’ roll. I remember the first time we met, Brad (Arnold, frontman of 3 Doors Down) and I were talking about how everybody was wanting to, I don’t know what word he used, like ‘pigeonhole’ them. With us, it was like grunge, and when they came along it was this pop-rock thing. We were just like ‘Man, we’re just a rock ‘n’ roll band.’ We had that in common, just having that conversation (about being hard to define).”
Futile attempts to categorize the music aside, the combination of these bands means one sure thing: Concertgoers will hear a lot of hit songs over the course of the evening. The six studio albums in 3 Doors Down’s catalog have combined to produce 20 top 20 singles, a half-dozen of which, including “Kryptonite,” “It’s Not My Time” and “When I’m Gone,” were chart-toppers.
Collective Soul boasts 17 top 20 singles — including seven No. 1 Mainstream Rock hits — in a career that will hit the quarter-century mark next year. Roland said the band will play plenty of those tunes each night on tour, but that’s not all Collective Soul will include in its sets.
“We’re going to play some of the new stuff. We’re not going to overdo it, but you’ll definitely hear all of the hits,” Roland said. “At the same time, we want to throw in some new stuff. And I think that’s fine for fans to go ‘Oh wow, no one’s ever heard this? That’s cool.’”
Collective Soul has no shortage of new songs for this summer’s tour. It just wrapped up work in the studio.
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“We recorded 10 songs last year. Originally, we thought we would just do a record where the first side would be the rock and the second would be more orchestrated, like ‘World I Know’ and ‘December,’” Roland said, mentioning a pair of his band’s hits. “We finished that, and then we went on tour. ... At the beginning of the year, I wrote another batch of songs. I showed them to the guys and they were like ‘Man, we’ve got to record these.’ We spent 10 days up at a place called the Barber Shop in (New) Jersey and in 10 days knocked it out. Now we have too many songs.”
In all, Collective Soul recorded 22 songs, and Roland isn’t sure if they’ll be released as a double album or in some other form.
The new songs will add to an already deep catalog Collective Soul began building in 1993 when Atlantic Records released what was essentially a demo of Roland songs as “Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid.” Featuring the hit single “Shine,” the album went double platinum, as Roland recruited the other members of the original Collective Soul — his brother, Dean Roland (guitar), Will Turpin (bass), Ross Childress (guitar) and Shane Evans (drums) — and the group began touring.
That lineup scored an even bigger hit with the triple-platinum self-titled second album featuring hits like “The World I Know,” “December,” “Where The River Flows” and “Gel.” It enjoyed considerable success with three more albums before fortunes began to wane, the band lineup began shifting and the group left Atlantic Records.
The band’s activity became more sporadic during the 2000s. It released four more albums, while remaining a steady presence on the touring circuit. But Roland feels Collective Soul was rejuvenated after drummer Johnny Rabb joined in 2012 and guitarist Jesse Triplett came on board in 2014. Their energy, Roland said, has helped inspire a renewed burst of creativity that so far has resulted in the 2015 album, “See What You Started by Continuing,” and the 22 songs that are waiting for release now.
“I’ve got to be honest with you, with Jesse and Johnny involved in the band now, they’ve really kicked Will, Dean and I in the (expletive) ...,” Roland said. “I mean, they’re inspiring, and they’re like ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’”
“I can’t help but give them, well, a little credit,” Roland said with a laugh. “I think sometimes change is good.”
WHAT: Collective Soul: Rock & Roll Express Tour with 3 Doors Down
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday (7/28)
WHERE: Riverside Casino outdoor stage, behind the event center
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TICKETS: $75 reserved seating, $55 general admission seating (chairs provided) or $35 general admission (bring your own chair); Casino Gift Shop, 1-(877) 677-3456 or Riversidecasinoandresort.com/events/outdoor-concert.html
EXTRAS: Gates open 6:30 p.m.; no outside coolers or beverages allowed
BAND’S WEBSITE: Rocknrollexpresstour.collectivesoul.com