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This article was published 26/4/2016 (2214 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Just before speaking to the Free Press from his home in Venice Beach, Calif., Dean Roland sent his brother, Ed, a text recommending the psychedelic folk group Shearwater.
The brothers, who, along with bassist Will Turpin, are the original members of Collective Soul, have always stayed close, even when the band went on hiatus after plans for a 2012 record fell through.
"It's not like we didn't see each other," says the rhythm guitarist. "We have a close bond. Ed's my brother, and I see him too often anyway."
The Rolands (Ed is the lead vocalist and principal songwriter), Turpin, lead guitarist Jesse Triplett and drummer Johnny Rabb have been spending even more time together the past few weeks as they've toured across Canada. They'll be in Winnipeg tonight to perform some new music at Burton Cummings Theatre. A 10th studio album is in the works; their ninth was released in October.
Dean insists there's no rush to record, although he and his bandmates have been enjoying some recent "momentum."
Collective Soul, he explains, always intended to have a long career, and hitting pause a few years ago was an intentional part of the process.
"We needed it. It's healthy when you've been doing something for so long to just take a step back, try some other things and then reconvene."
For Dean, those "other things" included a side project called Magnets and Ghosts.
"After so many years, you kind of get caught in a creative bubble," he says. "You don't intend to; it just inevitably happens. When you step back in, it's hopefully a different shape, a different experience."
Since reassembling, Collective Soul has added longtime session musicians Triplett and Rabb to the official roster, and their influences have helped reinvigorate the band, which was formed in the early 1990s.
"It's like anything," says Dean. "You're adding another set of variables — new energy, new perspectives, new approaches to songwriting and performance. It's fun."
What hasn't changed for the band in nearly 25 years is a preference to exist outside the rock music box, to flout the rules. Collective Soul is just as comfortable onstage at town fairs or with youth orchestras as in big arenas. Being true to themselves has always been the first priority.
"Our focus, when you get down to it, is melody," says Dean. "If we didn't feel we had captured a melodic sense we were proud of, it didn't happen. We still stick to that today. There's no personal flamboyancy. You know the songs more than the individual personalities in the band."
Lyrically, Collective Soul's melodies tend to be infused with the spiritual — a likely byproduct of the Rolands' conservative Christian upbringing, which was initially revealed in their first hit, Shine.
"Our approach has just been to be honest and express the emotions of whatever we're going through at the time," says Roland, adding that the band does not carry any sort of "religious flag." But, he adds, the members do have their own beliefs and faith, and the essence of those spiritual elements come through in the songwriting.
"Our father was a preacher," he says. "From the age of zero I grew up in the church. Those things are in there, for sure."
It's all part of Collective Soul being true to itself. After all, the combination of thoughtful lyrics, an emphasis on melody over personality, the enjoyment of varied audiences and family bonds doesn't always produce success, at least in the conventional sense.
"We've never really adhered to any trends," says Roland. "We've just done our own thing."
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