Written by Dustin Sclafani
As the world continues to evolve into the post-pandemic way of life, let us put debates and mandates aside and just take a deep breath.
Would you be willing to jump in that musical time machine and catch all the feelings as things got “Heavy” and your inner high schooler began to “Shine” through? Well, folks, you are in luck because Collective Soul, coming off the 25th an
I had the honor and privilege to catch up with Collective Soul guitarist, Dean Roland, as they began to hit the road and take back an industry that the pandemic crippled, live music.
Dustin Sclafani: What was it like coming to the milestone of the 25th anniversary of Hints Allegations & Things Left Unsaid?
Dean Roland: We have never been a band that reflects, but when you hit a benchmark like that you cannot help but feel gracious.
DS: Coming out of this pandemic and the freeze of playing live, what do you look forward most to about playing again?
DR: The thing I look forward to the most is getting on stage; it is those other 22 hours I just continue to try and make healthy choices that can prolong our careers.
DS: Playing all over the world throughout your 25-year career, what is special about playing Atlantic City?
DR: It’s cool because it is a destination spot, so we have friends coming out to see us from Connecticut, New York City, and Philly, and it is always fun getting to play for your friends.
DS: Speaking of friends, this tour highlights two other bands that came out of the post-grunge sound of the late 90s as well. What is it like to play with your peers?
DR: Well, we have all been friends for a long time and it just made sense. We never toured together before and who doesn’t want to hit the road with people you love and respect?
DS: Has that changed the touring dynamic?
DR: It is like a musical family reunion and now I get paid to see my buddies do what they love.
DS: Speaking of family, you have been able to maintain a healthy working relationship with your brother, now this may not seem important, but with bands like The Black Crowes and Oasis being famous for toxic brotherly love, what is your secret?
DR: Honestly, it has really worked in our favor, agree or disagree, we always have each other’s back and that is rare in this industry. Don’t get me wrong, we are human and get mad at each other, but we respect each other, and that respect comes from a place of love.
DS: Collective Soul has not just released one song and sat back on their loreals but throughout the 25 years you guys have continued to write, record, and release music that has given you both critical and commercial success. How do you guys continue to flourish creatively?
DN: We stay authentic and approach music with gratitude. We try to be as honest as we can. See we have never been a band that chases trends and honestly, we would fail at it if we were. Our key has been to write what we know whether it is a lyric or phrase we have held onto for years or that one beautiful rift we stay true to ourselves and the music we create.
DS: If you could give one piece of advice to those on “the come up” as the kids say what would it be, besides the Nike ad, “Just Do It”?
DR: You must love it, and give the music the respect it deserves. It has been great seeing acts come through like St. Vincent, as she really respects the art of music itself, and that is by far the best thing. Oh, and get a good attorney.
You can never really know the quality of a human being that you may hear on the radio or in your favorite playlist, so when I get to sit down with an artist and dive deeper into their music, it is always a pleasure.
What did I learn you may ask? I learned that Dean Roland is a true musician, his humble demeanor and complete and total love and respect for music are the things legends are made of. I honestly have never heard so much respect for the craft itself from anyone in this industry let alone from someone with as many hit records or 25 years deep into a successful career. Dean is a father, a brother, a bandmate, and a friend and it was an honor to borrow a half-hour of his time to get to know him. From CD stores to multi-disc changers, all the way to your favorite playlist Collective Soul’s love and respect for music stands the test of time.
This industry can be a cold hard place to carve out a life for yourself, a lot of heartbreak agony, and pain, but for the few that crack open that vein and find their place in the big song, it is transformative. The ability to continue to not only have a piece of art survive and be celebrated for 25 years but also to still have the ability to grow as an artist is a beautiful gift that many do not really get to enjoy.
That is the beauty of Collective Soul: never trend-chasing, never sound compromising, and always giving the music the love and respect, it deserves. Future bands could learn a hell of a lot from then and honestly, I am forever thankful that I had the opportunity to sit down with a guitarist I respected. Through our interview, I tr
Oh, and if you ever have the opportunity to talk and get to know Dean, I definitely suggest it, because honestly, he is someone worth knowing on a human level.
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