Collective Soul has recorded, released and performed music for more than 25 years and even though there have been deviations from the original line up they have persevered, adapted and continue to move forward as this current “Now’s The Time Tour 2019” supporting their recent release, “Blood” can attest.
Bassist Will Turpin has been with the band from their days in Stockbridge, Georgia to the juggernaut they’ve become an prior to a recent show in Morristown, NJ he elaborated on his time with the band, the new record, the tour and what an established band does differently in today’s technology driven atmosphere versus two decades ago.
“It really doesn’t feel like it in a lot of ways, I don’t feel like I just had another birthday but rock ‘n’ roll; the years don’t seem like it. I mean it can be a grind on the road but it does and doesn’t feel like it has been 25 years,” he stated with curious overtones as if he couldn’t believe it himself. “Part of me still feels like that 27 year old kid in a rock band; it’s a big deal but I don’t really know how to wrap my head around it and talk about it. I’m just real excited and I’m trying to do what I’ve always done; it’s not like thinking short term because we’re always thinking about the next record coming out and we’re going overseas in the next year, so I’m always thinking like a year ahead. I don’t want to categorize what 25 years means because I don’t know, I really can’t wrap my head around it; I just want to do more, more rock ‘n’ roll and more shows for years to come.”
“Blood” is the band’s tenth release and has been in the works for several years. Turpin says that the group was focused; aided by a two week stay in The Garden State during which time they recorded most of the tracks which comprise the album plus a host of others.
“There’s a song on the record called “Right as Rain” that’s also on our 2017 live record that we released around Christmas in December; so in the summer of 2017 we were already working on some of these songs. Then around March of 2018 we went to a friend’s studio called The Barber Shop which wasin an old church in Lake Hopatcong New Jersey and it was a beautiful spot which was referred to us by our guitar tech who records there. The idea was that we’d be able to isolate ourselves, so we had a really cool house on the lake maybe two miles from the studio; so it was just us focusing on the music. That was probably about 10 or 12 days in a row in the studio and that’s when we recorded the meat and potatoes of the record and getting in there every day and focusing on the energy and the right vibe for each song. We were always about focusing on the song and what was right for each song and for the most part it was there. We all have studios in our homes but of course we did some touch up stuff at Ed’s studio and it was mixed at one of our favorite studios in Atlanta where we’ve been recording since the beginning. We recorded twenty something tunes; how long did it take us to do it? We do so much stuff; those 11 songs that we did in New Jersey were kind of condensed but we have another 10 in the can. The idea is to kind of have “Blood Part One” and maybe a part two with a different name but we’re not really sure how to market the second half of what we did. We had talked about the concept of a double LP and then we didn’t know how to market that either in today’s world (laughs) so we decided to focus on the first half, getting it done and then re-market the other 10 tunes; maybe a part two or something like that, we really don’t know.”
“Today’s World” can make or break bands both old and/or new if they can’t navigate the sometimes rough waters of social media, the internet and digital downloads but Turpin says that Collective Soul has evolved with the times, used technology to their advantage and has maintained a closeness with their fan base that continues to benefit them in many ways.
“Collective Soul has certainly seen the cross section of the evolution of what we knew as the old record industry and kind of where we are today; kind of like the wild, Wild West with the cream filtering to the top.Through our first three records we were still signed to a traditional huge record label and then around 2000 or 2001 we saw that whole bottle get destroyed and we were one of the first bands to go it on our own. We released “Youth” on our own record label and hired some guys who are still our dear friends who ran the promotion for the record and are doing so for this one; it’s just different. We’re going to sell about 30,000 CDs where we used to sell half a million on an average day but you have to watch the streaming numbers, watch satellite radio; there’s still outlets and trigger signs to look for to chart the success of a song. How do we survive? The big advantage for bands that have a fan base is the direct marketing that we can do. We can let our fans all across the country know what we are doing or the direct marketing involved through Facebook or e-mail; we can let people know when we are coming to their town and the true fans want that so we try not to bug people but the direct marketing in today’s world is easy and just genius for bands that have a real fan base. The pros and cons are there and I can talk about it for hours but we did see the evolution of the record industry 100 percent get flipped over and roundabout, flattened and reshaped (laughs).”
Veterans of the road and the business, Turpin explains the difference between now and then when they step on stage. Whereas the focus years ago was on getting it technically right, today’s Collective Soul has a different outlook.
“I don’t know how to describe it but we are confident and we really feel like we know what to focus on live; it’s not a technical thing, it’s something that we’re trying to grab that includes vibe and energy. I tell everybody that we are purveyors of emotion, what we’re trying to do really is let these frequencies hit your ears and then make you feel a certain way or think of a certain time or memory and then that energy transfer comes right back to the stage and it’s kind of a circle that feeds itself. We’ve gotten to where we focus on things like that, when we were younger it was more about this note at this time or hit this fret at this time or watch the count off here and it was all technical but we think above that now. I think you know what I’m talking about, we’ve gotten over that now and have evolved to another level and obviously we still take pride in how technical or sharp we are but that’s not what 90 percent of the fans give a shit about (laughs). Music nerds like me may watch or listen for chords and technical things but most fans want to just hear the music.”
To discover more about Collective Soul, The “Now’s The Time Tour 2019” or “Blood”please visit www.collectivesoul.com.