Ed Roland has written seven #1 songs in his lifetime, all with Collective Soul. It looked like the quest for the eighth was going to come sometime soon. But while it was previously reported that the band will be working on new material at some point in 2013, it appears that things are heading in a different direction.
Ed’s brother Dean plays in Magnets and Ghosts alongside of Ryan Potesta. Bassist Will Turpin has a solo album out called The Lighthouse. And now Ed Roland himself has a new musical venture, Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project.
“We started about a year and a half ago,” explained the frontman of Collective Soul about his new band. “A bunch of guys play in what I call the coffee house circuit here in Atlanta- they’ve got their acoustic guitars and stuff like that. We had just built our new home and we have the studio in the basement now. These guys in the circuit, their shows would end around midnight and they knew that I would be up if I was home. So, they’d come over and I just started showing them these songs. I couldn’t show them to the guys in Collective Soul because they’re not Collective Soul songs. So we had these songs and we were just having fun hanging out jamming.
Ed Roland and The Sweet Tea Project will release their debut EP, Devils ‘n Darlins sometime this fall. A full album is expected to be released as a follow-up early in 2013. While the band has performed a few times this year, they’ll be looking to do more extensive touring into next year. Basically, Ed has broad plans for his new group and it’s going to keep him away from doing Collective Soul for some time. Roland classified his new band and explained the future of Collective Soul.
“I’m not even calling it a side project. It’s what I want to do over the next year and a half or maybe even two years. Everybody’s good in Collective Soul, everybody’s doing their projects and everybody’s done really good work. I’m really proud of them. It’s good to take a little time off, it’ll stimulate everybody until we get back to it, but this is really stimulating for me right now.”