Collective Soul Plans November Return

Four years since its last studio album, Collective Soul returns Nov. 16 with "Youth." The album is the first on the group's new ADA-distributed label, El Music Group. "We knew we wanted to take a year

Four years since its last studio album, Collective Soul returns Nov. 16 with "Youth." The album is the first on the group's new ADA-distributed label, El Music Group.

Collective Soul parted ways with Atlantic in 2001 and has been dormant since releasing a greatest-hits set that year.

"We knew we wanted to take a year off, but we didn't intend to take this much time off," lead singer/songwriter Ed Roland admits.

As the band watched the major labels go through cataclysmic changes, it made a record and scrapped it after Roland decided that the band's fans "deserve better." A new album was crafted over the last six months.

Even though there were major labels eager to talk to the band, which scored seven No. 1s on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart between 1994 and 1999, Roland says, "We knew how the conversations were going to go, because we had been at a major label for so long. We understood the politics and the monetary side of it. I'm not here to say major labels are evil, but I would like to say that they aren't necessary in some cases, like ours, where we have a solid fan base."

The album will be led by first single "Counting the Days," which is already getting play on 18 U.S. radio stations.

The group recently wrapped a brief club and small theater tour. At deadline, there was only one planned appearance scheduled, a Nov. 4 acoustic performance as part of WNNX (99X) Atlanta's "Unplugged at Sea" listener cruise to the Bahamas, which will feature just Roland and guitarist Joel Kosche.