By Rick Coates
Even in the world of rock and roll, a lot of times it is about who you know versus what you know. Just ask Collective Soul lead guitarist Joel Kosche who joined the band in 2001. Kolsche and his bandmates, Ed and Dean Roland and Will Turpin (all founding members) will take the stage at the Odawa Casino in Petoskey this Saturday.
Yeah I was a part of that same music scene in the Atlanta area that Collective Soul was a part of. I had my day job painting in a body shop and fronted a band at night, said Kosche. Well, I was getting tired of the day job and so I asked a buddy connected with Collective Soul if they needed anybody and eventually he passed my name along and I got hired.
But not to be a member; Kosche was hired to be the guitar tech for the band in 1996.
It was great at first because I got away from the body shop, said Kosche. But Collective Soul is a hard working band and we were touring the world and then I took on Stevie Winwood as well. I was so busy working for other bands that I didnt have time for my own music. So I quit to move back to Atlanta and work on releasing my own CD.
His hiatus from Collective Soul was short-lived.
I got a call from Ed saying that they had parted ways with Ross (Childress the original lead guitarist who Kosche was the guitar tech for) and if I would like to join them for the tour, said Kosche.
I agreed and they said good, because we leave for Australia in a week. Do you think you can handle it?
INVITED FULL TIME
While Kosche had little time to prepare, he mastered the groups songbook quickly and his performance was so impressive on the tour that he was invited to become a full time member of the band.
Since then, Kosche has become an integral member, co-writing the hit Hollywood in 2007 and co-producing the CD Afterwards with lead singer Ed Roland. On the same album, Kosche wrote and sang lead vocals on the song I Dont Need Anymore Friends.
On Collective Souls most recent release, the 2009 self-titled album, Kosche showcased his songwriting skills with the single You and the album track Understanding, which were co-written with the rest of the band.
Despite enjoying success with one of rock musics top bands of the last 15 years, Kosche still has an interest in a solo career. While not planning on leaving Collective Soul, Kosche did release his first solo album last month, Fight Years.
So why did it take Kosche so long to release a solo album and why not record the songs with Collective Soul?
Collective Soul is so busy touring and recording that it took me three years to record my CD, said Kosche. This solo work is my music. The songs are about my struggle to make it as a musician, hence the title Fight Years. So this is not Collective Soul; some of these songs were written before I joined Collective Soul.
Fight Years is receiving praise from critics and Collective Soul lead vocalist Ed Roland sings backing vocals on The Passing, while Kansas singer Steve Walsh sings on Always Dreaming, and Firewalk. While the CDs lyrics may be autobiographical, musically it is all about guitars.
It was really important to me to emphasize the tried and true big guitar formula, said Kosche. There are a couple of acoustic moments to break it up, including a song with a string quartet, but I didnt stray too far. Another thing is that I actually made a point of not using any keyboards or synthesized instruments, I wanted all the sounds to be real even if they are a little bit wacky.
Collective Souls plate is pretty full. The band is on the road through October and then will head into the studio to record a new album.
But in the meantime, Kosche has no complaints.
I am in a great rock band, said Kosche. It is great getting up on stage and having the audience singing along to most of our songs. This band is just as energized today as it was when it hit the big time in 1993. We love touring, playing all the hits. We will sprinkle in a few future hits and a couple of covers and just have a lot of fun on stage. No one will leave the Petoskey show disappointed.
Collective Soul became an overnight international sensation with their 1993 debut Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid. The multi-platinum CD featured their mega-hit Shine.
The band was invited to perform at the 25 Anniversary of Woodstock and went from being an opening act to a headliner with their eponymous 1995 CD (they now have two self titled albums) that contained four hits, including three that went to number one. The songs December, The World I Know, Where The River Flows, and Gel would keep the album on the Billboard Top 200 charts for 76 weeks. Other number one hits from Collective Soul include Precious Declaration, Listen and Heavy.
Collective Soul will perform at the Odawa Casino Resort in Petoskey on Saturday August 7 at 8 pm. Tickets remain and may be purchased online at odawacasino.com or by calling the box office at 800-585-373. If you would like to make a day out it be sure to stay at the Casino and enjoy dinner the Waas-No-De Buffet.