SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Ed Roland is no stranger to Oahu.
The Georgia native and lead singer/songwriter of the multi-platinum band Collective Soul has churned out over a dozen chart-topping singles, written a song ("Shine") that was covered by Dolly Parton, and been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, twice, first as part of Collective Soul in 2009, then as a solo artist in 2014.
But before Collective Soul made it big in the '90s with guitar-heavy hits, such as "December" and "The World I Know," Roland was just another tourist killing time on the North Shore, wondering what he was doing with his life.
"I was there with my girlfriend at the time," he recalled. "She got a job working at a coffee shop on the North Shore. I felt like I was just wasting time. The relationship wasn't going anywhere, and my music probably wasn't going anywhere either."
He channeled those feelings into the songs "Heaven Is Here" and "Wasting Time."
But it turns out, it wasn't all for nothing. Twenty-plus years and eight albums later, Collective Soul remains as strong as ever, having weathered changes in band members, management and record labels.
So when the group headlines this year's Fourth of July concert at Schofield Barracks, Roland will have come full circle. Only this time, he said, instead of waiting for a girlfriend to end her shift, he plans on making time to island-hop with his family and treat his son to shaved ice on the North Shore. In other words, more heaven and less wasting time.
-- The Interview
The "Hawaii Army Weekly" interviewed Roland recently, in anticipation of the Fourth of July concert.
HAW: What are you listening to now?
Roland: Right now? I was just listening to Brewer & Shipley. I also like the band the Head and the Heart. When I'm at home, hanging out, I want to be mellow. When I'm out with the boys, we like to play loud.
HAW: Where do you draw your musical inspiration from?
Roland: I draw inspiration from everywhere. I have so many records and CDs. I listen to everything.
HAW: You attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Roland: Yeah, for about half a year. Long enough to have a student loan. (Laughs). But it was a great learning experience going from a small town in Georgia to a big city.
HAW: Your father was a preacher. What does he think of your music?
Roland: He loved music and was very supportive of my dreams. My first concert was a Johnny Cash concert (with my dad). When I was 14, he allowed me to buy a record, a secular record.
I remember going to the music store and there were all these records, like Olivia Newton John and Elton John. I chose the Elton John record. He looked so cool. I remember thinking I want to be like that, write songs like that, rock'n'roll songs.
HAW: What do you want the audience to get from your songs?
Roland: I'm selfish and I write for myself. I know exactly what I'm going through, what I'm thinking when I write each song. My writing is very personal, but it doesn't necessarily have to be interpreted that narrowly.
HAW: Tell us about your next album, "Look What You Started By Continuing" (due for release later this year).
Roland: It's the most rock record we've ever done. It started about two years ago, when we were playing live shows. It was like live rehearsals (for the album) and a lot of fun.
We like loud.