|Birth name||Edgar Eugene Roland Jr.|
|Born||August 3, 1963|
Stockbridge, Georgia, US
Edgar Eugene Roland, Jr. (born August 3, 1963) is an American musician, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is best known as the lead vocalist and primary songwriter of the rock band Collective Soul. He is also active with his side project, Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project.
The record that influenced Ed to go into rock music was Elton John's Greatest Hits which he got as a child. After finishing high school, Roland studied songwriting and guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston for one year. He was the lead engineer and producer at Real 2 Reel Studios in Stockbridge, Georgia for eight years. In 1985, he was in a band called The Eddie Band and another during the late 1980s and early 1990s called Marching Two-Step, which also included future producer and music executive Matt Serletic, future executive Michelle Rhea Caplinger and longtime Collective Soul drummer Shane Evans. Roland released an indie album called Ed-E Roland in 1991. The album was meant to showcase his abilities to compose, record, and produce his own original music.
Roland changed the name of his band to Collective Soul with hopes of finding success in the music business. Not finding success, however, Roland became frustrated and almost gave up on the music industry. He had been active in the local Georgia music scene since the early 1980s. Despite the initial rejections, Collective Soul independently released Hints, Allegations & Things Left Unsaid in 1993 on a label called Rising Storm. It was a compilation of some of Roland's songwriting demos created when he worked at Real 2 Reel Studios.
This collection eventually caught the attention of WJRR 101.1 in Orlando, Florida. Several other college radio stations began to play "Shine" and it became an underground hit. The popularity of the song and band was convincing enough that Atlantic Records signed Collective Soul in 1993 to a long term major label contract. Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid was re-released worldwide in early 1994. The band experienced a sudden rise from obscurity to fame.
Ed's brother Dean is also a member of the band. Their father was a Southern Baptist minister which influenced their spiritual background; however, Ed has cited that Collective Soul is not a Christian rock band.
Roland formed a new act in 2011 with a group of friends and musicians, titled Ed Roland and the Sweet Tea Project. In 2012, the Sweet Tea Project's cover version of "Shelter from the Storm" was released on Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, a four-disc compilation of Bob Dylan covers.
The Sweet Tea Project's debut album, Devils 'n Darlins, was released on September 3, 2013. The album's first single, "Love Won't Bring Us Down," was released on August 13.
From February to October 2014, Collective Soul recorded their ninth studio album, See What You Started by Continuing. The album was released on October 2, 2015 by Vanguard Records.
In December 2014, Roland recorded a solo album with current Collective Soul bandmates Will Turpin and Jesse Triplett, along with former Collective Soul drummer Shane Evans and guitarist Peter Stroud. The album, Anniversary, was dedicated to Roland's wife, Michaeline.
Main article: Ed Roland discography