Will Turpin

Collective Soul bassist shares his thoughts on the band’s formation, music education, The Lighthouse and much more. Hear the whole conversation.

Exclusive audio interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
February 6, 2012

Photo by John Colden

Will Turpin is the bass player and a founding member of Atlanta-based super group Collective Soul. Since the band first came on the scene in the early ’90s, Collective Soul has had seven #1 hits and nineteen Top-40 singles. Will’s new five-song solo EP, The Lighthouse, was released in October 2011 on Gooey Records.

You can listen to the entire interview below. Here are a few excerpts:

On the convergence of rhythm, harmony and melody

WT: I guess the question that I bring to mind that makes me really start to wonder is: What is it about frequencies and the alignment of such frequencies that feels good to a human when it goes through their eardrum and it hits their brain? What is it that can totally change the way you feel? It can accentuate the way you already feel, it can do so many things with just, basically, frequencies, is what it comes down to. It breaks down to numbers. So, what is that? I don’t know, but I’ve got some interesting thoughts on that. That’s kind of what intrigues me.

On turning pro

WT: I can always remember trying to make money by performing or recording music, from my teenage years. I remember in 8th grade, 9th grade, I met Shane Evans, Collective Soul’s original drummer. We were trying to get paid to play the Valentine dance at the high school. So, it’s always been something that was there for me. Hey, I can play music and maybe I can get paid to do this.

On becoming a bass player

WT: It was really a natural progression that was … basically out of necessity. Chemisty-wise, personality-wise, it was like a bolt of lightning, honestly. When the idea came, I was like, “I’ll play bass and then that’ll fix everything.” I really thought that. It was just as simple as that. I thought if I played bass, then everything would be right. The rapport with me and Shane is undoubtable. You can hear it on live bootlegs, you can hear it on Collective Soul CDs. We were best friends and we were able to focus equally on any given task, like a laser. I didn’t skip a beat, man, I was ready to go. It just came to me and, from that point on, I was bass player in Collective Soul.

On Will’s new EP, The Lighthouse

WT: I’d played some of these songs out live and had gotten enough feedback from people that I thought it’d be worth my time and effort to record them. Instead of going with the old format of “release a record, try to tour and promote a record and then take time off and try and make another record,” I’m going to try to integrate … recording more solo material as much as possible, … integrate that into a Collective Soul schedule and keep putting more stuff out. The five songs from Lighthouse have been received extremely well and I’m really happy about that. It’s definitely given me enough inspiration to want to continue.

Hear our entire interview with Will!

Part I:  The early years, Dad’s recording studio, thoughts on the science of music

Part II:  Music education, becoming a bass player, the formation of Collective Soul

Part III: The secrets of keeping a band together for 17 years; New EP, The Lighthouse

Part IV:  The Kensley Grace fundraiser; current and future projects

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *