Atlanta Music Scene

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Will Turpin detours from Collective Soul for solo album

As a member of Collective Soul, finding time to do much outside of their relentless touring schedule and regular album releases can be a challenge.

For the past three years or so, bassist Will Turpin has been stockpiling songs that didn’t feel quite right for the band, and now, before Collective Soul embarks on a summer spin with 3 Doors Down and Soul Asylum (playing the State Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park on July 6), he’s sharing some solo offerings.

On Wednesday, Turpin will debut his CD, “Serengeti Drivers,” with a show at Eddie’s Attic (he’ll also perform at Woodstock’s MadLife Stage & Studios on Friday) that will focus on his genre-hopping collection of songs that lean heavily toward horn-infused soul-pop.

Recently, the affable Turpin visited the studio of The River (97.1 FM) to talk to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the station’s Kaedy Kiely about his new creations.

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On writing songs for himself versus Collective Soul:

“I show some ideas to Ed or Dean (Roland) when I think it might be a Collective Soul song, but when I’m behind a piano, I know it’s not a Collective Soul vibe. The whole solo career or solo album, I don’t know what I want out of that, but I feel like these songs are strong enough that people are going to want to hear them. It’s not like I want to break away from Collective Soul … it’s our thought that it makes Collective Soul stronger, to find yourself in a different creative atmosphere, and it helps our whole synergy. It makes us stronger in the end.”

On how his tenure with Collective Soul influenced him for solo work:

“Everyone has their role and their strengths, but Ed’s lyrics and songwriting are absolutely amazing and it’s easy to build songs around the ideas he comes up with. Being around Ed so long and Collective Soul, the influence is there. (The song) ‘Those Days’ is Ed’s favorite, and I thought it sounded a lot like Ed’s songwriting.”

On the unusual title for the album:

“It was a dream sequence I was having about four years ago. I was wandering in the desert but I wasn’t lost, and I’d see friends — even in cars or the guys in the band in the tour bus with the windows down. That was the overall thing I took from the dream … it was always different people driving by and almost always musician friends. The drivers end up being the drivers of the music.”

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Will Turpin of Collective Soul

8 p.m. Wednesday. $15-$20. Eddie’s Attic, 515-B N. McDonough St., Decatur. 1-877-987-6487,

9:45 p.m. Friday. $17.50-$22.50 (21 and older). MadLife Stage & Studios, 8722 Main St., Woodstock. 678-384-2363,

Will Turpin will feature music from his new album, "Serengeti Drivers."

About the Author

Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for the AJC. She remembers when MTV was awesome.  

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