“That Les Paul became my thing. Its neck has broken three different times! That’s why I call it my workhorse – it just keeps going”: Collective Soul’s Dean Roland on his long-serving gear – and why he’s never rested on the band’s ’90s success

Dean Roland plays live with Collective Soul
(Image credit: Tony Contini Productions)

Since Collective Soul got started, Georgia-born brothers Ed and Dean Roland have held it down, delivering hits like Shine, December and The World I Know, and performing iconic sets at Woodstock ’94 and ’99.

The band have released 11 studio records labeled everything from grunge to alt to – gasp – classic rock. But rhythm guitarist Dean Roland believes it doesn’t matter much. “It’s always been about melody, honest lyrics and having some fun sounds around it,” he tells Guitar World.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.