“There were a lot of things that just kind of slapped us upside the head and told us it was time to take a break,” singer Ed Roland said. That included divorces for him and brother Dean, the guitarist. The band mapped out these tribulations and others during a recent “Behind The Music” special on VH1.

Collective Soul is releasing its sixth studio album and the first since 2000’s Blender. The new effort, Youth, is on the band’s own imprint, El Music Group. Likewise, there’s been a shakeup: Along with bassist Will Turpin and drummer Shane Evans, Soul has a newly recruited guitar player in Joel Kosche.

The band is now out on a shakedown cruise, playing intimate clubs across the U.S. and even Toronto. A more significant venture is being planned for next year.

Things kick off at Minneapolis’ Mall of America and wrap at Ocklahoma City’s Fritz’s Music Hall December 18th. In between, Collective Soul will visit Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Grand Rapids, Detroit, New Orleans and Dallas along with other stops.