Doug Collins Q&A

July 18, 2022
Doug Collins writes shimmering pop and is not the basketball coach or congressman.
“Don’t say this is a love song — show them. And when you can connect with an audience by letting them connect the dots, it’s all the more sweeter.”

When do you know a song is done? Is it difficult to stop refining?

I always ask myself — did this do what I wanted it to do? Is there a musical hook? Is the story what I wanted it to be, and is it clear? Some songs you known are done after the first run-through. Sometimes you can be tricked in to thinking you’re finished then realize that something is missing. But once I feel something is done — good or bad — I don’t go back.

You’ve been known to hone your songs at open mics around town. Do you still hit them?

I used the open mics to hear things in front of an audience, and polish them from there. Now I’m busy enough playing that I don’t get that luxury, and I am lucky that my band the Receptionists are helpful in listening, and helping make the songs as good as they can be.

You have also written plays. Are song-writing and play-writing similar?

What I’m attracted to in both is how to show, not tell, what’s going on. Don’t say this is a love song — show them. And when you can connect with an audience by letting them connect the dots, it’s all the more sweeter.

Your band name comes from your day job. Do you still have it?

I still do — music is like the theater in that regard. As the old saying goes, “you can make a killing, but you can’t make a living.”

Your album ‘Complicated Compliments’ received a lot of raves. To me it sounds a lot like Costello. Is he an influence?

At one time, I did listen to him a lot. I find that I do so less now, but that doesn’t stop my love with his late ’70s and early ’80s work, which left a mark on me.

Do you still include ‘The Jeffersons’ theme song in your set?

Ha! We did do that at a gig last summer, but it doesn’t make the setlist that much as of late.

How often do you get questions about the basketball coach with your name?

Thankfully, not so much anymore. But I do get asked about the former U.S. House member from Georgia, who is also Doug Collins. And here I thought I had a unique name.

What is next for you?

After releasing the CD, we’re trying to get some road work in as a band, so I’m looking forward to that.