Collins grew up in Long Island with fellow future Dream Theater members John Petrucci, John Myung and Kevin Moore. While those three went off to colleges to study music, Collins decided to join The United States Marine Corps. His enlistment in the USMC never happened however, the very week that he was supposed to go to boot camp he received a phone call from John Petrucci stating that they would like to record an album and that he should audition for the band. Collins recorded vocals for six tracks that the band made into their first demo tape, The Majesty Demos.
Collins wound up frustrating his bandmates with his poor vocal range, bad live performances and on-stage behavior. Eventually Collins left the band and that led to a mutual decision to part company, citing that he was not an appropriate choice for lead vocalist and that the band would never be a success with him in it.
Collins has worked with local tributes such as Snowblind, Never Enough, Scorched Earth, Speak of the Devil, and Live After Death. Collins also recorded vocals for the US progressive metal band Oblivion Knight whose album Oblivion Knight was released on Steel Legacy records. Oblivion Knight was the original band formed by now OSV bass player Steve Sexton.