Blind Melon has had several hits, including "No Rain". Lead singer Shannon Hoon died from a drug overdose in 1995. A new lead vocalist, Travis Warren, joined the band when they recorded their latest album, For My Friends. The band stopped in Washington, D.C. to talk with VOA's Larry London.
Blind Melon had an amazing climb in the
music industry. The band formed in 1989, and within four years, they
had signed a major label record deal and recorded a Number One song.
The death of Shannon Hoon brought everything to an end.
"People who get involved in trying to be a musician," says guitarist Chris Thorn. "You have a dream when you're very young, you know. It's kind of a crazy, far-fetched dream, and I think all of us had that. And then you actually get there, and to have it taken away like that is a very strange thing when you're young."
Thorn says the band had given up on Blind Melon.
"We had no intention of doing this," he says. "Travis [Warren] just kind of came out of nowhere and made it work (replaced Shannon Hoon). I couldn't have imagined anybody or invented anyone who could've done this."
Bandmates Chris Thorn and Brad Smith were producing other artists, and began working with Warren. They came to realize that Warren might be the one who could resurrect their former group.
"You know, when we originally started doing this, Chris and Brad were trying to get me a record deal," Warren says. "We did a few songs together and, you know, it was really natural."
One afternoon at a barbecue, they asked Warren if he was interested in trying to reform the band.
"You know, right when I left, they said, 'Hey man, sit down,'" he says. "I thought I was going to get fired or something. It was kind of a serious moment. And they sat me down, they were just like, 'How do you feel about bringing Blind Melon back?' And I was just like … I couldn't believe it."
Blind Melon now looks to the future, but still enjoys the memories of when they had a number one single and toured with The Rolling Stones.
"You know, it's not like you're lying to people when you tell them, 'Oh, we're playing with the Stones,'" Chris Thorn says. "It's like, 'Oh yeah, uh huh, sure you're. Yeah, so am I.'
The band is currently touring in support of their new CD, "For My Friends." At a recent Chicago concert, Hoon's 11-year-old daughter sang one of her father's songs with the band.