“Blind Melon makes a comeback with new frontman.”

By Jason Tanamor

All I can say is Christopher Thorn’s life is pretty plain. Of course, that is until recently, when Blind Melon, his band, found a new lead singer to replace Shannon Hoon, original frontman, who died of a drug overdose shortly after the band became a hit. That was back in 1995. Now, Blind Melon is making a comeback, with a new album and a new vocalist, Travis Warren. Christopher Thorn, who plays guitar, recently sat down for an interview.

Q - The band essentially took a decade long hiatus before getting back together. How was the feeling knowing that the last time you played seriously was with then singer Shannon Hoon?

A - It felt as if no time had passed at all the first day we played together after 12 years. The chemistry between us never faded with time and distance. It felt like home or an old familiar blanket that you never tire of. We tried many times to work with other singers shortly after Shannon passed and it always felt as if he was missing. When Travis (Warren) was with us that first day we all felt like we belonged together. If felt as if Shannon was there with us cheering us on.

Q - Is Blind Melon’s approach similar to how it was when you first debuted or is this time completely different being that your frontman is totally different?

A - I would say that our approach is similar to our writing process during the Soup sessions. As song writers we all write songs and share them with the group to be dissected and then reconstructed with everybody's input in order for it to feel like everyone is a part of the song. Everybody's musical spirit must be connected to the song or it does not resemble a Blind Melon song but sounds more like a solo record. This process can be excruciating and also very satisfying. This process is very similar to the way we made our Soup Record. Travis will sing over a piece of music that he is inspired by. As a fan of our band Travis is a great barometer of what our fans would want to hear.

Q - How has the music changed?

A - Our music has changed with the additional chemistry that Travis has brought to our table. But the original foundation or soul of our band is always there. It is something that is so hard to put a finger on. It is the "chemistry" part that is the driving force that makes a band grow bigger and better than the individuals.

Q - Are you playing the classic Blind Melon songs with new stuff or is it primarily new songs?

A - We have been playing a mix of about 50 % old and 50% new songs.

Q - What are the differences with current Blind Melon versus the band that first came out?

A - I'd like to think we will not repeat our mistakes from our past. Having an experience that was filled with big success and even bigger failure has brought a new appreciation of how fragile all of this is. I felt like I took a lot for granted in the past. I never thought it would end until the day Shannon died. Every night when I walk on stage I know that it is a privilege to play for people and at any minute it can be taken away.

Q - A lot of bands who have singer changes tend to have different outcomes in terms of success or failure. What will Blind Melon do to combat these outcomes?

A - The only thing we have to do is write great songs and give everything we have in the live performance. Our success or failure is up to the audience at that point. If people react and feel connected then we will have success. And if they don't we will lick our wounds and send out our applications to McDonald’s.

Q – When playing live, what do you want the audience to take with them when they leave?

A - I hope the audience takes with them the feeling of being connected to a tribe of like-minded people. Music is the best art form when it comes to uniting people. If nothing else, I hope they can forget all of the bull(crap) of life and escape for the night.

Q – Thanks Christopher.

A - Thanks Jason. Take Care, Christopher.

Blind Melon is:

Travis Warren - Vocals
Christopher Thorn – Guitar
Rogers Stevens – Guitar
Brad Smith – Bass
Glen Graham - Drums


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous."

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