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Blind Melon Biography

Home > Music > B > Blind Melon > Biography

Birth Place: California, United States
Years Active: 1989–1999, 2006–present
Genres: Alternative Rock, Neo-psychedelia, Folk Rock

Blind Melon is an American rock band active from 1989 to 1999, and from 2006 onward. The group enjoyed critical and commercial success in the early 1990s with their neo-psychedelic take on alternative rock. The 1995 death of lead vocalist Shannon Hoon halted the band's activity, and the members went on hiatus until officially disbanding in 1999. The band reformed with new lead vocalist Travis Warren in 2006, and although Warren departed two years later, he has since resumed performing with the band.

Blind Melon formed in California in 1989 and signed to Capitol Records in 1991 and recorded an unreleased demo. The band's self-titled debut album, produced by Rick Parashar (producer on Pearl Jam's Ten), was released in 1992 and sold poorly until the “No Rain” single was released in September 1993. The single, promoted by a music video featuring the “Bee Girl,” helped launch the commercial success of the band, with the single peaking at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The album reached #3 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and went on to attain 4x platinum certification.

In 1994, the band began recording its second album, “Soup,” in New Orleans with producer Andy Wallace. “Soup” was released in 1995, and predominantly featured shorter songs with a less conventional alternative rock approach. Possibly because of the more experimental sound the album failed to meet sales expectations, while reaching the Top 30 of the Billboard 200.

In 1995, Blind Melon contributed a version of the song “Out on the Tiles” to the “Encomium” tribute album to Led Zeppelin, as well as a promotional album with a cover of the Schoolhouse Rock! song “Three Is a Magic Number.”

Blind Melon went on tour in support of “Soup.” Hoon was found dead on the band's tour bus of a heart attack, caused by a cocaine overdose, on October 21, 1995 in New Orleans.

The remaining members released “Nico,” named for Hoon's daughter, only 13 weeks old when her father died, in 1996, with the profits going to a program that helps musicians with drug and alcohol addiction. “Nico” contained unreleased songs from the “Soup” recording sessions, as well as other songs often recorded with only partial instrumentation. The closing track, “Letters from a Porcupine,” was recorded as a telephone message left by Hoon on Thorn's answering machine.

During this period, without Hoon, the relationships between the band's main members disintegrated as they attempted to recruit a new front man. Rumors began to spread of a breakup and while efforts were made to reconcile, a split seemed likely. Blind Melon officially disbanded in March 1999 and the various members went on to other projects.

In September 2006, it was announced that Blind Melon had reunited, with the addition of new lead singer Travis Warren (formerly of Rain Fur Rent). In November 2006 three new Blind Melon songs were released, “Make a Difference,” “For My Friends” and “Harmful Belly.” In October 2007 Blind Melon performed their first show in twelve years in Providence, Rhode Island.

In April 2008, the band released “For My Friends” on Adrenaline Records. The first single, “Wishing Well,” was released in March 2008. In the midst of a late 2008 European tour, the band announced the departure of Warren.

The reasons behind his departure were unclear. Initially, the band intended to honor their remaining dates, and announced Chris Shinn of Unified Theory as lead vocalist for the remainder of their tour. However, this was later retracted, and the tour cancelled, with the band stating that Shinn simply didn't have enough time to prepare.

After clearing the air with the rest of the band, Warren returned to perform a previously scheduled gig with Blind Melon on December 31, 2008 in Dearborn, Michigan, which the band later announced would be the last show with him. After another brief hiatus, the group reformed with Warren singing to perform various dates in 2010 and 2011.