In recent years, the tale of Blind Melon has taken a dramatic turn – from an abrupt and tragic end, to a rebirth and reconnection with their legions of dedicated fans. No matter how you slice it, the group was responsible for some of the most memorable and pure- sounding rock music of the ‘90s, and with their reformation in 2007 with singer Travis Warren, Blind Melon have picked up with their fans, exactly where they left off.
Despite going their separate ways in 1999, interest in Blind Melon continued to grow further, due to the emergence of the jam band scene – which many feel the group helped create. Add to it an ever-growing Blind Melon online community of fans, and it was clear that there was still an unmistakable demand for the band.
It was precisely around this time that Smith and Thorn were asked to produce a few tracks for Texas- based singer/songwriter, Warren – who also happened to be a die-hard Blind Melon fan. Working with Warren on his demo, Smith jokingly said to Thorn that Warren “could sing Blind Melon songs in his sleep.” Soon after, it had become apparent that they had finally located Blind Melon’s new singer. With Stevens and Graham reclaiming their spots as well, Blind Melon was back in business.
Blind Melon has again returned to the stage playing an intimate show at SLO Brew. Hailing from San Luis Obispo, lead singer Travis Warren talked with us about the influence of the SLO music scene, old memories from attending concerts at SLO Brew, and Blind Melon’s upcoming show on September 5th.
Tell us about yourself… Where are you from?
Travis T Warren – Planet Earth. Born 1/16/80 in Granby, Colorado. Grew up in Amarillo, Texas. Moved to Cali in late Feb of ’97. Barely missed the Phoenix Lights event in March of ’97, off I-40.
Both my parents play music. I picked up my guitar playing from my dad and my voice from my mother. Although my mother is an incredible guitar player, so who knows….
What are your memories of the music scene in San Luis Obispo?
I could spend 2 and a half months going over all the great music in this area.
To name a few – Glider, My Monkey, Siko, Vincent Bernardy, Chad Land, Axia, Night Riots, Rain Fur Rent, Tropo, 00-Metro, Killwatt, Stitch N Time, Uroboros, Resination, Too Much Too Little, Mike Campa, Emily Wryn, Sean Cannon, Donna Lou, Zac Cornejo!, Spaces Between, Nathan Towne, Noah Colton, Andrew Rubin, Tysound Leonard, Ryan Johnson, Grant Leonard, my sister Sarah Scarlata, Dan Curcio, SuperCell, Bootsie Merango and many, many, many others.
As far as my memories go? The ones I can remember – absolutely fantastic, life changing. You talk to anyone who was around during the heyday and they will say it was magic. True magic in this area, and I mean that with everything I have.
Music magic still continues on here to this day, I’ve traveled the world and SLO is my home. My favorite place in the world. Pure beauty.
How did living in SLO influence you as a musician?
Wouldn’t have it any other way. Only mistake I made was moving to LA in 2005, or felt we had to move to LA in order to catapult our career. Wish we would have never made that move. Wish we would have stayed in SLO.
It was soul sucking and I lost great bands because of that move (and drugs/alcoholism played a wee little role in that). That said, everything happened exactly the way it was supposed to. Due to the fellas in Blind Melon being a bit older than myself, they helped teach me the tools I needed to learn in the music industry. Now, I can use those tools to do things right this time around and bring the wealth back to SLO. Share and serve others.
What are your memories of performing at SLO Brew or attending shows?
Absolutely epic. Was always one of our favorite venues to play in SLO. Kip doing sound!
One of my most cherished memories of SLO Brew wasn’t playing a show, but watching A Perfect Circle from outside, when the stage was upstairs.
We were in a big giant tree in the alley, watching Maynard Keenan doing his thing from outside. I believe it was in ‘99, so I was only 19, hence the reason why we were watching them from a tree outside (21 and over).
He came to the window and yelled something at us like, “‘It’d sure be a shame if you fell out of that tree right now’ in his asshole kind of way and we loved it! We were yelled at by Maynard!” Good times.
What does it mean to you now to be returning to San Luis Obispo to perform at SLO Brew with Blind Melon?
Well I try and not to get prideful, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I feel very grateful, happy and prideful about playing. It’s been a long time coming. It’s going to be a memory that stays with me ‘till I breathe my last dying breath.
What is the band most excited about for Blind Melon’s tour?
Every aspect except maybe waiting. However, I’m trying to be content even “waiting around”. I love performing, particularly sober, love hanging with the fans and random people I meet, and I really love scoping out thrift stores, particularly Buffalo Exchange (in bigger cities). I love everything about touring. Very grateful to be able to do what I do. Cheers!