¿Qué diablos está pasando en BM?

La pasada edición del ARF nos trajo algunas actuaciones memorables, Hanoi Rocks y los remozados Blind Melon -con Travis Warren reemplazando al irremplazable Shannon Hoon- triunfando por todo lo alto. No han pasado dos meses y ambas bandas han anunciado separaciones.

Michael Monroe y Andy McCoy anuncian el pasado 21 de octubre que en unos meses se separan, que Hanoi Rocks han llegado a su máximo y prefieren seguir por separado. En primavera, última gira por Japón y también conciertos de despedida en su Helsinki natal. Una lástima, ahora que habían grabado posiblemente el mejor disco de su carrera, Street Poetry.

Otros que tal, Blind Melon, pero por razones distintas. De hecho no se separan: simplemente han expulsado a su nuevo cantante Travis Warren y seguiran sin él. En una serie de comunicados cruzados via internet, Travis argumentaba que lo han despedido porque sus recientes problemas vocales le impedian proseguir con la gira y el resto de la banda no quería esperar a que sanase. Por su parte, los otros responden que nada de eso, que el problema de voz lo entienden, pero que su cantante ha estado ilocalizable durante un par de semanas y por ahí no pasan. Este es el comunicado de Travis:

“Hello everyone. Today is a sad day for not just me, but many others.
Today I was told that I’m being replaced in Blind Melon. Before I go
into this, I just want everyone to hear my side of the story before you get blasted with false information. For those who do not know, I lost my voice during Blind Melon’s last tour in Canda. I got sick mid way through the tour and ended up damaging my voice due to continous strain from singing every night while ill. I should have let my voice heal and cancelled at least one show, the band chose not to cancel a show and because of that, my vocal chords became much worse.
When we returned to the states,I mentioned to the band that I would not be able to continue on the upcoming tour until my voice healed.
Instead of working with me and understanding, I recieved the exact
opposite. The band wanted me to go see a doctor,which I did go to and was examined by one of the top vocal doctors who said, and I quote, “Your voice is in bad shape, you need to take off at least two weeks”. “Come back and see me in two weeks and we’ll go from there”.
Well folks my voice is still in the healing process and because I can’t
get out there and do this 2-3 week run, I am being replaced. I was hoping to recieve some understanding from my bandmates and be given the time needed to heal and come out in the new year with a bang, but I am not going to be given that oppertunity.
It hurts me to say this to you all, but I must do what is right by me and insure the longivity of my voice and career. By being pushed into this tour permanent damage could occur and that is a chance I cannot take, if I want to be able to continue the honor of bringing you music.
I’ve enjoyed meeting all of you and you guys have been the best
fans/friends anybody could every have. I truly mean that!
I’ve also enjoyed all the wonderful experiences that I’ve shared
with many of you. Fun times indeed!!!!!!
Thank you so much for accepting me and giving me a chance.
I know it was tough for a lot of you watching somebody else sing
Shannon’s songs but it means the world to me that you guys gave me a chance and it was such an honor to be able to play with Blind
Melon. I put all that I could into this band up until this point but unfortunatly the circumstances that have surfaced are now guiding me differently.
I will of course continue to make music when my voice is fully recooped, and I will also now be able to take the oppertunity to finish my own record which I have long anticipated its finish, at that point I will start the proccess of looking for a band to tour with and hopefully get the oppertunity to see all of you again, and recieve your support in my new endevours!!!”

Y este el de Roger Stevens, guitarrista del grupo en el foro BlindMelons

Friends….

I bring you some difficult news.

The revelry call went out to start the tour, and all reported to duty except for one. We, along with our entire team, have been working long hours to prepare for this upcoming US tour, which we have all been excited about. All except one. There has long been consensus with the original 4 members of the group….we agree on purpose and vision, we believe deeply in what we are doing, and we have been forged together in the kiln of tragedy which has made us unbreakable. We all share that. All except one.

We believe that it is a great privilege to do what we do. It is an honor to stand onstage before you all and play these songs, and we will endure just about anything to do so. We have unity on this…all except one.

Travis does not share this with us. Two weeks ago when we cancelled the first half of the tour, Travis was having problems with his voice and the doctor recommended that he rest. Though it hurt us to cancel the shows, we were understanding towards him and supported him because nobody wanted him to injure himself or damage his obviously amazing voice. God dropped a Stradivarius down Travis’s throat, but the reality is that he treats it like a broken pawnshop fiddle. It is very difficult to maintain a rigorous touring schedule while chain smoking.

Early this week Travis was due to again visit the doctor, a specialist that we found for him who is the very best available. The doctor wanted to make sure everything was OK before we embarked on the tour. We told Travis that we would cancel the rest of the tour if his voice was still hurting, regardless of what the doctor said. Travis will tell you that we fired him because his voice was fried, but this is not true. All singers go through vocal problems from time to time, and we understand that. We did not fire Travis, he abandoned us. The plan was set, it was solid, and we were confident. Everybody was on board…all except one. Not only did he bail on the doctor, but he did not return anybody’s calls, texts, emails, telegrams, or carrier pigeon messages for the last two weeks. We’re talking about a LOT of attempts to communicate. This has been a pattern from the beginning of our involvement with him. The reality is that Travis did not want to go on this tour, and his reasons for this changed many times. The touring life is not for everyone. Had he told us that it was just too much for him, then that would have sucked for us but we could have dealt with it. But the dilemma was that HE WOULD NOT COMMUNICATE WITH US.

We finally started calling family members to try to locate him. Members of his family were very helpful and the good news is that they had spoken to him and he was alive. We were all relieved but curious as to what was going on. One of Travis’s cousins finally got him to agree to call our manager yesterday evening and they spoke for about 20 minutes (we were all waiting to figure out if we should get on airplanes today or stay home). Travis stated that if we couldn’t understand that he needed this time to himself, then he didn’t want to be in a band with us anymore. He complained about being underpaid and overworked (we all make the same thing and we all work as hard as he does). He said that he didn’t want to play the US anymore and that he was under-appreciated. He complained about playing the same songs in the same towns. We could not make him understand that the wheels were in motion for this tour for 6 months, and that to blow it out just because he didn’t want to do it was a very bad move (we think his voice is probably fine now, by the way, though we could never say for sure since he neglected his doctor’s appointment and did not call us to tell us that it was not well).

There was no indication that any of this was coming at the end of the Canadian tour. We had great success up there (thank you Canada) and we were encouraged by what was ahead of us. We were all set to record a live album on this tour, we just booked Japan, and we were in the process of putting together Europe and South America. People have been working very hard on this stuff…lots of great people who we are very much lucky to be working with. Travis is unable or unwilling to care about how his actions affect everybody else, and he’s been this way since day one. We have passed up or blown many opportunities because of his actions, and this has made it very difficult for us to function effectively. For the 2 weeks worth of shows that we have cancelled in the last year, there have been countless others that were on the verge of not happening. Many nights we have sat in the dressing room or on the bus wondering if Travis was going to show up and what condition he would be in if he did show up. None of us want to be in one of those bands that is held hostage by a single person’s whims and demands. Travis’s talent is enormous and deep, but after two gut-wrenching years and countless setbacks and heartbreaks, we can no longer work with him.

We want to make this clear that this calamity is not just about the most recent events. For many different reasons, there has been a division that slowly developed from the beginning. Travis came into a very difficult situation, and in a lot of ways he handled it very well. But for whatever reason, we could never get him to come fully into the fold. We tried to achieve unity and balance in the band and we welcomed him with open arms as a full partner. But in a band you are dealing with a bunch of highly creative and impulsive people in suspended adolescence who are also oftentimes maladjusted. It must have been very difficult for Travis to figure out our relationships and to find his place. When things got tough, Travis would fire off an email and threaten to quit the band….this happened at least a dozen times. Eventually, confidence within the band as well as with the people who worked with us became undermined. Everybody around saw what was going on and were probably taking bets on how long we would last.

The real back-story to this is very deep. If you squint your eyes and read very closely between the lines, you might pick up a hint of it. There is no way that we could accurately tell you what has transpired over the past two years without breaking some ethical codes and spewing a bunch of angry stuff that will just sound irrelevant to you. We don’t want to hurt Travis or say anything more than what is necessary to tell enough of the story. We believe that to publicly air out all of the prior details of what brought us to this place would be counterproductive. We will have our side of the story and Travis will have his, and the two shall not meet. And you as the reader will be left scratching your head and wondering who is crazier. You’ll probably also wonder why we can’t just kiss and make up and play the goddamned songs. We can only say that we have tried everything that we could to get to that place.

We sincerely hope that Travis finds a musical situation that makes him happy. As previously stated, his talent is prodigious, and that is why we thought he should play in the big leagues, but now it is clear that he was drafted by the wrong team. He belongs onstage, and that is where we got along with him best. He is a GREAT performer and we are hopeful that he will end up in the right situation for him.

So the next question is “what are we going to do”? First of all, we plan to begin the tour in Allentown, PA on Monday. Chris Shin, who formed Unified Theory with Brad and Christopher, is coming with us and is ready and willing. We are enormously grateful to Chris for accepting this somewhat daunting challenge. After the tour, we will begin the process of finding somebody who understands, as previously stated, that it is an honor to perform for ya’ll, and that it is important to pull together and work together in order to create something truly great. We intend to play all the shows that are on the schedule, including the New Year’s eve show, and we will make up the shows that were cancelled earlier this month. We’re going on a journey and we’ll bring you back something great……thank you for everything that you’ve given us.

Blind Melon
November 6, 2008″


2 Comments

  1. Pues vaya, le ha durado poco. Siento lo de Hanoi Rocks pero lo de Blind Melon sinceramente me parece fantástico. Yo soy de los que no entiende que coño pinta una voz clonada a la de Shannon, por muy decente que sea el disco que han grabado.

    Saludos.

  2. Pues para mi es una auténtica pena. Estaba disfrutando un montón con esta nueva vida de Blind Melon. Eso si, Travis, con su actitud, me parece un poco tontín. Eso de estar incomunicado durante 2 semanas es intolerable, despido procedente,jeje.

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