Ex-Blind Melon Members Resurface With Luma, Extra Virgin

Nearly four years after the death of singer Shannon Hoon, the former members of Blind Melon are resurfacing with new projects.

Guitarist Christopher Thorn told MTV News that he and bassist Brad Smith have now formed a band called Luma, while guitarist Rogers Stevens is recording under the name Extra Virgin.

The members of Blind Melon physically went their separate ways after singer Hoon's drug-related death on a tour bus in New Orleans in 1995, Thorn said. He and Smith moved to Seattle, while Stevens moved to New York and drummer Glen Graham opted to remain in New Orleans.

In mid-1996 the remaining members, who all shared equally in the band's songwriting duties, toyed briefly with the idea of regrouping under another name with another singer. They put out a call for audition tapes but eventually abandoned the plan.

Luma was born in mid-1998, Thorn said, when he was in L.A. recording material with the band Live and met Celia Green vocalist Chris Shinn. Thorn

also had a project with former bandmate Smith on the back burner in Seattle. The three musicians banded together, added drummer Dave Krusen (who played on the first Pearl Jam album), and became Luma.

According to Thorn, guitarist Rogers Stevens has been working with singer-songwriter Rene Lopez in New York. The pair is recording an album as Extra Virgin under the auspices of producer Mike Napolitano, who produced and mixed tracks on Blind Melon's posthumous LP "Nico."

While Stevens is said to be looking at an independent release, Luma, who is being managed by the agency responsible for the likes of Tool and Jane's Addiction, is currently courting several major labels.

In the interim, Luma has just released a four-song EP through its Web site (www.luma.net) and is about to embark on a mini-tour of the west coast which kicks off July 29 in Olympia, Washington.

If you want to check out Luma live, here's where

you can find them:

  • 7/29 - Olympia, WA @ 4th Avenue Tavern
  • 8/3 - San Francisco, CA The Paradise
  • 8/5 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Yucatan
  • 8/6 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Viper Room
  • 8/7 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Dragon Fly
  • 8/8 - San Diego, CA @ TBA
  • 8/9 - Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
  • 8/11 - - Portland, OR @ The Roseland Grill
  • 8/12 - Seattle, WA @ Crocodile
  • 8/13 - Vancouver, BC @ Starfish Room
  • 8/14 - Victoria, BC @ The Limit
  • 8/15 - Nanaimo, BC @ Queen's
  • 8/17 - Whistler, BC @ Alpine Haus
  • 8/18 - Abbottsford, BC @ Animals