"I believe that anybody who kills children should die."
Not exactly the kind of sentiment you'd expect from Shannon Hoon, the frontman for Blind Melon, a band saddled with the one-dimensional image of beatific hippies.
the grisly topic has come up because of 'Car Seat', a startling new
song inspired in part by Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman
sentenced to life in prison last week after locking her two young sons
in a car and rolling it into a lake.
"I don't mean this, obviously, to sound like I don't care," the 27-year-old singer - and, not coincidentally, new dad - is saying yesterday from his home in Lafayette, Ind. "But
there's a part of me that can kind of laugh at everything. I can find
the horror and the humor. But when people kill children, I cannot find
anything but sheer horror. I believe that anybody who kills children
should die. I believe that. Because children are too pure, too
vulnerable, and not in any way at fault. I just can't comprehend it."
Though Blind Melon is just two weeks away from releasing its crucial second album, the aptly titled 'Soup', Hoon clearly has more important matters on his mind these days. One of them is Nico Blue, the daughter he and his longtime partner, Lisa, brought into the world three weeks ago.
and I have been together since high school, so she's been in my life
for 10 years, and she's always nannied other people's children," Hoon says. "We
decided after the first record (the self-titled 1992 debut that spawned
the hit single No Rain), we can't sit and wait and say, `When things
slow down, we'll start then.' Because if I keep doing this for the next
10 years, I want to be able to relate to my child. I don't want to have
a generation gap between my child and me that is unapproachable as far
as communication goes."
Could Nico Blue be named after the German model who once fronted legendary band the Velvet Underground?
"Ah, the pop girl of '66," says Hoon.
it didn't stem solely from her, but I am a big `Pop Girl Of '66' fan,
and a big Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground fanatic. Also, there's a
flower called Nico Blue."
As for Soup, it was wrapped up early this year in Daniel Lanois' studio in New Orleans with producer Andy Wallace.
The sessions commenced only after the band had taken a much-needed seven-month vacation from each other. Not, Hoon quickly adds, "because
of any hatred ... but everyone is into a lot of different things, and
when the (first) album took off, it engulfed our lives to the point
where we had stopped doing other things we loved, to support the
record. After the tour was over, it was like, you know what? I still
love to buy junk furniture and refinish it, so I'm going to take time
to do that, because it's therapy for me."
Next up are a handful of European dates before Blind Melon swings back to the U.S. (A Toronto date in October is likely.)
After his little "piss-up" in Vancouver two Halloweens ago, though - Hoon
was arrested after dropping his pants and relieving himself on stage -
crossing the border into Canada is not an experience he's especially
looking forward to.
"Customs is very hard for me," he admits. "They're always like, `Oh, you're that pissing guy.' "
Hoon takes a moment to laugh at his predicament.
And, he adds, with considerable bemusement, "they always have something funny to say about my underwear."