Matt Carmichael
mattc@rocknroll.net
Blind Melon
On Lou Reed:
On becoming a father
On his father
On his girlfriend, Lisa
On his highschool Prom
On recording in New Orleans
On small clubs:
On "Skinned"
On Car Seat
On the 'net
On being called a 'rock star'
On Soup
On getting arrested
On Jail
On his future
On MTV

On Lou Reed:

He's a writing maniac. I love his lyrics, just all the shit he writes. He's just a very animated character with words - him and Roger Waters and Sid Barrett. But as writers they're definitely up there.

On becoming a father
You feel like a part of your identity just go away like your whole one-sided way of thinking. Everything just gets zoned out now my life is but of zones. In this zone I must tailor my ability to provide in this manner. It's really funny how the game just - an new player steps in and it really does change. For the better of course. It was a healthy thing for me. We've been wanting to have a child for a long time but we had to wait til I stopped acting like one before we could think about having one.

Have you stopped now?

We have twins! One's just a little bit taller than the other.

I don't know if you've ever witnessed the birth of a child. It's overwhelming, man, it's just amazing. The only thing sticking out is the head and the doctor sticks the head out so you can look at it. If you can picture the most turbo-grunting expression that's what the face of the child looks like. Well, if you can imagine just being completely compressed from your neck down that facial expression is one to remember.

Did you video tape it?

Yeah, of course. And I got the first picture of the baby when her head was sticking out.

On his father
My relationship with my father.. I spent the last three months doing things with my father.

The relationship with him was prolly the best that it's ever been. (this summer) my relationship with my daughter, obviously I keep things my home is very quiet and very normal. The loud erratic behavior is kept to a minimum, at least it's touring is something that's a little bit more difficult now, I don't like to leave home now, it's a little bit harder to leave this time than obviously it ever has. You can feel the identity say well, if I'm leaving my family here and my girlfriend and my home, I'm not going to go out and act like a **congress*ing idiot, I'm going to make it as informative as possible this time around. You recognize the room you're stepping into a little bit more.

The relationship between her and I right now is just made up of me cleaning her butt and trying to keep mine out of trouble.

On his girlfriend, Lisa
We enjoy our relationship right now because there is a lot of freedom for both of us. I think with marriage comes the type of commitment that we're not ready to make to one another. doing this for a living and the time that we spend apart it's just hard to think of any realistic marriage plans right now.

we'll know when the time is right

On his highschool Prom
We were wearing the most hideous wardrobe in the world. I had gotten into a fight the day before so I had a big swollen up cheek and a black eye. with my white. that'd be a great image for the band all of us in our prom outfits. It'd look like Sha Na Na. Oh my, not that i'm not a Sha Na Na fan.Everybody is a sha Na Na fan.

On recording in New Orleans
We just kinda wanted to find a city that we wanted to hang out in for a while. it's a good way to get to stay there and have the label pay for it.

Their studio was in the French quarter. It was like the shining. it was a huge. 8 bedroom like Victorian decor .. it was too big for like two of us guys from the band to be in. you would sit down in the kitchen and if you were eating a bowl of cereal the sound of crunching the cereal would mix with the TV from the third floor and then it would mix with the car that drove by outside and you forget each sound individually and they would all mesh together and you would think that there was someone speaking to you. it was that big. it was scary.

On small clubs:
Shows where you jump up and your head hits the ceiling are nice. they definitely don't lack in intimacy.

I relate a story of a friend of mine sitting outside after a blind Melon Show in Jan. of 1993 right before No Rain broke. He was reading the CD notes when this guy walks up and says, "hey, Blind Melon, man, I hear they suck." He looks up and lo and behold, the speaker is Shannon.

I always say that to people to see if they'll try and defend us or be like 'I was trying to sell this thing for two bucks and I still can't get rid of it'

Skinned
You know everybody's a lawyer in one way or another I think everybody's just fascinated with the mentality of people who commit these crimes. Did society create this person or was this person born like that.

What a guy to have host a party... man I don't know if I would want one of his tables or not. I mean it's disgusting but at the same time can you imagine...

On Car Seat, a song about Susan Smith
I can find an element of humor in just about everything but when society and people in society harm children I can't comprehend I can't ... after becoming a father really opened my eyes to the whole world of crimes against children.

We took amnesty international on the road with us because I believe that a lot of things what the do and what they stand for is totally correct but the biggest issue that they have is the death penalty. I don't believe that the world really has a place for people who kill children. I believe anybody who kills children should be put to death.

There is nothing that can happen to anybody that can validate that type of scenario. Once something like that happens. [Smith's] mental state from this day forward is done. how do you rehabilitate someone like that after something like that? There is no glue that is going to hold someone together after that.

I believe that they should do some sort of social experiment where after take a five year period and crack down so hard on crime and capital punishment needs to be brought out in the forefront so that people will see look if you do this you're going to die. I think they would be amazed as to how much the crime rate would go down.

I think we are slowly turning into escape from new York and I don't ever want to have my child living in an environment like that.

On the 'net
People are slowly staying in getting everything from computers and television -everything! The only thing that's going to be on the street are delivery people and fucking maniacs. Cause everybody's just wanting to self-contain their world into their home.

I believe in the Internet. it's a world in its own. it's just a totally different way to get shit done.

You start out with your security alarm unfortunately man. Lotta weirdoes hanging around. That's what made it the hardest to leave. Leaving the child an Lisa there and having a bunch of freaks stoppin by.

On being called a 'rock star'
I hate that. You love to say that. You love to just smack me around with that term.

To me that and zero have the same common denominator. I hate the word 'Rock'

Is that worse than star? Star is just as bad and when you put the two together it's just horribly career threatening.

On Soup
As Rogers would put it: When we recorded our first record we were still licking off the musical placenta. I think that this recorded is a good representation of where we are right now. By no means is this record made up of obvious singles.

I think it was written more collectively as a whole record. There is no chapter that stands out better than another one, I don't think.

On getting arrested
Shannon was trying to moderate a fight between a man (who turned out to belong to the New Orleans Swat team (off-duty) and a friend of his.

Every time end up on the wrong end of the stick literally. This guy's fist was as big as my head. The next day 60 Minutes ran a special on Brutalkity in the New Orleans police Dept. I couldn't have agreed more. I was sitting there watching it with one eye!

Shannon you know that you should just leave these scenarios when you feel them starting.

So the guy says "I'm a swat team lieutenant." hiccup.

On Jail
You know what they do in the New Orleans jail and this is really smart, I never thought of this. They keep the temperature so cold that you're only bitching til you get in there and then you're just conserving energy to stay warm. If I was to make a jail that's how I'd do it.

On his future
All that is of the past, I'm a new man now. I've come to realize that that type of behavior takes away from what I could really be learning and what I'm trying to do. It really dilutes the enthusiasm of what I'm doing.

On MTV
I think they should recognize their influence.. Yeah, I think they do have too much influence and here's why: they do reach a lot of people a lot of younger kids ... coordinate their channel not become so educational that it's like the Discovery channel, but at the same time put something on there that's like Singled out. I watched that the other day and it was like this is an hour of nothingness. This has absolutely nothing to offer anybody. That's the only thing people have to go by. It's a younger generation's Discovery Channel.

c1996 Thompson Target Media