The newly added tour leg ends March 31 in Raleigh, N.C. The outing comes in time to promote the band’s new single “Wither” from their self-titled debut album. The song – which recently hit alternative radio – addresses a friend’s drug addiction, a subject all too familiar to bassist Brad Smith and guitarist Christopher Thorn.

The two bandmates used to be in Blind Melon, the popular group that disintegrated following the 1995 drug overdose death of frontman Shannon Hoon.

It took a few years before Smith and Thorn decided what to do after the death of their friend. Blind Melon’s plans to carry on without the singer fell through and Smith attempted a solo career, while Thorn turned to producing.

Eventually, the two hooked up with ex-Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen – an old friend – and lured singer Chris Shinn away from another group. Formed in 1998, the new band was originally called Luma. They had moved onto Unified Theory by the time they signed with Universal Music’s 3:33 Music group.

The band spent a good chunk of 2000 on the road backing up their self-titled debut album, which was released last August. At first, they opened for Counting Crows, Live, and VAST, but moved up to the headlining slot last fall.