311 Fan Spotlight – 4/24/17 – Caitlin Nash!

Another week is here and I welcome you all back excitable 311 nation! Are you ready for the next fan spotlight? I am! Let’s meet my local friend, Caitlin Nash!

The year was 1997 and Caitlin’s boyfriend at the time asked if she wanted to go to a concert. She said sure why not and that show just so happened to be 311 with De La Soul opening back on August 23, 1997 in Connecticut. She’s been hooked ever since. “Although the relationship didn’t pan out, the love of 311 music did and we still keep in touch. Ironically it will be exactly 20 years this summer that I started my love affair with 311 and coincidentally my last show of this summer tour will be in CT…It is the circle of life.”

Show count for Caitlin is around 85. She said she tries not to think of all the money she has spent on 311 shows over the years, and there are some years she goes to a bunch of shows and others where so only gets to see one. “I try to plan it out and coordinate logistics with other friends. Other times I just a buy a ticket and go. It also kind of depends on the location. I have had to adult and not go to shows before. Not my favorite thing to do but sometimes it has to happen. I will be honest, I have racked up so CC debt at times to support it but it is always so worth it. When I make memories with friends new and old I have no regrets on my spending.”

Every summer when Caitlin goes to see 311, she has a group of friends that she has had since college and her very first job that she meets up with at a show. “We do road trips and fly around to see them. It is always a blessing to find people you connect with and share so many memories with the. I think it has been about 13+ years with the same people going to shows. Although life happens we always find ourselves rooted in 311.”

Favorite show so far for Caitlin is 311 Day 2008, with the band returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. “I road tripped from MA to NOLA with my friend Greg and we met our friend Todd there, we all met up with lots of people excited to be back in NOLA and celebrate. It was also the year I had one responsibility and it was to bring the tickets to the show. Before we left the hotel, they asked if I had the tickets and I said I had them. When we got there I did a ticket check and…YES…I FORGOT THE TICKETS TO 311 DAY 2008. Biggest concert fail I have ever had. Luckily, I left them in the hotel right where I put them to remember to bring them with me.  We were fortunate to have Todd with us who was a Rockstar and made it to and from the hotel in record time! Let’s just say the running joke is for me to remember to bring the tickets…even if they are not going to the same show as me LOL .” The first 311 cruise is another memorable event for Caitlin since it was a whole new way to experience her favorite band. “And who doesn’t like to be contained on a boat at sea with likeminded people? It was amazing and took my 311 love affair to a new level. Cruise 1 was also when met Chrissy Martin…although it would take about 4 years later to reconnect again. Along with a few other friends I have met over the years we did make cruises 4 & 5. This is now a staple for me like 311 Day is…assuming my wallet allows it to be.”

Favorite song to rock out to for Caitlin is “Creatures (for a while)” and it is her ringtone for most of her 311 friends. The song that speaks to her most though is “Crack the Code.” “All songs have different meanings to everyone and to me this song helped me get through some crazy medical stuff. It helped inspire me to keep trying to figure out what was wrong and not give up trying. It took 9 months to crack the code and I have been in remission for 9 years. When I hear this song it reminds me to not give up and makes me feel invincible!” As far as specific lyrics, there are too many that speak to Caitlin in various ways to narrow it down.

Born and raised in Wilton, Connecticut, Caitlin was raised in a family that included her mom, dad, and older brother. She spends most of her family time now at their house in Maine and she credits her appreciation of music to her brother. “He can always enlighten my ears with new music or classics I may not have been familiar with.” Her family razzes her for all of the 311 shows she attends, but it’s all in good fun. “I always laugh when I tell my mom and dad I am going to see a show because they instantly ask me “Is it that 3-1-1 band you like?” I won’t even correct them because it is just so great to know that they know me so well.”

Caitlin went to Merrimack College in Massachusetts for her undergraduate and graduate degree (although there was a 13 year gap in between the two). She liked it in MA so much that she decided to settle down just outside of Boston. Since college she has worked in retail and mostly office jobs. She’s been managing service and support teams and has been with her current job for two years. “I love It because I get to travel back and forth to LA. as half of my team is based in MA and half in CA. This allows me to work some fun into my trips whenever possible. It also helps fix my travel bug as I can’t afford to travel overseas. However, when I can, I will go back to Iceland and see the Northern Lights under a glass igloo.”

During college Caitlin was able to work abroad in Sydney, Australia, and Dublin, Ireland. She was actually in Australia when 9/11 happened and was on one of the first international flights back to the U.S. While in Ireland, she ended up living in a hostel for a little over four months and worked at a pub. “Hostel living at that time was sooo much fun and meeting so many people every night was my highlight. I still talk to most of the people I met while traveling. That had influences on me to always put myself out there and try new things…except skydiving….my feet belong on the ground.”

Something you may not know about Caitlin, she loves to play 3-D Dodgeball. “I was on a team at an old job and now play just play whenever I can. I wish I had more people close by so we can form a team and join a league. I like working out and not thinking I am actually working out. It is a great substitute for a gym membership in my eyes. Besides, who doesn’t like being a kid and then add a trampoline in…it’s so fun!”

When asked what makes her unique, she say it’s a hard question to answer, but she’s really good at drinking beer and enjoys it! “I am an IPA girl but try to try other beers I may not always like or think I won’t like.” She also made a resolution for 2017  to see 1 show a month and try 1 new beer a month. “I am having a very successful year thus far.” Guilty pleasure for Caitlin? “Oh this is easy…NKOTB and anything reality TV…no need for me to elaborate LOL.”

As far as other music, Caitlin grew up influenced by all types such as Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, and various classic rock. “Mix that in with the everyday music playing at any given time with a lot of 80s and 90s music, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and boy bands. I am very open to all genres of music although I gravitate to some genres over others.” She enjoys the jams of Widespread Panic and My Morning Jacket, as well as orchestral modern music like the Vitamin String Quartet, Lindsey Stirling and Apocalyptica. She also said over the years 311 has brought new music into her life via the cruises and tours that have become new inspirations to her. “ There have been so many over the years that I have enjoyed and come to follow. I have really opened my eyes to other bands that I may not have known about without 311 or even the 311 fans.”

Caitlin said that throughout her travels she has met many wonderful people and has been able to grow her concert buddy list tremendously. “Through 311 I have already check some venues off my music venue bucket list. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. As my good friend, Lisa says we are “Making Memories.”

To 311, Caitlin’s message is this: “As common as it can be to say, I would say thank you. Thank you for being you and doing what you all do. Hopefully followed by hugs and letting the conversation flow from there…maybe about beer, music, future collaborations etc. However, I can get all fan girl when I meet them and not even say one word because I am in such awe of being in their presence.”

Now her message to all the other fans out there:

“I ask everyone to spread P.L.U.R. and happiness. You never know when you can make ad difference in someone’s day or life by something as small as a smile or high-five.  I have not been to a 311-related event, gathering or show in which I never felt these feelings. I have travelled to show by myself and felt welcomed and loved. It is so rare to find this type of community and family.  Thank you all for being a part of it!”

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And that is the story of Caitlin Nash! I hope you all enjoyed meeting her or learning more about her. Thank you to all who keep reading every week! You all make this happen and I’m so proud to be a part of this. Now go out and conquer the world with the PLUR.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/18/17 – Adam Frankel!

Hello again excitable nation! What time is it? Well it’s new fan spotlight time! This week we learn about Adam Frankel!

Sixteen years of age is when Adam first learned of 311. At that time he would play online MUD’s (games where you go north, south, east and west to solve quests and kill monsters). It was a game called Hysteria where some big 311 fans introduced Adam to the music. “This was in the days of Napster and downloading mp3s – so the first song I downloaded and heard was Paradise.  Very few people had heard of them in the UK – and my taste in music is really diverse so I was drawn to the different styles that 311 have!”

Show count is at number 21 for Adam. His first show was at age 17 and it was when 311 headlined a show in London in November of 2001. “It was the first proper gig I ever went to and it totally blew my mind.  It was in a small club venue (which no longer exists) called Mean Fiddler and I remember hearing Beautiful Disaster and I remember getting knocked down and being picked right back up by a stranger in the pit.  Frustratingly the set list doesn’t exist for that show… so I have no idea what else they played!” Aside from this show, Adam says his other favorite event was 311 Day 2010. “It had been my dream to come to a 311 day, and at the time I was a high school Math teacher.  In England it is very hard as a teacher to get time off during term time – so I had to threaten to quit my job in order for them to give me a week unpaid leave.

See this article http://www.mtv.com/news/1633698/311-fans-get-hyped-for-311-day-fan-party-in-las-vegas/

As a note, I had been drinking and saw the MTV camera and told my friends – I am going to do an interview… they didn’t even get my name, but it got a story on mtv.com!

The drawback is that a mixture of jet lag and excitement meant that by the time the show came I was so exhausted from a lack of sleep that I had to go find a seat in the arena.  This ended up being cool as I found myself sitting with Nick’s friends and family – his wife asked me to take a photo of her with her friends!”

There are quite a few songs that are close to his heart, “Sick Tight” is one of them because of this lyric: “I bet we get the people jumping overseas, and I know why they’re busting MP3’s.” Adam said this line literally describes him. “Ironically enough, when From Chaos came out and I bought the import CD – I used to skip Sick Tight every time as I was not a fan… now it is my favorite song on that album!” Adam also said he might get some hassle for this, but one of his other favorites is “Love Song.” “Yes, I know it isn’t even their song and yes, I know it’s not a popular choice – but I would be happy to hear it every time I saw 311.  Back in 2007 I came over for a vacation and tied in my 2nd and 3rd ever 311 shows (in San Fran and Vegas) and when they started playing Love Song I was ecstatic … until Matisyahu came out and spoiled it for me!! No disrespect meant towards Matisyahu – but I had come a long way and was hearing my favorite song live for the first time, so I wanted to hear the whole song!!

There is just one song left on my checklist of songs I most want to hear live which is How Do You Feel.”

As far as favorite lyrics, Adam said he loves “Stay positive and love your life” because he is a teacher and he’s taught his kids to say it. He said when he says it to his kids, it reminds him to live by it himself too.

Adam grew up in Essex, England, which is just outside of London. He moved from there to Minnesota back in 2013, and then most recently to Frisco, Texas in 2015. He runs a small company that sells supplies and parts for big Heidelberg printing presses. “It’s not as exciting as being a teacher, but it pays the bills and is less stressful!” Adam says he pretty much is THE English 311 fan. “I ran the UK 311 MySpace page back in the day and used to long for 311 to announce a UK festival date or European tour (which they never did).”

Aside from loving 311, Adam has a diverse taste in music. Other top artists for him are Muse, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and Bastille. He also said thanks to 311 he has become a big fan of Rebelution and Ballyhoo!

Since Adam is from England, he is of course a huge football fan (as in soccer in case you couldn’t guess that). “West Ham United are my team and I play most weeks with some friends here in Frisco – at 32 my best years are behind me.  FC Dallas play 10 minutes from my house so I watch some MLS too as well as playing FIFA on my PlayStation.” When not watching football, Adam is also very involved in his local church.

Adam’s message to 311 is one of thanks: “Thank you for sticking together through good and bad and continuing to play shows and make new music!”

Now to all the other fans:

“Thank you!  It was that fan that picked me up at my first 311 show that really showed me what 311 fans are all about.  You guys are so generous, making things to hand out at shows and being so kind.  I remember when I got to my first 311 day I had been offered a beer before I had even checked into my room!!  I have made many friends over the years through 311 – so if you see me at a show come and say hello!  I apologize in advance if I don’t remember everyone’s name, in my defense there’s only one British guy so I am easier to remember!”

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Now you have all met Adam, the British 311 fan! Thanks for sharing your story Adam and being a part of this amazing fan community. I hope you all enjoyed it, thanks for reading every week! Until next time, keep being awesome!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/10/17 – JP Chilicki!

Another week and that means another fan spotlight! Welcome back everyone. It’s time to meet JP Chilicki!

It was a very young age, around 9 or so, when JP discovered 311. Growing up with an older brother, JP always wanted to be around him and his friends. It was during one of these times that his brother and friend happened to be playing the 311 blue album. “I had no idea what I was listening too but I was BLOWN AWAY. I didn’t ask any questions I just sat in my spot and listened. Again this was around 1996 id say, and only being in the third grade all I had really ever heard before was like Will smith and Brittany Spears and Nsync and boy bands like that. So this was pretty much my first time listening to rock and roll. Ever since that night in our basement I was hooked!” After that JP would listen to the album repeatedly, for pretty much two years straight. He said the other kids just didn’t get it, they looked at him like he shouldn’t be listening to it. “I don’t think as a third grader you are really prepared for something like that, but I was hooked!” He said it was the intensity of the album and the adrenaline it gave him that really drew him into their music. “I just couldn’t stop moving to the music, it was just so heavy to me! I just couldn’t get enough!”

It was around 1996 that JP first heard them, and he’s been attending live shows for over 17 years, more than half of his life. He tries to keep a collection of his ticket stubs and makes a point to always get a hard copy of his tickets instead of the e-ticket. Exact show count he is unsure of, but believes he is around 80 to 90. First show he ever went to was June 14, 2000 at The Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. “Probably the best day of my life of the short life I had lived at that time. I was 12 years old.”  Favorite event or show so far was hard to choose, so he named off three: Sail away show on cruise number one, his first show in 2000, or the Transistor set at Powwow. “Each amazing in its own way.”

For one song that means the most, JP can’t say there is one in particular. He has his favorite songs and top ten list, as well as ones that hit him on an emotional level but can’t narrow it to one song that means the most. “I know that “Use of Time” when played live brings me to a different place mentally, and “Hive” brings me to a different place physically. Lol. It’s hard to explain.” Favorite lyrics, he went with the popular one, “Stay positive and love your life” as well as “The fish that keep on swimming are the first to chill upstream.”  “I got a koi fish tattooed years ago not for this quote but for the Japanese meaning and just felt that it went along well with the 311 quote I had loved for so long. Every song and its lyrics hits me in a different way on a different day constantly. It’s a constant reminder to stay positive and not give up and just keep trekking.”

Jonathan P. Chilicki (JP for short obviously) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, raised in South Windsor, and has been in C.T. his whole life. Grew up in the Hartford suburb, raised by amazing parents, Carmen-Rosa Delgado and Jozef P Chilicki. His mother grew up in Peru and his dad in Poland. “Both overseas and built their own future to better themselves as well as their families. As a result my brother and I are first generation Americans and are proud to be so and carry on the Chilicki name.”

To fund his 311 addiction, JP works three different jobs. He’s worked at a dry cleaner for more than 9 years. He works security at The Webster Theater in Hartford and also at the Worcester Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts and has done so for the last 6 years. Third job is door/bouncer at a moonshine bar in Ellington, C.T. called The Hidden Still. “All jobs fun to me in a very different way and all to fund my 311 addiction. With 5 more stops on this summer’s Unity Tour I’m going to need as much income as I can get. I try to get on a plane at least twice a year to travel the world and see my favorite people, friends and family, and see my favorite band in the entire world. Nothing compares to it, I’ve literally planned every single vacation I’ve ever had since 2008 with a main focus on seeing 311. Every trip I’ve been on since then was to see 1 or multiple 311 shows. I find the back to back nights are key nowadays to catch 2 shows on a row and check out a new city. I love it!”

Interesting fact about JP: He is a black belt in Kempo Karate. “I got it at a young age. I trained hard in karate from age 7 to about 13 id say. Earning my way up through the ranks and eventually earning my adult black belt, First Degree. It was an important day in my life I would say. I will definitely never forget it. I worked extremely hard to achieve it. The test took about 8 hours to complete, it was an all day thing.” This isn’t his only talent. He loves playing sports and is a huge sport junkie. He’s played soccer, baseball, basketball and football. He even played cricket for a couple of summers! JP also likes to play bass guitar. “I originally started back in high school and mostly covered my favorite 311 songs. PNUT was my inspiration 100%. Then I would branch out a little and play some incubus (Dirk Lance), rage against the machine (Tim Commerford), Red hot chili peppers (Flea), and much more. As those were all my favorite bass players. Well so was Les Claypool of Primus but those bass lines were a little to advance for me at the time.” As if this wasn’t enough, he’s also really good at math. “I can do crazy math in my head.”

Guilty pleasure for JP is that he “kinda likes the EDM (Electronic dance music) crap lol.” He said it’s definitely a different scene but the shows are fun to work. He also said since he’s been getting to work all these shows he’s gotten into the local hardcore scene. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of kids in the bands, and just in the scene in general, and they all know me. It’s a fun DIY movement and cool to see the up and coming bands start to get there name out there and get booked to bigger shows or even book a solid tour. It’s cool being behind the scenes in the music business.”

JP’s message to 311 is what he always ends up telling them when he see’s them in person: “THANK YOU! Thank you for being in my life, thank you for changing my life and many positive ways and just thank you for being the band and the people you are. You have changed so many people’s lives for the better the people I have met in the 311 community are some people that I now call my best friends. It is so crazy how this band has brought so many people together to celebrate positivity. THANK YOU SO MUCH 311!”

His personal message to all the other fans:

“I don’t think that I can say it much better than “stay positive and love your life” It is words I live by every day. Keep moving forward, always try to better yourself, never stop learning, be kind to others, be courteous, try and lend a helping hand when in need. Here’s a good quote. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” ~Seneca.”

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Thank you JP for sharing your amazing tale of how you found 311! I hope everyone enjoyed his story and thank you as always for reading about your fellow fans in the 311 community. You are all rock stars in my eyes! See you next week!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/3/17 – Lisa Grimaldi!

Welcome back 311 nation to our next edition of the 311 fan spotlight! Does everyone know about The Unity All Stars? Well this week we learn about one of the members, Lisa Grimaldi!

Growing up Lisa was a ska/punk kid and her favorite band for a long time was Weezer. “If you named the song, I could play it on sax for any ska band at the time.” Lisa then started to like a guy who was really into 311, so she decided to give them a listen. While things didn’t work out with the guy, and it took awhile for the 311 bug to bite her, it finally did when she found the Transistor album. “That album changed my life and turned me into a super fan. The whole mind, body, and soul, outer-space aspect really affected me. It helped me with my personal struggles and essentially saved my life.”

Exact number of shows Lisa has seen she can’t really recall, but it’s at least 20 she said and it all started with Unity Tour 2013 at Jones Beach with 311. Favorite event so far is this years cruise, well largely because she had the amazing opportunity to play on the cruise with The Unity All Stars. “It was truly a dream come true. I have never been surrounded by so many people who love me and what I do with such amazing energy.” She said a close second for favorite would be the first Red, White, and Boom in Vegas, where she met her best friend Katie Curtin from North Carolina.

Song that means the most to her? Well it’s more than one, she said it’s really the whole Transistor album. “Each song has helped me through a different part of myself and accepting life and the will to live.” If she really had to choose one song? “I think creatures perfectly sums up my life.” One of her favorite quotes from a song is, “Nothing in life is above being honest.”

Farmingdale, New York (Long Island) is where Lisa grew up and she said the local music scene shaped her into the person she is. “All the ska cliche’s are true as i would go to the bowling alley every friday night.  $10 and you’d get unlimited bowling plus 5 to 10 bands usually of the ska or punk variety killing it all night.  You weren’t rude or a punk unless you went to the bowling alley haha.”

Lisa said the little venues and bars all over Long Island gave her the first taste and sense of community and family that she now has with 311. “The local acts were heroes in my eyes.  ” I’m still one of you but now i’m just in front of you” -The Fad, was a quote i always had to keep in mind. Seeing Bomb the Music Industry! was always an experience to remember.  My medicine for the week or month.  The one place i felt i truly belonged, could let loose and be free to be myself without judgement.  Those shows showed me the proper punk way of the world.”

Lisa said that to some these were just ska bands, but to her they were the world, until her world shifted when she started playing saxophone for Patent Pending. “That changed my life forever.  I had my first taste of performing in a little long island and connecticut music reunion of the High School Football Heroes in Levittown NY.  It was there that i knew where i was meant to be.  On the other side of the stage.  I quickly began playing in as many bands as i possibly could  and even had the opportunity to tour the east coast and mid west. I got to visit the country with my best friends and wouldn’t trade those roller coaster rides for anything.  Life got in the way and I had to change focus.  I was no longer welcome in the community i grew up in and loved.”

Music aside, there is another side to Lisa, and that is electrical engineering. “I am an engineer at heart and by trade and will forever be fascinated by electricity.  I feel this makes my bond with 311 even stronger as they resonate with electricity so hard.  It intertwines so perfectly to me. Being a young engineer is hard in this economy of lay offs for the least experience but i keep my head up.” Thankfully 311 gave Lisa a sense of community again that she experienced before. She said it’s a safe place where she can truly be herself again. “It gave me something to believe in again.  A part of me that had gone stale to be fresh again.  And now not only do i get to see the shows but i get to perform at them as well. truly the best of both worlds and i am forever grateful.”

Interesting fact about Lisa that you may not know? “I’m still afraid of the dark!” Unique attribute is her empathy and that she feels everything very deeply. Guilty pleasure comes in the form of the show Jersey Shore. Other artists she loves include moe. , Weezer, Weird Al Yankovic,  Harvey Danger, Superdrag, NOFX, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Streetlight Manifesto, Reel Big Fish, Bomb the Music Industry!, The Arrogant Sons of Bitches, The Beach Boys, and Billy Joel.

Lisa has a simple but meaningful message for 311: “Thank you.”

Her message to all the other excitable is a bit longer:

“I want to thank EVERYONE for supporting me and the Unity All Stars and making all of our dreams come true.  We wouldn’t exist without you. 

Also, ;P

“I’m never gonna dance again

Guilty feet have got no rhythm

Though it’s easy to pretend

I know you’re not a fool

I should’ve known better than to cheat a friend

And waste a chance that I’ve been given

So I’m never gonna dance again

The way I danced with you.”

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Love your story Lisa! Thanks for sharing with the excitable community. I hope everyone enjoyed reading about her and thank you all for being part of this amazing family. Until we meet again, go be awesome!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/27/17 – Darien Saiidifar!

Hello again excitables! Welcome back, it’s time for a new fan spotlight! Let me introduce you to Mr. Darien Saiidifar!

The young age of 5 is when Darien first heard 311. His brother was 12 at the time and he remembers his mother taking them to Best Buy to pick up the album Soundsystem the day it was released.

First time seeing 311 live was at the University of Lockhaven on March 24, 2002. He was only 8 years old at the time! Since then he has been to 10 shows total. Favorite so far was on July 28, 2012. “I had just graduated from high school and as a gift my mom and I split the VIP Platinum ticket cost, and I finally got to meet 311 after 13 years of growing up with their music. My life changed forever that day.”

Trying to pick a favorite song for Darien proved difficult as it does for most, he said it’s nearly impossible. If forced to pick just one he would choose “I Told Myself.” “Reason being I have lots of summer memories riding in the car with it playing.” Quote from a song that is a favorite is, “If there’s a shadow in your life, then there’s sunshine.”

Darien was born in Houston, Texas but only lived there for about 5 months. He then moved to northern Virginia and has lived there ever since. Darien just turned 23 and has only had one job so far, which is working at the grocery store Wegmans. He is working there until he completes his college degree from George Mason University.

It was thanks to 311 that Darien decided to pick up a musical instrument. It was their influence that encouraged him to play drums, guitar, and also some bass. “I absolutely could not be musically inclined if they never came along. I play in 2 bands, one original band (which still needs a name) and a Sublime cover band called Garden Grove, and I play drums in both of them. My ultimate dream is to become a touring musician.” Darien said in case the touring thing doesn’t happen, he is getting his undergrad degree in Tourism and Events Management, preferably to work in a music related job following graduation.  He also mentioned that he loves to play gigs with his band and loves his cat Velcro!

Interesting fact about Darien? He is absolutely disgusted by pineapples on a pizza. Talent comes in musical form. “Somehow I’ve been blessed with the ability to play drums and guitar. I don’t know how, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it!” Guilty pleasure he said is that he watches Spongebob Squarepants on a regular basis. When not listening to 311 he can be found listening to Ballyhoo!, System of a Down, Twenty One Pilots, or Sublime.

Darien’s message to 311 is: “I would not be living the life I had imagined if you guys never came along and I can’t thank you enough for helping me pick up music and for spreading positivity.”

His message to all the other fans:

It’s a pleasure to feel like a family in this fan base, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

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That’s Darien’s story my friends! Thanks to him for sharing his tale of his love for 311. Such a great family of fans we have thanks to this amazing band! Thanks for reading, see you all next week!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/20/17 – Jordan Goodman!

Hello again excitable nation! Another week is upon us and so it’s time to meet another great fan. This week we say hello to Jordan Goodman!

Jordan said he loved 311 before he even knew who they were. “I always connected to their music on the radio, it just spoke to me.” Then he got his first iPod and a friend told him to download Grassroots. “It all came together then, it was so amazing!”

June 11, 2009 was Jordan’s first live show in Salt Lake City, Utah. Show tally total so far is at 17. His favorite so far was last summer in Seattle. “I had gone to meet them, this was the day after seeing them in Portland, Oregon. I walked up and Pnut, who I look up to so much for his positive mind and spirit, looks at me excited and says, dude you were blissing out all night last night! That he remembered me and my passion for the music was such an uplifting moment.”

The song “It’s Alright” is the one that means something special to Jordan. “It was a huge motivation for me when diagnosed with cancer, it kept me level headed and in a positive mind. The cruise was 5 years cancer free!” Favorite quote is “Stay positive and love your life.”

Jordan grew up in Clinton, Utah, right by Salt Lake City. He moved to Seattle and is still there currently. He works for Amazon in delivery. “It’s alright, pays the rent and for my 311 obsession.” Aside from loving 311 he loves to go out and have adventures. “Seeing and trying new things, visiting the world. I also love meeting new people and helping those in need.”

Since Jordan’s experience with cancer, he’s wanted to give back to those suffering from the disease. He volunteers for a non-profit organization to help spread cancer awareness and support those with cancer. He has a huge passion for helping other people and does anything he can to help those in need!

Guilty pleasure for Jordan is food. “I love to try new food and to cook.” When not listening to 311, he loves to jam out to Slightly Stoopid, Ballyhoo!, Rdgldgrn, People Under the Stairs, Atmosphere, Pepper, The Expendables, and Rebelution.

To 311 Jordan’s message is this: “Thank you. You all have been an inspiration in my life to live the fullest and to stay positive.”

To all the other fans out there:

“Hope you are all well. It is so amazing to be a part of this amazing community and I hope to see a bunch of you this summer! Also…stay positive and love your life!”

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Thank you Jordan for sharing your story! And congrats on being 5 years cancer free! Such an amazing thing. I hope you all enjoyed his tale of his love for 311. Thank you all for reading and being amazing fans! You guys make my week a lot brighter, I can tell you that. Until next week.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/13/17 – Christa Dohy!

Hello again my friends in 311 nation! Happy belated 311 Day! I hope all that went on the 311 Cruise to Cozumel had as an amazing time as I did. I got to meet so many of you in person! Including this weeks awesome fan spotlight. Say a very excitable hello to Christa Dohy!

How did Christa fall in love with 311? Well she said she’s a total bandwagon fan. “I always liked their music, but for whatever reason didn’t start following them until I started dating Aaron about four years ago.” Aaron has been a fan of 311 since the 90’s and because of this 311 went on Christa’s live shows I want to see list. So in 2015, Christa went to her first show, which just happened to be Red, White, & Boom in Vegas. “We literally bumped into a couple excitables in the Mandalay Bay while trying to find the venue and were introduced to a ton of other people who we now consider family. We thought we were just going to a concert, but it turns out that we joined a cult of awesome!”

Since then, Christa has been to 11 shows. “I love the energy in the music – Do You Right has always been one of my favorite songs to bounce along to.” Favorite event she says is probably the cruise that she just got back from. “The cruise is in a class by itself; it’s not even comparable to anything else.” Outside of the cruise she said her favorite show is 311 Day 2016 night one. “The band played a lot of my favorite songs that night.”

Song that she says is her jam is “Neverending Summer.” “Every time I hear the ‘3-11, 3-3-11…’ whether live or just in my car, I get the chills. Between summer tour and my love of warm weather, it’s the perfect song for me.” Favorite lyric? “I met some weirdos and had myself a real good time.” “Pretty much sums up my excitable experience so far.”

Christa grew up in Northeastern Ohio but said she never really felt like she belonged there. So in her early 30’s she had a “mid-life crisis” and moved on out to Seattle. Then through life’s twists and turns, she had a son (who is now 11) and now has a new husband (Aaron and Christa just got married 3-11-17 so everyone say congrats!). Her son now also loves 311 and he went to his first show last summer.

In 2012 Christa developed a spinal condition that required surgeries and by the time the found it, she had developed permanent nerve damage in parts of her body, mostly her legs. “I do my best to control it with medications, but I’m somewhat limited in some things that I cannot do, like jumping up and down and standing on my feet for extended periods of time. So if you see me chair dancing at a show, I’m not just being a lazy bum, I do try to hang with the party as much as I can. Besides, I don’t drink so I’m a built in designated driver too!”

Unique attribute for Christa? She said it’s mom skills. Seriously! “Seriously, ask my friends, it’s a thing. Although it’s probably just my extreme OCD when it comes to planning and organization. You need help planning something I’m your girl. Some of my friends refer to me as the den mother because I keep things organized. Oh and another nickname I have is Mary Poppins because I always have good surprises in my bag at shows.”

Guilty pleasure for Christa is that she loves puzzle games. “Every piece of electronics that I own has Frozen Free Fall installed on it!” For other music and artists that Christa loves, she said she came to 311 from a harder/punk music background. “I love Social Distortion, Authority Zero, Deftones, and Ballyhoo! But I’m also digging the reggae bands that seem to come with 311 like Rebelution and Soja.”

To 311, Christa’s words are these: “Thank you for all of the good times and helping me find my tribe.”

To the 311 fan community:

“Money is better spent on memories than on stuff, because you can’t take it with you. And to all of my Excitable family, I can’t wait to see you all during the summer tour!”

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Thank you Christa for sharing your story and congrats to you and Aaron on the 3-11 Day marriage!! This fan community, in my opinion, is the best ever and I love learning about you all and sharing your stories. Never-ending fan spotlight! That’s my goal! Until we meet again my friends, go be awesome and spread the good karma.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/27/17 – Renae Amberg!

Hello again excitable friends! Remember our spotlight Eric from last week? This week we get to meet his awesome wife, Renae Amberg!

Renae was first introduced to 311 much like many of us, through hearing the magic of the song “Down” on the radio around 1995. “Something about their unique sound and striking, sometimes entertaining, lyrics drew me in.”

When it comes to number of live shows, Renae said they are new kids on the block. “I’ve been to 11 shows, the 1st being Milwaukee in 2008.” Of the shows she has been to, she said her favorite so far was Chillicothe, Illinois in 2014. “It was such an intimate show and the energy was amazing.”

When it comes to her favorite song, the top spot goes to “Omaha Stylee. However, “Flowing” is the one that means the most to Renae. “Soundsystem was the album that really sucked me in and this song…the lyrics, it feels so good.” One of her favorite lines comes from the song as well: “You can’t be let down if you don’t expect the world.”

Renae was born, raised, and currently living in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and she absolutely loves Chicago. She spent five years in Iowa City attending the University of Iowa. “Some of the greatest times of my life.” While she obtained a bachelors degree in art, she currently works as an accounting manager at a hotel. “I can’t deny my love for numbers.” Aside from her 9 to 5 job, she is the proud mama of a five year old “excitable in training” and of course a very happy wife to Eric! “Life is good.”

Something you may not know about Renae is that she isn’t a girly girl. “I love being outside, getting my hands dirty and being one with nature. I make sure to go camping at least once a year.” For talent, Renae said she really can’t think of anything outside her love for math, but she thinks what makes her unique is her free spirit. “When it comes down to it I just want to have a great time and enjoy the people around me. No drama. Just a damn good time!”

Musical choices aside from 311 range anywhere from Bob Dylan to Lauren Hill. “If it’s good, I like it.” Her other favorite band is The Grateful Dead. Guilty pleasure for her comes in television form. “The Kardashians…I’m so sorry :/”

Renae’s message to 311 is this: “Please don’t ever stop doing what you do, the world needs more of you.”

To all the other awesome fans:

“The culture that is 311 has changed my life in so many ways. I love how we all can come together to celebrate the joy of the music and the amazing vibes and I hope we never stop. Do as you will, do as you wish, follow your bliss. I love you!”

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Now you’ve all met the other half of the Amberg couple, Renae! A great read and thanks for sharing your story Renae. Thank you to all who read every week. You are all wonderful and just keep this world a better place. Until next time…

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/20/17 – Eric Amberg!

Hello my excitable friends! The latest edition of the 311 fan spotlight has arrived. This week we get to meet Mr. Eric Amberg!

Like many 311 fans, it was the song “Down” and the blue album that lured him into the magic of 311. “They just had a sound that pulled me in.” Since his introduction to the band Eric has seen them 11 times. First show for him was in Milwaukee at Summerfest back in 2008. His favorite event so far was 311 Day 2016. “It was more than just the show. It was the whole experience of New Orleans and the excitable vibe.”

The song “Tranquility” is the one that means the most to him. “It makes me think of my mother who I lost to cancer a few years ago. And it makes me cry almost every time I hear it.” Some of Eric’s favorite lyrics are “There’s much power in anger, but love’s a bigger banger” and “The fish who keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream.”

The suburbs of Chicago is where Eric was born and raised. To support his concert habits (and life) he works in a warehouse for a Japanese machine manufacturer. He loves to barbecue and says he is pretty good at it. The most important thing you should know about Eric though is that he is a proud father and husband to his excitable family!

Eric was once really into the jam band scene but then realized it wasn’t really for him. Now aside from 311 he likes The Grateful Dead, Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Rebelution, Tool and Metallica.

Working in the warehouse for years has allowed Eric to develop quite a unique talent. “I have learned to pick up a dime with a forklift.” Aside from that he said his real talent is just trying to see the good in everybody all the time. “I just want to be good to everyone. I’m a lover not a fighter.” Guilty pleasure for Eric comes in the form of what he calls “bad movies.” “Like really bad. I cry at the end of Legally Blonde.”

Eric’s message to 311 is a simple yet awesome one: “Thank you for being a ray of light in what otherwise can be a dreary world.”

His message to all the other fans out there is simple yet awesome as well!

“If you’re ever in Chicago and want to barbecue…hit me up!”

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Sounds like an offer some of us might just take you up on Eric! That was his story my friends, I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you all for reading! Until we meet again, go out and see the good in everyone like Eric does.

Much love! – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/13/17 – Jessica Ferguson!

Hey there my friends out in 311 nation! It’s my favorite time of the week…we get to meet a new fan spotlight. Let’s read all about the lovely Jessica Ferguson!

Flash back to when Jessica was a junior in college and her friend Jeremy introduced her to the blue album. “From then on I couldn’t get enough. They sounded completely different from everything else I had heard and just made me feel good instantaneously.”

Since then Jessica has been to 38 shows. She lived in Montgomery, Alabama, which wasn’t the most convenient location for seeing 311. However when she moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2005, she was able to see them pretty much every summer. “And then after the 2013 Cruise (my first) it was ALL 311, ALL THE TIME and my summer vacations became consumed by their tour and hitting as many stops as I could. I keep a spreadsheet (yes, I’m a nerd) of every set list I’ve seen. The only one I’m missing is from my very first show- September 16, 1997, at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, AL. So if anyone has that set list, please help a sister out!!”

Jessica’s favorite event? She actually said it’s really a five way tie! First up was her first 311 Day in 2000. “I had no idea anything special was happening. I thought it would be the normal hour and a half show. Boy was I wrong. It was the first time of many that my face has been completely melted off by them.” Second was Halloween Atlanta 2010. “My first real time witnessing the glorious Familia experience instead of just attending a normal show.” Then there was the 2013 cruise. “The amount of good vibes, love and genuine happiness that surrounds you for four days is simply amazing…and I just so happened to meet the love of my life on that boat.” 311 Day 2014 was special since they rented a beautiful house in New Orleans and had the most amazing time. “I’ve always had a love affair with that city and am so blessed my favorite band seems to love it just as much as I do.” Finally to round this out was the kickoff to the summer tour of 2015. “My favorite concert buddy and I flew from CLT to Phoenix to see the first show and then drove to Las Vegas for Red, White and Boom. Had a little reunion with my 2013 Cruise roomies, some amazing food (In-N-Out, I’m talking to you) and not to mention some amazing shows with my toes in the sand. Can’t get any better.”

Very favorite song for Jessica is “Purpose.” “It reached out and grabbed me in a special way the first time I heard it- I can’t explain exactly why. I lose my mind every time they play it- sometimes screaming, sometime sobbing, every time loving it. Since I knew it was coming up in Vegas when they played Blue from start to finish, I got a great video of it that I cherish. On a related note, do you realize how lucky we are to have a favorite band that keeps it fresh from show to show, and doesn’t play the same old set list every night? That is extremely rare nowadays from the vast majority of bands out there and much appreciated by me.” One of her favorite lyrics is a fan favorite, “Stay positive and love your life.” “What a great message for us to live by and spread to all the non-believers out there. It hangs in the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, NC for everyone to see, courtesy of me drinking 200 different beers.” She also really loves the lines, “Let’s think of all the good times, instead of wish we could times,so much better that way” and “Life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and spike it.”

Born in Houston, Texas, Jessica moved to Gulf Shores, Alabama at the age of 10. “And no, I am not an Alabama fan. War Damn Eagle!” She graduated from Huntington College in Montgomery in 1997 and worked at a bank for 8 years before she moved to Charlotte. There she worked for an investment company in their compliance department. “I am fully FINRA licensed- 7, 24, 63, 66. I absolutely LOVED my time in Charlotte- great friends, great city, great beer- but remember that “love of my life” that I mentioned earlier? Well, somehow he- Mike Morel- convinced me to move to Wiggins, MS, in October of 2015, and life has been splendid from then on, as I was blessed enough to keep my job and work remotely from the house. The 311 Love Connection is a real thing!” Jessica said that the fact she and Mike were friends for so long and having their love for 311 in common made a big difference in the development of their relationship and she couldn’t be happier. “I never thought I would ever live in Mississippi, but it’s just geography, right? It has brought me much closer to my Daddy, one of my favorite cities and my new family. The entire trajectory of my life has changed all because of one band, and I cannot thank them enough.”

An interesting fact about Jessica is that she is a complete Anglophile. Don’t know what that means? “I can’t get enough of anything British. I took my first trip to London in 2013 by myself to watch soccer and check out the city a bit. The next trip is already planned- Mike loves the New Orleans Saints, so when I heard they were playing a game in London next season, I started the planning. We recently purchased our plane tickets- now the waiting begins. Luckily we have the cruise and summer shows to bide our time until we hop across the pond.”

Unique attribute comes in the form of useless information, Jessica said her brain is just crammed full of it! “Mike’s kids call me Jessi-Goog. Whenever I start a sentence with fun fact, they know they are in for a random nugget of uselessness.” Guilty pleasure is one many people have. “I love TV way too much. I watch way too much. I think I’ve seen every House Hunters on HGTV that has ever been made.”

Jessica is very thankful for so many of the other great bands that 311 has introduced her to like Full Service, Rebelution, RDGLDGRN, Passafire, and Dirty Heads. As for other bands she likes, she said she loves a little bit of everything. “Pop (when the kids are in the car), modern alternative, 70’s/80’s old school country, classical, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Jim Croce, Dierks Bentley, just give me all of it! Music is good for the soul- especially live music. I’ve seen at least one live show a month for the last two years and bucket-lister Billy Joel is up next- so excited!” She also has a goal to own every Harry Connick Jr. and REM album. “I’m getting there, slowly but surely.”

To 311, Jessica would like to say, “A simple “thank you” seems inadequate for all the love and positivity they’ve brought to my life, but that’s what I’ve got. I’m also grateful and blessed that they’ve stuck around for so long- same lineup, continuous music that is so varied and challenging and inspiring and uplifting. Sometimes we forget how good we have it as 311 fans.”

To all the other amazing fans:

“I am so blessed to have met such wonderfully wild, diverse, interesting and lovely people on my 311 journey. I’ve never felt so at home with complete strangers before. You are all beautiful, awesome people!!”

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That wraps up the tale of Jessica Ferguson! What another great fan story. You all make my job to easy by being such wonderful people. Thank you all for reading each week. Keep coming back and I’ll keep writing. Until next week!

Much love! – The Runt