Runt Rant

30ish. Married. Educated. Foodie. 311 Fanatic.

311 Fan Spotlight – 8/22/16 – Siera Hehner!

August 22nd, 2016

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Hi again my excitable friends! New week means new fan spotlight. Time to read the story of Siera Hehner! 

Siera’s love for 311 starts in a familial way. “Well once upon a time my Aunt Helen called and told us that Dougie was joining a band called 311 …so I was instantly hooked .. I dumped my New Kids on the Block for them haha.” 

Show tally for Siera is at 7 she believes because she wasn’t allowed to go to shows until she was 18, so her first event was in 2004. Favorite shows are the hometown shows, especially since she can watch from the side of the stage, but she also loved the Red Rocks show because she was with all her peeps. Siera even had to sell two cars to fund that trip so you know it meant a lot to her!

“Prisoner” is the song that means the most to Siera. “I feel like that song was made for me…it just gets me.” Siera said when she’s sad that song is always there to save her and then when she’s not sad, it’s just still a great song that she loves. Some of her favorite lyrics include, “My heart was the target it found your arrow baby you know I want to be your straight and narrow,” “Aunt Mary summertime backyard picnic, did you drink my beer Doug yea I did it, don’t tell me to me to bring ya beer if ya think I won’t sip it,” and “The monologue of a sing a long las banderas de San Juan, piden pan, no les dan.” Those last lyrics are from the song “Nix Hex” and Siera said it’s part of an old folk song that her great grandma Martinez used to sing to the grandkids. She listed quite a few more song lyrics and said she could really just go on and on listing them. “Let’s just put it this way, every single song has great lyrics… you might randomly hear me say a line from a song if it applies to a certain situation lol.”

Siera was born in Kearney, Nebraska and raised in Gibbon. Her grandfather and Doug a.k.a. SA’s mom are brother and sister and then her grandmother and Doug’s dad are siblings. “I was pretty much the only hardcore 311 fan in my town lol. I was the only little kid with 311 t-shirts in my school and had to ask if it was ok to wear them due to the KKK rumors.” Siera said she’s also not shy about telling people about her love for 311, and it’s not just because she is related to SA, but because they are really her favorite band in all the land. “When I was little I looked up to Dougie cause it was so cool my own cousin made it big. To come from Nebraska and then get to VISIT THE WORLD is so freaking sweet. So when you hear me mention anything, its not me name dropping or anything like that, its my love for my cousin and the guys, their music, and all my 311 FAM I get so geeked out and excited I could burst so I have to let peeps know stuff whatever it may be lol. And fuck the naysayers cause they don’t mean a thing lol.”

Siera said she had a pretty messed up childhood but always looked forward to her weekends with grandma and grandpa. It was grandma who gave her a love for music and cooking, then grandpa was responsible for her love of film, photography and the arts. “Both made me the person I am today. Those two and 311 helped me get through my childhood and teenage years.” Siera suffers from anxiety, depression, PTSD, autoimmune liver disease, hypothyroidism, asthma and diabetes, so her family and 311 really help keep her strong. She just finished counseling for stuff that occurred during her childhood with is helping with her PTSD. While she doesn’t think she’s fully cured, she said she is still here fighting everyday. “I enjoy see others happy and making them smile and laugh so I’m kinda silly. My grandma always says I’m just like great grandma Martinez cause I’m patient and kind and put up with a lot . I love my FAM more than they’ll ever know, same goes for my friends.” Siera also tries to help others, including strangers, whenever possible. “Sometimes I kinda feel like I was dealt a shitty hand due to my past and my health but then I look at the ones I love and it brings a smile to my face gotta take the good with the bad.”

Talent for Siera comes in the form of art. “I love to paint, make stuff, be creative, anything artsy.” Guilty pleasure is reality T.V. Something you may not know is she is Mexican and Irish, with a German last name!”My grandpa was a clinch but was adopted into the Hehner family. My grandma was a Martinez who obviously married my grandpa to become a Hehner, and no dad for me so that’s how I got the Hehner last name.” As far as other music she listens to, she’ll pretty much listen to anything that makes her feel good including Mexican music, Reggae, Pop, Hip Hop, Classical and Oldies. 

To the band that has helped her through some tough times and good times she’d like to just say – “Thank you!”

To all the other fans:

“To those of you who haven’t left my side, I love you and I thank you for your friendship! Means you’re a real friend and I appreciate you. XO.”

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And there you have the story of Siera Hehner! Gotta love the family stories. Thank you Siera for sharing your personal journey of your love for 311. And thank you to all of those reading every week. Now go be awesome, do good things, and spread that positivity and love! 

Much love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 8/15/16 – Brentton Parham

August 15th, 2016

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Hey there 311 fans! Welcome back to another edition of the fan spotlight! Let us start this week off in the best way possible, it’s time to meet Brentton Parham. 

Word of mouth is how Brentton stumbled upon 311. He was walking to his car after school one day when he heard his buddy blasting the song “Silver” from his Jeep. His buddy yelled, “Hey come listen to this sh*t!” with a huge grin. “The rest they say is history! I am extremely grateful that day occurred and that I was introduced to such an amazing journey that is more than just a band. Posi+ive vibes which this world needs.” The sound is what hooked him. He said there is nothing in this world like it. “Just pull up Soundsystem and listen to to ‘Livin’ & Rockin’” – Nuff said.”

Number of shows Brentton has seen? He’s never really been one to keep track. Ballpark number is in the neighborhood of 40 or so. “It’s a great ‘return on investment’ I think. I know others that are well North of that though. Hats off to those fellow Excitables.” He’s followed 311 around the southeast quite a bit back in 2000. His first show was back on 2/3/96 at The International Ballroom in Atlanta. “Pharcyde and Cypress Hill played that night as well. EPIC night.” Favorite event (or events really) and any 311 Day. “Fans coming from all over the World, together to celebrate Unity. Lots of good people getting together to build each other up, celebrate life and many good memories are made. The show the guys put on is amazing. Name me another band in the entertainment business / industry that plays either a one day 6 + hour show or two 3 + hour shows?? I’ll wait…..lol  Hopefully, they (311) can continue to host the event in NOLA. Great place for it. Great vibe down there.”

Favorite song was narrowed down to “The Continuous Life.” “Hearing S.A. singing/rapping about an out of body experience is just fascinating to me. Very deep song. The afterlife interests me greatly.” Favorite lyrics? “Life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and spike it!”

Brentton was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina but moved to Georgia after his 5th birthday, where he has been ever since. He’s a diehard Clemson Tigers football fan, as well as a lover of music and animals. “I wish I could save them all.”  He works hard to fund his 311 habit. “Work hard / play hard so when 311 hits the stage it makes it that much more enjoyable. I think 311 is kind of like a release for folks to turn off any negative vibes or to go see them live, and just for a few hours actually live again, release and forget any negativity in his/ her own lives.” Brentton said there were many times where 311 helped him out of a dark place over the last couple of decades. When he wrote this he was counting down the days to the shows at The Tabernacle. “No cares, no worries, except for hearing that 311 sound pulse throughout my body when P-Nut slaps that 1st bass string.”

Something most people don’t know is that Brentton has very nice penmanship! Or so he’s told. Also, the “Transistor Intro” is the alarm on his phone. Something unique about him? He does impressions of celebs and public figures well. “Rodney Dangerfield, Obama, Bill Clinton, Don Pardo, and some others. Robin Williams had a huge impact on me. RIP.” Guilty pleasure? “My car. Car enthusiast. Lots of horsepower. These are a few of my favorite things.”

Other bands he loves include Van Halen,Incubus, Avenged Sevenfold, One Day As A Lion, RATM, Aerosmith, Marshall Tucker Band, Gregg Allman, George Thorogood, Nonpoint, Prince, RDGLDGRN, James Brown, J.J. Jackson, Mel and Tim, G N’R, Rebelution, Full Service, King Harvest, Bill Withers, and the Deftones. “I could go on and on. Always in my car so SIRIUSxm gives me many options. Very eclectic.” 

To the band, Brentton has one question: “Can I play Chad’s kit to ‘Down’ with you guys?  God, that would be epic!”

Now to all the other great fans out there:

“Rock On beautiful people! P.L.U.R. to you ALL out there in ’311 Nation’.  You are GOOD enough! Keep fighting! Love your neighbor(s)! Better days are ahead! 

Cant NOBODY do it like 311, Fuc*in’ up competition ’cause their really is NONE!”

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That’s Brentton’s story and he’s sticking to it! Thanks for participating Brentton and thank all of you wonderful people for reading! Until we meet again, go and be awesome, spread the positivity to all! 

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 8/8/16 – Kady Jaymes!

August 8th, 2016

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Hello again my friends out in the 311 fan universe! Tis the time…the time for our next fan spotlight. Take a break and read all about the lovely Kady Jaymes!

What got Kady into 311? Truth is she really doesn’t remember exactly what it was. “The first real memory I have is the last day of 6th grade (so roughly 1995-1996), coming home to pack for a family vacation to my grandparents’ house in Iowa and I put on the blue album real loud while I packed.”

Kady also hasn’t kept track of the number of shows she’s attended. She’d like to know, but it would take a long time to sift through the archives of shows to figure it out. She guessed she’s at a minimum of 50 at this point. Favorite event? She knows that and there are two that come to mind for her. Top spot goes to the 25th anniversary show last year at Sokol Auditorium. “Being from Omaha and living here all my life, I have always felt an incredible sense of pride for not only my city/state, but for the boys having “Grassroots” here. Seeing the band play in the same venue as their very first show (opening for Fugazi) and also the same venue I am pretty sure I saw them in for the first time. Not only that, but now surrounded with friends I have met from all over the country because of this band. It was almost indescribable. I stood towards the back by the soundboard and I found myself a couple times just looking around and taking the whole experience in.”

Second show that stood out to her was the sail away show on the cruise in 2013. “It was MY first cruise and the excitement was almost too much, but in the best way possible. I can barely put into words how happy I was to be on that ship with 3000+ excitables with our favorite band and so many other amazing artists. Not to mention I managed to make it pretty close to the stage.It was MY first cruise and the excitement was almost too much, but in the best way possible. I can barely put into words how happy I was to be on that ship with 3000+ excitables with our favorite band and so many other amazing artists. Not to mention I managed to make it pretty close to the stage.”

Favorite song – can you guess it? It goes to “Omaha Stylee.” “It’s almost hard to fight back (happy) tears when I hear it live or get a concert call from a friend who is hearing it live.” Favorite lyrics was a difficult question for her to answer because there are so many great ones that stand out and have impacted her over the years. While she said all the lyrics to her favorite song are of course in there, some others are: “If there’s a shadow in your life, then there’s sunshine,” “This one is dedicated to the excitable ones,” “My heart sings when I think of you,” and “You gotta keep on climbing the hill, cuz if you think you’ll make it you will.”

You all know where Kady was born and raised (Omaha for those not paying attention hehe). She graduated high school in 2003 and went on to attend Iowa Western Community College where she earned an associates degree in radio broadcasting. “College was such a fun time and I was fortunate enough to work with one of the largest radio stations in Omaha and surrounding cities. This included working shows that our radio station either put on or sponsored, including a couple 311 shows! One show specifically, our radio general manager let us go through the 311 meet and greet line AND gave me a backstage pass so I got to watch 311 from side stage! miT’s side to be exact :) It was an awesome learning experience and really fun to work in radio for a few years!”

Once Kady graduated she didn’t really know what to do with her life, so in 2007 she applied for job at the hotel company where her mom worked, and she’s been there ever since. “I started as a reservations agent taking phone calls, booking reservations for our hotels and have moved my way up to being the Online “Subject Matter Expert” for our social media team (Facebook, Twitter, online reviews, etc).” Kady pretty much enjoys her job but she doesn’t feel she’s found her passion yet. She’s recently gotten into cooking and is thinking about going back to school for a culinary degree. “I still consider my life somewhat of an open book.”

Interesting facts you may not know about Kady: She’s never seen ANY of the Star Wars movies nor has she read or watched any of the Harry Potter series. Something she does love though? “I love to laugh and I love to make other people laugh. There is not much better than laughing so hard you have tears in your eyes and your cheeks and stomach hurt!” Guilty pleasure isn’t really an issue for Kady because she is proud of everything she does! But if she had to pick something, it’d be that she’s a junkie for reality shows. “I’ll totally watch the Kardashians, Bachelor/Bachelorette and other similar shows.”

Other musicians Kady loves? “I am a HUUUUGE Lady Gaga fan :) LOVE HER!” While she said it sounds cliché she really loves a wide range of music. “I love everything from oldies, to some jazz, heavy metal, country, top 40, etc. I am also the biggest fan of 90’s music, specifically alternative, rock and pop. So many great bands, artists, songs and albums from that time!” Some other bands she finds herself listening to a lot are: Volbeat, 2 Skinnee J’s, The Urge, Melodime, Garth Brooks, Cute is What We Aim For, The Cab, The Maine, and 30 Seconds to Mars.

Kady’s message to the band is:

“This band and the fans have opened the doors to so many amazing adventures that I can’t say “Thank You” enough. Because of this band, I have met so many incredible people that I now consider family because friends just doesn’t cut it. I know we as fans allow them to do what they do, but them staying true to who they are as a band and as humans I feel has also had a huge impact on them staying happy enough to keep going. I know a lot of bands/artists are great to their fans, but 311 truly thinks about new and exciting ways to “feed us” and engage with us. I can’t wait for the future and to continue to grow with these guys.”

Now to all the other fans/friends/family of 311:

“Let’s keep our positive, generous, caring, fun, funny, dysfunctional (in a good way), silly relationships going. I am never surprised when I hear about the kind acts this family does throughout the year. Be it setting up GoFundMe accounts for someone going through a tough time, donating money or time or posters/merch, rallying encouraging messages for someone who might be having a hard time, making custom memorabilia to hand out for free, food drives during Unity Tour, volunteering with other Excitables and so so much more. I am so damn proud of the people we have in this community and feel so lucky to be even the smallest part of it. “Stay Positive and Love your Life.”

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What a great story, thank you Kady Jaymes! Every week I get the honor of writing all of your stories and I thank all the readers for keeping this thing going and just for being the amazing people you are! Until we meet again my friends, just go be awesome to everyone as I know you will!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 8/1/16 – Jon Welshans

August 1st, 2016

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Here we are again my friends in 311-ville! It’s time for our next fan spotlight. This week we learn all about Jon Welshans!

The year was 1995 and Jon was in the 5th grade when he first heard 311. The video for “Down” aired and he instantly fell in love. “I bought that CD thinking it was their first. Then a few months later I came across Music and Grassroots and was blown away at how different they sounded compared to the Blue Album.”

As far as how many shows he’s attended, he doesn’t really keep track. “I’d estimate maybe somewhere between 40 and 50.”  He does however know what his favorite event was – the first cruise. “It was magical! I knew not a single person on that boat except who I went with. No one knew what to expect. We were all first time 311 cruisers. Time of my life! And I made a few lifelong friends too!”

“Paradise” is the song that means the most to Jon, because it brings him back to 311 Day 2008 when they closed the show with it. “That was the first time I was ever got emotional at a 311 show. It was at that moment that I realized how much this band and their music means to me.” As far as favorite lyrics, they are as follows: “Jump into the pit and just slam. Big respect goes out to those who can. Lose their shit once in a while act a fool just to mark time yo that’s my style.”

Arizona is where Jon was born, raised, and is still currently living. “I’ve never lived anywhere else, but hope to.” He funds his 311 habit by flipping posters…kidding! “I drive a truck for Pepsi. I’ve worked there almost 11 years.” Jon says there isn’t a serious bone in his body and also, he lives to eat!

Something interesting about Jon is that he’s never been to Disneyland or Disney World! (Sounds to me like it’s time get a 311 show near there hehe.) For what makes him unique, he said he’s just your average, everyday normal white guy. However, he does love to make people laugh! Guilty pleasure is “kinda, maybe a little” enjoying watching Grey’s Anatomy with his girlfriend.

Other bands and artists Jon enjoys are The Urge, Between the Buried and Me, Streetlight Manifesto, Lamb of God, Chimaira, Soulfly, Deftones, and Normal Jean. “I love music! I could go on for days.”

To 311, Jon’s message is: “THANK YOU! I met my girlfriend, made many new friends, and traveled to some amazing places all because of you guys! I couldn’t imagine a 311less life.

To all the 311 fans:

“Live in the moment. Life is all about experiences.”

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There you have it folks – Jon Welshans! Thank you to Jon for being a part of this community and for all the rest of you reading each others stories every week! You are all amazing! Until we meet again next week…stay cool & always stay positive!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 7/25/16 – Christy Krasowski!

July 25th, 2016

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Good day 311 excitable nation! Here we meet again for the next fan spotlight. Are you ready for it? Let’s meet Christy Krasowski!

“Down” and “All Mixed Up” were the first songs that Christy heard from 311. They were played on her local alternative station in the summer of 1996, when she was working at her first summer job. “I was instantly drawn to their blend of reggae and rock, their harmonies, and I especially liked the way Chad’s drums sounded on those songs.” The following year in school choir, she met her best friend Laura, who also happened to be a huge 311 fan. “She would always have 311 tapes playing when she would drive me to different choir events.  This was when I first heard “Music,” and the entire “Blue” album.”

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Christy has kept a running list of shows she attended and this summers Unity Tour show in Chicago was her 28th. She’s attended three 311 Day events. As far as favorite of the 28, she narrowed it down to four of the most memorable ones. The first is from 2001 at the Mean Fiddler in London. “This was the smallest venue that I’ve ever seen 311 perform in.  It was their first headlining tour in Europe, and I was able to sneak all the way up to the rail for the first time!  I caught one of miT’s guitar picks and snagged the setlist after the show.  It was also the first time I ever met any of the band members–I still have that autographed set list in my bin of special keepsakes.” Second show is 311 Day in Memphis 2006, because it was her first 311 Day. She and her two best friends hit the road together for it. “It was so awesome coming together in one place with SO MANY other 311 fans.”

Third show was July 12, 2015 in Milwaukee where the audience was gifted with hearing Grassroots in its entirety. Finally number four was this years 311 Day in Nola. “ My two best girlfriends and I reprised our first 311 Day, ten years later, this time in New Orleans!  Besides the fact that New Orleans is an amazing party town, and being surrounded by 311 familia everywhere we went, the two shows were so memorable.  I loved the fan montage and gospel choir the first night (another weeping moment), and Chad’s drum solo into, “Hey Jude” the second night was stellar!”

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The song “Beyond the Grey Sky” is one that has spoken to her the most as she’s grown. While not her favorite song, that would either be “Stealing Happy Hours” or “My Stoney Baby,” the lyrics in BTGS have carried her through some dark times. “When 311 performed that song at 311 Day in Memphis, I was moved to tears.  Listening to it that day opened my soul, as cheesy as that might sound.” Favorite lyric comes from “My Stoney Baby” – “The fish that keeps on swimming, is the first to chill upstream.”

Born in Spain, Christy lived there until she was 5. Then she moved to and grew up in Dundee, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She’s pretty much lived in Dundee all of her life, with the exception of attending college in Bloomington/Normal, a semester spent in Canterbury, England, and four years spent in Chicago. She and her husband of 9 years Matt bought her grandparents home five years ago and their kids are the fifth generation of family to grow up in that house! Christy has a degree in photography from Illinois State. “Aside from taking really nice photos of my kids, I never put that degree to much use.” Instead she spent six years as a Human Resources professional and is now a stay at home mom to her two kids, Will who is 7 and Tilly who is 2.  She also is a bartender at a local private club a few nights a week to fund her 311 habit. When not spending time with her family or bar tending, she loves seeing live music, cooking, traveling and “drinking copious amounts of craft beer.”

 

Some other bands Christy loves are classic rock acts like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, and The Dead. However she also is really into folky music like the Old Crow Medicine Show, The Head and the Heart, and the Lumineers. Then there is her emo streak, which includes bands such as Jimmy Eat World, The Promise Ring, and a hometown favorite called The Smoking Popes. She also lately has been getting into jazz with artists like Trombone Shorty, Charlie Parker and Stan Getz.

Something unique about Christy – she grew up speaking three languages: English, Spanish, and Danish. “Sadly the only language I’m still fluent in is English.” Hidden talent of hers is that she brews beer and that she also took belly dancing classes for a few years. “I was pretty good at that.” Guilty pleasure is watching the movie “Austin Powers.” “I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve watched that movie. I’m obsessed with the 1960’s Brit pop culture and fashion, so when the movie came out, I was an instant fan!”

To 311 Christy’s message is this: “Thank you for providing the soundtrack to my life.”

To the other fantastic 311 fans:

“I spent many years as a 311 fan before becoming familiar with the 311 Familia.  What a generous, unique and truly awesome group of people you all are.  I love that I can go to 311 concerts and feel safe and well taken care of–there’s always such a positive feeling radiating before and after 311 shows–a sense of belonging and unity.  I just can’t get enough!”

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There you have the story of Christy Krasowski! Thanks as always for reading and being the amazing fan community that you are. Now go…be awesome…spread the love & unity!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 7/18/16 – Katie Lay!

July 18th, 2016

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Hello again my excitable friends! Welcome to a new week and a new fan spotlight. Let’s read all about the fabulous Katie Lay!

It was Katie’s older brother who introduced her to the magic of 311. He listened to them and gradually Katie started listening to them on her own. “I loved the sound, the lyrics, the attitude.”

Katie didn’t start keeping count of the shows she went to until 2006. Since that year she’s been to 42 shows, the latest 4 being the two SLC shows and then Red, White, and Boom, Las Vegas 2016. “I might have 1 or 2 more Unity Tour pre-2006 but I’m not sure.”  Favorite show is a tie between the secret show at the Hive after the 25th anniversary show last year, and then the beach show on cruise two.

Picking a song that means the most to her was impossible and she said she couldn’t choose. “I find myself reaching for different songs all the time. Currently I’m particularly digging on Sever.” Some of Katie’s favorite lyrics are: “Don’t you know that The Devil, he’s in me, and God, she is too,” and “I wanna do what’s right, be kind to every single body, open up to light, just let it flow through my body.”

Katie grew up and still lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also lived in Austin, Texas for about 6 months after college. She is currently the Director of a youth music program which she said is her passion. She also works for a tutoring center/online high school as a Content Manager and Curriculum Coordinator. “I LOVE music – I also work part-time for a concert series in Park City, Utah.” Some other bands Katie listens to are Orgone, Bob Schneider, The Mother Hips, Less Than Jake, Pepper, Ballyhoo!, Dirty Heads, RDGLDGRN, Bill Laurence, Los Stellarians, Beats Antique, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, and Pendulum.

Aside from music, Katie also loves to travel! She’s been to 46 of the United States and 19 countries, including Cuba twice! “My current 311 goal is to try to see them in a new state every year. I’ve been on all 4 cruises, and will go on #5.”

Did I mention Katie loves music? Not just listening to it, but performing it as well. “I sing and play the saxophone!” She mentioned that most people don’t know that and it’s something that makes her unique. She’s also really proud of the music program that she runs. “It’s a premiere youth handbell (yes, handbell) choir that tours the States every year. It sounds super nerdy but is actually really impressive. It’s way more awesome than that episode of the New Girl, if that’s your basis of reference. This summer we played 13 concerts in 11 states in 16 days and traveled more than 6,000 miles.”

Katie had a great answer for what her guilty pleasure is: “I dislike the concept of guilty pleasures. If you like it, you like it! Who gives a damn what anyone else thinks.”

Her message to 311 is a simple one: “THANK YOU!!”

Now to all the other fabulous fans:

“Be kind to each other. We’re so lucky to have this built in network of friends who love the same thing we do. Take advantage of it!”

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That’s the story of Katie my friends! Thank you Katie for being a part of this and thank you to all that keep reading! Its truly an honor to share all your stories. Until next week – keep being awesome!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 7/11/16 – Sydney Novik!

July 11th, 2016

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Hello again excitable 311 nation! The 2016 Unity Tour is in full swing and I hope you are all enjoying it so far or anticipating your upcoming show. Let’s take the time to read about the new fan spotlight, Sydney Novik!

2010 was the year and Sydney was in college at the time. She decided to go see 311 in Atlanta with a group of friends. “I was 19 and had only heard of the band at that time – kinda late but it didn’t take long to become a serious fan.” Since then she’s been to every Atlanta show and also traveled around to see them. What she really loves is the bond between the fans and it’s online presence. “I’m somewhat introverted but it feels great to be a part of it.”

Since 2010 Sydney has attended 14 shows, with shows 15 & 16 coming up this summer in Atlanta. “Add the cruise in 2017 and that’ll potentially be another three sets!” So far her favorite event was the cruise in 2015, but the 2014 Tabernacle Thursday night concert is one of her all time favorite shows. “I had just temporarily relocated to Kentucky and drove six hours back to Atlanta just to see them, blasting the discography from oldest to newest all the way down. (By the way, it takes from Music to mid-Evolver from Lexington to Atlanta y’all). I went on my own and met so many new friends in line and was lucky enough to get a rail spot. The band was also airing their performance live on Yahoo, and I managed to get on camera. I remember getting a text from my best friend in New Jersey saying “Omg I saw you!”. It was pure bliss to be that close to a band that’s been killing it for the past twenty-five years.”

Song that means the most to Sydney is “Unity.” She had the whole discography from 311 but had never listened to it all the way through until a long road trip. “Unity came on shuffle. I rocked out the four hour trip to Music on repeat after that. It’s probably one of my favorite albums now. It was the song that made me fall in love with their music.” Another favorite is “Off Beat Bare Ass” because she said it’s fun to rap to. “I’m pretty sure I know the lyrics top to bottom.”

Born in Staten Island, Sydney lived in New Jersey until she was 9 and relocated with her family to Atlanta. She’s pretty much lived there ever since. It took playing every sport under the sun for her to find her talent in swimming. She also found a talent in playing the drums. She used to work in the fitness industry selling gym memberships but later transitioned into the construction industry. “I’m also an avid weightlifter and an aspiring fitness competitor!”

Her musical likes change (besides 311 obviously), so she is currently listening to a lot of Rage Against the Machine, Primus, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Incubus. While she talks all the time about playing drums, she actually grew up playing clarinet! “And was kinda good at it, lol. I did pretty well in high school, sat first chair for a few semesters in a competitive wind symphony. I tried to continue in college but had way more fun playing drums, so I gave it up completely.”

Unique attribute for Sydney? “I can burp like a dude and on command. Always do it for fun or to be obnoxious. My teacher even commented about my etiquette in my yearbook once. Haven’t changed! Haha.” She also said that thanks to her career she has an abundance of knowledge about cell towers. “How to build them, decommission, test and read results, identify structure, carrier, radio-frequency, etc. It’s almost frustrating that it’s hard to talk about what I do for work around my friends.” Guilty pleasure? “I’ve been watching episodes of House back to bak for the past month. Dude is hilarious.”

To 311, Sydney would like to say:

“Thank you for creating this musical community and giving me something to be a part of. Your message of positivity is so appreciated, especially during this time.”

To all the fans out there her message is short and sweet:

“See you on the boat! :)”

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Now you’ve all met Sydney! Thank you all for taking the time to read the fan spotlights. It’s amazing how wonderful you all are and I love sharing your stories! Until next time, go out and be awesome!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 7/4/16 – Jason Beaudoin!

July 4th, 2016

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Happy Independence Day Excitable nation! Some of you are in Vegas…some are not…but no matter where you are let’s take the time to meet yet another awesome 311 fan. Here’s the story of Jason Beaudoin!

Let’s travel back to when Jason was in the Navy. A friend of his had Grassroots on cassette. “LOL I know I’m old.” From the intro of “Homebrew” Jason was hooked on their rap, rock, funk sound. “I listened to the whole thing over and over, that was in 1994.  1995 when they released the blue album and I saw them at a small club, the energy was incredible, and the rest is history.”

As for how many shows Jason has seen since that small club show, he is at exactly 40 currently. Favorite of the 40 is the first 311 Day he attended back in 2010 in Vegas. “I always wanted the ultimate fan experience and i got it.” There was also last years Cincinnati when he had broken his hands. Chad’s mom Linda got word of this and hooked Jason up with VIP and backstage passes so he wouldn’t have to be in the crowd!

When asked what song means the most, Jason said it’s like picking your favorite child. However he did narrow it down to “Livin’ and Rockin’.” His reason? “Cause ‘Cant nobody do it like 311’!” Some of his favorite lyrics are: “Stay positive and love your life” and “We make a sick tight connection when we see our true people on tour.”

Jason grew up in Hamilton, Ohio, just 20 miles north of Cincinnati. He was in the Navy for 4 years in Norfolk, Virginia which enabled him to see a lot of the world. He now funds his 311 habit working a factory job and trying to get as much overtime as he can. He also runs a DJ service on the side. So far he’s attended three 311 Day events but no cruises. “That’s a bucket list item for me so I have to do one.”

First love in the musical world for Jason was KISS. “I loved the make up and the music.”  First concert for him was Run D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys, which made him fall in love with hip hop, but he still also loved big hair metal. Lately he’s really digging the band 21 Pilots.

Meditation is something Jason is really in to and he said he isn’t your typical 40 something year old. “I still love rap music and dancing. I have been taking my 19 year old son to shows since he was 11.” Jason and his son both love 311 and it’s a special bond that they share. Guilty pleasure for him is golf!

To 311, Jason would like to say:

“Thank you for the positive message you send to us fans and I hope you guys continue for 26 more years with the same 5 guys!”

Now to all the awesome 311 fans:

“Through following this band for over 20 years, I can go to a show anywhere and feel at home. I have made bonds with people all over the world that can never be broken! I hope we can continue this livin’ and rockin’ forever.”

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That’s Jason’s story friends! Thank you all for taking time to read about how he developed his love for 311. Now go get your red, white & boom on! Happy 4th!

Much love! – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 6/27/16 – Aaron Kirby!

June 27th, 2016

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Hey there excitable nation! How is everyone feeling on this lovely day? I hope awesome and guess what? It’s time for our next 311 fan spotlight! Let’s read the story of Aaron Kirby!

At the age of 14 in 1995, Aaron was really into rollerblading. He and his friend watched a skate video that had the song “Omaha Stylee” in it (See link here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2tep15 ). They both loved the song so they went to Target where Aaron purchased Grassroots and his friend purchased Music. “After a few days we switched.  I was hooked.  A few months later I was watching MTV and Carson Daily premiered Down.  I still remember getting goosebumps!” What drew him in was how original their music was. “Nothing else sounded like 311. Their seamless blend of so many styles of music was captivating.”

Aaron started seeing 311 live in 2000 at the Murat Theater in Indianapolis with Zebrahead as the opener. He’s been to 35 shows so far which include cruises two and four, as well as 311 Day 06, 14, and 16. “After Cruise 2 was when I really started hitting a lot of shows. I had less than 10 shows under my belt prior.”  Favorite? Aaron said it’s hard to beat the beach show from cruise two. “ It is my favorite overall experience for a show.” Although he said best show for music itself was 311 Day 2016, night two, and favorite regular tour show was the Chicago one 2015 where they surprised the audience with the Blue album in its entirety. “Did I mention Omaha 2014?  That road trip was very special because it was my first time really getting to know other fans through the Familia.  Stephen and Sandy Gwaltney, Tim Zinkan, Tessa Chambers and Shannon Crummy joined me for an epic journey to the homeland for Grassroots in its entirety.  My only tattoo is of the poster from that show.”

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Favorite song goes to “8:16AM” since it was his first love. Favorite lyrics come from “My Stoney Baby” – “”The fish who keeps on swimming is the first to chill upstream.”  He said it’s usable for so many situations in life.

A little about Aaron’s upbringing comes in quote form: “I grew up tall and I grew up right, with them Indiana boys on them Indiana nights. Lol.” He still lives in the same area he was born which is Lafayette, Indiana. He and his wife have been in real estate brokerage together for a decade, as well as having some real estate investments.

Something unique about Aaron is that he has two different colored eyes, one brown and one that ranges from green to blue depending on the day. “They used to both be green.   My dad now says that I’m half full of shit.”  Another unique attribute? He’s 6’ 7” so you can always spot him at the shows! “My friends have no problem finding their way back after a beer / bathroom trip.  I have a great view no matter where I’m at.  The downside is having someone at EVERY show ask me to move or duck because they can’t see.  Yeah, I was here first, you can move.  Short people need to learn some manners! Haha!”  Guilty pleasure? “I love cooking on my Big Green Egg.  I’ll  make you some killer food.  Better than the Pecan Lodge ever tried to be. :)”

Other bands he loves include Dirty Heads, Rebelution, Iration, DMB, Jack Johnson, 21 Pilots, Sublime with or without Rome,  RDGLDGRN, Rage Against the Machine, and Bad Religion. “I’m all over the board.”

Aaron’s message to 311:

“Thank you for the lifetime of music, fun and constant positivity that has played such a huge roll in my life.”

His message to all the other fans:

“I can’t wait to see so many of you and make some new friends this summer and on the cruise next year!”

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Now you’ve all met Aaron Kirby! Such a great story. Thank you Aaron for sharing and thank you all for reading! You guys seriously rock and are all the reason that this community is amazing. Now go start your week and bring the positive to every day!

Much love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 6/20/16 – Mike Kleczka!

June 20th, 2016

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Welcome again excitable people near and far! It’s that time again, to meet our next fan spotlight! This week, let’s learn all about Mike Kleczka.

Freshman year of college, back in 1993, was the year Mike found 311 totally by accident. In high school he found new music simply by going to as many shows as possible. Then in college he progressed to joining the college radio station as a DJ. “The school station was operated like a commercial station so, the music director could get on the guest list to almost any show in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.” The preferred venue was Lupo’s in Providence and one day the music director told Mike that if he like Rage Against the Machine, he’d like this band called “three eleven” that they were going to see that night. Mike said he thinks the director meant he’d like them because they incorporated hip-hop into their sound. “Not knowing any of the material, I just took it in. Turns out, I really liked it! So, when I prepped for my shows, I added  the “Freak Out” single to my playlist. Eventually, I dug out the full length “Music” album from the music library and played more songs.”

Fifty-three shows is where Mike is at for seeing them live (Fifty-four if you count the secret Hive show). He’s seen them at least once a year since 1993, with the exception of 98, 99, and 2007.  People not into 311 like he is ask him all the time what his favorite show has been, and he says it’s a tough question to answer.  “I think that my favorite shows are the ones over the past three years and “the next one”. I say that because I’ve met some really awesome people the past few years and getting to experience shows with them is what I love. I’ve seen them play most of their songs live at one point or another. At this point, WHO i’m going to the show with is just as important that WHAT songs we’re going to hear. We know that the band will put on a great show, regardless. I just want to enjoy it with my friends. And I love the notion that I can possibly make new friends at any show I go to. (I usually do, too!)” To date Mike has seen 311 in 13 different states.

Favorite song is another difficult question to answer. At 40 years old and having been a fan since 93, he’s been listening to 311 for more than half his life. “The band keeps doing something a little different with each album they release. If they kept releasing Music and Grassroots, I don’t think a lot of us would still be here today. People get on them for albums like DTOM and Uplifter. Long for the Flowers? It’s Getting OK now? great songs. 2009 was one of the best summers. Uplifter was the soundtrack. Never Ending Summer? I Like the Way? Sun Come Through? I think it was great because it was different than what they’d been doing on previous albums.”

Some lyrics though that Mike loves are as follows: “You make me feel uncalm and I think I like it.” and “I love it when the only sound I hear is your infectious laughter. I will hear you again in 800 years if I’m still lucky.” These lyrics make Mike think of his amazing wife Tina. “She is not “all in” as some of us are but, Tina is a fan and travels with me to the event shows. She’s met some amazing friends, too. “The 311 wives club’ as she’s come to call it.” One more lyric he loves is, “Time of our lives, here I was happy.” He said this is one because, well, he is!

Mike was born and raised on the east coast in New York and New Jersey. He is the oldest of four boys, all of whom love 311 as well. They still try to see at least one show a year together. He said you also might here him call the band three to eleven sometimes, which is a nod to him mom. “She asked me, one time, when my younger brother wanted to go see 311. She said, “Tell me about this band he wants to see, Three to Eleven. What’s their deal? is that a secret code or something? What time does that represent? It’s not another pot code is it?”  Once i stopped laughing, I filled her in. Since then, Mom understands.”

Mike attended college in Massachusetts and Pittsburgh, and graduated from Robert Morris University with a degree in Communications. “Pittsburgh is an awesome town with a crazy local dialect. “Yinz going don ton to see the Stillers?” Love that place!”  Mike moved to Michigan to start a family and career. He said as he was answering the questions he can finally say career and family have finally aligned. He is about the begin working for Fathead (the company that does the wall graphics of athletes, superheroes, etc.).

Mike said his wife Tina is extremely supportive of him (and tolerant he added). They have five amazing children together that keep them on their toes. His oldest son has already been to 13 shows and his daughter and second son both went to their first show last summer. Mike works hard to fund his 311 habit and they go to as many shows as the budget allows. “I’ve met many friends at shows and through poster collecting. I like to see them as much as I can and going to shows is how it gets done.”

Collecting posters, prints, and merch is a hobby of Mike’s and he’s an admin for the Facebook 311 Trading Post. “Along with four friends, we have a group that enables 311 fans to buy, sell and trade 311 merch and posters with other 311 fans. There’s a whole sub group within the 311 community and it’s awesome to be a part of it. You’ve probably seen us camping out at shows so we can be sure to get a poster before they sell out. Some folks can’t imagine why people would line up to get posters or t-shirts or hats or whatever the hot item is. Honestly, it’s just like tailgating. There’s beer and snacks and everyone there has something in common to talk about. It’s actually a fun place to be before a show. Well, maybe not that 311 Day 2014 line. :)”

When not “311-ing”, Mike can be found playing hockey, strumming a guitar, or running to kids activities (naturally a lot since of those since he has five). Something that makes Mike unique is his Lego tattoo. “I have a min-ifigure fishing on my arm.” He said other than that he can juggle. “I’m not a professional by any means but people seem to be surprised when I do it and I don’t know many people that can.”  Guilty pleasure is that he still plays video games, mostly sports games and Call of Duty. “After a long day, when the kids are all in bed and the wife has retired for the evening, I like sitting by myself, in peace, and scoring a virtual hat trick or fake blowing shit up.”

Of course, having been a DJ, Mike is into a lot of bands. “I feel that I come from the rock/punk/hip hop side as opposed to the reggae side.” Some bands he currently listens to are Fugazi, Tiger Army, Beastie Boys, Alkaline Trio, The Urge, Frank Turner, Gaslight Anthem, Bouncing Souls, The Loved One, Public Enemy, Atmosphere, DOOMTREE, RDGLDGRN, and Sage Francis.  Mike said he’s also started to cultivate over to the reggae side the past several years. Dirty Heads and Passafire are a couple of new bands he’s starting to enjoy. “I guess it really doesn’t matter the genre. If it clicks in my mind, if it is well received by my aural receptors, I’ll listen to it.”

Mike’s message to the band is:

“Please don’t stop! Keep pushing the boundaries of your music. We will still be here. The next album could be Chad farting on a snare drum and I’d still buy it.”

And to all the other fans:

“To the 311 community, this is a great thing we have going here. There’s not many artists that are able to have a career as long as 311 and to keep a core community together like this is amazing. We should appreciate it, and each other, for as long as it lasts. I love being a part of it and look forward to meeting more folks at the next show. Til then, you know the drill… Stay Positive and Love Your Live! I know I do!”

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There you have it folks, Mike’s story of his love for 311. Thank you for reading as always! You are all amazing people and I love doing this! Until we meet again…keep spreading the unity, positivity, and love!

Much love – The Runt

 

 

 

 

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