311 Fan Spotlight – 4/23/18 – Brian Lee!

A new week is here friends in 311 nation which can only mean one thing – new fan spotlight time. Let’s meet Brian Lee!

MTV in the year 1995 played the video for “All Mixed Up” and that was Brian’s introduction to 311. His dad then bought him the album Music and since Brian didn’t recognize the songs he made him return it for the blue album, which he then played pretty much daily for the next couple of years. “Still my favorite album of all time!”

So far Brian has attended 72 shows. First show was in 2000 at the Berkeley Greek Theatre when they played with Incubus. “This show made me a fan for life, put them above the rest.” Favorites out of the 72 shows are from 2005 when he saw the band 4 nights in a row in San Francisco. It started with a private Live 105 radio show and then 3 nights in a row at the Fillmore with the band only repeating one song, “Applied Science.”

Songs that Brian loves include “Unity,” “Hive,” and “Homebrew.”  One of his favorite lyrics is from “Made in the Shade” – “You gotta keep on climbing the hill, ‘cause if you think you’ll make it you will.”

Brian is originally from the Big Island of Hawaii, so he grew up listening to Hawaiian and Reggae music. It was in the 6th grade that he moved to the San Francisco Bay area and got into Alternative Rock and Hip-Hop. “I really jumped into 311 intensely in college, the music and vibes just matched perfectly with SANTA BARBARA.  We saw 311 play back to back shows in Santa Cruz 2005 when they debuted some Don’t Tread On Me songs before they came out, it was magical, I was lucky to be there.”

Back in 2006 Brian had an amazing experience of seeing 311 live in Hawaii, in Kona. I’ll let his words tell his story of it. “It was the only time they have ever played there.  I went out fishing with friends the morning before the show. Unfortunately halfway through the trip our boat engine died so we were relying on a kicker engine that only went 3 mph.  Problem was we were 18 miles from the boat dock, about an hour drive to Kona and only 4 hours until 311s show with Natural Vibrations.  So I called my hero, my father and he told me to swim to the beach and hitch-hike to Kona.  That’s exactly what I did, and its been one of my all time favorite shows, they played all the reggae tunes and every pakalolo song, nothing like a show where you have to adventure your own way there!”

First 311 Day for Brian was in 2010 and it completely blew his mind, so much so that he got his first tattoo. “There is a unique thing about people who get music tattoos, we are a different breed.  Las Vegas is our favorite out of state place to see 311.” In 2013 he went on his first 311 cruise with friends and he said it was life changing. “I met Renee O’neal on that cruise, she was the very first random Familia person I ever met.  I actually joined her Norcal 311 group before the Familia and only because she was so kind and stoked!!  My wife got to meet her waiting in line at the SF Warfield show that Fall Tour.  That is also the night I scored my favorite 311 Poster, Munk One’s Purple Caterpillar.”

Brian is a father of two little excitables and works from home, as well as in his community, helping families and businesses protect themselves with Legalshield and IDShield. While he doesn’t see as many shows now as he did previously, he never misses one within driving distance. His 3 year old’s favorite song is “Perfect Mistake” and he makes sure to play it for him everyday.

Something you may not know about Brian is that he is always reading a Stephen King novel. Currently he is reading Christine. “I have read about 35 of his books now.  We even have a Stephen King-311 Facebook Group to discuss his fine work.” Guilty pleasures for Brian include Southpark, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Game of Thrones and chocolate chip cookies!

Brian’s second favorite live band is Rebelution. “I’ve been lucky to see them over 100 times, mostly since they have toured in California so much over the last 14 years.” Other band he enjoys include Nirvana, Green Day, and Rage Against the Machine.

Brian’s message to 311: “Keep growing 311, I dream of 20 albums before you retire.  Your best stuff could still be in the future.  You guys keep working hard in the studio and on tour and it really fuels your fans to keep working hard and providing for our families.  I ask for more but I am actually, very happy and grateful to have what you guys accomplished already.  Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo!!”

His message to all the other kick-ass fans:

“Lets encourage our circle of friends and family to find that all out dedication in their favorite music. 311 is not for everybody and that’s how I like it.  MUSIC and Love are the 2 most powerful tools we have to uplift our spirits.  No T.V. shows or movies can provide what music provides, no sports or athletic hobbies, no drugs or alcohol, no amount of Facebook or Instagram likes, no reality shows or epic fail videos, no sugary or fried fatty foods, no game winning shot or home-run, no vacations or weekend getaways no no no nothing can provide and uplift your spirit like your favorite MUSIC.  So be happy, be amped on LIFE, Crank up the Volume!! #unity CHEEHOO”


That my friends is the tale of Brian Lee! Thank you Brian for sharing and much gratitude goes out to all the readers. Have a fantastic week and I’ll see you right back here next time!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/16/18 – Danielle Schwartz!

We’re back at it again this week with the new 311 fan spotlight! It’s time to meet the other half of a dynamic duo – Danielle Schwartz!

Driving around with a friend in the year 1996, Danielle had the blue album on repeat in her CD player/tape adaptor contraption. Then Transistor and  Soundsystem came out and she purchased them instantly. Transistor quickly became a favorite for her. She said even though she spent years exploring other music genres, 311 was her constant during that time. “I think what drew me to them was that they were so unique and exciting.  I loved the heavy guitar sound, and the music seemed edgy but upbeat.  I could tell they had a lot to say but I knew I’d have to sit down with the liner notes to figure it all out!  I love that Josh & I share the same love for 311, which made for an instant connection when we met in 1997.   It wasn’t until we reconnected for good in 2005 that he showed me how awesome Music & Grassroots are.  How ridiculous to be missing out on those songs for all those years!”

Show count is right around 40, with the upcoming Red Rocks & Ogden show, plus Cali Roots ready to add to that number making it 44. It was in 2012 that they started to travel to see the band and were able to attend their first 311 Day in Vegas. “These days we’ll pretty much go anywhere they are playing two nights in a row!” She believes one of her first shows was at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, California. “I’ll always regret missing the Santa Barbara Bowl show in maybe 2000 in college because I opted to go to Mexico.  That would have been such a fun show with their discography at that time.”

Favorite even so far was the first cruise she and Josh were able to attend, which was cruise 4 where they played Soundsystem. “The years around the Red White & Boom shows in Vegas along with the Jamaica cruise were when we really started developing friendships with so many amazing people! I’ll never forget getting on the boat and Josh and I were watching everyone hugging and screaming, and we were like how do these people all know each other?! It was just the jump-start I needed to get involved with our community on Facebook.”

“Rub-a-Dub” is a song that has always held a special place in Danielle’s heart. “It’s simple but the sound just transports me to a peaceful, happy place, no matter what my mood is.” Song that resonates on a deeper level with her is “Simplify.” “It makes me think about how I should appreciate being in the moment and not rush things because I can get wound up over the little things.  After the loss of a friend, I became much more aware of enjoying time with the people I love and appreciating all the little moments together.  This also inspired me to do all the things I want to do, like go to all the concerts and do other things that make me happy and not hold back because of time or money.  I work for my dad at his law office and I’m very lucky that I can take a few days off when I need to.” Picking a favorite lyric is too hard for her because she said that she’s learned so much through their lyrics and they all have had their time and place in her life.

San Jose, California and then Los Gatos is where Danielle grew up as an only child with her amazing mom and dad. “I feel lucky to have had a regular childhood full of love.” She attended UC Santa Barbara and said she still misses living by the beach everyday. “Something in the air just makes me happy and I feel like a better version of myself.” She studied Global Studies, her emphasis in the culture and ideology of Latin America, and also minored in Spanish. After college she briefly lived in Washington, D.C., which she said was a ton of fun. She worked for a radio station and even got hooked up with 311 tickets but had to leave during the opener to go work an event!

Interesting fact you may not know is that Danielle is actually super shy but another side of her comes out at 311 events. She also said she has a cat named Kiva and she’s obsessed with her. Talent comes in the form of dancing and she started it at the age of 3. She has done everything including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop & cheerleading. As if dancing didn’t keep her busy when she was younger she also was committed to water polo and swimming. “I’m still really drawn to water, especially the ocean.  It must be the Pisces in me haha!” Guilty, yet not so guilty pleasure for Danielle is the old T.V. show Psych. “It’s totally my thing- I love a detective show with a comedic edge.”

Musical guilty pleasure is more mellow music like Melody Gardot and similar artists. Aside from this and obviously listening to 311, she also likes Stick Figure and Fortunate Youth. “In the 90s it was all alternative, grunge, and classic rock.  Then in college I developed a taste for punk like Pennywise, Bad Religion, and The Offspring, and later I got into bands like System of a Down and Evanescence.  More recently Josh & I got pretty into blues like Buddy Guy for example.  All of these still have a special place in my heart.  I’m mostly stuck in the 90s besides 311 and reggae.”

Danielle’s message to 311 is: “At a time where I felt like I didn’t have “a thing” or a talent or a passion, 311 has filled the void and I am so thankful for all that they do and all that they’ve given me: a passion for their music, a passion for travel, and a passion for the amazing friends I’ve made.  I really do feel like I’ve found my tribe.”

To her fellow 311 fans:

“You all continually inspire me with your positivity and generosity with each other and the communities around you.  I am always counting down until the next time we can share a moment together rocking out to our favorite music!”

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That wraps up the story of Danielle Schwartz! Thank you for sharing it and to all of those who read each week. Now go be awesome and spread the positivity!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/9/18 – Josh Schwartz!

 

Well hello again all of you out there in 311 nation! Welcome to the next edition of the fan spotlight. Let’s meet Josh Schwartz!

Hearing “Down” on the radio is how Josh was introduced to 311 and then his friend Chuck told him the band had two other albums. “Loved them instantly and when Beautiful Disaster hit the airwaves I remember thinking, Yes! I’m so happy I’ve already decided that these guys are my favorite band!”

It was only recently that Josh tried to figure out his show tally and he believes that the 311 Day shows this year put him at 46. He is attending the Colorado shows this month and then Cali Roots, so this summer on the Unity Tour he will hit the big 5-0. First show he attended was the Halloween show back in 97 at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, California. Picking a favorite show was hard for him. “Cruise IV (our first) quite simply changed my life. Red, White & Boom that year was when we really started meeting people. This past New Year’s in Tempe is also a major highlight for me; there was something magical about that night. The Fresno County Fair show with the crazy lightning storm holds a special place in my heart for the group of people we met up with that night.”

Songs he loves are “Unity,” “Welcome,” “Let the Cards Fall,” “Use of Time,” “Strong All Along,” and he said many, many more. “Creatures kinda makes me Freak Out, as does One and the Same, Sick Tight, and Jackpot.” Some lyrics that resonate with Josh are: “It’s something one won’t understand, unless they’re in it with me hand and hand,” “Ooh you know we pepper you, with a sonic assault side step a you, I cannot think of a better way that we could celebrate freedom, than make up a set of goals and cold beat ‘em,” “But every time I turn the volume down, all I hear is the deafening sound, of your heart’s pound,” and “Bright mornings, days when I want so much, I want nothing, just this life and no more.I’ll come within this world there’s only one for me. She’s waiting, I’ll soon come.”

San Jose, California is where Josh lived his whole life until he went to college in Berkeley, which is about an hour away from there. He spent two years in San Diego getting his teaching credential, and then he moved to Campbell, right by San Jose. He said classroom teaching didn’t last long and he started working for a tutoring company but quit 4 years ago and started his own one person tutoring company. “Being my own boss is great, and is a huge reason why we are able to attend so many more events lately.”

Interesting fact about Josh? I’ll let you read it in his words. “Kama, a true excitable who seemingly knows everyone, grew up really good friends with my aunt Suzie. I actually remember an occasion when Suzie and Kama babysat me when they were in high school and I was like 10. So when Danielle and I started going to the big events, Suzie put me in touch with Kama. We became good friends and she’s introduced me to a lot of people and culture in the community.”

Something cool about Josh is that he and his wife Danielle are equally obsessed with 311! He said it has brought them closer together. “The only vacations that we take on our own are 311 vacations. Also, our super good friend James, who we started dragging to shows in the mid-2000’s, got big into the excitable crew, and it’s amazing to share that. I got to rock out this past 311 Day with my oldest 311 friend, Chuck.”

Other music that Josh enjoys includes the following: “I used to be big into grunge: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains. Went through a little nu-metal phase with System of a Down and Evanescence. Love the blues, new stuff like Black Keys and old stuff like Buddy Guy. I can’t leave out the importance classic rock, most notably The Beatles, had on me back in the day. I’ve more recently gotten into acts like Stick Figure, Fortunate Youth, and Tribal Seeds.” Guilty pleasure is also musical, it’s the sounds of Michael Jackson.

To the band, Josh would like to say: “I am so grateful that my favorite band for the last 20-something years appreciates their fans so much, and that’s what I find so special: the unending cycle of appreciation for each other.”

To all the other fans:

“I love participating in the fan merch culture, but what is really amazing is all the great friends I’ve made in just the last three years. It’s amazing how easy it is to make connections with other excitables, and it makes my heart happy.”

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Josh, thanks for sharing your story with your fellow fans! Per the usual, thanks to all who read and support this venture.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/2/18 – Heidi Eytalis!

Hello again all out there in 311 nation! Who’s ready for the new edition of the fan spotlight? I am! This week we meet Heidi Eytalis!

While Heidi was introduced to 311 courtesy of MTV, she was into other music at the time. It wasn’t until she met her husband and recent fan spotlight Timothy in 2000 that she really started listening. “I asked him, is that all you listen to is 311 and Eminem? It took a month and I was hooked as well.”

Vegas made Heidi’s show count turn to 34. Her first was Warped Tour at Tinley Park, Illinois in 2001. “It was a short set but still so awesome, it definitely solidified my love for them.” While there are many shows she loved, including the Grassroots Festival due to her and her family being able to stand side stage, she said Chillicothe, Illinois show in 2014 still stands out to her because it was beautiful, intimate, and there were so many friends there. “A very buggy show to say the least but so awesome because the boys were really in tune with the new album and just having fun. I know the boys got plenty of protein that night LOL. And my best friend came down from Rockford to see the show with me and her first 311 show. She said “So happy to see you so happy”. She got to see my bliss and understood it.”

Favorite song for Heidi is “Uncalm.” She’s only heard it live 3 times. “It means the most because when I started dating my husband, he said it reminded him of me and it just stuck.” One of her favorite lyrics is, “Gotta keep on climbing the hill, cause if you think you’ll make it, you will.”

Rockford, Illinois, is where Heidi grew up. She also spent a few years in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which she said she loves and is a great place to raise kids. Heidi also said she was lucky because she had an awesome mom who supported her love for music and would take her to shows. “First concert was Mr. Kenny Rogers at the ripe ol’ age of 5 LOL.” She has now lived in St. Louis, Missouri, for 14 years and loves it. “Compared to where I grew up, there are lots of music acts that come through town so that’s a plus. As to how I fund my 311 habit, I’m a business analyst for an insurance company, which I’ve done this type of work for about 20 years (geez talk about aging yourself, yikes). Love my job and the people I work with.”

Craftiness is something Heidi is good at, she even had an interview at the Art Institute of Chicago, but said she chickened out. “Now instead of doing artistic stuff, I do crafty stuff for my kiddo.” Unique talent? She can do just about every dance to New Kids on the Block. “Not sure if that’s unique but me and my friend Toni had a crowd watching us at our 8th grade dance LOL.”

Guilty pleasure? Well she said NKOTB might be one lol. But for real, she doesn’t believe in them because she’s not ashamed of anything that makes her who she is. “Oooh, I do love Twilight! Anything vampires and I’m down, not sure why.” Other music Heidi listens to include The Urge. “Steve Ewing is the sweetest man and has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. He even sang acoustically in my back yard for my 40th birthday party. Best party ever, hands down! No one can top that.” She also can be found jamming out to Incubus, Shinedown, Bob Marley, Bruno Mars, The Gap Band, Dr. Dre, Chris Cornell, and Pantera.

To 311, this is Heidi’s message: “I just love you boys, you bring so much happiness to my family! Thanks for keeping true to yourself and fans. Keep it coming!”

To all the other fans:

“I’ve met some of my best friends from this little band called 311. I love you all! Keep livin’ and rockin’ y’all!”

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That was Heidi’s story! So glad you all got to read it and thank you for being here, connecting with other fans. What a fantastic community to be a part of! Until next time, go out and spread the positivity.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/26/18 – Maurice Kemp!

Greetings everyone in 311 nation! Welcome to the latest edition of the fan spotlight. Without further ado, I give you the story of Maurice Kemp!

While Maurice a.k.a. Mo knew of 311 since the mid 90’s, but he was mostly into the industrial and house scene at that time. It wasn’t until the late 90’s when he started hanging around with some young, cool ladies who were really into the band that he started hearing more of their songs, specifically more of the blue album. He thought the energy was astounding and being a metaphysical being, their lyrics talking about energy being a color made him want to know more about them. He bought the 311 Day 2004 DVD and had it on repeat for an entire summer, then bought the greatest hits CD and Don’t Tread On Me. “They said Lift the roof off your Soul, Fuck the Naysayers and I’ll be here for Awhile. With all that they say Love your Life. I was hooked by the meaning of it all. Went live 2005 in Atlanta, GA and never looked back.”

That first show for Maurice was at the Hi Fi Pavilion in Atlanta in 2005. He’s been to 15 shows total so far and of those the cruise in 2017 was his favorite event. “I never ever thought I’d go on a cruise period! So that right there is a huge check mark off the bucket list. So many amenities, cool peeps and the buffet…lol. For a stoner it was perfect. The water, the beach , the sand, the ship, and of course the music.”

The song “I’ll Be Here Awhile” is Mo’s anthem. “The old skool 311 home version reggae beat with this meaning is a pledge for all of us that we will survive and deserve to be here for a while through rage, solace and healing. I dare not to say anymore otherwise I’ll start crying. I do have to say that this band has brought down some walls that hide my emotions.” One of his favorite lines from a song is, “Smoke the weed that come from Northern California, don’t do no cocaine that come from Columbia. That the thing that mash up your nature, mash up your body and mash up your culture.”

Washington, D.C., is where Maurice was born. “Not a city nor state so filling out certain paperwork was and is always interesting.” Then in his early years he was raised in Trenton, New Jersey by his mom and grandmother after his parents divorced. “These women were very interesting together and apart. Although they were on the same path of righteousness for the community, my mother went the Burning Bra, Black Panther, Military single woman route while my grandmother started a NonProfit for children and adults who needed a community center. As strong black women in the 70’s they also raised many eyebrows politically as well. This is my foundation.”

Mo’s mom remarried to a military man and he became an army brat, moving from place to place, which he said made him develop a social awkwardness because every time he made friends, he would then be moved away from them. Then there was some family drama that eventually forced his mother to uproot them and move them out to California. “My first earthquake was life shattering lol. My sister and I were in school and after it was done they were like, go back to class. LOL. Hell no. Our young behinds got on a bus and headed home crying to momma that we needed to go back to NJ. Til this day I never regret growing up there. Hollywood, concerts, the weather and me learning street smarts was awesome. Oh yes and especially the 420 and after hours house meet ups. PLUR!”

Maurice’s life went down a dark path for awhile, including jail and attempted suicide. He ended up in a hospital and then was kicked out due to lack of insurance. Eventually Mo ended up in San Francisco thanks to a friend, and he said that’s where his journey really begins. “With the foundation of community, the anger from society and the strength from not being afraid to die. San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Albuquerque, Hawaii, Texas, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Germany, Milwaukee are just a few places I, dubbed from one of my friends, the hippie nomad has lived.” Eventually Maurice ended up in Hawaii where he was able to obtain unemployment and work at a hostel for his room. “Room right by the beach and skydived 15000 feet with a bunch of Irish folk for my birthday. Maui Wowi 420 on my side. I moved to Germany to get away from the USA and learn about other cultures.” Mo is truly a unique individual, who can only be described using his words that he wrote: “What sets me apart from others is that I truly and with every bone in my body, follow my own path and rules. I go with feeling, a bit of logic and full on street. With that I take on the consequences and loneliness. I fund my 311 addiction and with most of the things in my life with pure energy. I put it out there and get it back. I’m a minimalist who doesn’t like material objects except for my skate shoe fetish and who has, even homeless, given his last dollar to someone else. In order to read and learn more about the Mo please contact him intimately. Thank you and have a good one. LOL.”

As if Mo wasn’t already interesting, his middle name is very unique. “CHARM. Acronym for Charles Harrison Alphonso Richard Marcellos. My uncles on my fathers side and his name Charles which his name before was actually Maurice. Before what? The adoption. My family is crazy. So when he was younger his mother had to go off to work. Deadbeat drunk daddy needed money and sold my dad. The buyee then adopted my dad. From Maurice Miller to Charles Kemp. Oh and being hippies that my parents were Charm comes also from the Lollipop. Freaks!”

Special talent for Mo is that he has a picture perfect memory. “I can learn things just by looking.” Guilty pleasure is that he sits down for at least an hour each day and listens to music through his headphones, pretending to be the artist that is playing. “From dance moves to live action shoots, my mind goes on a full adventure. Like literally somewhere else. I’ve practiced those moves live that when i hear the song live I am back in that video. I’ve knocked things off the counter doing those moves in my chair. It’s really ridiculous and animated. I surprise myself how far I actually go and get into it. I’ll make a video one day.” Some musicians Maurice loves are Earth, Wind, & Fire, Ministry, Journey, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Beastie Boys, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, and Madonna. “Music is my salvation.”

To 311, Mo would like to say: “Your constant impact on the community throughout the years through verse, melody, actions and sound minds give me hope!”

Now to all the other 311 fans:

“Thank you for showing me a way to live without so much anger. Unfortunately I never had the chance to get help and even though I can now, you guys helped pave that way. Helped me believe. These past 2 yrs of being the ‘311 fanatic’ has been an honor. So I leave you all with this: Hate is committing murder in your heart!”

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Maurice, thank you for sharing your story with us all! As usual thanks to everyone in the community that reads and learns about your fellow fans. This community is such a wonderful entity to be a part of. Until we meet again my friends, stay positive and love your life of course!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/19/18 – Timothy Eytalis!

Hello again those out in 311 nation! New week has arrived and so has the new fan spotlight. Let’s meet Timothy Eytalis!

The time was the mid 90’s and Timothy was in college when a friend of his that he was in a band with had a copy of the blue album. They decided to cover “Down” and once Timothy checked out the rest of the album, he was hooked.

Show count, he wasn’t really sure until he asked his wife. “She said 34 shows so far.” First show was on the Transistor tour in Madison, Wisconsin and the Dane County Expo Center with Jimmy’s Chicken Shack as the opener. Forced to pick a favorite of the 34, he chose The Grassroots Festival in Omaha, Nebraska. Why? “Because my daughter, my wife and I finally got to meet Chad and his mom and had the opportunity to be backstage for the last part of the show. And I had him sign my 1997 copy of Modern Drummer with Chad on the cover. Great experience.” As for favorite song, he chose “Brodels.” “Just cause of the groove.” One of his favorite lyrics is the live version of, “Take a moment to smoke a joint once in a while.”

Timothy grew up in a small town in Midwest Illinois. He’s lived in central Illinois and also St. Louis, Missouri. For work, he’s a union guy that builds cabinets, which helps fund his 311 habit. Timothy has been playing drums for 31 years and gave it a really good shot early on in his life, but he said he’s happy where he is now  with his beautiful family.

A fact you might not know about Timothy? “I have big thumbs! LOL.” He also has a unique love for music. “I can jam with almost anyone.” Other artists he loves include RUSH (one of his guilty pleasures that he calls Geek Rock), Zappa, and Method Man/Red Man. He loves tons of Reggae/Dub/Rocksteady, lots of Jazz and old school Hip Hop Rap. A guilty pleasure for Timothy is the movie “The Princess Bride.” “Best movie ever made! Some would argue but I would disagree.”

Timothy said if he ever gets to do a meet and greet with 311, he would tell them this: “What’s up guys, dig the joints, let’s get this done, there are a lot of people behind us in line” LOL.”

His message to the other fans out there is simple:

“Stay positive and love your life. Sums it up!”

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Now you’ve met Timothy Eytalis! Thanks for taking the time to read his tale. Now go be as awesome as I know you all can be!

Much Love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/12/18 – Jennifer Keane!

Happy belated 311 Day to all! Let’s say hello to our next fan spotlight, Jennifer Keane!

The mid 90’s is when Jennifer became a fan. The blue album came out and she recorded “Down” and “All Mixed Up” on a cassette tape with her first stereo. “I was in high school and 311 was at the height of their popularity. All of my friends were fans back then, some of them still are. Hometown Excitables!”

Jennifer hasn’t kept track of her show count but she knows her very first show was the summer of 1997 at Jones Beach, Long Island, New York. “De La Soul was the opener. I need to sit down and figure out my show count one day lol. If I had to guess maybe 25-30.” Favorite show for her is a toss up between the second cruise and the March 2016 Indio show. The cruise was great for her because it was her first vacation with her brother and best friends, without her family. “The island beach show with the splash pit was so epic and unforgettable!” Then the Indio show she was lucky enough to be back stage. “I was standing next to Nick Hexum’s dad and stepmom. Deanna was dancing while Terry sang along to the songs. He was beaming from ear to ear. I’ll never forget that proud look on his face.”

So many songs are special to Jen for different reasons. “Don’t Stay Home” reminds her of getting ready to go on her first cruise ever. Then “Beyond the Gray Sky” she said “hits her with all the feels.” She also mentioned “Beautiful Disaster” and said, “What slinky girl can’t identify with that song.” As far as favorite lyrics, some of hers include, “It’s alright wherever you are right now. That’s where you’re supposed to be now,” and “Trust your instincts and let go of regret.” She loves the last lyric because she said that those are two things she struggles with and thinks a lot of people do.

Jennifer was born in New York on Long Island, but she’s lived many places including Germany, North Carolina, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Jersey, and upstate New York. She is the oldest of 5 siblings. Her brother, Wil Kilcommons, is a fellow excitable and her younger sister Alli just started to get into 311. “I’m hoping she will start joining us at events and shows.” Jennifer went back to school to finish her degree and is hoping to continue on to her Bachelor degree. She is also debating taking a semester off so she can go back to Mexico to teach English while exploring the country. “I’m also hoping I can improve my Spanish speaking abilities.”

Jennifer struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, something she says makes relationships of any kind very difficult for her, and makes her family relationships VERY difficult. “There’s also such a negative stigma attached to having BPD. I struggle daily but I’ve learned to cope over the years.” Special talent for her is that she is really great at speaking other languages with the correct pronunciation and she can mimic foreign accents very well. “My friends and I spend hours and sometimes days doing different accents.”

Guilty pleasure for Jennifer is the show “Project Runway.” “I used to dream of being on the show. I would loveeeee to do an unconventional challenge. I just think it would be fun to take unexpected materials and create a wearable outfit. I’s like combining art, sculpture, crafting, and fashion. Those are just a few of my favorite things in life so it’s definitely in my wheelhouse.” Other music that Jennifer can be found listening to includes Ballyhoo!, Passafire, Bumpin Uglies, Dirty Heads, The Hip Abduction, and most recently The Joey Harkum Band. “Broken Thing really hits home.”

Jennifer has this to say to 311: “Thank you for all your hard work and for bringing such wonderful and inspiring people into my life.”

To the fans:

“It’s never too late to follow your dreams and become the person you want to be. Keep striving to be the best person you can. Pics and hugs are ALWAYS welcome.”

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That’s Jennifer’s story of her love for 311! Happy to share it with you all and thanks for your continued support.

Much love to you all! – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/5/18 – Adam Palkowitsch!

Hey all, we are back at it again with the latest edition of the 311 fan spotlight. This week let’s read the story of Adam Palkowitsch!

The year was 1993 and Adam was really into Guns N’ Roses when a friend of his made him a mix tape that had the song “Visit” on it. “He brought it over and I listened to it once and was hooked. There was just no one making music that sounded like that. 25 years later and it’s still one of my favorite songs.”

Show count for Adam is 38. “This question always makes me laugh because people always ridiculously over estimate how many shows they’ve seen for some reason.  I remember in like 2010 someone asked me this.  I could have sworn it was easily like 50.  Then I looked, and it was like 20.” Adam does know a weird statistic about a show he saw. “The last show I saw, the 19th song played was the 1000th live song I saw 311 perform. It turned out to be Sick Tight which was pretty cool I guess.” First show he saw was May 16th, 1996 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.

There are many moments at shows and events that stand out to Adam, like in 1997 when they were doing the curtain drop into “Hive” as the opener. Then the sail away show during cruise one was amazing. “But I gotta say, nothing tops that beach show on cruise 2. Standing in the ocean listening to Strong All Along…I can picture it like it just happened.”

Song that means the most to Adam he says really depends on his mood, like so much of their music does. Some songs that really stand out to him are “Six,” “123,” “Strong All Along,” “Sweet,” “Uncalm,” “Jupiter,” and “Sun Come Through.” He said if he kept going he would end up naming all of Grassroots. “Can I go with that? Yeah…all of Grassroots.” Some lyrics that stand out to him as favorites are: “The jaded ones will wither while we optimistic grow,” “Savor the sun, but when the clouds come, make animals,” “Be sure that the dream’s alive, there are only short bursts in life, are you able to be satisfied? Do you expect fun all the time?” and “You can make a mean hand outta what you’ve been dealt.”

St. Paul, Minnesota, is where Adam grew up and still lives. He’s really only ever lived around the area. “I’m like a living version of that meme that says, Hey, it’s me, your friend from high school who never left our home town and still thinks Olive Garden is fancy.” Adam grew up playing hockey, he started at the age of 5, which he said is kinda like a given in St. Paul. “It’s kinda like Texas football or whatever.” He’s also been skiing and snowboarding since he was 3. His dad is ski patrol so he and his family always were able to go for free.

How does Adam fund his 311 habit? “Credit card debt. Massive, massive credit card debt.” In all seriousness though, Adam works for Wells Fargo in the mortgage side of the business. “Before you freak out about how my company steals from people, I do not work in retail banking; the mortgage side is a separate business.  I earned a BS in Biology with a focus on cellular bio and genetics, and I work for a mortgage company.  Neat right?  Basically what I do is data analytics within the property loss department.  I help people learn what they need to do to get their insurance proceeds to rebuild their homes in disaster events and act as a liaison between them and their insurance providers.  So, I’ve been pretty dang busy in the past few months.  I analyze our procedures and identify problem areas for our customers and then implement things to make it less painful for them.  That’s the short version, minus all the coding and systematic stuff I do as well.  So there’s that, and also I put 20 dollars in a drawer every single Friday.  That funds cruise cabins and it works awesome.”

Interesting fact about Adam…he beat Apollo in Rocky 2, haha. But he said for real, he can bend his second toe and keep all the others straight. “It’s banay cray.” Something that makes Adam unique? He’s a world class buffet line stander. “Like, I’m supes good at standing in line.  I’ll be all standing in line and people will be all, “dang, that guy knows what he’s doing.”  I’m so good at standing in line, that sometimes I stand in line when I don’t even need to be standing in line.  Ask Preston Pearson.  I thought about going pro last year.”

Other artists that Adam loves include Full Service, the Dead, Lagwagon, Sublime, LTJ, RBF, Wu Tang Clan, Dirty Heads (before sound of change), Zappa (kinda), Raffi, Yanni, Squidward, Nickelback, Johnny Karate, and Blood Dumpster. Adam said his hobbies and likes really aren’t guilty ones, but he used to play competitive fighting games and won some tournaments, so he thinks that counts. He also said he has unpopular opinions about bands that tons of people like and he doesn’t. “But I’m not sure that counts.”

Adam’s message to the band: “Like most people, it’s usually just “thank you.”  I’ve only had a couple times where I had the attention of the band members in a candid setting, like outside of a set meet and greet, and that’s usually about all I manage to say.  It was super awkward last time I talked to Nick.  I kinda looked at him and went, “woah.”  Then I just stood there like an idiot.  Thankfully my wife was actually able to say words.  It kinda helped to divert his attention from how uncomfortable I was.”

Now to all the other fans in 311 nation:

“In n Out is over rated – it’s just fast food.  Omelets are just egg tacos.  Put Doritos on your sandwiches.  Pineapple belongs on pizza.”

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Thanks Adam for sharing your story! I thoroughly enjoyed writing it and I hope you all enjoyed reading it. Thanks to all who are a part of this blog, either being a spotlight or reading each week. I love knowing each and every one of you! Until we meet again.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/26/18 – Don Sablosky!

Oh hey there friends in 311 nation! Thanks for coming back for the next edition of the 311 fan spotlight. This week let me introduce you to Don Sablosky!

The year was 1995 when Don first heard 311 on the radio, the songs being “Down,” and “All Mixed Up” of course. However it really wasn’t until the year 2000, when he heard the song, “I’ll Be Here A While” that he was truly drawn to their sound. “I ran out and bought From Chaos immediately. As they say, the rest is history.”

Show count is around 32 or 33. First show was  in 2003, at Eastern Michigan University. “I had to have a friend buy the tickets cause they were only on sale for college students and people who lived off campus.” The second cruise is Don’s favorite event so far, with Pow Wow coming in a close second. “Seeing them on the beach was always a dream I had. I’ll never forget the feeling I got as they opened with Outside, and of course, who can forget the Amber splash pit.”

Song that means the most to Don is a difficult question to answer, as it is for many fans. Right now his current favorite is “Made in the Shade.” “I love how it’s overcoming your challenges and accomplishing your goals, so then you’ve got it made in the shade.” Some of his favorite lyrics are, “The same force that flows through every circuit, the juice that’s spent every time you work it, every life form is based on this simplicity, the soul that you have is electricity. You can’t avoid that. Evolution is fact,We’re all from the same Lucy, Despite differences you see,” and “Ode to an alien, I know you’re out there, cosmic lonely heart, tell me if you care. I’m listening to your sound, here on the ground.”

Don grew up in a city about 10 miles south of Detroit called Lincoln Park. He’s lived his whole life in “down river” Michigan, except for a year when he lived in Texas with a friend. Currently he works for Amazon to fund anything he can afford regarding 311.

Something you may not know about Don, he said people can think he has a dark or “too soon” sense of humor. Other musicians he likes are The Deftones, August Burns Red, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The only music he really doesn’t listen to is country or modern hip-hop. Guilty pleasure for him is the band Kings of Leon. “Just something about their sound appeals to me.”

Don has been lucky to have met P-Nut and S.A. and both times he’s made sure to thank them for everything. So keeping in true form, that’s his message to the band now. “Thank you so much for everything you do. Thank you for being one of the harder working bands out there today. I don’t know what I would do without 311.”

Don’s message to all the other fans:

“Keep livin’ and rockin’. Love yourself and someone else. Be excellent to each other!”

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Thank you Don for telling your story of what 311 means to you! Much gratitude goes out to everyone who reads each week. Until we meet again….keep being awesome!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 2/19/18 – Lauren Menier!

We meet again 311 nation! New week means new fan spotlight time. So without further ado, let’s read the story of Lauren Menier!

The reason Lauren became a 311 fan is because her best friend who lived across the street from her bought the blue album and they would listen to it on repeat together. Lauren was determined to learn all of the lyrics because in her mind, she and her best friend were in a competition as to who could like the band more. “I apparently had something to prove, ha!.” It was the bands style that really attracted Lauren because it was so unique and interesting. “I quickly bought Music and Grassroots and would listen all the time. I didn’t come to really appreciate their musicianship until Transistor. That’s when my fanatic ways blossomed. It wasn’t until then that I really got the message. Their message really drew me in at that point.”

Show count will be at 91 after 311 Day this year. Back in 2002 Lauren went to 311 Day and then did a road trip for the next 7 shows ending up in Atlanta at the Tabernacle. Then she did a couple more road trips in October 2002 and August 2003 which contributed to the bulk of her show tally. First show was back in 1997 at what was then called the Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion in Phoenix, Arizona. “I’ll never forget that curtain drop and them busting out ‘Hive’ as the opener.”

Favorite event for her was 311 Day 2002. “My friend was able to get us working passes that let us into the venue to watch them soundcheck. I remember them sound-checking Mindspin which hadn’t been played in a looooooooong time at that point. We were on the floor for the show and remember freaking out when they played Nutsymptom as that was the one song I was hoping to hear.” Favorite regular show for her was the Rushmore Room in Rapid City, SD on October 19, 2003. “Saw Nick before the show and asked if they could play My Stoney Baby to which he replied ‘you haven’t heard that one live yet?’ and chuckled cause by this point he started to recognize me and my buddy Lori from all the shows we had gone to. He obliged and even gave me a shout out before they played the song ☺️ ‘By special request, here’s my Stoney baby.’  At the time I was big into bootlegging so I happened to be filming that show so I got that all on video to commemorate the moment! It’s a prized possession for sure!”

Song that means the most to Lauren is “Sun Come Through.” Some lyrics that she loves include, “On the scales of desire your absence weighs more than someone else’s presence,” “In the shadow of those looming battleships I love our canoe,” and “I’m finally at home. I don’t have to roam. I can see it all now. Out of nowhere came a clue. Truth I hid, the truth I hid from me. Hit the skids. I hit the skids only to find a light to light my way home.”

Ronkonkoma (Long Island), New York is where Lauren was born but she moved to Scottsdale, Arizona at the age of 3 and has been there ever since. She said she had an awesome child and was very active including rollerblading, softball, and kick the can every night with the neighborhood kids. It was in middle school where she started to realize that she was different than everyone else. “It took me a LONG time to admit to myself and everyone else who I was. I was so depressed and sad a lot of the time. I finally came out at 25 after meeting someone who changed the course of my life and that’s when my life really started. Up until then I was a lost soul trying to figure out what I wanted in my life.” After this she went to culinary school because she thought that’s what she wanted to do but then realized it wasn’t for her although she does still enjoy cooking. She also tried the rock start thing and was in a band for a bit. She finally fell into medical coding, which is what she does now, because her dad suggested it and she could do it from home. “Started my life over and went to school for it and graduated in 2016. It’s been a great career so far and I recently just got a fantastic new job working for Honor Health in Scottsdale. 33 years later and my life is finally coming together. :)”

Lauren mentioned she had been in a band and her musical talent there was as a drummer. “Been playing on and off since I was 12. Was in a cover band with my sister called Dave, Dave and the Double Ds. Hehe 😜  Played out for a few years until we broke up. Joined another cover band for a bit. I don’t really drum anymore cause I don’t have the time or energy though.” Guilty pleasure for Lauren is the TV show “The Bachelor/Bachelorette.” “It’s such a train wreck that I can’t look away.” Other musicians she loves besides 311 are  Coheed and Cambria, Jason Mraz, The Donnas, Incubus, No Doubt, Radiohead, Muse, Alien Ant Farm,  and Sheryl Crow.  She was also turned onto a lot of bands thanks to 311 such as 2 Skinnee Js, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack, Dredg. 

Lauren’s message to 311: “Thank you for never fading out any of your songs. Not one. Ever.  And thank you for always helping me see the good in everything.”

Her message to all the other fans:

“It could always be worse. ‘You’ve got it good, it’s not hard to be what you are.  Thank your lucky stars!”

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That wraps up this week’s 311 fan spotlight! Thank you Lauren for sharing your tale of your love for 311 and your life. Many thanks to all the readers out there. You are all awesome! Until next time.

Much Love – The Runt