Runt Rant

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

311 Fan Spotlight – Tonya Frye – 11/16/15

November 16th, 2015


Hey there and welcome back my excitable friends in 311 nation! The time is here to meet another awesome fellow 311 lover – Tonya Frye!

A bar that Tonya frequented quite a bit in the early 90’s is the setting for where her love for the band starts. The bar would play “Do You Right” and “Homebrew.” “I couldn’t help but get my groove on when I would hear them.”

Exact count on how many shows Tonya has attended is hazy, but she guesses she’s somewhere in the fifties. “If I had known at the time that this would become such a huge thing in my life, I would have kept better track.”  Favorite event however is an easier question to answer and she chose 311 Day 2008. “It was my first 311 Day, my first time in New Orleans, and it was the first time that I really traveled a long distance to see them. Everything about that trip was amazing.” A close second for her would be her very first show ever which was at Strawberry Banks in Hampton, Virginia, May 27, 1996. “It was such a random venue. Like, someone literally put up a stage on the middle of the field. They opened the show with ‘Homebrew’ and I have been hooked ever since.”

Tonya has a great answer for the question of what’s her favorite song: “Picking which song means the most to me is like asking me which one of my children I love the most lol.” She says there is always a song to match where she currently is in her life. Some of the top songs on her list though are “Hostile Apostle,” “Starshines,” “Hive,” and “Reconsider Everything.”

One of Tonya’s favorite lyrics comes from “Never Ending Summer:”  “Hanging out with my friends, we’re traveling. Out and about, good times that we’re having it’s, harmonic bliss when we are all synchronized, something got to see with your own eyes.” She loves these words because they remind her of Kim James, her 311 partner in crime, as well as all the other amazing friends she has made and road tripped with to a show.


An “older than the average 311 fan” is how Tonya describes herself. “I am 43, which puts me at around the same age as the band members.”  Richmond, Virginia is where she grew up and it was a huge hub for punk music throughout the 80’s. “I was a little, angry punk rock girl for a long time. Hell, I still have a little bit of that angst ridden teenager inside of me.”  Then at the age of 20, in 1992, Tonya moved to Virginia Beach where she still is to this day.

311 has become part of her family she says. She took all of her younger siblings to see them when they were in high school. Now she has four kids of her own and they all have seen 311 as their first concerts. Even her husband got sucked in! “He was a casual fan, you could say, until I started dragging him to shows. Now he is a huge fan and has turned into one of those crazy poster people lol.”


Tonya is a Pre-K teacher, which she says doesn’t pay that much. However she created an after school science enrichment program to make extra money and help support her 311 habit. “Last year I watched one of my students after school to make money for the cruise. 311 Day and the like have become my husband and my Christmas/Birthday present to each other.”   While Tonya says she’s an open book so there’s nothing people really don’t know about her, she can tell you something unique. “Don’t ever challenge me to a trivia contest. I know an insane amount of useless trivia.” She says she even owns every edition of Trivia Pursuit and her family won’t play with her anymore because she takes it a little too seriously!

Her musical tastes are eclectic, and when not rocking out to 311 she can be found listening to anything from The Smiths to Passafire, from The Descendents to Incubus. And even a little Kelly Clarkson, her guilty pleasure. “There I said it. Go ahead and judge, but that girl can sing her ass off.”

311 has a huge impact on Tonya and her families life, so to them she’d like to say:

“I am sure everyone says this, but I would simply say “Thank You”. Thank you for your music and thank for this amazing community that I love. Also ,I would say, ”for the love of all things holy, would you please, please play Hostile Apostle.”

To all the other awesome fans out there:

“Live your most genuine life every day. Like the song says, ‘This moment is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.”


Now you’ve met Tonya Frye! I love reading about older fans (simply because I myself am one lol). I hope you all get to meet her in person one day…I know I do! Thanks Tonya for being a part of this and thank you to all that read the spotlights! You all ROCK!

Until next time, stay awesome.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Zachery Smith – 11/9/15

November 9th, 2015


Good day my friends in 311 nation! It’s that time…not freeze time, but the new fan spotlight time! This week we introduce Zachery Smith!

High school was the era that brought 311 into Zachery’s life. He was watching TRL on MTV and they showed the video for “Down.” Right after that he bought the blue album, then shortly thereafter Transistor was released. “I knew I’d be listening to them for the rest of my life.”

Twelve is the number of times Zachery has seen them live and he says his favorite by far was his first show. The band played at a small venue in St. Louis called Mississippi Nights back in 1999. “They were supposed to come on at 8, but they made us wait until almost 9.  Crowd was rowdy before they came out.  They opened with Omaha Stylee and melted my 17 year old brain.”


Choosing a favorite song was impossible for Zachery, as he said he has different songs for different moods. Same goes for lyrics, since he says so many of them are so memorable. Some of his favorite though come from the songs that his daughters love to sing such as “Come Original,” “Sunset in July,” “Weightless,” “Time Bomb,” and pretty much all of the Stereolithic album. “They sing their hearts out to those.”

Marion, Illinois is where Zachery was born and raised. Then after high school ended he enlisted in the Army and spent the next 10 years there. This included four tours in Iraq. “I was in Iraq when Evolver came out and a friend sent it to me. Needless to say, everyone there with me heard it 1000 times.” In 2012 he left the Army and moved back home where he now runs a restaurant.

While Zachery doesn’t miss the Army, he does miss Iraq, which he described as beautiful. When asked what talent he has, he said he has the amazing ability to be bad at answering questions about himself! “I’m not really good at talking about myself.”  Guilty pleasure comes in song form with the song “Chandelier” by Sia. “Ugh, gets stuck in my head.”

When not listening to 311 he can be found jamming out to artists like Thrice, Dredg, Deftones, The Urge, Toadies, Brand New, Circa Survive, Finch, Glassjaw, Jimmies Chicken Shack, Manchester Orchestra, and Sun Kill Moon. “So much great and unique music out there.”

To the band that impacts our lives so much, Zachery would just like to say a simple, “Thank you.”

To all of the amazing fans his message is this:

“I want to meet as many of you as I can.  I’ve met a few of you through Facebook and at shows, and you all seem cool as hell.”


And that my friends is Zachery’s story! Thank you for taking the time to read it and learn about another fellow fan this week. You are all truly amazing humans!

Until we meet again…stay awesome!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Chad Evans – 11/2/15

November 2nd, 2015


Yo I got to say hola…welcome back excitable 311 nation! Time for the new fan spotlight. We took a break for a week but we’re back in full effect – so let’s meet Chad Evans!

Summer before Chad’s senior year of high school was when the blue album came out and he was introduced to the band like many others, through hearing “Down” and “All Mixed Up.”  “It was the beats mixed with the guitar riffs that made me nod my head. Bought the CD and I was instantly hooked. They remained a mainstay of my music library, but it wasn’t until over a decade later that I think I made the transition from casual fan to, well, something a bit more involved.”

As far as shows seen, Chad said he got a later start than some. He started in 2001 and really only attended the local Cincinnati shows up until 2010. Since 2010 though he’s been to three 311 Days, seen shows in 9 different states, went to see the blue album live this past July in Vegas, plus the 25th anniversary show and secret show at The Hive in Omaha (which was show number 35 for him). Out of these shows, he narrowed it down to his first 311 Day (2010 in Vegas) as his favorite. “It was my first big 311 event and first trip to Vegas and I got to attend with my best friend of over 30 years. That, along with the it being the ultimate 311 performance (that setlist…..whoa) makes it a lasting memory. I swore I would never miss another 311 Day from that point forward, and so far I haven’t swayed from that statement. A VERY close second would be the secret show at The Hive after this year’s Omaha show. I’ll never forget being there to see that in person as long as I live.”


Picking a song that means the most out of the expansive 311 catalog can be difficult, but Chad managed to narrow down a couple. “Hey You’ does so much to describe the way I feel about so much of 311’s music…”my constant companion.”   The other song which ranks really high up there for me in meaning is “Eons”. The melody of the song itself along with so many lyrics that just have stuck with me I find myself quoting parts of that song almost daily.” Favorite lyrics include: “Mandatory sentence for a crime with no victim when everybody knows jail terms should be picked in the order of the pain that they cause;” “Every country ‘round the world, the people smoke the herb, prohibition is absurd, the people want it!” and “Now that I’m back to pushing pen, that weighs two hundred tons…I’d like to drop it on you and watch it all fall through.”

Chad grew up in Dayton, Kentucky, which is at the northern most tip of the state, just across from Cincinnati, Ohio. During childhood he spent his summers in Nicholasville, Kentucky, which is just outside of Lexington, where he helped his grandparents on their tobacco farm. “I developed a love of fishing and the outdoors during those summers, and I’ve carried that over to my adult life.  I still enjoy hunting and fishing, and now cherish the opportunity to share my love of these activities with three daughters, ages 17, 12, and 11.”

For the past 13 years Chad has been working as a consultant for one of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S.  Most of his free time is spent being a dad, which includes lots of volleyball, cheerleading, softball, archery, chorus practices, games, matches, and events. When not running around with his daughters, he can be found watching University of Michigan football, of which he’s a huge fan, as well as basketball. In his words, he has a “required allegiance” to the University of Kentucky basketball team since he’s a resident of the state.

A cool fact about Chad’s family is that his mothers parents met during World War II. “My grandmother was Welsh working in London at an ammunition factory when she met my grandfather who was serving in the Army as a jeep driver at a dance/mixer. He would eventually marry and bring her home to the Greater Cincinnati area as one of the many war brides from that era.  The went on to raise 4 children and were married for over 50 years.”

Talent for Chad comes in the form of public speaking. “I won a few contests as a kid, and just never saw the nerves that others seem to experience when talking in front of people.” Guilty pleasure comes in the form of mafia/gangster movies, shows and books. “I can recite every line from ‘Goodfellas’ word for word I’ve seen it so many times.”

When not listening to 311, Chad can be found listening to artists like George Strait, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Lagwagon, NOFX, Snoop Dogg, Sex Slaves (a NYC rock band, that he said you MUST check out for yourselves), and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. “I am pretty eclectic.”

Chad’s message to 311 is this: “Thank you for continuing to stay true to your roots and putting out amazing music which brings people from all cultures, countries, and states of mind together as one.”

To all the fans that rock this 311 nation:

“Stay positive and love your life!!  Spread the word and the herb. Peace and bacon grease!”



And that concludes our story of Chad Evans! Thank you all for reading. You are truly all amazing and the reason we continue this little adventure of learning more about each other.

Until we meet again my friends, go spread the positivity and always love your life!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Donny Scales – 10/19/15

October 19th, 2015


Hello again all my friends in the excitable 311 nation! Welcome back and cheers to starting off another week with the next 311 fan spotlight. Time to meet Donny Scales!

Fandom came for Donny while hanging out with some friends one night. They went to dinner and then back to one of their houses just to hang out, where they had some “party favors” and played board games. The radio in the house didn’t pick up any stations so they played the one CD they had on repeat, which happened to be Music. “I was hooked! I like what most everyone else likes about them; positivity, lyrics that are sometimes quirky, sometimes funny, cohesiveness of the band, but what really drew me in was miT’s guitar riffs.”

The exact number of shows Donny has seen is unknown, but the range is somewhere in the 30’s. Top three favorites are the 2000 10th anniversary show in Atlanta, Halloween 2010 (also in Atlanta), and cruise four from this year, which was his first. “I wouldn’t even know what order to put them in.” He also said Sweetwater this year holds a special place in his heart thanks to allowing him to hang with a lot of friends as well as make new ones.

Choosing a favorite song was difficult for Donny. “It changes daily sometimes.” However after thinking about it he chose “Lose” as the one that’s meant the most to him over the years. “It’s helped me through a couple of divorces and breakups over the years.” “Running” is another fave just because it makes him smile and then “The Call” is one of his favorites to rock out to.  A few special lyrics that stand out to him are “Celebrate the good times, not the wish we could times,” “A ray of hope remains, if we take the reins, we’ll arrive eventually,” and “Things turning inside out all the time just rewind it’s all in your mind.”

The Atlanta area is where Donny was born and raised, from College Park to Norcross. At the young age of 6 he was attacked by a German Shepherd. “I had to have plastic surgery along with 113 stitches to partially reattach my right ear and close up my head wounds. That’s when we moved to Norcross.”  He lived all around Gwinnett after that until he bought his home in Winder, about twenty minutes outside of Athens.

Donny’s brother is ten years older than him so growing up his musical influences came from what his brother loved. Music like The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Pink Floyd. His brother was also a guitarist since he was sixteen and still plays in local bands around Atlanta. Some of Donny’s other favorite musicians include Gary Clark Jr., Iration, The Green, Ben Harper, moe., The London Souls, King Johnson, Avenged Sevenfold, and Gov’t Mule. “There are others, but that covers it good.”

Aside from music loving, Donny is also a huge fitness fanatic. “I started working out when I was 17 and still do. I was in my first and only (to this point) bodybuilding show in 2011 (placed first in beginner).” He also played basketball as a kid and was the starting point guard for four out of the five years he played. His talent doesn’t stop there. He won a talent show doing a Muppets skit with his sister. “We were asked to do it several times after and my mom would bribe me with Star Wars action figures lol.”

Donny has also been told he’s a good singer, however he’s too shy to sing in public. He’s also really great at working on machines like cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers, etc., even with no formal training. When not doing one of his many talents, he can be found watching movies…chick flicks are his guilty pleasure! “I absolutely love The Notebook. I like all kinds of movies, but chick flicks is my guilty pleasure.”

If face to face with 311 (or maybe they are reading this!), Donny would like to say these words: “Thank you for your incredible lyrics that have helped me out in so many ways in my life and saved me in other ways!”

Now to all his fellow excitables:

“I love each and every one of you like a member of my own family. Enjoy this trip and make the most of it!”


The tale of Donny Scales my friends! Thank you so much for reading and hearing Donny’s story of how 311 changed his life. Until we meet again, keep on being awesome and spreading good karma throughout the world!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Kris Trentham – 10/12/15

October 12th, 2015


Welcome again my friends to another excitable fan spotlight! This week we introduce you to Kris Trentham!

Junior year of high school, back in 1995, Kris saw his friend had a 311 sticker on the back of his car so he asked who they were. After that they rode around in the car all day listening to Music.  “At that time I was mostly listening to rap and country music. Quite the contradiction, I know. But I remember hearing ‘Feels So Good’ for the first time and just completely rocking out to it. I was hooked!”

It’s been twenty years since Kris became addicted to 311 and he’s seen them 24 times over the past two decades. His favorite time so far was the cruise this past March and it was the first one Kris went on. “It definitely tops the list for me. A friend told me it would be life changing. It was! Nothing can prepare you for it. Its something ill remember and reflect back on, for as long as I live.”  311 Day Nola came in as a close second for Kris and it isn’t even the concert that he loves the best about the time in Nola. “It’s the atmosphere and vibe on Bourbon Street and around the Quarter. You just feel the unity! Everyone is hanging out having a good time, jamming out to songs, singing together in the streets and in the bars. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it.”

When asked what song means the most to him, Kris said, “How can you narrow it down to just one song?”  He did manage to pick one – “Sunset in July.”  “A few years ago, me and my best friend flew out west and decided to go on our own personal vacation for about two weeks. We started in Phoenix, and then on to Sedona, Vegas, and San Diego. My friend had recently gone through some really difficult times. She had recently lost her father to Cancer and had just recovered from having surgery. She needed a break and she chose me to go on this awesome vacation with. We saw 311 at Sleep Train Amphitheater in San Diego to close out our vacation, before flying back to New Orleans. When they played ‘Sunset in July’ I completely came unwound. The song title, the lyrics, the moment, it all just hit me at once. Everything we had experienced over the past two weeks, leading up to that moment. Watching her dance and having the time of her life! It was an incredible High for me! Every time I hear that song now, it takes me back to those two weeks we spent together in July of 2013.” Favorite quote from a song is, “Silence is golden when you can’t think of a good answer.”

Kris is a southern boy from Chattanooga, Tennessee. His dad has been a musician his whole life and that is where most of Kris’ grassroots come from. “His musical influence definitely rubbed off on me.”  Growing up he listened to old country and classic rock, with a little Elvis mixed in. “I’ve always had a huge appreciation for music and it’s always been my constant companion.” Some other artists he’s into are DMB, Foo Fighters, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Metallica, RHCP, Sublime, Alice n Chains, Dr. Dre, Snoop, 2Pac, Eminem, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Hank Jr, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, and Elvis.

Kris has lived all over the south including Atlanta, Birmingham, Auburn, New Orleans, and Pensacola. However he spent most of his time growing up in Birmingham, Alabama. “I’ve lived close to the beach in Pensacola, Florida for the past 8 years now. I’m self employed and work as a Private Investigator. Being self employed is the greatest kind of freedom you can have! It allows me to make my own schedule and take off work whenever I like. Thus funding my 311 habit. ;)”

Being a private investigator has been one of the coolest jobs for Kris. “It’s been my career now for almost 20 years. I handle divorce, infidelity, child custody, and missing person investigations. I also handle a lot of insurance defense investigations. So if anyone needs a Private Eye, I’m your guy!”

Kris has always been a great athlete. He played baseball growing up and semi-pro as an adult. “I’ll kick your ass at bowling, golf, and most any sport.” He’s also a lefty (southpaw) which makes him somewhat unique also! And he also mentioned he’s super competitive. Guilty pleasure comes in the form of his obsession with college football and the NFL. “Go Vols and Falcons – Rise up!” Most Fall weekends you can find him at the games or on the couch screaming at the T.V. He said he’s also a sucker for the movie Top Gun. “I know every word to the movie – Yeehaw Jester’s dead!”

To 311, Kris would simply like to say, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”

To all the fellow excitables:

“All of you are amazing! Collectively, all of you have been the greatest positive influence in my life! We all have our ups and downs, and sometimes life isn’t fair. But if you keep a positive mindset, and try to live your life by PLUR, then you can never go wrong! I urge each and everyone of you to go buy the book, or watch the movie ‘The Secret’! Just do it! Believe in it! If you do, you’ll soon see be able to have anything you’ve ever dreamed of! Trust me on this!”


And now you have met Kris! Thanks for reading as always and I hope you enjoyed his story of his love for 311!!

Until next time, keep on being awesome and spreading the positivity!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Craig Leynes – 10/5/2015

October 5th, 2015


Hello again excitable friends! Welcome back for the next edition of the 311 fan spotlight.  Let’s start the day off right and meet Mr. Craig Leynes!

Being a 311 fan just came naturally to Craig, which is why he can’t pinpoint just how he became one. For the past 23 years they’ve been a part of his life and in his music choice rotation. “Now when I think about it, I love the diversity of the band: rap rock, reggae, off the wall lyrics, amazing shows and their love of their fans.”

This past summer marked Craig’s 80th show when he attended the Orlando stop on the tour. When narrowing down which of the 80 were his favorite, he had 4 recent ones that stick out in his mind. There was the fourth cruise, which was his first. Then the Atlanta shows last summer at the Tabernacle and 311 Day New Orleans 2014. The fourth one he thought about he said is the most memorable which was when he saw Soja, Slightly Stoopid, and 311 at Red Rocks. “We ll got a little ‘loco’ on that mountain and had the time of our lives!!! That place along with the rest of Colorado is amazing.”

There is a certain song that as Craig puts it, soothes his soul and that song is “Stealing Happy Hours.” “A real chill song that I kinda wish it didn’t end if you know what I mean.”

Lakeland, Florida is where Craig grew up, and area he calls “a bump in the road between Tampa and Orlando.”  His family was mixed, meaning he has a brother and a sister, 2 step brothers, and a half brother and sister. After he graduated high school he did some mission work which enabled him to travel the world twice and visit almost every state. He’s also lived in Georgia and New York, but now resides in Tampa where he’s been for the past five years. He manages a restaurant called Jason’s Deli and had been in management for sixteen years, which helps him fund his 311 poster and show addiction. “It has been a long strange trip.”

One of the most memorable places Craig said he visited was India. “Beautiful people, beautiful culture, and amazing food that my stomach couldn’t handle.” He says he saw a lot of great things, but also some horrible things that, along with his faith, helped him set his world view on a different level. “True happiness and joy are not found in physical things or monetary security, but in love and joy of family, faith, and living life to the fullest with what you have. I knew these things before visiting India but in some slums we worked in is where it became real.”

Back in junior high and high school, Craig was a band geek. He played the tuba and sousaphone. “My fondest memories in HS were not the sports awards or classes, but the music we played and the trips we took as a band.”  Something that makes Craig unique is tied in with his job. When he’s working the end of the deli, taking the guest checks and telling them what to do next, he can remember everything that they order by noticing something about them that stands out! “Shirt color, hair color, glasses, facial feature, shoes, pants, something. In short, I can look at the tray of food and remember who ordered it, go out into the dining and find their table to deliver the food without looking at the number. On the flip side, I suck at remembering peoples names!”

Guilty pleasure for Craig comes in musical form. “JJ Grey & Moffro is my guilty pleasure. Aside from the Eagles, they are one of the few bands that our entire family really enjoys. Great music that makes you sing and dance and my wife really likes them (She likes 311 but not like I like them.” Craig said it’s great when he and his wife go see this band because since she really enjoys them so he knows she actually wants to go because she digs them and not just because she wants to spend time with him. Also, Craig mentioned that one of his favorite quotes is currently, “Friends and family, I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. Leynes.” He said the happiest day of his life was last year when he got married!

As you can tell, music is a big part of Craig’s life. Some of his other favorite artists are: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Steel Pulse, Eric Lindell, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, Star field, Stick Figure, Resinated (a hometown band on the rise), Led Zeppelin, The Hip Abduction, Gov’t Mule, Allman Brothers, Dirty Heads, and Dierks Bently. “There are many, many more but I think this gives the spectrum of my catalog.”

Craig’s message to 311 is this:

“Thanks for being the soundtrack of my life for the past 23 years and I’m looking forward to the next 23. Y’all just keep getting better and better with time.”

Now his message to all the amazing fans of 311:

“Y’all are awesome. I have met some fantastic awesome people because of this band and y’all have made shows and my life a lot more fun. I wish all of y’all the best in this journey of life. If you see me and my awesome wife at a show come and say hello, give a hug or a high five, drink a beer or smoke a spliff, and remember that life is what you make it, never be “under the circumstances” but instead stay on top of them. One love.”


That’s Craig’s story my friends! Thank you for reading and I hope you had fun meeting him (virtually at least). That wraps up this week’s fan spotlight!

Until the next time…keep on being positive and sending out that vibe to the world.

Much love! – The Runt


311 Fan Spotlight – Stephen Gwaltney – 9/28/15

September 28th, 2015


Hey hey again my excitable companions! It’s that time again, time to meet the new fan spotlight! Let me introduce you to Mr. Stephen Gwaltney!

Early nineties radio is how 311 was introduced into Stephen’s life. Then in 1996 they came to Nashville the day after his 18th birthday. His friend Jeff bought him a ticket as a gift, but they both worked together and their boss wasn’t going to let them have the night off. “So we both quit and went to the show. From the moment they took the stage I was hooked! Can’t really pinpoint exactly what draws me to their music. It’s just the positive vibes with a funky beat.”

75 is the count of live shows Stephen has seen with his wife, but he didn’t keep count until they got together so he’s probably closer to the 85 mark. When asked his favorite event or show, he had a hard time choosing because they basically plan their vacations around the big 311 events. “But if I had to choose just one, I would say cruise 4. Something magical happened on that deck while they were doing the Soundsystem set.”

The song “Sun Come Through” is one that Stephen loves, he says it gives him goosebumps every time he hears it. However he doesn’t have a specific song that means something special to him. “Stereolithic gives me the feels. I listened to that album at least once a day for at least 18 months straight…which reminds me, I need to listen to Stereolithic again lol!” Some of his favorite lyrics are: “Stay positive and love your life,” “Life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and spike it,” and “The ones who aggravate you most and happen to be ever close, seem to be the ones lurching for the same things you are searching. The ones that make you feel ill and you think that nature should have killed, those curse when you’re alone, seem to be so close to home.”

Lexington, Kentucky is Stephen’s place of origin and he moved around a lot up until the fourth grade (he moved from K.Y. to Florida, back to K.Y. and then back to F.L.) when he finally landed in Nashville, Tennessee. Even though he changed schools a bunch he didn’t mind and says it’s probably why he likes meeting new people. At age 11 he began playing bass and was in a band all through high school. When he turned 18 though they all decided to go their separate ways and it was shortly after that he went to his first club to see a DJ. “Once I saw the way the DJ made the crowd move I knew that’s what I wanted to do. So I started DJing house music.” Shortly after that his friend Jeff, the one who took him to 311, introduced him to his wife. “She was a 311 fan AND a house head, it was meant to be! We’ve been together for over 17 years. No kids, just fur babies. I think we love traveling so much that slowing down to have kids wasn’t going to happen.”

In 2003 they moved to Chicago because they both wanted a change and it’s the birthplace of house music. “If I was rich I would own a summer home in Chicago. Greatest city in the world…during the summer. Winters can suck it lol.” Stephen started doing an internet radio show while in Chicago. It gave him a global audience and ultimately helped him get more gigs all over the U.S. and Europe. He still does the show on Friday nights at 8pm CST. Check it out on

Now back in Nashville (because they got tired of the winters), he has a monthly DJing residency and still travels for gigs occasionally. He’s mostly been focusing on his new business called Synergy Digital Graphics. “I do dye sublimation printing on t-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, and all kinds of other swag. I’ve been in the sign and large format printing industry for almost 20 years. This year I started my own company and do consulting for other start up printing businesses.” Oh and for those peeps in the Familia, he’s the one who made the new logo decals and he has been handing them out for almost 2 years now!

Fun fact about Stephen, he is a registered Native American (Osage). He is also a master at those claw machines. “I win so many plush toys from them that I donate several trash bags full of them each year for Christmas.” Guilty pleasure would be listening to movie scores while he works. “Do anything to the score from the Dark Knight movies and you’ll feel like a bad ass!”

Other bands that Stephen loves include: Tool, Muse, Pink Floyd, Pigeon John, Rebelution, Arctic Monkeys. Then the DJ’s he’s into are: Derrick Carter, Mark Farina,  Hardkiss Bros., Giom, Inland Knights, and Corduroy Mavericks.

His personal message to 311 is a simple two words – “THANK YOU!!!” And his message to all the fans is the same:

“I guess I would just say the same thing to them, THANK YOU!!! Thanks for bringing your energy to the live shows. Thank you for continuing to support 311. Thank you for stopping me on the street because I have on a 311 hat or shirt and giving me a high five and a hug. THANK YOU!!!”


That is Stephen’s tale of his love for 311! Hope you all had fun reading as much as I did writing his story. Thanks for taking the time to meet Stephen! Now go kick some butt and have an excellent week. Until we meet again!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Brett Travis – 9/21/2015

September 21st, 2015


Greetings and salutations my excitable friends! Welcome back for the new edition of the 311 fan spotlight. This week we learn all about Mr. Brett Travis!

The year – 1994. The place – a hibachi steak house. Brett was working there at the time and prior to one of his shifts, he was hanging out at his coworker/friends apartment “getting right” as he called it. The friend put on the album Grassroots for Brett to listen to. “I was instantly drawn to the dual vocalists, the slap bass, and the psychedelic feel of that album.” Not long after his introduction to 311, another friend at work heard Brett talking about the band and let him borrow his bootleg copy of Music. Then shortly after that the Blue album was released and 311 played at the Electric Ballroom in Knoxville. From then on, Brett was hooked.

The “secret show” at the Hive Bar in Omaha was number 129 for Brett. He’s seen them in 32 different states. His favorite individual show was number 100 in Chicago in 2014. “Nick dedicated “Borders” to me. What an unbelievable honor and they slayed that track. I was over the moon.” Then favorite event so far has been cruise number 2. “So much going on, so many good people, so man good shows. And 311 on the beach!”

“All Mixed Up” is the song that means the most to Brett, since it’s sort of become he and his wife Suzanne’s song since they started traveling to shows together. Some of his favorite lyrics are: “We spend our lives learning, if you like learning, life is large. It could never be only the ups, the downs will always come around” and “And if you don’t know I say check the show, do what you got to on the dance floor.”

Knoxville, Tennessee is where Brett was born and raised. Both of his parents were teachers and he has one younger sister named Paige. He and his family traveled a lot while he was growing up. “My parents took advantage of the summer breaks from teaching school, and we made the most of those opportunities to see the country.  My parents are big baseball fans, so lots of our travels included visiting major league ballparks to see games.  We made many trips to Florida for spring training games.  My mom is a civil war buff, and I can’t tell you how many civil war battlefields we toured.  But it wasn’t all history museums and educational stuff!  We went to theme parks and beaches and did fun stuff, too.  Looking back, it’s amazing all the stuff we got to do on two public school teacher salaries.”

College wasn’t something Brett took very seriously so he didn’t last long after he started. After spending a couple of years working in food service he landed a job at a local magazine publisher where he learned a great deal about desktop publishing, the printing business, and troubleshooting personal computers.

Brett met his wife Suzanne at a University of Tennessee football tailgate back in the fall of 1998. They then had their first date attending a UT/Arkansas game and announced their engagement to their family on New Years Eve the following December. While Suzanne attended UT Pharmacy they lived in Memphis and he worked at a label manufacturing company plant. They then spent a year in Murfreesboro before moving back to Knoxville in 2004. Suzanne’s job then required them to move to Indianapolis in 2013 and they still reside there. “We miss the mountains, but are enjoying life in Indy.”

Back in 1997, Brett was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, which is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes your colon to become enflamed because it thinks it’s supposed to be fighting some sort of attack against the body. For sixteen years he battled the disease with medications to keep the inflammation under control. He was on Prednisone which is a great drug for the treatment but did damage to his muscles and bone structure, something he’ll be dealing with the rest of his life. Finally his doctors decided to remove his colon and he had the procedure done in 2013. It took two surgeries and he is doing well now after the second. “ I have what’s called a J-pouch, which means I don’t have an appliance, and I get to make poops like a real boy!  My fingers are crossed that the J-pouch gives me years of good service.  My wife and family and friends have been super loving and supportive throughout the whole ordeal, and I’d be nowhere without them.”

Some things that make Brett unique are he’s great at video editing, which he credits the bug for that to his pops, who was a semi-pro videographer. “I’ve really enjoyed putting together videos from our travels. Several of the videos are from our 311 trips.” Many of you may know that Brett also makes these awesome souvenirs to give away at various 311 events. “If you’ve gotten one, I hope you enjoy seeing it occasionally and remembering the fun time you had at that show.” If you want to see the souvenirs or videos you can check them out at His guilty pleasure though is Farm Story 2 for iPhone. “I’m 10,000 coins away from being able to expand to Jeb’s Old Water Garden!!!”

Aside from 311, Brett has a few other favorite bands. The list includes Mastodon, Queens of the Stone Age, Faith No More, Tool, and Beastie Boys.

Brett did something original with my question about what one sentence you would say to the guys if you could – he rephrased my question to read, “If you could present a manifesto (or merely a spoiled superfan rant!) to the band, what would you say?” His answer was so well written, I couldn’t resist letting the one sentence rule slide! Here is his manifesto to 311:

“Dearest 311 Dudes,

Remember that awesome 311 Day show in Memphis in 2006?  Yep, me too.  I was there, going bananas with my friends.  You were there, playing all the super sick jammy jams.  I also remember that HDNET was there, filming the whole thing in HD.  Wasn’t that cool?  I’m sure we can agree that it was.  Let’s also agree that, while it was a really special thing that HDNET created a 2-hour special from that footage, and presented it in spectacular high-def with great sound, it was kind of bummer that they didn’t show the WHOLE thing.  They FILMED the whole thing, right?  I’m sure that most everyone would say that what makes a 311 Day so special is the experience as a whole, not just selections from the show.  But still, that special they broadcast WAS awesome, and we loved it and cherished it and saved it on the DVR for years until we had to surrender the DVR to DirecTV.   Now I, like a lot of fans, just figured, “OK, so they didn’t show the whole thing.  That footage will see the light of day sometime.  It will be a great day when THAT happens, so I’ll just be patient.”  Yet, here we are.  It’s 2015, and we still don’t have access to that gem.  At this point, I figure it’s never going to see the light of day as a consumer product.  Heck, I’d just be somewhat sated if I were told just what exactly has become of it.  I mean, is it lost?  Tied up in a legal quagmire? Is it sitting in Mark Cuban’s basement?  Did Katie Daryl trade it for a Snickers bar and a Diet Coke?  Please just tell me where it is and why I can’t throw all of my money at you to get my greedy little paws on it.  Please and thanks so much, and keep up the great work.

Respectfully in lifelong adoration and friendship,


Now that you’ve read the manifesto, he’s got a personal message to all the awesome people in the 311 community:

“Thanks to all the friendly faces and charming fans we’ve met along the way.  You guys are a huge reason that we continue to travel and stay involved with this community.  See you at the shows!”


There you have the story of Brett Travis my friend! A great read in my opinion and I hope you all enjoyed learning more about him. Thank you, as always, for your continued support of my project, introducing you to more and more fans each week! Keep on being awesome and spreading that positivity.

Much love – The Runt



311 Fan Spotlight – Luke Valla aka Zedanko Earthling! 9/14/15

September 14th, 2015



Hey there excitable ones! Welcome again to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight. Let’s get this party started…time to meet Luke Valla, a.k.a. Zedanko Earthling!

The year was either 1994 or 1995 when Zedanko was given a tape with Music on one side and Grassroots on the other. “I was getting a ride home from my friends sister and she was listening to it. I expressed my appreciation of the jams and she offered the tape to me.” Zed said it was really the stoner/marijuana element that drew him into the music. “They seemed to represent what we stood for even when it came to blazing thee herb!”

Somewhere between twenty and twenty-four is where Zed stands for live shows. It wasn’t until he was in his late twenties when he started seeing them in concert. He said before that it was just the “anticipation of the next album.” Favorite event so far has been the fourth cruise, which was his first.

“Visit” is Zedanko’s favorite song. “Since my very first listen it has had a home deep in my heart. I love SA’s verse ‘Livin’ when your hungry.’ I felt like I could relate to this song.”

Zedanko Earthling is a nickname that Luke prefers to go by, and you can also call him Zed. He grew up in Los Angeles, raised by a devout Southern Baptist church six days a week. To fund his 311 habit he does labor in the construction field and also sells paintings.

One interesting fact you may not know about Zedanko? “I dream of being a hippie.” Something that makes him stand out is that he’s been known to display ESP at times. “I’ve been known to be a lucky charm. I also read Tarot.” Guilty pleasure? “Coffee ice cream topped with heavy cream and snacking at midnight.”

Some other bands that Zedanko listens to are Dengue Fever, Tame Impala, Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Damien Marley, and Bunny Wailer.

His message to the band is a great one:

“Thank you for lending much inspiration and challenging me as I grow here on Earth!”

And to all the fellow fans, the message is simple:

“Reconsider everything!”


There you have the story of Zedanko Earthling my friends! I hope you enjoyed it, as always, and thank you for reading about your fellow excitables! Remember we are all one big community trying to spread that positivity and love. Until we meet again, keep on being amazing!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Michael Simonetti – 9/7/15

September 7th, 2015


Good morning my friends in the wonderful 311 nation! Welcome again to another fan spotlight! It’s time to meet fellow excitable Michael Simonetti!

Right after 311 Day 2006 is when Michael started to grow interest in 311. He knew some of their songs but nothing really about the band in general. It was a neighbor across from where he lived that introduced him to their awesomeness and shortly thereafter he started listening to them more and more. Then in 2007 he attended his first concert at the Mud Island Amphitheater, right on the Mississippi. “My brother, who is 10 years older than me, happened to be a big fan and took me. I’ve been hooked ever since, spending lots of time making more excitables and introducing folks to the greatness it is. I continue relationships with much of these badass peeps and they all rep the 311 Familia stickers in Memphis! (Thanks Stephen)”

Around 22 to 23 shows is the tally Michael is at now. He went to 311 Day 2014 and had a blast. However he said the third cruise tops it. “Even with the weather if was by far the most unreal experience.”  While he couldn’t figure out his favorite song (although he could probably narrow it down to a top ten) he does have some lyrics that he loves: “On the scales of desire your absence weighs more than someone else’s presence,” “When I look at you it’s like praying with my eyes,” and “Think of all the good times, instead of wish we could times.”

Michael, 23,  was born and raised in Memphis and is currently a senior at The University of Memphis. He says it’s funny that all of his older siblings loved 311 back in the day and he’s gotten them all back into them now. He loves to play and watch sports. Guilty pleasure? 311 of course! He also said another one is FIFA. Something you may not know about him is that he’s a “damn good whistler.”

Michael is into a variety of music genres. “I love everything from Jack Johnson to Korn.”  He’s also gotten into some great bands thanks to 311 such as Pepper and Rebelution. Then some of his other favorites are The Urge, Incubus, The Beatles, and Breaking Benjamin.

Michael’s message to 311 is this:

“I would just like to thank the band for all they have brought to my life.”

Now to all the amazing fellow fans:

“I love the Familia and our clique! Y’all rock!!”


That’s Michael’s story my friends! Thank you for reading as always and I hope you found it enjoyable. Until we meet again…go out and spread that love & positivity.

Much love! – The Runt

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