Runt Rant

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

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

311 Fan Spotlight – Emilie Hernandez – 8/31/15

August 31st, 2015


Hi again my excitable friends! Welcome to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight! This week we meet Emilie Hernandez!

Emilie calls herself a late bloomer when it comes to finding out how awesome of a band 311 is. She knew the songs “Down” and “Come Original” but never really knew who sang them. In 2005, a friend burned a CD for her with some 311 on it, “Amber” and “Champagne.” She said it wasn’t until 2009 though that she realized just how much she loved those songs. “I know go ahead and laugh! I felt like I could really relate to those songs at that time in my life. I asked a friend of mine who was singing on that CD and they told me it was 311. After that, I bought the 2004 New Orleans DVD and it was OVER after that! My boyfriend at the time burned me all of their CD’s and I was hooked. One year later the cruise was announced and even without knowing a soul in the 311 community, I signed up and that’s all she wrote!”

The exact count of how many shows Emilie has been to is a little hazy but she believes she’s somewhere in the twenties range. She’s been on all four of the cruises and her first 311 Day was in 2012. She says her favorite event so far was the second cruise. “Being in the water with all my friends while my favorite band played for us was a life changing experience.”

The song that really pulls at her heart is “Beyond the Grey Sky.” “I have it tattooed on my right side and tear up when I hear it at times. It speaks so loud to me in regards to losing someone you love, it’s unreal.” Some favorite quotes of Emilie’s are “Time is precious,” Stay positive and love your life,” and “It’s all about the company you keep.”

Emilie is an only child, born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Music has always played a major part in her life and she started playing the violin when she was just 8 years old. She continued with it up until college and is classically trained. Growing up Emilie spent most of her time with her mom, but both of her parents always made sure music was present for her no matter what. “My parents exposed me to many bands growing up but I gravitated towards “west coast” reggae in college. Once 311 came into my life full force, I found every way to get on all of the cruises and as many shows as I could.” Emilie is currently a private chef in San Antonio but she says, “I still find time for our boys!”

While Emilie was in college, aside from taking classes she used to box! As far as guilty pleasures, she said hers is Netflix all the way, which I’m sure many people can relate to. Besides 311, Emilie can be found listening to bands such as Tribal Seeds, The Hip Abduction, Slightly Stoopid, The Dirty Heads, Lefty at the Washout, The Movement, One Drop, and Stickfigure.

Emilie’s message to 311 is a simple one: “You guys changed my life.”

To all the fellow fans out in the 311 universe:

“Pretty much I know I’m a late bloomer when it comes to loving 311. But that doesn’t mean my love is different than anyone else’s…just took me longer to figure it out. I don’t think it’s the number of shows you’ve been to or how much memorabilia you have…it’s about what the band has done for you in your life that matters. I love our boys. I don’t know where I’d be without them .”


The story of Ms. Emilie Hernandez my friends! I hope you all were entertained by it and enjoyed meeting yet another awesome member of this fabulous fan community! Until next time, thank you as always for reading and keep on spreading that positivity!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Jeremy Freed – 8/24/15

August 24th, 2015



Welcome back my friends in 311 nation! A new week is upon us and so is a new fan spotlight. Time to meet Mr. Jeremy Freed!

Spring 1996 is where Jeremy’s love for 311 begins. A friend from his neighborhood went to a private school and had a separate group of friends aside from Jeremy. They were all surfers and into bands like Phish while Jeremy was more into the punk scene. One day while at this friends house he put on a CD he’d gotten from his other friends, a little album known as Grassroots. “It was like nothing I’d ever heard before, and I was instantly hooked. We spent the end of our senior year of high school cruising up and down Jones Beach blasting Grassroots, and we then discovered the blue album just before “Down” blew up, while scouring the local record stores in search of Music (which we acquired and played out as well). My friend and I grew apart in college and he has since moved to Florida (I’m in New York). We don’t keep in touch very much anymore, but I always think of him when listening to Grassroots, and I melt every time 311 plays “Nutsymptom” at the Jones Beach Amphitheater.”

The first live show Jeremy recalls seeing was in summer of 1997 at Jones Beach when 311 played with De La Soul. Show total since then is around 34 based on his ticket stub collection, but he says there may be a few missing. While it’s a tough question to answer, Jeremy chose 311 Day 2004 as his favorite so far. “A dozen of us flew down from New York for the show, not knowing what to expect. My friends are mostly fans of general admission venues, so we waited on line at the UNO Arena from about noon on, to get our GA bracelets. Several hours later, we were already in full party mode, having consumed many beers during the wait. I was banking on a great show, but five friggin’ hours?! Unreal. That show also resonates with me because it gave me the opportunity to fall in love with New Orleans.” Jeremy fell in love with Nola so much that he booked a trip for the following March, just on the off chance 311 might play again. They obviously didn’t, but he had something epic happen that trip regardless. Jeremy got engaged to his girlfriend (now wife) in Jackson Square. His wedding ring is even inspired by 311!

TML Ring2

While Jeremy says he doesn’t really use 311’s lyrics as inspiration or a crutch during the tough times like others may, he says that if he had to pick a song that really resonates with him it’d be “Rub A Dub.” “It takes me back to a really fun time in my life, the end of college before things got a little more serious. Much like Grassroots, “Rub a Dub” also reminds me of an old friend, so I appreciate that.”  One of his favorite lyrics comes from “Feels So Good” – “Just take a moment to have a fit once in a while, I do it daily and like it, but that’s my style.” The reason for this? “I’m known for being a bit of a grump, and while lots of people see 311 for their positivity, I can absolutely relate to this line in “Feels So Good.” I know I could be a bit calmer and level-headed, but hey, that’s my style.

Jeremy was born and raised in Wantagh, New York, also known as the “Gateway to Jones Beach.”  He also said it’s the most commonly misspelled location on every bands tour t-shirt! While he was a smart student, he says he was also lazy and didn’t really have interest in academics. “Art school was in the cards for me, following in my moms footsteps. My classmates even voted me “Most Artistic” in our yearbook superlatives, so it was pretty inevitable.”  Jeremy attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and he has a BFA in Advertising Design. As soon as he graduated he obtained a job where he interned, a company called Deutsch, Inc. “I actually met my wife there so it’s funny how my first job will always be my most rewarding job.” He is now a graphic artist at Coach and has been there for eight years. “I’ve come to terms with being stuck in the hustle and bustle of New York City. I still live on Long Island, about 15 minutes north of the beach, so  I always have a quieter place to retreat to.”

Jeremy has a four year old son named Lucas, after George Lucas and Luke Skywalker. He says his sons musical interests seem to lean towards Rancid, The Ramones, and a little bit of ska, but he’s slowly working on getting him into 311. When he isn’t chasing his son around or working, he’s “hopelessly rooting for the Mets,” going to shows and maintaining his growing collection of Star Wars and baseball memorabilia.

How many people can say they’ve secretly sabotaged a team on a reality show? Jeremy can! He was on the reality show The Apprentice and worked with a team to create a promotional campaign. “They were a real pain in the ass to work with. After an aggravating day (a Saturday, no less), they had to head back to the studio while I finished their work and it was going to be sent over. The team leader gave me cash for a messenger service, as well as a bit of nudge-nudge wink-wink bribe money to make sure I get it done quickly and well. The show producer came over later and asked for all of the money back, including my bribe. I had had it at that point so we’ll just say I didn’t do what was asked of me, and the team was rather surprised at their presentation.”

Something else you may not know – he was a huge fan of the show Beverly Hills 90210 and cried during the series finale! “Granted, I was tripping balls at the time, but still, I loved that show!”  He also has a talent for the game Tetris. “I’ve been jokingly referred to as a communist due to my Tetris skills. I’ve crushed every version of the game I’ve encountered. I even managed to effectively play two games simultaneously, holding two controllers at once. The longest game I ever played lasted for well over an hour; my eyes were so locked in, I think I traveled to another dimension and saw the future–so I forced myself to end it on purpose and went to bed.” While he doesn’t consider his guilty pleasure all that guilty because it won a ton of awards, he loves the movie Titanic. “ I think it’s generally seen as a chick-flick and I surely take heat for how much I love this movie, and that’s OK because it truly is one of Hollywood’s great epics.”

Other musical interests are a little all over the place. Most of what he listens to is punk and hardcore such as Hatebreed, NOFX and Pennywise. However he also likes ska, oldies, Motown, and he’s amassed a huge collection of the best rock from the fifties and sixties. The most unexpected genre he enjoys? Movie soundtracks. “By that I mean orchestral scores. Behind 311 and The Beatles, I think I have more John Williams music than any other artist in my collection.” If he had to name his top five favorite artists, it would be 311, Rancid, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Sick of it All, and The Beatles.

To the band that ranks as his number one favorite artist, he has this message:

“Thank you for composing the soundtrack to my life.”

To the awesome fans out there sharing his love for 311:

“I used to view 311 as a band I love and one I would see every chance I got. It wasn’t until a few years ago when a member of the Familia added myself and my friends to the group that I saw what an obsessed, rabid, hardcore fan base this band had. It’s both impressive and a little scary, but I admire the dedication so many people have to a band many consider to be a flash-in-the-pan novelty act from the 90s (clearly those people are wrong). The effect of that dedication is obvious, as we see 311 return all that love to the fans. 311 has enabled me to remember old times, get reacquainted with old friends, as well as meet new ones. This fan base is one of a kind and I look forward to meeting more and more and more of you and sharing the love that is 311–in New Orleans, perhaps? ;)”


There you have the tale of Jeremy Freed ladies & gents! I hope you enjoyed reading about another fellow fan and thank you for doing so! Keep on rocking and being the best person you can be. Until next time!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Stephanie Davis – 8/17/15

August 17th, 2015


Hi again my friends in 311 nation! Good day to you all. Are you ready to read about another fellow fan? Well, then it’s time to meet Stephanie Davis!

Stephanie says it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how she became a huge fan of 311. Over 20 years ago was when she first heard them, and she believes one of the reasons she loved them so much is that they are from Nebraska. “I have been raised as a diehard Nebraska Cornhusker fan, my family lives between Omaha and Lincoln, so I think one of the reasons that I was drawn to 311 was basically they were from Nebraska and I feel I have a close home tie to them. I mean, what good music comes from Nebraska?” Another reason she was drawn to them was a good friend of hers living in Oklahoma City who was obsessed with them. “When we would be at his house we either would be listening to Music, Grassroots, or the Blue album on his stereo, with the lights off and the black lights on. Or we popped in ETSD 1 and watched that VCR TAPE over and over again until we wore it out.” What really drew Stephanie in was their music and the feel of it, with the positivity and party element to it. “I really love how they paved the way for the rock/rap genre that you still see to this day. Even though those bands are terrible and are not original, 311 has continued to remain strong and haven’t been afraid to try something new.”

Her love affair with seeing the band live started in Lawrence, Kansas in 1995 at the Jayhawk Music Festival. She had just turned 15 and snuck out to see them! Unfortunately she got caught and ended up grounded, but it was worth it. “Damn, thinking about that concert makes me laugh. I so wish I had that ticket stub.” Since then she has seen them at least 30 times, if not a little more. While there are many great memories from all the shows, she has a few that stand out against the rest. One was when she took her baby brother to see them for the first time. It allowed them to form an even stronger bond and they never miss seeing a show together now.  Then there was 311 Day 2006 when she, her brother & mom took a road trip from Kansas City to Memphis. “Thinking back to that trip makes me laugh. We did the normal “touristy” things in Memphis and while we were at the Civil Rights Museum my mother asked Scott and myself if we were having a good time. We both replied “Yay! Civil Rights is so uplifting!” Finally there were the shows in 2001 and 2014 where she met the band. You can’t NOT love those shows!

Two songs that mean a great deal to Stephanie are “It’s Alright” and “Showdown.”  She said that the first one literally helped save her life and get through some rocky times. As for “Showdown,” she said that the Stereolithic CD hasn’t left her car since 311 Day 2014! “I just love the song (and all the songs) and the lyrics and the feeling of both Nick and SA’s voice.” As for some favorite quotes from any of the songs in the catalog, she loves “Some people live for the rules, I live for exceptions” and “Now I’m ready to turn the page on yesterdays and forgive them, now I’m ready to disengage to seize the day and move on.” Then theres the one she says she often uses at work – “Fuck the bullshit it’s time to throw down!”

Stephanie was born and raised in Kansas and she still lives there currently in Overland Park. She’s a single mom to a wonderful 8 year old boy (see above photo). Although she is completely a Kansas girl she has lived a few other places over her life. The most challenging she says was Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “I accepted a job as a Department of Defense contractor (I worked as a Project Manager in the construction industry but now moved to the engineering industry) and relocated to Gitmo 2011. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am glad I had the experience to live someplace where most Americans will never get a chance to see. I saw some amazing things, worked in the prisons, replaced air conditioning units in the Military Tribunal before one of the terrorists was to be tried,  and for shits and giggles  I cleaned up brush around the “jail” where one of the 9/11 conspirators is housed. After six months I had to leave because I missed my family terribly, driving under 25 miles an hour and as silly as it sounds, highways! Plus it is hot all year round, the bugs are horrible and not having any friends.  And as much as I bitch and complain about Kansas winters, I actually missed seasons changing.”

Matthew is the name of her son and she says he is her miracle baby. He was born early at just 32 weeks and was only the size of a 29 week baby. “I was living in Huntsville, Alabama and my mom came down for my baby shower and to come with me to a 3D ultrasound appointment. When we went to get the ultrasound done, the technician saw that my placenta had ruptured and Matthew was basically starving to death. So after an emergency C-Section, I gave birth to a 2 LB baby who almost passed away a few times. But today you would never know he was a preemie. I’m not religious by any means but God was definitely looking out for us, so I named him Matthew – a gift from God.”

Stephanie says she’s an open book but something people may not know is that she’s never cooked a full meal from scratch! “I hate cooking, I really do.” Stephanie has a secret talent though – busting out rap lyrics like no one else! “I drove to New Orleans by myself and I had Tupac and Dr. Dre’s “California Love” memorized front to back. I listened to that song two hours straight to make sure I got every verse.” She also is super smart when it comes to trivia and she takes pride in it. “I dare someone to challenge me!” Something else about her she loves is that her friends, coworkers and acquaintances all associate her with 311. If she takes vacation people automatically assume it’s 311 related. Then when she surprised her friend by coming back from Cuba for her wedding, her friend changed her cake cutting song to “Feels So Good” in honor of her!

Musical tastes outside of 311 are all over the map she says, from Michael Jackson to Classic Rock to even one of her guilty pleasures, The Backstreet Boys! “Come on now, they are so catchy!” She loves the boy bands from the nineties and 2000s. Another guilty pleasure that she said FINE to confessing is that she saw Nickelback in concert and does like a few of their songs. “Cue the angry flash mobs and burning me at the stake!”

To the band that has had such a big affect her life she would like to relay this message: “Thank you. You have been the soundtrack to my life and no matter where my life takes me, you are always a play away and will never know how much you saved me.”

To all the people in this awesome fandom:

“It’s amazing how the Internet has provided us with a platform to follow 311, create a “family” on Facebook, watch the concerts that someone has recorded on YouTube, bitch and complain about damn posters and just meeting new friends at concerts. Back in the day, I would hear that 311 was playing from word of mouth or in an advertisement in the back of the Pitch Weekly. So to all the old school and new school fans – “Hi, I’m Stephanie. It’s nice to meet all of you and let’s continue to love and enjoy the sounds of the greatest fucking band out there! Who’s gonna buy me a beer now?”



The story of Stephanie Davis my slinkies & brodels! Hope you all had a blast reading about her and thank you as always for doing so! Keep on being the positive and loving humans that you are. Until we meet again!

Much love – The Runt


311 Fan Spotlight – Donnie Greenwood – 8/3/2015

August 3rd, 2015


Welcome back my excitable friends! Another week is upon us which means it’s time to feature another awesome 311 fan. This week the spotlight takes aim at Donnie Greenwood!

The blue album came out and many of us found 311 because of it. Donnie is no exception. “Like many people “Down” got my interest and “All Mixed Up” got my attention.” It was the latter that really drew him in and made him want to get into music. “That song is ultimately why I picked up an instrument.”

Every fan spotlight is asked how many shows they’ve been to, but Donnie probably had the best answer yet.  “Not enough.” So while we don’t know his number,  he does have a favorite show that he’s been to. “Memphis on May 2, 2014. I finally got a chance to take my dear mom along and show her what it’s all about.”

The song that means the most to him was hard to answer because he, like many of us fans, have too many that hold a special place in our hearts. Inevitably he chose his as “Dreamland.” “Each time I hear it, ‘Dreamland’ stops my day at that moment and I smile. That’s it. No matter what, it makes me smile.” One of his favorite lyrics comes from “Rub A Dub” – “Only thing that matters if it’s funky to you.”

A little town in Mississippi is where Donnie was born and raised. “I quite literally had soybeans and cows for neighbors when I was a kid.” While his peers had interest in hobbies such as hunting, Donnie was different, which is why he says he ended up with his deep love for music and 311. “I was the right kind of young where I was beginning to find my own entertainment when the Blue album came out. It was perfect timing.”

His love of music paid off when he received a scholarship for three years of college paid because he played bass in a school sponsored country band. “That’s Mississippi for ya!”  While he’s a self-described “6’ 2”, bearded, tattooed, 4 wheel drive owning, ex-rugby player MANLY man” he knows how to use a sewing machine! “I’m not too bad at it either.”

Donnie’s love of music means he has eclectic taste in artists. As he typed up his answers he was live streaming a Slipknot show. “I hate the ‘I love everything’ answer as much as the next reader but it’s true. I’m absolutely a fan of music.” An example of his variety of tastes shows in what was in his rotation this week: Muddy Waters, Alkaline Trio, and the new Wilco album. His guilty pleasure comes in the form of a musician as well. “Katy Perry. And I mean her music, not her. Fight me!”

To the fellas in 311, Donnie would simply like to say thank you. “But it’d probably come out as drool and a grunt because they’re probably the only five dudes who could make me star struck.”

His message to all the other fans out there is simple as well:

“Take care of yourself and someone else today.”


That’s the tale of Donnie my friends! I love his message to all of you and it really is true, you should do what he says each day you live.

So with that, I bid you adieu. Until we meet again my excitable friends!! Keep on spreading the love & positivity!

Much love – The Runt

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