Runt Rant

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

311 Fan Spotlight – 9/26/16 – Heather Jensen

September 26th, 2016

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Welcome back my excitable family! A new week is upon us and that brings us the new fan spotlight. Time to meet Heather Jensen! 

Flashback to when Heather was a mere 15, she was friends with a girl named Kara who Heather claims was so much cooler than she was and Kara taught her a lot about music and life in general. Kara introduced Heather to many bands and one of those just happened to be 311. “I was instantly hooked. Their sound was so upbeat and different than anything I had heard. It was easy to become a lifetime fan, even at such a young age. They were also my first concert without my parents.” 

Sixteen shows is the count Heather stands at, but she also didn’t start counting until 2014 when she went on her first 311 cruise, which happened to be her first big event. Since then she increased her number quickly and most recently saw them at Red Rocks this year. So far her favorite show she’s been to was the anniversary show last year in Omaha…or the cruise, it’s tough to decide. “That sail away show just fills you with a sense of euphoria that’s hard to describe. Up until the last cruise, I didn’t know much about the familia or the excitable ones. Being a part of that opened my eyes, and changed my life really. I met so many amazing people and was introduced to this whole new world! There is so much love, and a feeling of acceptance and belonging. Taking it all in is like nothing most of us have ever experienced before.”

“Made in the Shade” is the song that means the most to Heather, becoming one of her favorites over the last year. “I just love the words and their meaning. Any time I am feeling down or just need someone or something to remind me that life gets hard sometimes, and to keep moving, I listen to this song. It reminds me that things could always be worse.” Some of her favorite lyrics from songs include “Bout time to give up on, the same old stuff I’m stuck on…just say that it went wrong, and move it along. Sayonara, til’ tomorrow, it’s just how it goes sometimes,” “You can’t be let down, if you don’t expect the world,” and “The same force that flows through every circuit, the juice that’s spent every time you work it…every life form is based on this simplicity, the soul that you have is electricity.”

At 10 years of age Heather moved with her parents and little brother to Overland Park, Kansas, and she has been there ever since aside from a short stint of living in Los Angeles. Heather has done a lot of traveling and says Kansas is a great hub. “I have been to Europe twice and probably seen more than half of the U.S., including all of the Hawaiian islands. I’ve been really lucky to have some amazing adventures. There is so much more of this world I can’t wait to see! I like to jokingly tell people that traveling is my substitute for children!” Heather currently works the front desk and child center at a family owned gym and she loves it! “The people are amazing and I look forward to going to work every day, which is not something everyone gets to say.” She also tends bar in the evenings for extra money. 

Cool hobby that Heather has is collecting mason jars, old jars, and old bottles. “Kind of a nerdy/grandma hobby lol, but I just love anything that’s old or worn in. Brings me back to a time when things were more simple and people were more pleasant to each other. I probably have 30-40 Mason jars and old bottles at this point. I am always looking for more. My Mom and I love to go to estate sales, antique shops and so on looking for treasures.” 

Heather also has a big love for all animals and has a big soft spot for them. “I have always had a soft spot in my heart for them, and believe they deserve the same rights as humans. Everyone in my family has always had several animals, so I just grew up around people who loved them too. In the last few years I have made changes in my life to become more animal friendly and more considerate of the sacrifices they make for us.” Heather is a cat lover and she adopted all of her cats from either a shelter or people who couldn’t keep them anymore. “At one point I had 3 cats, and in the last 2 years I lost all of them. Just recently my youngest passed away from a rare disease called Cushings. Helping her deal with her symptoms every day, and go through that together showed me what unconditional love really is. It was VERY tough, but I feel lucky to have been able to give all of them a great home over the years.”

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Guilty pleasure for Heather comes in the form of anything involving true crime whether it’s T.V. or books. “I religiously listen to podcasts about criminals and murder lol. Real Crime Profile, Serial and My favorite murder are my top three. I always wanted to be a Criminal Profiler in the FBI when I was little. Although that’s not the field I ultimately chose to go into, I am still pretty obsessed with human behavior. There is nothing more fascinating in my opinion.”

When not listening to 311, Heather can be found jamming out to artists such as Dirty Heads, Incubus (who she has seen as many times as 311), Stick Figure, Justin Timberlake, Diplo, Pretty Lights, Chromeo, Skrillex, Big Gigantic, Griz, The Floozies, Beats Antique, and even 80’s music with bands like Toto, which is one of her favorite 80’s bands. “My parents influenced my musical preferences a lot. They had great taste in music, and I owe them so much gratitude for that.”

To 311 Heather’s message is this:

“I would thank them for enriching all of our lives and for bringing us together; for giving all of us so much to look forward to each year. When people ask me about our familia, I like to tell them that it’s not just about the band, it’s about the people, the friendships and the camaraderie; feeling like you belong to something special. The music, and the pleasure of watching them TRULY enjoy what they do, is something I feel lucky to witness time and time again.”

To all her fellow fans:

“Dr. Seuss said it best…’Be who you are, and say what you feel…because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.’ Live your life with no regrets!”

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There you have the tale of Heather Jensen’s love for 311! Thank you Heather for being a part of this and thank you to all those that read each week! You are all amazing people and I hope to one day have interviewed you all. Until we meet again 311 nation…go stay positive and love your life. 

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 9/19/16 – Jason White!

September 19th, 2016

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We meet again my excitable friends! Welcome back. Are we ready for our next fan spotlight? It’s time to meet Jason White!

Like many fans, Jason was introduced to 311 via the music video for “Down.” “I thought they were new and different, and wanted to go find as much of their music as possible.” He immediately went out and bought the blue album, Grassroots and Music. Once he heard Music he was hooked and it’s still his favorite album. 

Number of times he’s seen 311 live…well he really has no clue. He tries to hit at least one show every summer. Of the shows he has seen, favorite slot is a toss up between 311 Day 2012 and Pow Wow. “311 Day 2012 was my first, and I ended up staying in a house full of complete strangers. But even though I knew nobody there, it just seemed like we were all family. The environment at Pow Wow was just amazing, but my favorite experience at it was after all the shows were done the first night. I went to hang out at the camp site next to mine, and we made everyone that was on their late night walks to the river stop and take a shot of vodka with us. I really don’t recall a lot about that night, but all weekend random people were yelling my name and I just gave them a confused look like, do I know you?”

Favorite song constantly rotates for Jason because so many mean a lot to him. Currently it’s “The Call.” “The world can be such a jacked up place, especially now. To me the song is an anthem to push me to be active to affect the change I want to see.” Two of his favorite lyrics are “Stay positive and love your life,” and “Everything you do it comes back to you.”

Jason was born and raised in Southern California. After that he moved to North Carolina for high school but then had the opportunity to spend two years of it in Ausburg, Germany as an exchange student. After high school Jason joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. “I was one of the crazy people that liked it there, and just kept extending. Deployed to Thailand, S. Korea, and Australia for exercises.” Jason was then medically discharged and decided to go back to school, so he moved back to North Carolina for his undergraduate degree and then continued on to Ohio for law school. “Never expected to ever visit Ohio, but I determined that it was fate that that was where I was supposed to be because when I got my apartment assignment at the school, I was assigned to apartment 311.” From there he spent a brief time in Richmond, Virginia but decided it wasn’t for him and finally made it back to Cali where he took a position with the National Archives and Records Administration at the Nixon Presidential Library. 

At the last 311 Day Jason was dubbed “The Wanderer” because he tends to wander off a lot. “I think that fits, because I’m already ready to leave California again to see where my next adventure will lead me. One of my goals is to set foot on every continent on earth, so hopefully next summer I’ll be making my way to Africa. Then all that will be left is Antarctica, and while difficult, I think I have figure out how to make that one happen as well.” 

Fun fact about Jason: He hated Transistor when it first came out. “Just could not get into it at all. It wasn’t until I saw them do it live, front to back, at Pow Wow that I really started to like it.”  Cool talent that he possesses: He can play the bagpipes! Guilty pleasure, as much as he hates to admit it, is that he’s a bit obsessed with the Bachelor/Bachelorette T.V. shows! “I started watching them because a local radio morning show would always talk about them on my way to work, so I decided to check them out so I would know what they were talking about. The shows are just so horribly bad that I can’t stop watching them now, and watch it whenever a new season starts.” 

Some other musical artists that Jason can be find jamming out to are Bad Religion, Suburban Legends, Twenty One Pilots, The Hamilton Soundtrack, Pearl Jam, Weezer, Radiohead, The Smiths, The Cure, and Danzig.

To 311, Jason would like to say: “Thank you for making music that touches so varied, and touches so many people’s lives. Current music just seems so cookie cutter, and that is one thing I don’t think anyone could ever say about 311.”

To all the other amazing fans of this wonderful band:

“To the fans, I have to say thank you as well. While I do love going to shows to see the band, the thing that keeps me going to show after show is really the fans. They are always so welcoming, and fun, and just all around good people to be around. So thanks again.”

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Now you know the story of Jason White a.k.a. The Wanderer! Thanks for reading about another fellow fan. You are all amazing people and I’m happy to be a part of this clique that’s more like a family! Until next time…go spread the love and positive vibes. 

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 9/12/16 – Kacy Hattabaugh

September 12th, 2016

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Hey there 311 fans! Here we are again, a new week, which means a new fan spotlight. Time to meet the lovely Kacy Hattabaugh! 

Music has been a love for Kacy since she was a child. It was in elementary school that 311 emerged into her world. “I can remember hearing them on the radio and jamming out. I started asking for their CD’s for birthday/Christmas presents.” Kacy was born in 1990, so she really grew up as 311 did. “I love how their music has a combination of everything I want to hear in a band. They have a song for every mood you are in and they are a combination of so many types of music.”

Exact count of seeing 311 live is a guess for Kacy as she didn’t keep a close track on it. Her guess is somewhere between 35 and 45. “I never miss a show in Jacksonville, Orlando, or St. Augustine but I travel all over Florida to see them. I’ve been to two 311 Days in New Orleans (last show I was front row!), about to go on my fourth 311 cruise, the 311 Pow-Wow (in a wheel chair right after surgery).” While it’s hard for Kacy (like so many others) to pick a favorite event, she said if she was forced to choose it would be her first cruise in 2012. “Of course every cruise is an unbelievable experience that can’t be described in words but nothing can beat the very first time.”

Favorite song was a tough question for Kacy to answer because so many of 311’s songs have a special meaning to her and great lyrics. “Beyond the Gray Sky” is one that she listens to frequently because she knew quite a few people who have taken their own lives. “It’s always tragic. Even on days that you are feeling down the song is a great reminder that you are not only living this life for yourself but for everyone around you that loves you and will feel the pain as much as you do.” Favorite quote is easy as she has it tattooed on her forearm and tries to live by it every day – “Stay positive and love your life.”

Jacksonville, Florida is where Kacy was born and raised. She hasn’t really moved around all that much but did live in Tallahassee for a few years, then ended up back at home base. Funding for her life and 311 fun come from working in I.T. as a QA analyst at a top sports apparel company. “It’s a good career that is currently helping fund my 311 lifestyle. Working in I.T. was a good career choice because I can still work in a corporate world but still be myself. I travel around for concerts all the time and my desk is covered in band pictures. People even send me emails and chats all the time at 3:11 just to wish me “Happy 3:11!” because they understand my passion. My boss is actually from Omaha and knows not to expect any work to get done when 311 day or the cruise is coming. I always have paper chain countdowns around my desk or keep large countdowns around the whiteboards. And of course our cruise photo is my background. Needless to say, everyone in the company knows exactly who my favorite band is. I sit right by the main entrance so 311 is the first thing anyone sees when they enter the company.”

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Want to read a cool fact about Kacy? She used to own an all white pet skunk! Talk about coming original! She also has a lot of ink on her. “I have two full sleeves, a chest piece, a huge peacock tattoo going from my ribs up to my back. a lip ring, and I change my hair color every month. I’m extremely colorful inside and out.” Kacy said she can’t think of any talent other than that she can make balloon animals, which I think totally counts. Guilty pleasure for her is that she knows pretty much all the words to classic Disney movies and still watches them all the time. When not listening to 311, she can be found jamming out to Passafire, Ballyhoo!, Pepper, Iration, Rebelution, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds, The Expendables, The Green, Slightly Stoopid, SOJA, and Stick Figure. 

Kacy’s message to 311 is this: “Well the first time I met Nick I said “I love you!” and he said “I love you back.” But then I got so nervous I just ran away.  So the next time I meet them I promise not to run away next time!”

And to all the other positive vibe merchants out there:

“We need to stop all the negative vibes and keep living the 311 lifestyle! Go out there and live your life and just do what makes you happy! 311 UNITY!”

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That’s the story of Kacy Hattabaugh! Yet another cool fan that you now know a bit more about! Thank you as always for reading and being a part of this positive and caring community of fans. Until we meet again, go be awesome and spread that good karma! 

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 9/5/16 – Tracey Schick!

September 5th, 2016

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Welcome again 311 excitables! Happy Labor Day! Before you relax on the beach or grill out today, take a few moments to meet our next fan spotlight. Here’s the story of Tracey Schick! 

Credit for Tracey’s introduction to 311 goes to his friend John Zufall. He said it was the classic, hey have you ever heard of this band? He listened to Grassroots  and was hooked. “You gotta understand I was really a metal head by heart but a lover of all music. I had a big influence from Bob Marley at also a similar time so I guess 311 was the perfect storm for me. Jazzy drum beats, funky ass bass and a combo of heavy guitar to reggae to funky licks on guitar by Tim Mahoney. Then you have Nick Hexum with the slickest rhymes and SA with his dope lyrical masterpieces. It was like a match made just for me.”

Seeing them live started late for Tracey so he’s only seen them 6 times so far. “I’ve been to over 200 shows but never got to see 311 for the first time until I did a drywall patch for fellow 311 spotlight brodel Aaron Kirby. He traded me tickets to the 311 show at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, Illinois in 2014.” He also was fortunate enough to see the show at the Aragon Ballroom where they played the blue album in it’s entirety, plus the show the very next day in Milwaukee where they played Grassroots. “I also recently got to see 311 play in St.Louis at the Wayback Fest where they played a set of all songs 15 years or older. I’ve loved every show and everyone has great memories.” So far his favorite show was the Aragon Ballroom show. 

Favorite song for Tracey is “Hey You.” He said it’s really about the evolution of music for him, going from a young metal head to where he is now. “Music has always been that one thing that I could count on. It’s helped me through hard times and partied with me during the good ones. Its the one thing that also brings us all together.” Some of his favorite lyrics are, “Boy actin coy but you got nuts like Almond Joy, I tell ya,” and “I’m the perfect example of not giving a fuck about the catty rude people that just suck.”

Lafayette, Indiana is where Tracey was born and raised. He credits his dad as his musical influence growing up. “I remember listening to Otis Redding, Donna Summer, Bob Seager, Boston, The Who and the Eagles but there where many more. The first album I ever got was “Let there be Rock” by AC/DC. I just remember music always being on or my dad singing songs. I remember a lot of nights as a teenager falling asleep listening to my cassette player. Ive seen everything from speed metal to country to reggae to rap.” As a teenager he played tons of sports and continues to play golf, coach youth baseball and loves to bowl (he is on a bowling team). 

Drywall work is what Tracey has been doing for the past 23 years. He has an amazing wife Joanie and six kids that he loves. He said being from that part of Indiana, you don’t find a lot of 311 fans. It wasn’t until he met Aaron that he really dived into the world of 311. “Before I loved them for their music then I learned about the 311 community since then things haven’t been the same. 311 has the best fans in the whole world. Now I have a Clique but its more like a family. I have traveled to the coolest city’s and met the best people from this excitable crew. My wife and I are booked on our first 311 cruise coming up to Cozumel and I cant say I’ve ever been more excited. It’s a dream come true to be on a boat with 3000 other 311 fans just like me, living in the moment. I’ll probably be crying my eyes out in the moment when the boat is leaving and 311 is taking the stage.” Tracey said that his love for 311 has now stemmed to his family too and they support his trips and passion for them and the concerts he likes to attend.  “I also just want to say that I appreciate the fact that the guys in 311 are also dads and husbands and great role models for living and leading a positive lifestyle. We must lead and teach our future.”

Cool fact about Tracey is that he finished as an Honor Graduate when he graduated from Advanced Individual Training in the Army. “There were 4 picked of 300 so I’m very proud of that accomplishment.” Another interesting tidbit of info is that he has bowled a perfect 300 game and made a hole in one in golf! He also has a 311 tattoo and had it way before he ever saw them live. 

Other musicians Tracey loves are Bob Marley, Sublime, Dirty Heads, Pepper, Rebelution, RDGLDGRN, Pantera, Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Machine Head, Blood Hound Gang, Beastie Boys, House of Pain and Cypress Hill. Guilty pleasures stem from music too, he loves going to concerts and says that sometimes the anticipation of an upcoming show makes him feel like a teenager again. “I think I’ll feel that way always. Been going to shows since I was probably 15.” His second guilty pleasure is cruising. He and Joanie have been on 4 so far. “I love it because its the best way to see the world. I wanna visit the world with my time on this world…….my favorite island is Grand Turk and my favorite beach is Coki beach in St. Thomas. I cant believe I will have the best of both worlds when we go to Cozumel with my favorite bands.”

To 311, his message is this: “Thanks for 26 years of incredible music that inspires and unifies people.”

Now to all the other amazing fans out there:

“Stay positive and love your life, walk it like you talk it. Be the difference in this world. We can change the world. One love excitable crew. See you all in Tampa on March 2nd.”

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And that’s the story of Tracey Schick! Thank you all for reading this week and every week. It was a pleasure to share Tracey’s story with you all. Now go on and enjoy your Labor Day! And don’t forget to keep spreading that positive vibe to everyone! 

Much Love – The Runt

 

 

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

August 22nd, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To all the other fans:

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

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

Much love – The Runt

 

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

August 15th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now to all the other great fans out there:

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

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

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

Much love – The Runt

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

August 8th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kady’s message to the band is:

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

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

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

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

Much love – The Runt

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

August 1st, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To all the 311 fans:

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

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

Much love – The Runt

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

July 25th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

To the other fantastic 311 fans:

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

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

Much love – The Runt

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

July 18th, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now to all the other fabulous fans:

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

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

Much love – The Runt

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