Runt Rant

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

Tis the time for a new 311 fan spotlight…Meet Erik Walder!

July 28th, 2014

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We meet again my friends out there in the 311 universe! I trust you all had an amazing weekend and are ready to take this new week by storm! So let us not delay another moment and start it off right by meeting this weeks 311 fan spotlight – Erik Walder!

Back in the mid 90’s Erik was really into the whole rap/rock genre of music that was happening and it was during that time that he saw the video for “Down” on MTV (back when they actually showed music videos). Erik loved the song and went down to the mall, to a store called Sam Goody’s, and bought the album. “I was really into the alien theme back in those days. I had alien hats, posters, candles, movies, X-Files stuff, etc. As soon as I saw the blue album had alien heads on it, I knew it was a good sign.”

Since then Erik has been to 33 shows and also 1 Nick Hexum Quintet show. This past 311 Day in New Orleans is included in that show tally and he claimed it ranks as one of the happiest moments in his life, behind the day he married his wife Sharon and the day his daughter Maia was born. Erik saw the band this summer in Scottsdale, Arizona and he said it was an amazing experience. “We had planned our family vacation to Arizona, and after we had already booked our flights, 311 announced the summer tour. It was awesome that they were playing the same weekend we were out there. It was awesome to rock out with my wife on the rail, and it was my brother and sister-in-law’s first 311 show ever.”

Erik originates from the Baltimore region and has lived in that area all of his life. He attended Rider University in New Jersey from 1996 to 2001. During that time he was always blasting 311 and it was in his hallway that he met Wayne Slater. “He had room #311 and had a giant blue oval logo sticker on the door number. When I joined a fraternity, I met Ian Silber. Instant friends. He took me to my first show at Asbury Park on 11/11/99. I only had 2 friends that were 311 fans, until my senior year.”

Right before Erik’s final semester at Rider he started collecting live shows and found a website that had bootleg trading. Since Erik didn’t have anything to trade the guy for live 311 shows, he worked out a deal with the guy. “I didn’t have anything to trade, so the guy that ran the site told me to send him a spindle of blank CD-R’s and a money order for return shipping. The only way he would burn me all 83 discs that I requested, was that I had to promise never to sell any of them. I could make as many copies for my friends as I wanted, but I was not allowed to sell them. That’s when I realized that the 311 fan community was something special. I’ll never forget it. I hope that I can find that guy and thank him for feeding my 311 addiction.” If you are out there reading this stranger who helped out Erik, say hello!

Since graduation Erik has been working in his family’s poultry business and he has been there for almost twenty-one years. “I love what I do, and I got to spend more time with my grandparents and my brothers while also learning the right way to do business: honesty and experience go a long way. I’ve tried to keep those same morals and values in all aspects of my life.”  Erik met his wife Sharon back in 2002 and they married in 2006. Sharon has been to a few shows (Erik said he thinks her show tally is 4). His daughter Maia is following in dads footsteps and loving 311 just as much as him! “She’s so amazing! I play Stereolithic in my car and she loves to sing along with me. She even asks me to put 311 on instead of Frozen! I can’t wait to take her to her first 311 show one day. She keeps asking when she can go.”

Erik found the Familia on July 14, 2013 and he said his life changed forever because of it. Being from Baltimore, Erik is a Orioles and Ravens fan, and 311 never had any themed shirts for the teams. Erik found a way to make his own by creating custom jerseys with 311 on them. It was thanks to this that he found the Familia. Erik had attended an O’s game and the next day his friend messaged him asking if he had seen the photo of him on the Familia page. Erik said he asked, “What’s Familia?” His friend Chris Sabol added him to the group and he saw the photo that someone took of him, and it had 133 likes and tons of comments. Since then Erik has met amazing people through the group and he said some of the people know him better than his non-311 friends.

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If you are friends with Erik you know that he loves to grill. While he says he doesn’t really have any special talents, he does try to always look at the bright side of things, no matter how bad a situation may be. He always tries to keep himself level-headed. “In times of trouble, everyone joins a team.”  He collects 311 posters as a hobby and he loves to trade them (you can find him posting often on the 311 Trading Post). “I love to see all the great art that 311 inspired. Even fan art is awesome. There are so many talented people out there. It’s just amazing.”

There isn’t one 311 song that particularly means the most to Erik because he said each one has a different meaning to him at different points in his life. Although he mentioned he’s been on a non-stop Stereolithic kick since it was released. “I’ve been saying it over and over again that this album has the potential to be one of the most important albums that I have ever heard in my entire life. There’s just so much meaning in the lyrics, and it really describes how my life has been going in the last few months.”  Erik has a lot of quotes from songs that he likes. One in particular is “I always say what I feel and that is a promise. Nothing in life is above being honest.” If you want to see more, just check out his Facebook profile if you friends! There are some great ones listed there!

Erik’s message to the band is simply this: “Thank you for combining many different types of music to create such a unique sound. The lyrics speak to me more than any other artist or group out there. I could listen to the entire 311 discography and never get bored.”

To every fan out there in 311 land: “I always knew that the 311 community was full of great people. After I joined the Familia last year, my assumptions were correct. I’ve met some great friends who share the same love of a band as I do. Lifelong friendships formed because of a band! Can you believe that? “In the comfort of strangers, you don’t see the danger of just letting it flow. This I know.

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There you have it folks – you have met Mr. Erik Walder! I hope you appreciate and enjoyed his story. Oh and before I go, Erik’s birthday is this Wednesday July 30th, so make sure you leave him some birthday love in the comment section!

Until our next encounter, just remember…”There’s a door open to walk through, all I want is, just beyond…”

Love you all! – The Runt

 

Meet our latest 311 fan spotlight – Roland Dewitt!

July 21st, 2014

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Here we are again my excitable friends in 311 land! Another week has begun and this can mean only one thing…it’s time for the new fan spotlight! Let’s not delay and read on about Mr. Roland Dewitt!

Back in 95/96, when Roland was just 11 years old, his friend Hiram hosted a party and was playing “Down” on repeat pretty much the whole time. Since then, Roland has been blasting the 311 pretty much every day. “I was drawn to their music because I can relate very much to it.  311 is an intelligent band, with awesome music.  This is a mix that is hard to come by.  Being somewhat of a nerd, I was drawn to their more intelligent lyrics and the perfection of their live show.  Once I saw them live, I was 100% hooked.”

Roland’s show tally is at 30 currently, but he’ll add shows 31 and 32 to that in just a few days when he sees the band in Atlanta at the Tabernacle. He said it was really hard to narrow down the answer to his favorite show so far. If he had to choose though he would pick the show from 3/18/2002 since it was the last time he was at the Tabernacle.

Like most fans, Roland has many songs and lyrics that really mean a great deal to him. He said he really can’t just pick one song that means the most to him, but he does love “Beyond the Grey Sky,” “Sometimes Jacks Rule the Realm,” and basically all of the Transistor album. As far as lyrics, he posts some of his favorites on Facebook pretty much every day. Those include “Do what thy will should be the whole of the law” and “Nothing in life is above being honest.”

Roland was born and raised in Auburn, Alabama, but he says, “No, I don’t have a southern accent.”  This is due to his father being from Michigan and his mother, while from Northern Alabama, lacks an accent. He said his parents are very well educated and even though they didn’t have a ton of money they got by. Roland has both a younger and older brother and he has only lived in Auburn. Working since he was 14 has helped fund his 311 addiction. He now works for Auburn University so the likelihood of him ever living anywhere else he says is slim. “The only bad part about Auburn is that about ½ of the population are students.  This is fine with me, but that results in friends who leave every 4-5 years.  Most students leave Auburn, so I have few friends left in Auburn.  Also, the students are getting younger and younger (ha), and I am getting older and older.  It is a unique environment.”

Something Roland says most people don’t know about him is that he was fired from his first job at the age of 14 because he was “too young” (which is interesting because they hired him and clearly knew his age at the time!).  He also has a pretty unique talent – he can ride a unicycle, juggle, and do both at the same time! Although he said he’s a bit out of practice with it. Guilty pleasure? He has just one, “Marijuana, and lots of it.” Other music that Roland listens to includes techno (not dub-step), some rap, The Beatles, and basically anything from the 90’s. He also really likes the band Incubus, but he was upset when Dirk left in 2002. He hasn’t seen them live since then.

Roland had the opportunity to meet the guys back in 2006 and wants to share his story of that with you all. “Back in 2005 there was an altercation with 311 and Scott Stapp.  I believe Stapp was being a dick and 311 had to protect themselves, essentially beating Stapp up in self-defense. I told my girlfriend at the time that I wanted to shake Chad and SA’s hands for doing what was necessary.  (I don’t agree with violence, but if someone punched my wife, or even myself, I would react with appropriate force.) On 3/9/2006, I thanked the band for standing up for themselves and more importantly, beating up Scott Stapp.  I find it funny that I was actually able to thank the band for this act of necessary violence.  Here is the article that can shed more light on the incident: http://www.mtv.com/news/1517207/out-of-control-scott-stapp-incites-melee-with-311-at-baltimore-hotel/.”

Roland’s message to all the awesome people out in the 311 universe is:

“Keep coming to the shows!  I see a lot of people at shows who have been going since I was 13/14 years old.  We run into each other at 311 shows and are like “Hey, you are that guy” and I’m like “Hey, you are that guy.”  Recently, at 311 day 2014, people from the Familia came up to me and asked if I was Roland DeWitt.  I believe 7 people did that, whom I have only met online.  It was awesome, as I didn’t think anyone would recognize me.  I was quite flattered.  Also, once in Halloween 2010, a clown came up to me and asked “Are you Roland DeWitt?” I was a bit taken aback, but it turned out to be Brad Downen (a 311 taper and huge fan) who recognized me.  Thanks, Brad for wearing full-body clown makeup and freaking me out.  It was surreal.”

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Another 311 fan spotlight is in the books my friends! Thank you all for reading about Roland and I hope you have an excellent week! Show some love & leave a comment if you feel inclined! It’ll make my day seeing your words in the comments as I filter through the spam!

Much love my friends! – The Runt

 

Yay the new 311 fan spotlight! Meet Mr. Colin Presley Stacy!

July 14th, 2014

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Welcome back my excitable friends! Happy week of 311 shows for all you northeast peeps (myself included!). Before we kick off our week of 311 fun, let us partake in the new 311 fan spotlight! Say hello to Mr. Colin Presley Stacy!

While Colin began listening to 311 in middle school and junior high, it wasn’t until his sister took him to his first show in 2003 that his addiction kicked in. He first experienced them in Cleveland, Ohio and was awed by what miT was “sonically” doing with his guitar. “The tones and effects just blew me away. Also the energy the band had on stage sold me as a fan for life. It’s not hard to get into them after you see them play live!”

Since that fateful day in 2003, Colin has seen the band a total of 24 times and attended five 311 Days. Of those shows, this years 311 Day wins as his favorite, with 2012’s two day event coming in a close second. “This most recent 311 Day just had it all – 311 back in New Orleans, us excitable ones taking over the streets, the set list, sound quality, overall production, and not to mention a new album dropped the same day. It was an incredible experience to be a part of!”

Colin comes from the state of Ohio and grew up in Mentor, a suburb about 25 miles east of Cleveland. While he has traveled many places, he has always lived in this area. “I love the four seasons we get here and there’s a lot more to do than most people think when they hear Cleveland!”  Being from Cleveland, he is an avid local sports fan and said, “Here we go brownies!”  He is also a passionate fan of music and is a mostly self-taught musician. He started playing the bagpipes (pretty cool right?) at the young age of 8 and then taught himself guitar, bass, drums and keys throughout high school. He was even in a band called The Thrifters and they were lucky enough to open for 311 and Matisyahu in Cleveland one year! If you feel like checking out the band, you can find their old catalog of music on Spotify!

Not only is he an avid fan of Cleveland sports and music, but he is also a craft beer enthusiast.  Working at a local craft beer store for three years will probably do that to you! He fell in love with the industry. He has an Instagram account and it is solely dedicated to him photos of the craft beers he drinks. If you feel like looking him up, go follow @colinpresley!

Anyone ever been named after two musicians? Colin is! His first name is after Colin Hay (from the band Men at Work) and his middle is after Elvis Presley. He is also a self-proclaimed professional corn hole player. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it is a bean bag tossing game where you try to toss the bags either on to a board about 30 feet away, or if you’re lucky, into the small hole in the center of that board. Colin said he has been playing for about 10 years and will accept anyones challenge!

I asked Colin to tell me an interesting fact that others may not know about him, and his is the first answer that made me laugh out loud. “I had a perm when I was in the third grade…no regrets.”  He also said he doesn’t really have any pleasures he considers guilty ones, but he is obsessed with the TV show Supernatural. “I’ve watched the series three times and I’m currently on my fourth run through on Netflix. I’m a purist so I need to watch the whole series before a new season comes out. Luckily my girlfriend was the one who turned me on to the show so she doesn’t mind at all!”

The song “Running” off Transistor is the song that means the most to Colin and he says it gives him goose bumps every time he listens to it! “I remember vividly hearing it live for the first time and it was just overwhelming. I got a natural high just from the music and that is an incredible experience!”

Some of his favorite quotes come from other songs and he loves them enough to have them tattooed on his body. He has “This Too Shall Pass” because he says, “You gotta take the good times with the bad because everything will inevitably move on. Enjoy the positives when you have them and don’t fret the negatives because with time everything will pass.” Colin also “Stay positive and love your life” because he tries to truly live by this statement every day and he urges everyone to try and do this. “You’re alive. Just that fact alone is reason enough to love it and even if there is negativity in some fashion, the power of positive thinking can do amazing things!”

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Colin met the guys in Cleveland before the show back in 2012 and he got to say everything he’d been waiting to say to them for years. “The main thing was just a huge thank you for the music and positive messages they convey through it. Changed my life for the better and allowed me countless hours of happiness through their music and the shows attended with friends and family.”

Colin’s message to all of the excitable family out in the 311 universe is:

“Thanks for being such an awesome community!  Haven’t met a 311 fan I don’t like, and have made many friends and strengthened friendships solely to the time spent listening and watching 311.  Keep being the most kick ass fan community and of course, stay positive and love your life!”

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As always my community of 311 fans, I thank you for taking the time to read this blog of mine and learning more about your sisters & brothers ! Keep on rocking and hopefully I’ll be seeing some of you in CT, MA & NY this week!

Much Love – The Runt

 

Happy July! Time to read all about Alexa Lopez!

July 7th, 2014

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Goooooooood July morning to you all! Welcome back to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight! Remember last week’s spotlight Shayne? He mentioned his awesome girlfriend Alexa and how they met because of 311. Well this week we follow his write up with no one other than that gorgeous lady! It’s time to learn all about Alexa!

Alexa was in high school when she unearthed the awesomeness of 311. She and her good friend, fellow Slinky Emilee Dore, started listening to the band then.  “We grew up in northern New Hampshire, so we spent a lot of time hanging out and just listening to songs like ‘Down,’ ‘Beautiful Disaster,’ and ‘All Mixed Up’.”  Alexa said it was the versatility of 311’s music that really drew her in. “I can listen to certain songs that help me feel better and others that will get me pumped up.”

Alexa attended 311 Day this year and that marked her 10th show. She said it was so great to set that mini milestone and with an epic show to boot. While she has loved the shows she has seen on the Unity tour and this years 311 Day, her favorite shows by far are the ones from the third cruise back in 2013. “I met some amazing people and had the time of my life. Who else can say that they get to go on a boat for 4 days with thousands of other excitables AND be around their favorite bands?”

Growing up in a small town in New Hampshire with her parents and older sister, Alexa spent a lot of time in the great outdoors camping and playing sports. She played field hockey, softball, track & field, and also downhill ski racing. Alexa said she “absolutely LOVES” down hill skiing! “I love the rush of going down the slope, carving into fresh snow and being able to listen to various music that becomes the soundtrack to my day. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the mountain with friends, but there’s also something really serene about being able to just pop my headphones in, hit shuffle, and let the music set my day.”

When Alexa graduated high school she moved to Boston for college because she thought she would want to be in a big city after spending so much time in a small town. However, she ended up only spending a year there and then transferred to The University of New England in southern Maine. There she lived with her sister for a few years to save money. “It was nice to live with my sister outside of the home we grew up in and we ended up growing closer and becoming best friends.”  After Alexa graduated she moved on to Burlington, Vermont to pursue her masters degree at the University of Vermont, where she studied experimental psychology. She said Burlington was a great place to live because she got a city feel with the country just a mere five minute drive away. Alexa just recently moved with her boyfriend Shayne down to Richmond, Virginia to start her postdoctoral fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ask Alexa what is an interesting fact that most people don’t know about and she claims she is a big nerd! “Most people could figure it out but I’m kind of a big nerd even if I try to hide it by being really girly. I love watching Jeopardy, playing old school Nintendo games, and watching movies such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones.”  I guess I’m a nerd too then Alexa because I love all of those things!

Ok so we know 311 is Alexa’s favorite band, but what else does she listen to? Some bands she loves as well are Ballyhoo!, Dave Matthews Band, Avett Brothers, Pearl Jam (and she says, “Eddie Vedder forever!”), Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, A Perfect Circle, Queen, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen. She also says that 90’s pop and hip hop Pandora stations  are her guilty pleasure! “If we are hanging out and having a few drinks, chances are I’ll end up turning one or both of these on and will be able to sing almost every lyric.”

“Sun Come Through” is a song that Alexa says has to be easily one of her favorites, if not her number one. “I just love the structure of the music and lyrics, and it holds some great memories for me. I still can’t believe it was a B-side!”  Her favorite quote from a song comes from “All Mixed Up” though – “You’ve got to bet on yourself not star, cause that’s your best bet.”

Alexa would like to say to Chad, Nick, Pnut, SA and Tim – “Thank you so much for helping me to discover to love the life I live and to try to be a positive influence on others.”

To the best fans in the world: “Live life to the fullest- if you have the opportunity to take a trip, hang out with long lost friends, or just simply try out a new restaurant, go for it. Live a full and exciting life and don’t let others affect you if they have a hard time understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing. You never know when you’ll have that moment again, so enjoy it. Stay positive and love your life :)”

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Thank you Alexa for sharing your story! I hope everyone enjoyed our latest fan spotlight and that you are all either relishing in your high from just seeing 311 or getting giddy about an upcoming show. No matter what, enjoy your life and seize every opportunity you get! Oh yeah, and hopefully I’ll see you all on the next 311 Cruise in 2015!!

Much love to you all! – The Runt

Drum roll please…the next 311 fan spotlight is…Shayne McDonald!

June 30th, 2014

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Greetings and salutations my excitable friends! Welcome to the latest edition of the 311 fan spotlight! This week we feature a person that comes from my neck of the woods – good old New England! Without further ado I give you Mr. Shayne McDonald!

The year was 1995. It was fifth grade year for Shayne and his class had a read-a-thon. They were able to listen to music while they read their chapters and a friend gave him the blue album to listen to. The first song he listened to was “Don’t Stay Home” and he fell in love. “The drumming in that song sounded amazing and did something to my ears. The rawness of the music felt powerful.”

Since then Shayne has been hooked, listening and loving the music, messages, and live shows of 311. He has attended 22 shows so far and of those this years 311 Day in New Orleans took the top prize as his favorite. “I had so many of my friends that went with me and so many friends that I’ve been talking to for years that I got to meet for the first time there. I made so many more friends that I never knew before as well. The experience itself was out of this world and it was much better than Vegas! Haha.”

311 has given many things to Shayne, including his wonderful love Alexa. You can tell she means the world to him and he described her as “amazing, beautiful and smart!” (I’ve met her – she is!)  It was thanks to 311 and the 311 Familia that they met and fell in love. Their love for the band drew them together and their spark grew from there. Shayne said that all this happened despite their differences regarding hockey teams. Alexa loves the Canadiens and Shayne loves the Boston Bruins. “It just goes to show that no matter what kind of rivalry you have, you can always find unity in something!”

Shayne grew up in a small, woody town in Maine with his mom, dad, brother and sister. He said his parents showed him a lot of love, but also made sure it was tough love that taught him valuable life lessons. “They taught me how to be an honest person and make an honest living, how to be a kind person and how to treat other people the way they deserve to be treated.”  While he didn’t always agree with their reasoning he can see now where they were coming from and knows they had the best intentions for him, making him who he is today. Since they raised him to be such an honest person, it’s only fitting that some of his favorite 311 lyrics are, “There’s nothing in life above being honest.”

Shayne has also lived in Hope Mills, North Carolina while his brother was stationed at Fort Bragg. He also lived in Valdosta, Georgia for half a year where he says he made some of the best friends he has ever had. Shayne works hard for his money and is always picking up extra shifts when he can. He is in the restaurant business so whenever a 311 event rolls around he prays for the time off so he can go!

If you know Shayne, you may think he is the furthest thing from shy. Yet he says that something most don’t know is he can be very shy around people he doesn’t really know well. “Don’t let my outgoing personality fool you!”  Then when I asked him what makes him unique he replied, “I’m Shayne McDonald!” All joking aside though, he said he is an excellent whistler! He also loves goofing off in the car and having fun by singing songs out loud that he doesn’t necessarily like, such as “Call Me Maybe.”  “It makes me feel great to be a goof and have fun in the car.”

The song “There’s Always an Excuse” has a special meaning to Shayne since it helped him through a difficult time. Shayne unfortunately lost his brother and went through a dark time, and as he says, he was more or less killing himself with the things he was doing. “The lyrics in the song helped wake me up from a really hard time in my life and helped me to realize that there is always an excuse when you need one and you’re not the only one going through it.” Shayne said that really helped save his life, so to the band he would simply like to say, “Thank you for keeping me alive.”

To the fans of 311 Shayne leaves you with this personal message:

“At the end of the day, all pettiness and selfishness aside, we’re all here for the same reason and that is to try to live a happy and fulfilled life.  So try to keep that in mind and show others the respect you think that you deserve because they deserve it as well.”

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Love Shayne’s final message! In the words of 311, “Respect the space of your sister and your brother.”

Thank you all for reading and please leave some love for Shayne in the comments if you feel inclined! It’ll be a nice change to see some real comments instead of spam – Haha!

Much love to you all! – The Runt

 

 

 

Welcome to the new fan spotlight – meet Scott Rome!

June 23rd, 2014

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Happy Monday my friends! I trust you all had the best weekend you could and are ready to take this new week by storm! Let’s get this party started and introduce the new fan spotlight – meet Mr. Scott Rome!

The charisma of 311 is what drew Scott to them back in the early 90’s. He found them during a time when he was listening to Rage Against the Machine, Nine Inch Nails, and Beastie Boys mostly, but he was always a big fan of reggae music. Then in 1993 he saw the boys in a small venue in New Orleans called Tiptina’s. “Their flowing lyrics, reggae beat, Tim’s rocking guitar sound and the distinct sound of Chad’s snare drum, that’s what drew me, hooked me, from the very first show! Since then I could never get enough! Oh did I mention the non-stop energy that is SA Martinez?”

Since that 1993 show that hooked Scott, he figures he has attended 58 shows, to the best of his recollection. This includes 311 Day 2000, 2002, 2008 and 2014. He missed 2004 for a good reason…he was getting married that day! And then 2006 was due to Hurricane Katrina. Scott said that up until this year his favorite ever had been the 2002 311 Day but it’s been trumped by this years show. “It was this show that I literally met hundreds of friends and acquaintances from around the world, whom much of which became some of my best friends!” For his best venue show, he said it is hands down The Roxy show this year. “In the words of the stage manager Roscoe, “It was like a f*&cking frat house in there. I haven’t seen the boys let loose like that in years,” Amen, Roscoe!”

Scott was born and raised in a small town just outside of New Orleans.  At the age of 20 he moved to Chicago to attend college at Loyola University. Once finished he returned to his home town and started work as a General Manager of Hooters in the French Quarter. “I absolutely loved my job and the people I met on a daily basis.” Scott unfortunately had an accident at work injuring his spine and then Hurricane Katrina shut down his restaurant permanently. He ended up taking the disability package that the company offered him. “So now, I guess, I’m still employed with the company, it’s just that their insurance pays me and I no longer have to report to work for life (trust me, it’s not as awesome as some think it is. I still deal with daily severe pain from that injury).”  Scott now works from home as a day trader where he buys and sells stocks. He now currently resides in Los Angeles where he moved about three years ago so his wife could return to school and finish her degree.

One thing people don’t really know about Scott is that he is currently a student pilot and close to earning his private pilot license! He can currently fly solo as long as it’s day and good weather. “Flying for me is a huge stress reliever. Nothing like buzzing around at 5000 feet and letting go of everything except what you are doing right at that moment! Great way to think and clear the head.”  Scott also has a hobby that he loves – his 2003 C-5 Chevy Corvette! He spends a ton of time taking it out to the track, improving the engine or just “talking shop” with other Corvette owners. “Love my car and the energy it gives me when I take it out on the road.”  Scott also mentioned that he is a pretty modest and humble person who doesn’t like big fusses being made over him. “I am a very generous and trusting person, almost to a fault. I have very strong morals and a huge conscience.” His modesty shows because when I asked him something that makes him unique he said he thought for days but couldn’t come up with much. His friends tell him though that he has a green thumb and can make anything grow!

His top 3 bands are 311 (of course), Pink Floyd, and AC/DC. He loves listening to a variety of genres though including country! While he doesn’t listen to Country in the car or on the radio, he will watch it live. “Anything LIVE is good with me!” His all time favorite 311 song is 8:16 A.M. because it was the first song his wife ever listened to with him and she loved it. Since that moment it has been their song! So some of his favorite lyrics naturally come from that song, like, “The first thing that you see, my eyes open, I’m just hoping you feel the same as me” and “Today my love we shall let the world slide, turn off the ringer and just glide.”  Scott said his favorite and most used though are, “Fuck the naysayers.”  He listed a lot more lyrics too but I figured I’ll just give you the highlights. Scott, like most of us, has a book full of 311 lyrics that mean the world to us!

To the band Scott would simply like to say two words – “Thank you!” He said he has been lucky enough to say these two words and more than once at that! To the people that make up the most awesome fan base in the world he simply says:

“I’m not gonna be original here…. The best message ever given, was by our boys…. And that is ” Stay Positive, and LOVE YOUR LIFE!!!”

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Well my friends, that is Scott Rome! He seems like an amazing human being and I hope we all (myself included) have the opportunity to meet him in person in the near future! If you know Scott or want to simply leave him some love, feel free to comment below! Thank you as always for reading my rantings and much love to you all for now and always!

-The Runt

 

Lynette Jardine, come on down! You’re the next 311 fan spotlight!

June 16th, 2014

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Welcome one and all to another 311 fan spotlight! I hope you all had an amazing weekend and let us begin the new week off right by meeting Lynette Jardine!

It was way back in 1994 when Lynette happened to hear the song “Do You Right” on the radio, when she was just 13 years old. “I think it was my older brothers friend who had it. I really liked the song but I didn’t hear anything again at all until the next year when “Down” came out.”  That year Lynette when to visit her aunt and uncle in Fort Calhoun, Nebraska which borders the glorious city of Omaha. Her cousin had the blue album and she listened to in pretty much non-stop while there! Her cousin then told her that the guys were from Omaha and that she had friends who knew them. Lynette was hooked from there on out! “I would print pictures off the internet on a color printer at my local library! Then I would cut them out and had 311 collages in my locker in high school. I bought shirts and CD’s but didn’t get to see them live until after high school.”

Lynette saw her first show April 1, 2000 and has been to a total of 7 shows so far. She explained that she really would have loved to have attended more but the circumstances and funds didn’t always allow it. She’ll be hitting shows 8 and 9 this summer and can’t wait for them! She also has started saving money for the next cruise since she hasn’t been on one yet. Of the concerts she has been able to go to she said the best one was the free show in Omaha back in 2004. Since her aunt and uncle lived close to Omaha she asked them if her and a few friends could stay there so they could go see the show, and they said yes! “Me and four of my friends got in a car and drove 311 miles to the show (yes it was exactly 311 miles from her house to Omaha!). My aunt and uncles house was out in the country and they had horses. We found tons of marijuana growing there! The plants averaged about 8 feet tall and while my aunt and uncle were ‘in town’ we were outside filling as many plastic bags as we could, hahaha!”  That same day Lynette and her friends went to the park to see the show. She said it was an absolutely beautiful day and all the bands were great, but 311 was of course the best! “It was a very up close and personal vibe. We had so much fun. The whole trip was amazing. Then we came home and made THC oil with the weed we had and baked tons of brownies. It was good times, good weed too!”

Davenport, Iowa is where Lynette was born but she grew up in Port Byron, Illinois (she said to think I-80 and the Mississippi River). After high school she moved to Provo, Utah for a year and that is where she first was able to see 311 live. She saw them twice in two months and mentioned she really had the time of her life there. Then when she was scheduled to move back to Illinois her mother booked a train ticket for her the same day as a 311 show. “I told her I wouldn’t be on the train because I had tickets to see 311. She was so mad at me! So she changed the reservation. I was a real brat!”

For the majority of her life Lynette has resided in the Quad City area. Just before she turned 27 she moved to Quincy, Illinois where she still resides to this day. It’s only 150 miles down river from where she grew up. She currently is in school working on obtaining her medical office technology degree and is hoping to move out west to Oregon in 2015 once that is completed. She is a bit torn about the career she has chosen because it isn’t really what she wants to do with life, but she knows it will provide her with skills she can use in other areas. Plus it will allow her to work from home and set her own schedule, and that she likes!

Lynette currently tutors and works odd jobs while in school to help her out financially. While she may not have hit a ton of shows like some, she said she buys all of 311’s albums and some she has bought numerous times! “Back in the day that’s how you had to replace stuff. I’ve also watched  both ETSD’s numerous times along with the 311 Day DVD. I plan on hitting a lot more shows since the money gods have started smiling on me more!”

One thing all that medical training taught Lynette is how to conduct every exam that uses xray. Pretty cool skill to have! She has also been called the cat whisperer by some thanks to her ability to “herd cats.” (I don’t know about the rest of you, but I would LOVE to see this!)  Lynette’s guilty pleasure? “I totally love watching Teen Wolf.”  And when she isn’t listening to 311 you can find her jamming out to tunes by Queen, The Beatles, Pixies, No Doubt, Weezer, RHCP, Wookiefoot, Beastie Boys, Sia, and Green Day (just to name a few).

Lynette knows that the guys in 311 have blessed her life and for that she would just like to say to them, “Thank you for your help in navigating this life.”  They’ve given her the song “Jupiter” which she says means a lot to her because it came out when she was 16 and was her “go to” song, and still is sometimes! And while that might be one of her all time favorite songs, the favorite quote she picked comes from “Applied Science.” She said the lyrics sum it up pretty nicely – “I met some weirdos and had myself a good time.”

So with that, her message to all of the fans out in the 311 universe is:

“You guys are all awesome! I can’t wait to meet some of you in person this summer and to meet some totally new people. I’ll be at the St. Louis and Chillicothe shows, so come say hi if you see me. I’m not shy. Shine on  with your positivity fam, it’s always just what I need.”

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Thanks to Lynette for sharing her story and love for 311! And thanks to everyone who reads these! You all rock! Keep the positivity flowing always.

Much love – The Runt

 

 

Another week and the new fan spotlight is here! Meet JR Barnett!

June 9th, 2014

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Hey hey hey 311 fans! We meet again! Thanks for coming back each week and reading the fan spotlights. I know the people featured really enjoy telling their stories to each and every one of you and I truly appreciate you visiting my blog! Without further ado, let us meet this weeks spotlight fan – here is Mr. JR Barnett!

Close your eyes and let’s travel back to the year 1995…you remember that year right? Well hopefully you do or maybe you are too young to fully remember it, in which case many of us are jealous right now. Mr. Barnett recalls a radio station based in Texas called ZRock that played alternative music. One fateful day they played the song “Down” and the melody caught JR’s ear. He said that at first he just listened to it and liked it, but after it started to get more and more airplay, it became his summer anthem. His friend DJ copied the blue album on to a cassette for him (nice throwback!) and JR started listening to the album repeatedly. The following summer his friend bought Music and they cruised around listening to it the whole summer. “At first, since it was a cassette tape, we seemed to only listen to that first side. Then one day I get into his Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme and he says so I started listening to the other side and it’s just as good as side one!” JR and his buddy would drive around singing the songs, with DJ taking on the talents of SA and JR covering Nicks melodic vocals. “I guess the major draw was the uniqueness. The mix of reggae, rap, and alternative feel. It was almost like this invisible force, not unlike the destiny pull of light in Donnie Darko, that made me feel pulled in.”

JR’s concert tally currently resides at 58 and he has two shows he’ll be attending this summer. He’ll be at the Chicago show on July 11th which will be the big 6-0! “I will be taking my 6 year old son Alex with me for not only his first 311 concert, but his first concert ever! His 1st, my 60th!”  When asked which show out of the 58 he’s been to so far has been the top one, he had a difficult time choosing. He said that so many shows have had great moments, such as the Myrtle Beach show back in 02 when SA handed him a drum head and they played T&P Combo for him. Then there was Pow Wow which he said was just an amazing atmosphere and the set lists were great, with them playing two full albums live. Of all the shows though, he said this years 311 Day wins hands down. “There were so many songs I needed to hear live that I got to hear. I had even written the band a list of 19 songs they’d never played at a 311 Day and they ended up playing all but two of the songs on my list. How’s that for customer satisfaction? Haha!”

Throughout JR’s love for 311 there have been songs from the band that have meant a lot to him and he said they can be broken down into time periods. “Beautiful Disaster” was his soundtrack during the end of his first and short-lived marriage in 1999. It’s the song that lead him to create the 311 Tribute Album. Other songs that have been important in his life are “T&P Combo,” “Jackpot,” “Sick Tight,” and most recently “The Great Divide.”  However if you want to know JR’s favorite lyrics, look no further than his left shoulder. “From chaos comes clarity” is tattooed there under the 311 logo and the autographs of each band member.

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JR has a birthday coming up! He was born on July 4th, 1978 and raised in Danville, Illinois. Some of his fondest childhood memories come from hanging at his grandmas  house with his cousins in the summertime. “The memories from those times are pure magic.”  During the times away from his grandma’s he was playing Ninja Turtles, He-Man, Nintendo, or drawing. Starting in the 5th grade and lasting until graduation he was in band playing percussion. Other places he lived were Indianapolis, then Michigan, and he is now back to Indiana in New Carlisle. He funds his 311 habit like most of us with work, work and more work! He said any extra money goes towards 311 and if it’s a year with a 311 Day, the savings starts early!

JR has some unique qualities that make him stand out from the rest. He draws, paints and works on his own comic strip that’s based on his Sheltie. He has directed movies in the past with friends and even wrote a few screenplays. We mentioned he can play the drums but he also can sing and he taught himself guitar. Plus he has done voiceovers of famous movies with his best friend Drew Jett! He even has a guilty pleasure TV show – “Drop Dead Diva.”

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An interesting fact that some of you may not know is that JR is responsible for making the 311 Tribute Album: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants. When 311 announced the three anniversary shows to celebrate their ten years of touring back in 2000, JR knew that he wanted to do something special for it. He got the idea to have a bunch of garage bands that loved 311 as much as he did to send demos of their best covers. He was then going to slap them on a CD and send it to the band. He started to spread the word via the message boards and fan pages. He even made a website for the project with the help of Larry Maner.

After about a month JR had an overwhelming response from bands, fans, and some people with a little clout.  He received an email from someone expressing their interest in the project and who wanted to help out. Turns out this person was none other than Nick Hexum’s step-sister Marissa! She came on board as a beneficiary and helped JR expand the project beyond his original idea. He decided to make it into a real CD with full color liner notes and all. Then he decided to put a band together himself to put on the CD, which included himself and his friend DJ, Drew Jett, Chris Camarata, and Darin Ripperdin. They practiced, practiced, practiced and picked their 3 best songs to add to the album. JR had also been in touch with Peter Raspler regarding the album and hoped to just be able to get the CD into the hands of the guys for 3/11/01. Well, not only did they get the CD to them, but he flew to L.A. with Drew and Marissa to hand deliver it to them! The band thanked him by letting him listen to some of the upcoming release From Chaos and Nick took them out to dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s. If you look at the liner notes of From Chaos, they are thanked in it!

Obviously from the story above JR is one of the lucky people who have had the opportunity to hold a conversation with the band members, so he’s managed to say a lot to them! So in this post, and with his 60th show coming up, he’d just like to say, “Please play “Guns” in Chicago. It’s the last song I need to hear to have heard the entire blue album live. Plus, it’s a bad ass song that needs to get out in the summer air and breathe!”

And to all of the fans in the 311 universe:

“Keep the 311 positivity flowing because being negative doesn’t improve any situation.”

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That my fellow positive vibe merchants is our latest fan spotlight! Thanks for reading the story of JR Barnett! I hope you loved it and I am truly grateful to all of you that support this project of mine. Keep dreaming and remember that, “The fish who keeps on swimming is the first to chill upstream.”

Much love! – The Runt

 

 

Hello again! Time to meet 311 fan Kim Neblett James!

June 2nd, 2014

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Welcome back my fellow 311 fans! I trust you are ready to kick this weeks ass so what better way to start it off than with a new 311 fan spotlight! Let me introduce you this week to Kim Neblett James!

Kim discovered 311 way back in 1993 when she went to a local venue in Richmond, VA (which is no longer there…as she said, RIP Flood Zone).  The show she attended was two days after her 13th birthday and she figured it would be a cool thing to do since it was all ages. The middle band performing that night was none other than 311 and she fell in love instantly! “I became obsessed and would not stop listening to Music. Twenty one years later and I have the same feelings.”

I’m sure we all feel like we’ve been to so many shows and that you can never get enough. If you think eventually you’ll grow tired of it, think again. For Kim she still can’t get enough of the guys live! She has been to 99 shows and is hitting number 100 this summer! Even cooler than that is she has all but four of her ticket stubs for these shows in her possession. So after seeing 99 shows, how do you narrow it down to your favorite one? “I thought the best lineup was 2 Skinnee J’s and Incubus, but my very first 311 Day in Nola years ago was EPIC! I would have to say though that this past 311 Day was the best! The set list was BANANAS and I was surrounded by my Kind Buds (except for Jill).  It was amazing!”

Kim mentioned above her Kind Buds – this is her group of friends that all love 311. She and her friend Jill even have kind bud tattoos! From what Kim told me, this group is precious to her and they support each other everyday. Members Jill and Noel did a cover of “Count Me In” at her wedding reception and Kim said, “Every time I think of it I start tearing up from pure happiness!”  The group has also suffered a loss of one of their friends, Janet, last year to a drunk driver. RIP Janet.

Kim said there are a few songs that really mean the world to her, and “Beyond the Gray Sky” is one of them because she has dealt with much loss in her life and it reminds her to be there for all the people in her life, all the time, not just when favorable. “You never know what tomorrow brings.”  She also loves the song “Strong All Along” since she can listen to it and know everything is going to be alright. Her number one song though is “Do You Right.”  “This is the song that made me fall in LOVE with 311 style, lyrics, and over all feeling! It takes me to my positive place.”

Kim originates from Goochland County, VA. Her family had an enormous musical influence on her – Dad loves rock, blues and Motown, while mom is into everything Motown. Then her sister is into Prince, Beastie Boys, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. As she says, “We love to love music!”  Aside from music, Kim loves her husband who she met when she was a mere 19! She said he makes beats for all types of music.

If there is one thing that is certain, Kim is by no means boring! Where do I begin? She has a degree from VCU in dance and is classically trained in ballet, but says that once she found modern dance her life changed! She has the three highest Girl Scouts awards and was one of the ten girls that changed the Gold Award standards. She’s been a vegetarian since she was 19. She has a niece whom she adores. She has travelled to more cities than she can count. Some other obsessions include Edgar Allen Poe, Maya Angelou (RIP), Mustangs, wine, Pinterest, Batman and her veggie garden. Her phone number and address include 311. Oh and she is a self-proclaimed smart ass and fighter for all things equal, “Because injustice is just BS!”

As I mentioned earlier, Kim loves to love music of all kinds. Some of her other favorite musicians include Beastie Boys, RHCP, Bob Marley and the whole Marley family, 2 Skinnee J’s, The Urge, Alice in Chains, Nirvana, Stevie Wonder, and Al Green (Her list went on longer, but I think you get the picture – she loves all music!). You already know that she loves seeing 311 live, but what were her first concerts? “My first two concerts were Milli Vanilli and MC Hammer.” I don’t know about anyone else, but I think that rocks!

Kim is a lover of horror movies, something she considers her guilty pleasure. And while you know by now she isn’t boring, you don’t know that something that makes her unique is that she is the youngest person to choreograph at the Concert Ballet of Virginia!

One of Kim’s favorite lyrics from 311 is “Take care of yourself and someone else.”  As she says, “I live by that.”  If she could only ever say one thing to the band that has influenced her life so much, it would be, “Thank you for saving me from negativity.” (Great choice Kim!)

Kim’s final words are to all of you out there in the world of 311:

“Hey Brodles and Slinks, I hope you enjoyed reading this! I look forward to meeting everyone in the future. To my Kind Buds (Jill, Noel, Janet, John, Crystal, Cat, and Frank) I am so proud to have you all as friends. Much love and take care of yourself and someone else!”

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There you have Kim my friends! She was so fun to interview! I hope you all loved reading her story. Thank you all for reading each week. I can’t begin to tell you all how much fun this is for me and the fact that you read it, well it elates me! Until next week. Much love to you all!

-The Runt

Welcome back to a new 311 Fan Spotlight – meet Leslie Roane!

May 26th, 2014

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Welcome back to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight! I’m sorry it’s been 2 weeks since the last one, so let us not delay any further! If there is one thing some of the fans in 311 nation are good at, it’s making me feel really old. Our fan spotlight this week is no exception, since she was only 12 when Evolver came out and “Creatures for A While” was being played on the radio. This week we meet Ms. Leslie Roane!

Leslie fell in love with 311 back in 2003 while visiting her aunt and uncle for the summer. The local alternative radio station, HFS 99.1, would do a top 9 countdown at 9 and she remembers “Creatures” was always number one. “I really got into them around that point and once I listened to other stuff [shamefully, Love Song], it solidified my love for them.”

Leslie’s first show was in 2008 with her aunt, who had just recently seen the band at a Michigan festival and wanted to go see them again. Since then Leslie has rocked out at 8 more shows. Of those, this years 311 Day in New Orleans takes the top prize as her best experience yet. This event was her first 311 Day and it was a last minute decision to go after a rough experience on a trip to India. “It was a very last minute road trip with Andrea Baker and it was so great finally meeting all the familia and people I’ve only communicated with online.” Leslie said meeting these individuals in person, people she became very good friends with, was a moving experience. She also said that the outpouring of love and positivity from everyone was just awesome. And then the show just was the icing on the cake! “The setlist was amazing. I cried to “Eons” and the whole show was just a major life turning point for me. I also happily met my boyfriend (Alex) in Nola on Bourbon Street.” Meeting great friends (she gave a shout out to Veronica Thompson) and finding love sounds like a great 311 Day to me!

Leslie lives in Baltimore but originated from Montross, Virginia. She just this past week achieved a major life milestone, graduating with her Bachelor of Arts in Communications, with a minor in Art, from Salisbury University. She hosted a college radio show for two and a half years and has been in radio for four and a half. She says she has an appreciation for new music thanks to being in this field and it resulted in her having an expansive music library. “My iTunes has 5600 songs and that’s only about half of non-related stuff on my external.” She usually comes across a band at least once a year and falls hopelessly in love with them. Lately, like many of us, she’s been obsessed with Stereolithic, but has also been getting into Local Natives, Bumpin’ Uglies, and Matisyahu (his first album specifically).  Other than 311, she says she’s always been a fan of Kanye West, Dave Matthews Band, Sublime, Incubus, Ballyhoo!, The Marley family, The Roots, Mos Def, and Maroon 5.

Just two Friday’s ago Leslie hosted her final show at her college radio station, WXSU. She said it was one of the best shows ever because of the support from friends and family plus she got to put A LOT of 311 in the rotation. Her show was called TheFridayNightCrash because she took that time slot to escape bad roommates at the time. Her hobby turned into a passion and caused her to switch her major to communications. Since then she says she hasn’t been happier and would like to say, “Many thanks to WXSU for helping me get out my dreams!”

Recently Leslie had the opportunity to study abroad in India. While it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, she had a frightening experience over there. Leslie was hit by a motorcycle and as she says, “Lived (hobbled) to tell about it!” She said this experience is something that makes her unique. She also can give you a scholarly argument on Kanye West’s first three albums and their effect on a person through their messages. And while she graduated with a degree in Communications, she used to me a Marine Science major and volunteered over 450 hours at her local aquarium back in high school. She also believes she has an unhealthy obsession with flip flops. “I will wear them March through November, even if it’s freezing!” Everyone has guilty pleasures, and Leslie is no exception. Hers is the show Boy Meets World and she has seen every episode! She also said she cried when N’Sync made a comeback last year and believes Old Bay seasoning goes on everything (I think that’s just awesome – no guilt there).

Leslie has been through some tough times and 311’s music has helped her survive them. She said it’s a tough call to pick her favorite song, but it’s a close tie between “Boom Shanka” and “Eons”. “Both have helped me get through hellish points in my life and ‘Boom Shanka’ has helped me grown as a person.”  She also loves the song “Existential Hero” because of the lyric, “Time with you, it keeps on sliding.”  “Those words just make you realize time is precious and to value each experience.”

With that, Leslie would just like to say to the guys in 311, “ Thank you for your contribution to music and my life, and for helping me change for the better.”

To the fans of 311 -

“Much love and positive vibes, and thanks for all the wild nights!”

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There you have Ms. Leslie Roane everyone! I hope you enjoyed this weeks spotlight. Now go have some fun on this Memorial Day! Until next time, “I wanna make a mess, I wanna blow off stress, I wanna stoke the fire, just creatures for a while!

Much Love! – The Runt

 

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