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

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311 Fan Spotlight – Mike Taylor – 4/27/15

April 27th, 2015

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Hello again all of my excitable friends! Monday, Monday…can only mean one thing! It’s time for the new 311 fan spotlight – feast your eyes on this weeks fan Mr. Mike Taylor!

Eighth grade is where Mike’s journey with 311 began. His pop gave him five CD’s – Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Soul Coughing, Hed (pe), and 311. “Needless to say, those 5 albums started my musical path.” Mike said it’s hard to put into words what drew him to the sounds of 311. “It just made sense to my ears!”

While he isn’t sure of the exact number of shows he’s attended, he believes the last cruise allowed him to get to the 30th mark. He added them up on memory alone. While each show and event he has been to are all his favorite for different reasons, if he had to choose one it would be the second cruise. “2 words: Beach. Show.” Which leads us into the song that means the most to him, “Stealing Happy Hours.” I’m sure he thinks of the cruise when listening to this song! Favorite lyrics from a 311 song are, “Nothing in life is above being honest.

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A small town just outside Rochester, New York, is where Mike was born and raised. He moved out at the age of 18 and has moved twice since then, but he always stays in the Upstate N.Y. area. He funds his 311 habit with hard work and he says a mind that never rests. “I will take my shirt off my back for anyone. I try my best to do my best in everything I do. Music is my life. I love climbing trees, throwing frisbee’s and kicking the hack sack. I love to drive. I am always the DD for everything ever and I like it that way. I like words. Using words. Listening to words. Writing words. Playing with words. Reading words. Which is to say I love communication. I listen to, analyze, appreciate and follow every single word to every single song to all my favorite bands. The lyrics, rhyme scheme, message and meaning of the words in a song are one of my favorite things about almost all the music I listen to.”

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Music plays a big part in Mikes life and he said as far as his favorite bands, he could sit here and list them for hours. “I am into every and any type of music that is real, raw, soulful, funky, emotional, energetic, you name it. If it comes from the heart, soul, and mind, it is music I will connect to.”

Do you know what or who you were in your past life? Mike does! “I used to be a Cheetah. I think that is why I still had 9 lives when I started in my current human state. Although I have only a few lives left now (been in a couple intense traumatic experiences growing up).” Mike also said that most people don’t know that his skull is half metal!

A little cool tidbit of info about Mike – he was born on 6/11 at exactly 6:11 A.M. “I became human on 611 at 611. So 611 is a sacred number to my perceptions and I live my life by the numbers. I mean the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42 so why not!”

Guilty pleasure for Mike is chocolate. “It may very well be the death of me someday but I am ok with that.”

Mike would simply like to tell 311 “Thank you.” And to all of the amazing fans that make up 311 nation:

“Infinite Love is the only Truth. Everything else is Illusion.”

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That’s a wrap on this weeks edition of the 311 fan spotlight! I hope you enjoyed the story of Mike Taylor! Now go kick some Monday ass and remember to keep on spreading the message of positivity, unity, and love wherever your path takes you!

Much love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – Josh “Puffyhands” Hurley! 4-20-15

April 20th, 2015

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Welcome back to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight my friends! It’s time to kick this Monday off right, so without further ado I introduce you to the infamous Mr. Josh “Puffyhands” Hurley!

The college years were the time that Josh was introduced to the awesomeness of 311. A friend of his picked him up from English class, and had brought along a bag of mushrooms and the 311 Day 2004 DVD. “I had barely heard a couple of songs but couldn’t tell you anything about the band. Needless to say that DVD changed my life.” Josh and his friend Matty K became obsessed with 311 after that day. “Anytime we found a new song or b-side, we immersed ourselves in it. I remember we use to do a song of the week and we would debate ourselves trying to decide which song it was gonna be that week. We basically lived 311 (and still do).”

Josh says what drew him in was the combination of the music genres that the band embodied. “It was all of my favorite genres of music jam packed into one electric sound. I had never experienced anything as awesome as that before. Sometimes you can’t help but to just jump up and down (cuz that’s the 311 sound).”

It’s now ten years later and Josh loves the band just as much as he did from day one. He is still as excitable now as he was that first day. He doesn’t keep track of the number of shows he attends (the only numbers he wants to be defined by are 3 and 11) but he thinks it’s probably somewhere in the upper 60’s or low 70’s. Since 2005 he has attended five 311 Day’s, four cruises, Pow Wow and Halloween 2010. Which event or show is his favorite he said will more than likely change if you ask him each year. “I would change my answer to the most recent 311 Day or cruise. The Jamaica cruise really stands out right now because I was up front for Soundsystem and I was on the best acid I have ever done in my life. Magical, to say the least.”

There isn’t one song in particular that means the most to Josh, there are multiple ones. Here they are in no particular order: “Sever” (which he says no song has probably gotten him through more than this one), “Right Now,” Trouble” (which he says describes him in a nutshell), “Freak Out,” “Lose,” and “Boom Shanka” (to which he added AF). Some favorite quotes are, “I do, I don’t, whatever,” “Just think of all the good times, instead of wish we could times, so much better that way,” and “This too shall pass.”

Josh is from Nashville, Tennessee but wants to move west soon, hopefully by the end of 2015. “I’ve set a personal goal of moving out of here by the end of this year. I’m thinking either Portland or Denver (or wherever I can get legal weed).” He has a Bachelors degree and a Masters in accounting, so he funds his 311 addiction by being an accountant. He says it helps funds his 311/Puffyhand adventures.

Which leads us to the story of the origin of the Puffyhands. It was Halloween 2009. He and Matty K went to a STS9 show and part of Matty’s costume were Puffyhands. The ended up doing mushrooms and LSD that night, and the Puffyhands became the most fun aspect of the night. “Puffyhands just kinda made complete sense to us.” A week later they went on a 311 road trip and the Puffyhands were still in the car, so they took them into the shows with them and they were a huge hit. “Matty K and I have always rocked out hard together, but once we started rocking out to 311 with Puffyhands, everything just seemed different. There’s something magical about rocking out with Puffyhands (especially to 311) that I can’t explain. Sometimes P-Nut feeds off of their powers and you can just feel it.” Puffyhands has become huge (I’m the proud owner of one!) and Josh even has a wholesale distributor based out of China, so he usually wears a fresh pair to every show. “Gotta stay fresh!” He also dressed up as a giant puffy hand for the Halloween show in Atlanta in 2010.

Many of you may think Josh’s last name is Hurley…but it actually isn’t. “It was a nickname I got in college and it has just sorta stuck. Now everybody knows me by that. It also helps keeping my coworkers and bosses from finding me online hehe.” His guilty pleasure he said is “tobacco water pipes.” When not rocking out to 311 he can be found listening to Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, or STS9.

Josh has this puffy message to send out to 311: “Thank you – you’ve gotten me through so many ups and downs, that I am forever grateful. I wholeheartedly believe that music is the language of the universe and I’ve never felt more alive or at peace that when listening to 311.”

And now his puffy message to all of the amazing fans:

“311 fans are the most positive group of people I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve met some of the coolest people ever through 311 and I just wanna say thanks. Also a special puffy shout out to Matty K, Billy/Dave, Brett, Suzanne, Cathie, McGuire and Felicia, Jackie, Sharky, and Matt and Heidi. Thanks for rocking out with me.”

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That’s the story of Mr. Puffyhands himself, Josh Hurley! I hope you enjoyed reading about his journey of love for 311. I know I did! Make sure to say a big puffy hello if you ever meet him in person! Thanks as always for reading. Until next time my friends, keep on spreading the message of love, unity, and positivity!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Dan Okopnyi – 4/13/15

April 13th, 2015

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Hello all of my friends out there in 311 nation!! Welcome to a new week and a new fan spotlight! I apologize for the lack of a spotlight last week, so how about I make up for it? It’s time to meet the latest fan spotlight on the one and only Dan Okopyni!

The well known 311 songs are how Dan was first introduced to the band (songs such as “Down,” “Beautiful Disaster,” “Amber” etc…) and he always enjoyed them. However it wasn’t until later on when he saw his first concert by the guys that he really and truly became hooked. “I think the actual moment I became a fan was when I was invited to see my first show and saw the raw energy on stage that the band exuded, much different from how I knew Nick as a friend. I was astonished. Shortly after watching them rock the stage, I watched the crowd (I am a people watcher by nature) and was in awe of the positive energy of everyone rocking out. It was not like other concerts I had been to before, it was quite a spiritual experience; a lot of love and good vibes were being put out by people and I had never felt anything like it.”  That show sealed the deal and hooked Dan. He knew he wanted to see more shows and while he says he feels like he has more to learn and witness, he also feels like he has a tiny part in the world of the Familia.

Positivity is what drew Dan to the music and the band. He knows they are unique and that no matter what mood he is in or what he is going through, he can always listen to them. “I ride the emotional waves as all humans do, 311 is like the surfboard that propels me across the emotional currents the comprise my life.” Dan feeds of energy (he says in a good way, “not to be confused with a creepy teenage vampire or something”) and the energy of 311 is what continues to keep him drawn to them. “When the lights go dark and the black lights come on, and I watch as the boys are about to hit the stage; I can feel the crowd and it feels good.”

It was in 2010 that Dan saw his first show, although he hasn’t kept count of how many he’s attended. He goes to most of the Southern California shows and has been to all of the cruises and the 311 Day events since 2010. While he doesn’t have a favorite show per se, he can classify how he feels at some of the places he’s seen them. He loves Chula Vista because it feels laid back and relaxed. Irvine is usually a “family” show since it’s where most locals come to see the band and it always has good energy. Santa Barbara he loves because the venue is beautiful. 311 Day 2014 in New Orleans was an event he’ll always remember. “New Orleans 311 day was awesome and truly magical; the food and the good times were definitely embraced by me and the show was amazing, with that band that came on to play some of their songs with them. I love it.” Then there are the cruises where Dan says he feels he can truly be himself. “I feel like I am able to meet most of the fans at those events, because let’s face it, you’re trapped on a damn boat with me so…yeah, you are probably going to see me and I am going to see you. I feel like the cruise is where I can truly be me; wandering the halls of positivity without a care in the world. I meet the coolest people on the ship and all of them have a special place in my heart for the experiences I have gotten to share with them. I am so thankful for those moments and memories.”

When I asked Dan what song means the most to him, he chose the NHQ song “A Song for Driving.”  “It holds a lot of personal sentiment due to the nature of how the song came to be, and the lyrics encompassed how my life used to be when I was on the road a lot for work. I remember talking to Nick about my job and how I was always on the road, when we took a road trip to Vegas. He then later told me our conversation inspired him to write that song; I was really blown away by this and it made me feel really good inside to be a part of someone’s artistic expression that I only wish I could begin to have the talent to do.” One of his favorite lyrics of 311 comes from “Creatures (For A While)’ – “Sometimes I go a little crazy.”

Born to an immigrant family in San Jose, California, Dan was raised there and says he “fully adopted the grunge generation with bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana.”  He has also lived in Arlington, Texas, Bakersfield, California, and now currently resides in Los Angeles. He lives with his younger sister, girlfriend Kristina, and his adorable, loving dog Toby. How he makes his living is by what he calls being a huge computer geek (he’s a Server Administrator for a medical foundation). He loves traveling to new areas for shows and is planning on hitting Salt Lake City this year. If you catch him at a show, make sure you say hi. He says he likes to think he is easily approachable. “I like running around the venues a lot, seeing people and just generally never can sit still. I have to be honest in the fact that I am not much of a dancer really, so at the shows you can catch me head banging and jumping to the heavy songs, but that’s about the extent of it.”

Dan spends much of his free time giving back to the community around him and helping others because he has been through difficult times in the past. “I feel that helping others is the best way to have my own spiritual peace.” When he has time to just relax he keeps it pretty basic, enjoying movies & T.V. series, or surfing social media. He likes to make people laugh and does so often with witty Facebook comments. He’s been getting into hockey lately and really enjoys football. “I generally play fantasy football every season; even have a 311 fans league, though the waiting list to get in is usually pretty long.”  Some guilty pleasures of his are Star Wars, binge watching T.V. series such as Gotham, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men, and he loves to cook for people.

Can any of you speak fluent Ukrainian? Dan can! It’s one of his many talents. He also has a very creative mind when it comes to writing stories. “I have an overactive imagination that if I get time to put down on paper, ends up being some amazing stories.”  When not listening to 311, Dan enjoys mostly heavy bands such as Metallica, Korn, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, The Used and Mudvayne. He also listens to classical when he is at work. “It helps me think.” Rap is another genre he likes, with some favorite artists being Young Jeezy, UGK and Tupac.

Dan would like to say to 311 this message – “Thanks guys. Thanks for being so damn cool to me and the conversations we’ve had. I really appreciate everything you do.”

To all the awesome peeps out in 311 nation:

“You are all beautiful, amazing, heartfelt people with whom I am glad to have met or hope to meet soon. You each carry within yourselves a personal story, a life lived and your own unique characteristics. Please keep being you, the world needs more positive people like yourselves. Thank you for showing me some amazingly good times with equally powerful conversations and above all else, I am glad to be able to call some of you my friends.”

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That is the tale of Mr. Dan Okopyni! I hope you all enjoyed his story and had fun kicking off your week with the new spotlight. Thanks as always for reading and for being the awesome people you are. Until next time…keep spreading the love & positivity out into the world!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Jp Prater! 3-30-15

March 30th, 2015

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Welcome to this groove my excitable friends! New week means the new 311 fan spotlight! So lets get this party started – meet Jp Prater!

Jp was a young boy when he first heard 311, he was only about 6 or 7 when the blue album was starting to become popular. His dad was loaned a copy from one of his old Air Force buddies. “The way the music sounded was unlike anything I had heard at that point, especially Chad’s drums and SA’s voice. It just stuck with me for years and when I was about 12 or 13 I bought a copy of the blue album for myself and the obsession started.”

Jp has attended three summer Unity Tour shows in Cincinnati and then one fall show at the Louisville Palace in December of 2011.  The fall show was his favorite by far. “30 songs and not to mention they played BOMB THE TOWN! Plus I met a lot of the Familia , most memorable having beers with Adam Salomon.”

All time favorite song of Jp’s is “Don’t Dwell.”  “Song is just sick as hell and it was always my favorite from Evolver. That song alone is the reason I decided I wanted to play bass.” Narrowing down his favorite lyrics is more difficult. “Oh how about all of them. The entire Evolver album is basically about growth so I like it. I also like the chorus to Boom Shanka.”

Jp grew up in Lexington and Richmond, Kentucky, although he was born in Alamogordo, New Mexico. He’s also lived in Gypsum, Colorado, Guyton/Savannah, Georgia, and Bluffton, South Carolina. He’s played drums since 1995 and guitar since 2004. 2005 was the year he started playing bass and has been doing so ever since. He’s just starting up a new project of piecing together material from lo-fi cell phone recordings of himself jamming.

Jp credits his father for his musical diversity in both his listening taste and playing style. “He owned around 300 CD’s, and every time that I would ride with him it was a different genre every day. One day 311, next day Prince, and then Metallica and so on.” Jp also has a two year old daughter Jaine and he’s passing on his love for 311 to her. “She can sing along to most of Stereolithic and even My Shadow Pages (Nick Hexum Quintet).”

The diverse music choices mean that Jp loves many different artists. Some of them are The Beastie Boys, Weezer, Beck, Prince, Dead Kennedys, Offspring, Green Day, Hopsin, Del tha Funkee, Homosapien, Greydon Square, The Clash, Isotopes, Screeching Weasel, Descendents, Eminem and Sublime.

Jp was once in a heavy metal band and he says he totally didn’t fit in. “It was like putting Pnut in Metallica. Just not going to work.” He also plays multiple instruments but says he is best at the drums and bass. “I’ll more than likely be the only contributing musician on my EP when I finish it.”

Remember the song “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls? That song is Jp’s guilty pleasure. “I don’t give too much of a **** what anyone thinks about this, but when I hear ‘Wannabe’ by the Spice Girls, I just get really happy. I don’t know if it’s because of nostalgia or what, but I would totally bust that song at karaoke.”

To the band Jp would like to say, “Thanks for all the years of good music. Not many bands can stick around for so long, especially keeping the same five guys around for us to grow with.”

To all the fans his message is a simple one:

“Stay positive and love sex, 311 and food.”

There you have the story of Jp! Hope you all enjoyed it! Oh and by the way, Jp is the guy who has all sort of rarities from 311 on YouTube – check out his page! :) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuLVrPIlqf6ORZrB0zz_1-g

Thanks as usual for reading and remember to keep spreading the message of love, positivity and unity.

Much love! – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Stan Price – 3/23/15

March 23rd, 2015

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Another happy Monday to you all my excitable friends! The time has come once again for the new 311 fan spotlight. It’s time to meet Mr. Stan Price!

The fall season of 1999 is where Stan’s story begins. He and some friends were out to lunch during his senior year of high school. One of his friends popped in Soundsystem. “And the rest is history, I was in love!”

Stan has been to 21 shows since 2002. His favorite one he said was when The Waiters opened for them during the 2006 Unity Tour, although he thinks all of the openers 311 has had are decent.

The song that stands out as his choice for which one means the most to him is “Flowing.”  “That song was what sold me, I had my friends repeat it at least five times for me lol.” His favorite lyrics though come from the song “Purpose” – “They say love is a stream that will find it’s own course.”

Stan grew up in Orem, Utah, but now lives in Santaquin, Utah. He once went on a two year Mormon mission during which he didn’t hear any 311 songs! During his Mormon mission he lived in Seattle. He has an amazing photographic memory, which he says, “Can be a blessing and a curse at the same time lol.”  He also said he’s been told he’s a really good cook and he loves making restaurant inspired dishes. “I love the art of cooking and food.”  His guilty pleasure are the T.V. shows “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Friends.” He owns all of the seasons for each show on DVD.

Some other musicians Stan loves are Incubus, Bob Marley, Slightly Stoopid, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Deftones, Linkin Park, Korn, Stick Figure, Tribal Seeds, Rebelution, Pearl Jam, The Foo Fighters, The Beach Boys, and Jack Johnson. He also really likes old school hip hop.

If face to face with the guys, his words would be these:

“THANK YOU so much for letting your music be a big part of my life!”

To all the other awesome 311 fans in our community:

“Stay positive and love your life! :) Take care of yourself and someone else.”

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There you have the story of Stan Price! Hope you enjoyed the latest edition of the fan spotlight. Thanks as always for reading! Keep spreading the love and good karma my friends.

Much love! – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Em Mathewson – 3-16-15

March 16th, 2015

collage Hey hey 311 nation!! Happy Monday and happy new fan spotlight day! Let’s get to know one of our slinky sisters. It’s time to meet Emily Mathewson!

The year was 2000. Emily’s age was 16. Emily and her friend Brittany were walking into a tanning salon when her friend handed the blue album to her and told her to listen to this amazing band 311 while she was in the tanning bed. “When I came out, I have to sadly admit that I told her all the songs kind of sounded the same (I know, I can’t believe I said that).” Brittany reacted by saying, “NO!!!!!” and telling Emily to give them another chance. She gave her a few more CD’s and they also listened to some of the music together. Brittany and another friend Dustin asked her to listen to the creativity, harmony, and amazing lyrics of the songs. She started to become fascinated with the band then and she credits Brittany and Dustin for, “Showing me how to break down the music and listen, feel and experience it. They are why I listen to 311 today.”

Emily went to a concert with a guy when she was 15 of some bands she didn’t know. While she had fun she admits she didn’t really listen to the bands much, she mostly just messed around with her friends and didn’t pay attention to the music. “Can you believe that the show was 311 opening for Incubus?? I shake my head at that now, those being my favorite bands to date and not even paying attention then lol.” So that was Emily’s first 311 show technically, and she’s seen them about 15 times total. She tries to see them at least once a year. Her favorite show hands down has been Pow Wow. “I have never been to a 311 Day, cruise, Vegas, or anything so I can’t say it was the best for everyone, but for me it was epic. A lot of people complained about the heat, bugs, or whatnot but it was the most magical time I ever had.  I met some amazing life long friends in our “tribe”, the atmosphere was filled with positivity and love, and it just really felt like our own world there.  I loved camping, the heat, the sweat, the spirit of Suwannee, the sweet tea river, just all of it!  And you can’t top that 311 played Transistor in it’s entirety!”

California is where Emily was born, but much to her chagrin she wasn’t raised there. Her parents moved her and her older brother back to Michigan when they were still babies. She moved around the metro Detroit area a lot until the age of 21. She credits the strong music scene in Detroit for shaping her to have a very open minded and well rounded liking of music. “My heart will always be there, and my experiences and the friends there made me who I am today.”  At 21 Emily and her mother packed up and moved to Florida. “We were over the cold weather! I just remember a couple of weeks after moving down, we moved to Daytona Beach, I found out that 311 was going to be in Tampa. I didn’t have any friends yet so I just bought a ticket, drove 3 hours across to Tampa, had a blast by myself at the show, met some cool people there too, and drove back home! It was awesome.”

Now settled down with her husband and two sons, Dylan, 6, and Tyler, 4, she’s a stay at home mom with a small craft business. When she first met her husband she told him how much she loved 311 and he said he used to skateboard to them. Now he is a huge fan just like she is! So are the boys and Dylan has already been to see the band. “We took Dylan to his first show when he was 5. He loves 311 and is crazy about Pnut! His face was priceless when he saw him walk on stage. He had so much fun and the fans were SO cool to him. We sat on the lawn and rocked out like crazy. He has been to 2 shows now and counting.” They also can’t wait to finally take Tyler to his first show. Both boys have already started playing drums and strumming on guitars. They want to be in a band together! While Emily says they may not have been to a 311 Day or been on a cruise, they are very blessed to be able to see 311 once a year and share their love with their children. “We love that we get to bring our son, and eventually both of them, so they can experience the vibe that 311 and their fans give off.”

Interesting fact about Emily – at the age of 16 she went and followed Phish on tour! She went with her brother and boyfriend at the time. She pawned anything she could and they bought bus tickets to New York City from Detroit to start following them. Unfortunately she didn’t tell her parents, so she essentially ran away from home and feels bad that she did that to them. But she said it was a life changing experience that she wouldn’t trade. “We sold p,b, & j’s, slept where we could, and partied like crazy for a good couple of weeks in the Phish lot. It was one of the most interesting, insane, exciting, scary, incredible, liberating times of my life. To this day I feel awful for doing that to my parents and am not looking forward to the karma coming back because I now have kids…but I don’t regret it.  It really changed me somehow and will always remember it.”

Music inspires Emily so she decided to create a business out of it. She makes and sells guitar string jewelry such as bracelets and earrings. She also does stuff with picks and even vinyl records! While she makes other non-music related items, she specializes in the music stuff. Her husband is a musician, so music is a major part of her life and she likes to express that.

While she tries to be a good girl by eating right and exercising, she does have a guilty pleasure that she just can’t quit and that is dark beer! “I am a sucker for them.  I love stouts, porters, dark ales all of it.  My fav right now is called Shake. It’s a chocolate porter and SO good!  But they also give me pretty bad hangovers lol and I feel like I need a hard day at the gym after too, but I still go for them.  When will I learn!?”

Even though so many songs mean a lot to Emily, her all time favorite 311 song she said has to be “Down.” She even designed a tattoo to represent lyrics from the song. She said the lyrics – “Keep my feet on the ground, keep my head in the clouds, electrified by the sound, comes from the down” really sum up who she is. “I strive to be grounded but still let myself dream and not take things too seriously.  I am electrified by the sound of 311 for sure haha and just the message of Down means a lot to me.  They thank us in that song, and they always play it for the “old school fans”.  I may not be considered very old school since I didn’t start listening till about 99/2000.  But our school was very small and a group of us were pretty hard core 311 fans.  Well, after a few years of rockin’ the music everywhere, everyone in the school knew who 311 was and either loved them or wanted to love them.”

Emily would like to relay a simple message to the guys: “Thank you for being you.” She elaborated on why she wants to say that short simple sentence. “I could have said thanks for making a difference in my life etc, but honestly if they were not exactly who they are now, we would not have the band 311.  THEY are who makes everyone’s lives change for the better, and THEY are what makes the music and lyrics so absolutely incredible, mind blowing, beautiful, out of this world.”

To all the amazing fans that make up 311 nation: “We are who keep this family thriving and rockin together we are one organism that loves and breathes in this music.  Don’t stop sharing the love for 311 with others.  It could be a life changing experience, it was for me. Fuck the Naysayers, be who you are, and if you are ever in a rough patch, really listen to some 311 lyrics because they will always take you home.  Stay positive and love your life! <3”

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That is Emily’s story my friends! Thanks for taking the time to read about another awesome member of this truly amazing family. Until we meet again, keep spreading the love and good karma! Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Tanner Preston! – 3-9-15

March 9th, 2015

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Happy Monday 311 nation!! Another week is upon us and the new fan spotlight has arrived. This week we feature a very special fan – our youngest spotlight yet!! Folks it’s time to meet 9 year old Tanner Pearson!

Tanner’s dad Preston is the reason he fell in love with 311. He helps out his dad in the garden every day and they would always listen to their music. “He made me a CD without swear words so I could listen to them when I want. Now he lets me listen to all the songs.”

Last year was Tanner’s first show in Salt Lake City and he was lucky enough to do the meet and greet, so he got to talk to all of the guys! “It was awesome. Tim was way nice and funny. I told Chad he was my favorite and he joked with SA and said, ‘Did you hear that Doug?’ It was awesome.”  Tanner also has chickens and one of them is named SA, so he told them about the chickens. “SA asked if SA chicken was my favorite (he was a mean chicken) and I didn’t know what to say. My dad told SA that chicken SA was a jerk. It was funny.” He also talked to Pnut about Falken, and then to Nick about how his chickens were doing. When Nick asked Tanner how he knew he had chickens, he told him his mom showed him pictures that Nick’s wife Nikki had posted. Tanner then took his photo and on the way out told SA to “try not to sweat too much tonight.” He said everyone in the band laughed at that! Tanner said if he were to meet the guys again, he would tell SA that SA chicken is now his favorite!

Tanner was born on October 4, 2005, so he turns the big 1-0 this year! His dad named him Tanner Davis so he could call him “TD Pearson.”  He likes to make people laugh and really loves working in the garden with his dad. He also likes to go fly fishing, collect football cards, and listen to music. He also has a love for Star Wars. Aside from that you can find him playing Legos, sports, or with his uncles dogs Brodel and Jupiter. Tanner said to help him fund his 311 habit he works in the garden, takes care of the chickens, and cleans his room.

How many kids do you know that say they love vegetables? Well Tanner does! “I love almost every vegetable and not very many fruits. I would rather eat brussel sprouts than strawberries.” If you see a flash whiz by you, don’t worry, it’s probably just Tanner because he says he can run really fast!

When not jamming out in the garden to 311, Tanner also enjoys music from The Dirty Heads, Michael Jackson, and the Nick Hexum Quintet. He said he even likes some country music as well.

While he may be young, Tanner has dealt with loss just like the rest of us. The song “Beyond the Gray Sky” means a great deal to him because his cousin killed himself last year. His favorite quote is the motto many of us fans have adopted, “Stay positive and love your life.”

Tanner has one simple message to all the fans out there:

“I wish I was 21 so I could go on the 311 cruise with you all!”

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Don’t worry Tanner, someday you’ll be there rocking out with us all and we can’t wait to meet you!! I personally hope to meet you sooner than that because you seem like one awesome 311 fan!! Thank you Tanner for being this weeks fan spotlight (And thank you to Traci and Preston for having such a great kid!!).

I hope you all enjoyed Tanner’s perspective on loving 311 – I know I did! As always, thanks for reading. Until we meet again…

Much Love! – The Runt

Kelly Cedrone! 311 Fan Spotlight – 3/2/15

March 2nd, 2015

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(Kelly is in the center, holding the sign)

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Happy Monday and happy March my excitable friends! If you were on the cruise, you know it was a magical time and for those of you who weren’t, you were all with us in spirit. Let’s kick off this month of renewal (Spring is almost here!) with a new fan spotlight. Time to meet the awesome Kelly Cedrone!

“Blue album baby” is how Kelly describes her introduction to 311. She first heard the band on a Boston radio station called WAAF back in the summer before she entered the 8th grade, at the age of 13. “I liked it, but I decided I liked 311 a few months later when ‘All Mixed Up’ came out as a single. That following Friday I bought the blue album at the Walpole Mall, after eating Papa Gino’s and playing Area 51 at the Dream Machine, of course!” (Nice throwback Kelly!)

Show tally for Kelly was at 31, but has now grown with the recent 311 cruise! (When she answered the questions, the cruise had yet to happen obviously.)  Her favorite event she’s been to were all three of the shows on cruise number two, the first one she attended. “I look back at the “Applied Science” lightning videos people have posted and I can’t believe I was there!  The indoor show was wicked awesome because I was in the front row right in front of Pnut.  I got to rest my beer on stage while I jammed out to his sitting-indian-style bass solo.  The beach show was incredible.  I was backstage with Ms. Megan McTigue and at one point I hopped off stage to take a dip and “Speak Easy” came on while I was floating “out on the ocean.”  ….Serendipitous my travels throughout time, lol.”

The song “8:16 A.M.” has special meaning to Kelly because she was married to her love Keith last year on 8/16! They also had lyrics from “Speak Easy” and “1,2,3” read at their wedding. Her favorite song is “Strong All Along” because she says “It always pumps me up and makes me happy.”  Her favorite quote comes from “Do You Right” – “Can’t get enough, this is the stuff, life’s about and it trips me out.”

Norwood, Massachusetts is where Kelly grew up. “It’s a mostly Irish-Catholic townie suburb of Boston.” She went to college in Maine and lived in Standish for about three semesters, then transferred home where she obtained her BA in English from Bridgewater State College. She then lived for a brief stint in Dorchester to be closer to her Gaelic football club, then back home to Norwood where she’s been ever since. “I now live in a condo a whole block away from my parents.”  Teaching funds her 311 addiction, and one casual Friday when she had a 311 shirt on, one of her students asked, “Is that 311? Like the band?” She said that girl became her new favorite student!

When asked to name an interesting fact that most may not know she replied, “I swear a lot, but that’s a New England thing for sure.” (I can vouch for this fact!)  Something she loves to do that you might not know though is ice fishing! Kelly is also really good at sports and musically inclined. “Growing up I didn’t know what clique that put me in, so I made my own.”

Other bands she’s into are Social Distortion, Staind, Aaron Lewis, Shinedown, Steel Pulse, Sublime, TREE and Gangsta Bitch Barbie, a.k.a. Nullset, which is an old Boston hardcore band. You can also add Allman Brothers and most classic rock to that list. Her guilty pleasures consist of the movies What About Bob? and My Cousin Vinny. Then she said sometimes when no one else is in the gym, she’ll work out to Nikki Minaj and Kid Rock…loudly!

To the band, Kelly delivers this message: “Thank you so much for doing the damn thing! Because of your music I have such wonderful memories and I’ve met some awesome friends! Traveling in the name of 311 is an awesome lifestyle and I am so grateful to have been able to participate in such shenanigans.”

To the awesome souls that make up this amazing fan base, Kelly’s message is this:

“Hey, hey, fellow excitable folk!  I love seeing you beautiful people out at shows and random 311 meetups- shout out to my New England Familia!  I am so grateful to call some of you my friends (especially my ladies and our Cauliflower Wine Mixers).  For those I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, let’s do it again!  And to to everyone else, I can’t wait to meet you and jam out to our favorite band together!”

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Now you have all met Kelly and I can tell you she really is an awesome lady! I’m proud to call her my friend and honored I got to introduce her to all of you. Thank you a million times over for reading. Until next time…keep that positive vibe flowing.

Much love – The Runt

Rob Rasmussen – 311 Fan Spotlight – 2/23/15!

February 23rd, 2015

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Hey hey my excitable, awesome peeps! Guess what? It’s CRUISE WEEK!! Happy cruising to all of the lucky ones attending (myself included)! Let’s kick this week of awesomeness off properly by introducing you to another amazing fan – Rob Rasmussen!

Funny start to the story – Rob was not instantly into 311 when he first heard them! The first song he heard was “Down” and it was fellow fan Zedanko Earthling who introduced him to the blue album. “When I first heard ‘Down’ I absolutely hated it. The story of why is too complicated to go into here, but it actually had nothing to do with the music. It’s funny how our past experiences can shape our future opinions of things.” Fast forward a year to when Rob heard the song “Paradise.”  “I had just lost my job, due to reasons that were completely my own fault, and I was throwing myself a pity party when I first heard the lyrics to Paradise: “Everything you do, it comes back to you, whatever it may be.” Until that point, I had been a huge metal-head, and never cared much about lyrics, as long as the music melted my face off. When I heard the deep and intense lyrics to this song though, I was immediately hooked, and my appreciation for lyrical content and 311 has done nothing but grow ever since.”

“A relative noob” is what Rob considers himself when it comes to seeing the band live. Although he’s been a fan since 95, he didn’t get to see his first show until 2009. While he doesn’t have an exact count, he believes he’s in double digits at this point. Favorite event so far? “311 Day 2014. Hands down. Seeing a group of Excitables completely fill and take over Bourbon Street was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. The pure, concentrated positivity of that event changed my life forever!”

The song “Paradise” obviously holds a special meaning to Rob, but the songs “Still Dreaming” and “Creature Feature” also have a special place in his heart. Rob considers himself a person who puts a high value on originality and individualism so it’s the opening verse of “Still Dreaming” that rings true in his ears: “No, I’ll not renounce my views, do what others do. I’d rather drink the hemlock than be like you, to my soul untrue.”  Rob hasn’t always been the positive vibe merchant that he is now and he knows that his darker side will always remain in him a little, which is why “Creature Feature” means so much to him. “I wanna do what’s right/Be kind to every single body/Open up to light/Just let it flow through my body/But sometimes I’m unsure.” Rob knows it’s hard to stay positive all of the time, but you have to fight for it.

Childhood was not the best time for Rob. He went through a lot of pain and sadness. The only blood family in his life is his brother (who he said is awesome), so his friends have really become his family, especially the new ones he’s made through the awesomeness of 311. He grew up on the west coast in various places and said he hasn’t stayed in one place for very long. “I kind of just go where the universe directs me.”  Rob currently works at a credit union to fund his “growing 311 habit.” He is also in his second year of college, pursuing a major in English and Psychology.

Rob’s real passion though is writing. “My epic novel is currently about 80% finished and I have many short stories already done, but I’m currently working on one based on the excitable crew called ‘The Knights of Unity.’ I’m always looking for input so if anyone wants to give me some feedback, send me a message!”

Positivity is what helps Rob shine in a crowd and he says he is always trying to find the proverbial silver lining in everything. “I try to learn from my struggles and challenges by seeing them as opportunities to grow as a person and evolve into a better human being.” When I asked about any guilty pleasures, he had a great response – “I don’t really do things that cause me guilt.”

Any kind of music that makes Rob feel something is what he loves, so his musical tastes range all over the map. Some artists that he enjoys are Metallica, Green Day, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Ice Cube, Willie Nelson, Aerosmith, BB King, Nirvana, and Soundgarden – just to name a few! “The list literally could go on forever.”

While the musician list might go on forever, his message to the guys of 311 does not:

“Thank you so much for continuing to inspire me and improve the quality of my life!”

To all the people that make up the awesome sea of 311 fans:

“To my clique that’s more like a family, I look forward to meeting and bear-hugging as many of you as I possibly can. If you see me on the boat, at a show, or just walking down the street, come say hi and share some positive vibes with me! Until then, remember that we are all children of the same universe, so love and care for each other as you love and care for yourself!    Peace Love Unity Respect.”

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Now you’ve all met Mr. Rob Rasmussen! If you meet him in person, give this awesome, positive guy a high five. Thank you for reading and thank you to Rob for sharing your tale!

If you are cruising, find Rob & I on the ship and say hi! Until next week…

“To all my friends, it’s not the end…the earth has not swallowed me yet!”

Much love – The Runt

Mr. Derek Hoover! 311 Fan Spotlight 2-16-15

February 16th, 2015

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Bienvenue my fellow 311 fans! As we inch closer to the next epic 311 event, take a moment to meet another awesome brodel. Here is the story of Derek Hoover!

His tale starts back when he was in the Navy. His friend Daniel Dussia was jamming the Grassroots album and the music caught his attention. “I started listening to him jam out and then the beats just hit me. I wanted to know more and listen to more.”

The thrill of seeing 311 live has caused Derek to lose count of exactly how many shows he’s been to, but he knows it’s well over 45 at this point. His first show was back in 1999 at the Boathouse in Norfolk, Virginia. His favorite show so far has been 311 Day 2004. “That was my first 311 Day and my wife Stephanie’s first ever 311 Day. The fans, the partying, the concert and reliving it all when I watch the DVD. It was an amazing time of my life.”

Derek is “42 years young” and grew up in Texas as an only child. He joined the Navy at the age of 20 and served a total of twelve years (six active and six reserves).  Attending two colleges (Virginia Tech and Tidewater Community), Derek earned his Associates Degree in computer graphic arts. He currently works for DMG Mori, a Japanese machining company, and has been there for four years.

Back in February 2013 Derek married his slinky Stephanie and they celebrated their wedding with a honeymoon on the third 311 cruise (the photo above was taken on that trip)!  They even danced their first dance as husband and wife to “My Heart Sings” and he said that song means the most to him now. He even had lyrics from it on his grooms cake. The couple has an 8 year old miniature poodle named Maui. Derek said of Maui, “Yes she has a mohawk and she’s my punk rock princess. All in all…life is beautiful!”

When not listening to 311, Derek’s eclectic musical taste and open-mindedness has him listening to a variety of other artists. Some of them include Beck, Incubus, STP, Full Service, Boards of Canada, Dirty Heads, Gwar, and Morbid Angel. “I run the full gambit when it comes to tunes. If it’s good, I listen to it.”

One of Derek’s dreams in life is to visit the Seven Wonders of the World with his beautiful wife by his side. As he worded it, he wants to “Visit” the entire world! Derek also loves to draw and do computer graphic artwork. “Just too bad my computer sucks lol.”  His guilty pleasure though is karaoke! “I’m a karaoke nut!” (Hopefully those of us attending cruise 4 can see some of this Derek!)

Derek would like to say a simple thank you to the band. “Thank you for changing my entire outlook on life and giving me an opportunity to pass positive vibes to all I come in contact with.”

His final words to all the awesome fans he shares his love for 311 with:

“I enjoy every moment being around my second family. I can not wait until I can sing, dance, and hug every excitable I know! 311×4.”

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That’s Derek’s story my friends. I hope you all took pleasure in reading it and that it helped pass the time on this Monday! My gratitude to you all for reading every week. Keep on rockin’ and spreading that positivity!

Much love – The Runt

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