311 Fan Spotlight – 6/12/17 – Aaron Mohr!

Hello excitable nation! We are back at it with a new 311 fan spotlight after a brief hiatus. It’s time to meet fellow excitable Aaron Mohr!

Fandom for Aaron started when the blue album was released, but it really became solid for him upon seeing them live at Edgefest in Dallas, Texas, back in 2000. The festival lineup consisted of 311, Everclear, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Nixons, Splender, Oleander, Dynamite Hack, Bowling For Soup, Stir and Dollybraid. “After seeing 311 headline and being front and center on the lawn (covered indoor/outdoor amphitheater) I knew I’d just seen something special that I’d never forget. I’ve always loved the original sound of 311 and nothing really compares.”

Show count for Aaron is at 8 and he’ll be heading into double digits this summer when he sees 311 in Salt Lake and Boise. Favorite event so far was the 2017 cruise. “It was the best time of my 35 years of existence.” He said the Vegas show where they played the blue album in its entirety comes in as a close second.

Song that means the most to Aaron at this point in his life is “Sand Dollars.” “It’s not so much the words with me, but where I was at and the experience that happened when they played this on the boat. They had to stop playing for just a little bit because of the weather and it was the one song I wanted to hear. They played the very first half second note of the song and then took a break due to weather and I was the only one freakin out cause I knew it was going to be that song up next. No one around me really recognized it. When they came back on stage, I said they’d more than likely play a song and then go into Sand Dollars next. Sure as shit they did and everyone around me started yelling and being all stoked as hell for that song to play. Honestly, it’s shit like that which has made the 311 journey so much more amazing for me. Mike Crosby was the first one to pick me up and start screaming “YEAAHH!!!” It’s amazing moments like that, I remember and keep close to my 311 heart strings. Can’t say enough about my Boise crew and Jessica Sullivan tagging me every time someone said they had a spot open.”

Favorite lyric for Aaron he said is easy, it comes from “Jackolanterns Weather.” “I always say what I feel and that is a promise. Nothing in life is above being honest.” “My friends that know me definitely know I have an “I do what the fuck I want” attitude with a good positive “let’s go get a drink or 12 and have a fuckin blast” at every moment of my life.”

Irving, Texas (right next to Dallas) is where Aaron grew up. He entered into the Air Force and was stationed in Clovis, New Mexico. After he left the Air Force he traveled on to Oregon and lived in Gold Beach for a month. This was also the first time he had ever seen the ocean in person, at the age of 23. “Surfed on the south jetty every single day and then moved to Eugene, OR for a year and after driving 2 1/2 hours every weekend to Bend to go snowboarding at Bachelor, it was the obvious choice to move there. Lived in Bend for a solid 7 years and love going back to hang with my friends when I can.” He then said “Screw it,” and moved to Boise where he has now been for 4 1/2 years now. “Still enjoy it…especially now that 311 is coming in August!”

Interesting fact about Aaron? “When I get bored I grab my replica samurai sword from the show Heroes and run around the house like a ninja. Yeah, fact. Don’t even get me started with the $900 Spider-Man costume I bought last Halloween.” Unique element comes in the form of snowboarding. “I snowboard and haven’t for years but I don’t think any of my friends really know that I can go out and throw a front side 720 in the park, 270 on to some rails, and straight kill it ha. It’s all about those nose scooters and tail slappy’s. Can jam on the guitar as well and been playin since high school.”

Guilty pleasure for Aaron is in T.V. form. “I’m a sucker for all the CW shows. Yeah I watched every episode of Smallville and would get popcorn ready and shut my phone off like each episode was a movie. Spider-Man is the greatest super hero ever and I often introduce myself as Peter Parker.” Some other bands Aaron listens to when not jamming 311 are Rage Against the Machine, Pennywise, Incubus, Bad Religion, Green Day and Blink 182.

Aaron’s message to 311 is, “If you guys stop playin’ music, Chuck Norris and myself will find you.”

To all the amazing fellow fans:

“Thanks so much for being who you are and don’t ever change. Because of you amazing people I’ve had a band that’s not just a band, but a way of life. Cheers and I love you all!”

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There you have it friends, the story of Aaron Mohr! Thanks all for reading as always and thanks to Aaron for sharing his story. Keep being the amazing family tight fan base that we are…we all need to stay strong, be united, and spread that love to the world every day.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 5/15/2017 – Megan McTigue!

Hello excitable family! It’s that time again, here we go with a brand new fan spotlight. This week I introduce you to the amazing and wonderful Megan McTigue!

High school era, in the mid 90’s, was when Megan received her introduction to 311. “I vividly remember going on a yearly mandatory family summer vacation & playing my Blue album nonstop (which was on cassette!!). Their sound was so refreshing, I just couldn’t get enough. A few years later, I met one of my best friends at work and he was a huge fan. He formally introduced & educated me on the world that is 311… and I’ve never looked back.”

Over the years it’s been hard for Megan to keep track of her exact show count, but she believes it’s somewhere between 50-60. Her very first show was at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC on October 7, 2001 and she is very excited that 311 is returning there this summer! “It’s gonna be very nostalgic for me :-).”  This is also the show she said is hands down her favorite so far. “That night completely changed my life; I was a different person leaving that venue than the one that had entered it. Their sound was like nothing I had ever heard before… mixing those intense guitar riffs with an awesome melody, a beat that could make anybody move & a unified positive message… it’s just everything. The energy between everyone in the crowd was palpable, the sound the band was blessing us with was SO dynamic, and I honestly have viewed life in a different way since then. To say I had an epiphany is an understatement. We should all be at one with each other with positive hearts, and I think 311 fans are more aware of that than others. Life is filled with so much beauty & wonder, with endless possibilities, and I consciously started recognizing that notion after that night. I’m so incredibly thankful for that night & everyone I was with.”

As for favorite song, Megan narrowed it down to three because it’s like choosing a favorite child. Number one is “Tribute” which has always been a huge favorite. “Something about that rough guitar progression & the rhyming makes it so hard not to get totally into it every single time you hear it.” Second for her would be “Unity.” “I wholeheartedly believe in the message of the song (I have it tattooed on my shoulder lol), and it brings people together at a live show like I have never seen  – and I go to a lot of shows.” Final choice is “Eons.” “During that very first show, something mentally changed for me; specifically during this song. A switch flipped and I just got completely overwhelmed with emotion. Listening to SA’s harmony, which was so unexpectedly beautiful, and just feeling so at one with everyone there, I don’t know how to really explain it but I will never forget that feeling.”

Favorite lyrics, well she says, “There are so many prophetic statements in their lyrics that are relevant to not only my life but humanity in general, so I often spit out a lyric in general conversation with people – only the “sick tight” individuals know the significance.” So she really can’t just nail down a favorite per se because it all depends on the situation. However, the signature in her email says, “Be positive with life, just see the good in everybody.”

Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, Megan grew up about 20 minutes north of New York City and is the eldest of three children. It was the young age of 9 months that she was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy while her mother was pregnant with her sister. “She noticed I was speaking much more than I should be for my age, and I wasn’t really moving, so that’s how we knew. My mind was over developing intellectually because it wasn’t developing physically. My parents divorced shortly after my sisters birth & my mom remarried my stepfather 3 years later and had my brother. While my life is different from others, I lead a very full & normal (whatever the hell that is lol) life. In my family, no excuses or exemptions were ever made for me; if something was expected of me, I had to figure out a way of making it happen and I think growing up that way has made me the extremely strong individual I am today. I am most likely the most independent, physically dependent person you will ever meet. I was the 1st person in the state of New Jersey who was differently-abled to be fully mainstreamed in regular classes, including Phys Ed.”

Megan’s brother is also a huge 311 fan and they go to many shows together. She also lived in Miami for a short bit, but she said it just wasn’t for her. “It’s hard to take the Jersey out of a Jersey girl.” She works two part time jobs to support her 311 addiction!

“A few days a week I work at a privately owned food store & 5-6 days a week in the afternoons/evenings I tutor. I’m a very Type-A personality, I like to be busy all the time, but definitely know how to chill when need be. In college, I majored in Music Business, absolutely loved every minute of it, and graduated with a 3.7 GPA. Life the beautiful thing and I love every moment of it. It’s super unconventional, often crazy… but overwhelmingly beautiful, and I try to keep that in the forefront of my mind at all times & allow my positive spirit to do good for others.”

A tidbit of information that most don’t know about Megan – she is a published author! It’s under a different name, but she dedicated an entire chapter to 311! Something that makes her unique is that she can wiggle her ears, independently, at the same time! Guilty pleasure? “I love reality TV, don’t hate. These people are crazy & it’s so damn entertaining.”

When not jamming out to 311 or working to support the habit, she can be found listening to other artists like Metallica (her first concert ever back in 1994), Deftones, Radiohead, Snoop Dogg, Thursday, The Cure, Against Me!, Explosions in the Sky, Dr. Dre, Coldplay, The Police, Depeche Mode, Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, Journey, and Jimmy Cliff. She also often purchases soundtracks “because it’s a great mix of usually great tunes.”

Megan’s message to 311 is this: “Your art has changed my life and the words “thank you” will never be enough.”

Her message to all the other fans is simple and perfect:

“See you at the shows!”

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And that is Miss Megan’s amazing story of her love for 311 and life! Thank you Megan for being a part of this, you rock! To all those reading, you rock as well. How lucky are we to be a part of this amazing community of fans with such a positive influence like 311 in our lives? Go be awesome my friends, see you next time!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 5/8/17 – Eric Girard!

Hey all of you beautiful people out there in excitable nation! Is everyone ready to meet another amazing fan? This week we feature Mr. Eric Girard!

The decade was the 90’s and Eric was in Chicago listening to the radio station Q101 when he first heard the sounds of 311. The station would play “Down” or “Homebrew” and he liked the style of the songs. Occasionally they would also play “Do You Right.” Then in 1997 a new kid named Mike came to his neighborhood and they became best friends. They were hanging around one day and Eric was going through Mike’s CD collection. Eric rattled off bands including 311 and asked Mike what they should listen to. Mike said out of all of them 311 is his favorite, so Eric threw on the blue album and after they listened to that all the way through, then they listened to Grassroots, and then Transistor. “I got hooked on it.  I played that out, still do, 20 years later.  In high school Mike and I started getting really into punk music, but 311 was still our favorite band.  The music always kept us interested and you could listen to it non stop without it growing old.  The eclectic mix of styles was also refreshing.  We would go to punk shows and it would be a way different energy, style and message then what 311 said to us.  Punk was “fuck the man, change the system” where 311 was “be positive and do what thou wilt”.  I was always drawn to that.  The open-mindedness, positivity, inclusivity and a fucking amazing time.  The music doesn’t stop either.  I have gotten sick of music, but I’ve never gotten sick of 311… as corny as that sounds.”

100 is the show count for Eric currently. Anaheim, California at the House of Blues was where he hit that magical 100. His first show ever was on March 21, 2000, at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Illinois. “My friend and I had been listening to 311 nonstop for 3 years before we asked to go to a concert.  To our amazement both of our parents said yes, and his mom even drove us to the concert, because we were only 15.  I remember sitting in the car actually wondering if they would play “Down”, oh how naïve I was.  We met the band, got all our stuff signed, the show was beyond anything I could have imagined.  Hooked for life.”

For a long time Eric would have said that the 311 Day events he went to were his favorite shows, but then they played Transistor in full and it was like the cherry on top. But then he met his now fiancé Vanessa. “She brought me on Cruise IV.  That blew my mind.  Cruises, by far, for me are the best thing 311 does.  Get over the sea sickness and constant cruise food and you have three of the best 311 shows you could ever hope for in a lifetime.  The atmosphere with the fans is something you could not even make up.  Everyone is happy, the energy on the boat is almost electric with the excitement leading up to each show.  …and 311 brings it.  They bring it harder on the Cruise than I have seen in any other format.  311 Days, small clubs, large amphitheaters, no where beats the Lido Deck… except, maybe, The Hive.”

There isn’t just one song for Eric that means the most to him. “I take the collective 311 and relate it to my life.  Certain songs have brought out so much in me over the years, to single one out would be unfair to the other periods of my life.” Some songs he did say that are meaningful to him are “No Control,” “Evolution,” and “Time is Precious.” Then he said songs he thinks are awesome are “Let the Cards Fall,” “Random,” and “Visit.”

Favorite lyric for Eric is, “So many people don’t even attempt to understand, the limitless possibilities of man.” “This lyric transcends the song its in, but is quintessential of what 311 to me is about.  The music is always encouraging you to do better things with your life.  I firmly believe that you can change the world if you want to, you just have to go out and do it.  Lyrics like this is in songs, for me, remind me of these things.  When I was younger I looked for people, organizations, things, bands, anything really to help guide me in the right directions in life.  I am happy I found a band that not only rocks, but supports a healthy individual in society that contributes to the overall wellbeing of everyone around them.” He also loves, “Fuck the naysayers.” He said it’s pretty much an anthem for him. “People constantly will tell you the things you cannot achieve.  Show them you can.”

Eric grew up 60 miles south of Chicago, in a town called Bourbonnais. As a kid the Chicago Bears training camp was there, but he said other than that it was a very economically depressed area of the country. He attended college in Illinois and Indiana,  then enlisted in the Navy. “I was trained in Pensacola, Florida and was stationed in Maryland at the NSA (National Security Agency).  After the Navy I wanted to live in NYC, so the day I got out of the Navy I packed up a uHaul and drove it up 95.  On the way I found an apartment on craigslist using my iPhone, got to the place, took a look around and signed the lease.  I took a year off exploring around the city before getting a job working in Television.” Eric started working at NBC and helped them build new systems and broadcast events like the Superbowl, the Olympics and NHL playoffs. “I am humbled to have been awarded an Emmy by the National Academy of Arts and Sciences for being on the team that helped pioneer pay tv to the end user using an IP Infrastructure.  In layman’s terms, I have been extremely fortunate to have a job I enjoy that has been motivated by my general curiosity of technology.”

Eric and his fiancé Vanessa just recently relocated to Santa Monica, California. He said they did it to push themselves to the best quality of life they could imagine. “In my life I try to remain positive, while being practical, knowing who I am and where I want to see myself in the future.  All that while going to as many 311 shows as I can fit in, haha.”

Many of you may know this already, but it was Eric who started doing the #311CouchTour because he didn’t like the quality of YouTube videos that were online, plus the fact that 311 doesn’t sell their concerts online anymore. He only had them stored on his phone and memory cards until people started asking him to share them in Facebook groups or on YouTube. “Once FB: Live became a thing I streamed a portion of the 311 show in SLC, Utah.  Then someone enjoyed that so much they asked me to stream the entire show in the Familia.  That is how this whole thing started.  People wanting to watch their favorite band, and some crazy dude that had a crude way to make it happen.  I hope to continue doing this project, but turn it into a real product that 311 could use one day.”

Something you may now know about Eric, he wrote a poem in the 8th grade, titled “Unique,” that ended up published in a book alongside other poets. Something else that he thinks make him stand out is that he’s really good at troubleshooting problems and finding solutions. “I know that sounds super boring, but I’m pretty good at it.” Guilty pleasure? “I sit on social media a lot. Nasty habit.” Other than 311, Eric has always been drawn to punk, ska, and bluesy, funky rock. He loves artists like The Rolling Stones, Specials, and Talking Heads. His current Spotify list includes Beta Band, Kendrick Lamar, and Jamiroquai.

Eric’s message for 311 is this: “Invest and pioneer the way bands will work together in the future.”

Eric’s message to all the other fans out there comes from this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvEiSa6_EPA

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Love that final message Eric! Thanks for being a part of the fan spotlight. I loved writing your story and I hope everyone enjoyed learning about Eric! And thanks Eric for the couch tour, I know I’ve enjoyed it when I can’t be at shows in person! Thanks to all who keep reading every week. This community of fans is just amazing! Until we meet again my friends.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 5/1/17 – Aaron Kaloustian!

What’s up 311 nation! It’s that time of the week where we get to learn all about a new fan. This weeks fan spotlight takes aim at Aaron Kaloustian!

Like many, Aaron’s story of his love for 311 begins in the year 1995. He saw them on MTV and while he can’t remember exactly what video it was, he ran right out and bought the blue album.

From 1996 until 2001 Aaron was seeing 311 live as he lived in Los Angeles, but he didn’t keep count so he has no idea how many times he saw them then. The recent ones he has kept track of though and since the 2015 Red, White & Boom show he’s seen them 11 times. Aaron said he can’t really say he has an exact favorite show. He’s been to 311 Day in Vegas and the cruise and thought they were all great events. With that being said he said the show where Shaq flew in on a helicopter and played “Psycho” with 311 was a great show. “The best part about 311 shows is seeing all my friends from all over the country!”

While Aaron doesn’t really have a song that means the most to him, the song “Outside” is one that he really enjoys. “There is something about that song that just puts me in such a great mood.” He also really loves “Feels So Good” and seeing it live.  “It really gets me going.”

Aaron grew up in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, a small town in the Sierra Mountains. He moved to L.A. in 1995 and really loved living there for the music, he saw lots of great shows. “The shows are the only thing I miss about L.A.”  He moved back to Tahoe in 2001 and started working on boats. He lived there until 2011 when he ended up moving to Seattle, Washington since he figured there were lots of boats that could be worked on. “Moving to seattle was the best thing that has happen to me. Since I moved here I have met my best friend and wife Christa Dohy who has connected me back to this awesome 311 community. where I have met so many new and old friend . I have got married. all I can say is that I love my life!”

Working on boats is what Aaron says makes him unique and he loves doing it. Guilty pleasure for him is video games. “Yes I still play video games at 43 lol.” Other musicians Aaron enjoys are Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Incubus, Primus, Sublime, Ballyhoo!, and Zero. “I could go on and on.”

Aaron’s message to 311 – “Thanks for bringing such a great group of people together. Now I have awesome friends all over the country.”

To all the other fans, his message is simple:

“Thanks for checking out my spotlight!”

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Now you have all met Aaron Kaloustian! Another fan spotlight is in the books. Like Aaron said, thanks for checking out his story and I hope you all have an amazing week!

Much love – The Runt

 

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/24/17 – Caitlin Nash!

Another week is here and I welcome you all back excitable 311 nation! Are you ready for the next fan spotlight? I am! Let’s meet my local friend, Caitlin Nash!

The year was 1997 and Caitlin’s boyfriend at the time asked if she wanted to go to a concert. She said sure why not and that show just so happened to be 311 with De La Soul opening back on August 23, 1997 in Connecticut. She’s been hooked ever since. “Although the relationship didn’t pan out, the love of 311 music did and we still keep in touch. Ironically it will be exactly 20 years this summer that I started my love affair with 311 and coincidentally my last show of this summer tour will be in CT…It is the circle of life.”

Show count for Caitlin is around 85. She said she tries not to think of all the money she has spent on 311 shows over the years, and there are some years she goes to a bunch of shows and others where so only gets to see one. “I try to plan it out and coordinate logistics with other friends. Other times I just a buy a ticket and go. It also kind of depends on the location. I have had to adult and not go to shows before. Not my favorite thing to do but sometimes it has to happen. I will be honest, I have racked up so CC debt at times to support it but it is always so worth it. When I make memories with friends new and old I have no regrets on my spending.”

Every summer when Caitlin goes to see 311, she has a group of friends that she has had since college and her very first job that she meets up with at a show. “We do road trips and fly around to see them. It is always a blessing to find people you connect with and share so many memories with the. I think it has been about 13+ years with the same people going to shows. Although life happens we always find ourselves rooted in 311.”

Favorite show so far for Caitlin is 311 Day 2008, with the band returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. “I road tripped from MA to NOLA with my friend Greg and we met our friend Todd there, we all met up with lots of people excited to be back in NOLA and celebrate. It was also the year I had one responsibility and it was to bring the tickets to the show. Before we left the hotel, they asked if I had the tickets and I said I had them. When we got there I did a ticket check and…YES…I FORGOT THE TICKETS TO 311 DAY 2008. Biggest concert fail I have ever had. Luckily, I left them in the hotel right where I put them to remember to bring them with me.  We were fortunate to have Todd with us who was a Rockstar and made it to and from the hotel in record time! Let’s just say the running joke is for me to remember to bring the tickets…even if they are not going to the same show as me LOL .” The first 311 cruise is another memorable event for Caitlin since it was a whole new way to experience her favorite band. “And who doesn’t like to be contained on a boat at sea with likeminded people? It was amazing and took my 311 love affair to a new level. Cruise 1 was also when met Chrissy Martin…although it would take about 4 years later to reconnect again. Along with a few other friends I have met over the years we did make cruises 4 & 5. This is now a staple for me like 311 Day is…assuming my wallet allows it to be.”

Favorite song to rock out to for Caitlin is “Creatures (for a while)” and it is her ringtone for most of her 311 friends. The song that speaks to her most though is “Crack the Code.” “All songs have different meanings to everyone and to me this song helped me get through some crazy medical stuff. It helped inspire me to keep trying to figure out what was wrong and not give up trying. It took 9 months to crack the code and I have been in remission for 9 years. When I hear this song it reminds me to not give up and makes me feel invincible!” As far as specific lyrics, there are too many that speak to Caitlin in various ways to narrow it down.

Born and raised in Wilton, Connecticut, Caitlin was raised in a family that included her mom, dad, and older brother. She spends most of her family time now at their house in Maine and she credits her appreciation of music to her brother. “He can always enlighten my ears with new music or classics I may not have been familiar with.” Her family razzes her for all of the 311 shows she attends, but it’s all in good fun. “I always laugh when I tell my mom and dad I am going to see a show because they instantly ask me “Is it that 3-1-1 band you like?” I won’t even correct them because it is just so great to know that they know me so well.”

Caitlin went to Merrimack College in Massachusetts for her undergraduate and graduate degree (although there was a 13 year gap in between the two). She liked it in MA so much that she decided to settle down just outside of Boston. Since college she has worked in retail and mostly office jobs. She’s been managing service and support teams and has been with her current job for two years. “I love It because I get to travel back and forth to LA. as half of my team is based in MA and half in CA. This allows me to work some fun into my trips whenever possible. It also helps fix my travel bug as I can’t afford to travel overseas. However, when I can, I will go back to Iceland and see the Northern Lights under a glass igloo.”

During college Caitlin was able to work abroad in Sydney, Australia, and Dublin, Ireland. She was actually in Australia when 9/11 happened and was on one of the first international flights back to the U.S. While in Ireland, she ended up living in a hostel for a little over four months and worked at a pub. “Hostel living at that time was sooo much fun and meeting so many people every night was my highlight. I still talk to most of the people I met while traveling. That had influences on me to always put myself out there and try new things…except skydiving….my feet belong on the ground.”

Something you may not know about Caitlin, she loves to play 3-D Dodgeball. “I was on a team at an old job and now play just play whenever I can. I wish I had more people close by so we can form a team and join a league. I like working out and not thinking I am actually working out. It is a great substitute for a gym membership in my eyes. Besides, who doesn’t like being a kid and then add a trampoline in…it’s so fun!”

When asked what makes her unique, she say it’s a hard question to answer, but she’s really good at drinking beer and enjoys it! “I am an IPA girl but try to try other beers I may not always like or think I won’t like.” She also made a resolution for 2017  to see 1 show a month and try 1 new beer a month. “I am having a very successful year thus far.” Guilty pleasure for Caitlin? “Oh this is easy…NKOTB and anything reality TV…no need for me to elaborate LOL.”

As far as other music, Caitlin grew up influenced by all types such as Pink Floyd, The Grateful Dead, and various classic rock. “Mix that in with the everyday music playing at any given time with a lot of 80s and 90s music, Pearl Jam, Nirvana and boy bands. I am very open to all genres of music although I gravitate to some genres over others.” She enjoys the jams of Widespread Panic and My Morning Jacket, as well as orchestral modern music like the Vitamin String Quartet, Lindsey Stirling and Apocalyptica. She also said over the years 311 has brought new music into her life via the cruises and tours that have become new inspirations to her. “ There have been so many over the years that I have enjoyed and come to follow. I have really opened my eyes to other bands that I may not have known about without 311 or even the 311 fans.”

Caitlin said that throughout her travels she has met many wonderful people and has been able to grow her concert buddy list tremendously. “Through 311 I have already check some venues off my music venue bucket list. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. As my good friend, Lisa says we are “Making Memories.”

To 311, Caitlin’s message is this: “As common as it can be to say, I would say thank you. Thank you for being you and doing what you all do. Hopefully followed by hugs and letting the conversation flow from there…maybe about beer, music, future collaborations etc. However, I can get all fan girl when I meet them and not even say one word because I am in such awe of being in their presence.”

Now her message to all the other fans out there:

“I ask everyone to spread P.L.U.R. and happiness. You never know when you can make ad difference in someone’s day or life by something as small as a smile or high-five.  I have not been to a 311-related event, gathering or show in which I never felt these feelings. I have travelled to show by myself and felt welcomed and loved. It is so rare to find this type of community and family.  Thank you all for being a part of it!”

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And that is the story of Caitlin Nash! I hope you all enjoyed meeting her or learning more about her. Thank you to all who keep reading every week! You all make this happen and I’m so proud to be a part of this. Now go out and conquer the world with the PLUR.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/18/17 – Adam Frankel!

Hello again excitable nation! What time is it? Well it’s new fan spotlight time! This week we learn about Adam Frankel!

Sixteen years of age is when Adam first learned of 311. At that time he would play online MUD’s (games where you go north, south, east and west to solve quests and kill monsters). It was a game called Hysteria where some big 311 fans introduced Adam to the music. “This was in the days of Napster and downloading mp3s – so the first song I downloaded and heard was Paradise.  Very few people had heard of them in the UK – and my taste in music is really diverse so I was drawn to the different styles that 311 have!”

Show count is at number 21 for Adam. His first show was at age 17 and it was when 311 headlined a show in London in November of 2001. “It was the first proper gig I ever went to and it totally blew my mind.  It was in a small club venue (which no longer exists) called Mean Fiddler and I remember hearing Beautiful Disaster and I remember getting knocked down and being picked right back up by a stranger in the pit.  Frustratingly the set list doesn’t exist for that show… so I have no idea what else they played!” Aside from this show, Adam says his other favorite event was 311 Day 2010. “It had been my dream to come to a 311 day, and at the time I was a high school Math teacher.  In England it is very hard as a teacher to get time off during term time – so I had to threaten to quit my job in order for them to give me a week unpaid leave.

See this article http://www.mtv.com/news/1633698/311-fans-get-hyped-for-311-day-fan-party-in-las-vegas/

As a note, I had been drinking and saw the MTV camera and told my friends – I am going to do an interview… they didn’t even get my name, but it got a story on mtv.com!

The drawback is that a mixture of jet lag and excitement meant that by the time the show came I was so exhausted from a lack of sleep that I had to go find a seat in the arena.  This ended up being cool as I found myself sitting with Nick’s friends and family – his wife asked me to take a photo of her with her friends!”

There are quite a few songs that are close to his heart, “Sick Tight” is one of them because of this lyric: “I bet we get the people jumping overseas, and I know why they’re busting MP3’s.” Adam said this line literally describes him. “Ironically enough, when From Chaos came out and I bought the import CD – I used to skip Sick Tight every time as I was not a fan… now it is my favorite song on that album!” Adam also said he might get some hassle for this, but one of his other favorites is “Love Song.” “Yes, I know it isn’t even their song and yes, I know it’s not a popular choice – but I would be happy to hear it every time I saw 311.  Back in 2007 I came over for a vacation and tied in my 2nd and 3rd ever 311 shows (in San Fran and Vegas) and when they started playing Love Song I was ecstatic … until Matisyahu came out and spoiled it for me!! No disrespect meant towards Matisyahu – but I had come a long way and was hearing my favorite song live for the first time, so I wanted to hear the whole song!!

There is just one song left on my checklist of songs I most want to hear live which is How Do You Feel.”

As far as favorite lyrics, Adam said he loves “Stay positive and love your life” because he is a teacher and he’s taught his kids to say it. He said when he says it to his kids, it reminds him to live by it himself too.

Adam grew up in Essex, England, which is just outside of London. He moved from there to Minnesota back in 2013, and then most recently to Frisco, Texas in 2015. He runs a small company that sells supplies and parts for big Heidelberg printing presses. “It’s not as exciting as being a teacher, but it pays the bills and is less stressful!” Adam says he pretty much is THE English 311 fan. “I ran the UK 311 MySpace page back in the day and used to long for 311 to announce a UK festival date or European tour (which they never did).”

Aside from loving 311, Adam has a diverse taste in music. Other top artists for him are Muse, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and Bastille. He also said thanks to 311 he has become a big fan of Rebelution and Ballyhoo!

Since Adam is from England, he is of course a huge football fan (as in soccer in case you couldn’t guess that). “West Ham United are my team and I play most weeks with some friends here in Frisco – at 32 my best years are behind me.  FC Dallas play 10 minutes from my house so I watch some MLS too as well as playing FIFA on my PlayStation.” When not watching football, Adam is also very involved in his local church.

Adam’s message to 311 is one of thanks: “Thank you for sticking together through good and bad and continuing to play shows and make new music!”

Now to all the other fans:

“Thank you!  It was that fan that picked me up at my first 311 show that really showed me what 311 fans are all about.  You guys are so generous, making things to hand out at shows and being so kind.  I remember when I got to my first 311 day I had been offered a beer before I had even checked into my room!!  I have made many friends over the years through 311 – so if you see me at a show come and say hello!  I apologize in advance if I don’t remember everyone’s name, in my defense there’s only one British guy so I am easier to remember!”

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Now you have all met Adam, the British 311 fan! Thanks for sharing your story Adam and being a part of this amazing fan community. I hope you all enjoyed it, thanks for reading every week! Until next time, keep being awesome!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/10/17 – JP Chilicki!

Another week and that means another fan spotlight! Welcome back everyone. It’s time to meet JP Chilicki!

It was a very young age, around 9 or so, when JP discovered 311. Growing up with an older brother, JP always wanted to be around him and his friends. It was during one of these times that his brother and friend happened to be playing the 311 blue album. “I had no idea what I was listening too but I was BLOWN AWAY. I didn’t ask any questions I just sat in my spot and listened. Again this was around 1996 id say, and only being in the third grade all I had really ever heard before was like Will smith and Brittany Spears and Nsync and boy bands like that. So this was pretty much my first time listening to rock and roll. Ever since that night in our basement I was hooked!” After that JP would listen to the album repeatedly, for pretty much two years straight. He said the other kids just didn’t get it, they looked at him like he shouldn’t be listening to it. “I don’t think as a third grader you are really prepared for something like that, but I was hooked!” He said it was the intensity of the album and the adrenaline it gave him that really drew him into their music. “I just couldn’t stop moving to the music, it was just so heavy to me! I just couldn’t get enough!”

It was around 1996 that JP first heard them, and he’s been attending live shows for over 17 years, more than half of his life. He tries to keep a collection of his ticket stubs and makes a point to always get a hard copy of his tickets instead of the e-ticket. Exact show count he is unsure of, but believes he is around 80 to 90. First show he ever went to was June 14, 2000 at The Oakdale Theater in Wallingford, Connecticut. “Probably the best day of my life of the short life I had lived at that time. I was 12 years old.”  Favorite event or show so far was hard to choose, so he named off three: Sail away show on cruise number one, his first show in 2000, or the Transistor set at Powwow. “Each amazing in its own way.”

For one song that means the most, JP can’t say there is one in particular. He has his favorite songs and top ten list, as well as ones that hit him on an emotional level but can’t narrow it to one song that means the most. “I know that “Use of Time” when played live brings me to a different place mentally, and “Hive” brings me to a different place physically. Lol. It’s hard to explain.” Favorite lyrics, he went with the popular one, “Stay positive and love your life” as well as “The fish that keep on swimming are the first to chill upstream.”  “I got a koi fish tattooed years ago not for this quote but for the Japanese meaning and just felt that it went along well with the 311 quote I had loved for so long. Every song and its lyrics hits me in a different way on a different day constantly. It’s a constant reminder to stay positive and not give up and just keep trekking.”

Jonathan P. Chilicki (JP for short obviously) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, raised in South Windsor, and has been in C.T. his whole life. Grew up in the Hartford suburb, raised by amazing parents, Carmen-Rosa Delgado and Jozef P Chilicki. His mother grew up in Peru and his dad in Poland. “Both overseas and built their own future to better themselves as well as their families. As a result my brother and I are first generation Americans and are proud to be so and carry on the Chilicki name.”

To fund his 311 addiction, JP works three different jobs. He’s worked at a dry cleaner for more than 9 years. He works security at The Webster Theater in Hartford and also at the Worcester Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts and has done so for the last 6 years. Third job is door/bouncer at a moonshine bar in Ellington, C.T. called The Hidden Still. “All jobs fun to me in a very different way and all to fund my 311 addiction. With 5 more stops on this summer’s Unity Tour I’m going to need as much income as I can get. I try to get on a plane at least twice a year to travel the world and see my favorite people, friends and family, and see my favorite band in the entire world. Nothing compares to it, I’ve literally planned every single vacation I’ve ever had since 2008 with a main focus on seeing 311. Every trip I’ve been on since then was to see 1 or multiple 311 shows. I find the back to back nights are key nowadays to catch 2 shows on a row and check out a new city. I love it!”

Interesting fact about JP: He is a black belt in Kempo Karate. “I got it at a young age. I trained hard in karate from age 7 to about 13 id say. Earning my way up through the ranks and eventually earning my adult black belt, First Degree. It was an important day in my life I would say. I will definitely never forget it. I worked extremely hard to achieve it. The test took about 8 hours to complete, it was an all day thing.” This isn’t his only talent. He loves playing sports and is a huge sport junkie. He’s played soccer, baseball, basketball and football. He even played cricket for a couple of summers! JP also likes to play bass guitar. “I originally started back in high school and mostly covered my favorite 311 songs. PNUT was my inspiration 100%. Then I would branch out a little and play some incubus (Dirk Lance), rage against the machine (Tim Commerford), Red hot chili peppers (Flea), and much more. As those were all my favorite bass players. Well so was Les Claypool of Primus but those bass lines were a little to advance for me at the time.” As if this wasn’t enough, he’s also really good at math. “I can do crazy math in my head.”

Guilty pleasure for JP is that he “kinda likes the EDM (Electronic dance music) crap lol.” He said it’s definitely a different scene but the shows are fun to work. He also said since he’s been getting to work all these shows he’s gotten into the local hardcore scene. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of kids in the bands, and just in the scene in general, and they all know me. It’s a fun DIY movement and cool to see the up and coming bands start to get there name out there and get booked to bigger shows or even book a solid tour. It’s cool being behind the scenes in the music business.”

JP’s message to 311 is what he always ends up telling them when he see’s them in person: “THANK YOU! Thank you for being in my life, thank you for changing my life and many positive ways and just thank you for being the band and the people you are. You have changed so many people’s lives for the better the people I have met in the 311 community are some people that I now call my best friends. It is so crazy how this band has brought so many people together to celebrate positivity. THANK YOU SO MUCH 311!”

His personal message to all the other fans:

“I don’t think that I can say it much better than “stay positive and love your life” It is words I live by every day. Keep moving forward, always try to better yourself, never stop learning, be kind to others, be courteous, try and lend a helping hand when in need. Here’s a good quote. “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.” ~Seneca.”

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Thank you JP for sharing your amazing tale of how you found 311! I hope everyone enjoyed his story and thank you as always for reading about your fellow fans in the 311 community. You are all rock stars in my eyes! See you next week!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/27/17 – Darien Saiidifar!

Hello again excitables! Welcome back, it’s time for a new fan spotlight! Let me introduce you to Mr. Darien Saiidifar!

The young age of 5 is when Darien first heard 311. His brother was 12 at the time and he remembers his mother taking them to Best Buy to pick up the album Soundsystem the day it was released.

First time seeing 311 live was at the University of Lockhaven on March 24, 2002. He was only 8 years old at the time! Since then he has been to 10 shows total. Favorite so far was on July 28, 2012. “I had just graduated from high school and as a gift my mom and I split the VIP Platinum ticket cost, and I finally got to meet 311 after 13 years of growing up with their music. My life changed forever that day.”

Trying to pick a favorite song for Darien proved difficult as it does for most, he said it’s nearly impossible. If forced to pick just one he would choose “I Told Myself.” “Reason being I have lots of summer memories riding in the car with it playing.” Quote from a song that is a favorite is, “If there’s a shadow in your life, then there’s sunshine.”

Darien was born in Houston, Texas but only lived there for about 5 months. He then moved to northern Virginia and has lived there ever since. Darien just turned 23 and has only had one job so far, which is working at the grocery store Wegmans. He is working there until he completes his college degree from George Mason University.

It was thanks to 311 that Darien decided to pick up a musical instrument. It was their influence that encouraged him to play drums, guitar, and also some bass. “I absolutely could not be musically inclined if they never came along. I play in 2 bands, one original band (which still needs a name) and a Sublime cover band called Garden Grove, and I play drums in both of them. My ultimate dream is to become a touring musician.” Darien said in case the touring thing doesn’t happen, he is getting his undergrad degree in Tourism and Events Management, preferably to work in a music related job following graduation.  He also mentioned that he loves to play gigs with his band and loves his cat Velcro!

Interesting fact about Darien? He is absolutely disgusted by pineapples on a pizza. Talent comes in musical form. “Somehow I’ve been blessed with the ability to play drums and guitar. I don’t know how, but I wouldn’t change a thing about it!” Guilty pleasure he said is that he watches Spongebob Squarepants on a regular basis. When not listening to 311 he can be found listening to Ballyhoo!, System of a Down, Twenty One Pilots, or Sublime.

Darien’s message to 311 is: “I would not be living the life I had imagined if you guys never came along and I can’t thank you enough for helping me pick up music and for spreading positivity.”

His message to all the other fans:

It’s a pleasure to feel like a family in this fan base, and I’m proud to be part of it.”

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That’s Darien’s story my friends! Thanks to him for sharing his tale of his love for 311. Such a great family of fans we have thanks to this amazing band! Thanks for reading, see you all next week!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/20/17 – Jordan Goodman!

Hello again excitable nation! Another week is upon us and so it’s time to meet another great fan. This week we say hello to Jordan Goodman!

Jordan said he loved 311 before he even knew who they were. “I always connected to their music on the radio, it just spoke to me.” Then he got his first iPod and a friend told him to download Grassroots. “It all came together then, it was so amazing!”

June 11, 2009 was Jordan’s first live show in Salt Lake City, Utah. Show tally total so far is at 17. His favorite so far was last summer in Seattle. “I had gone to meet them, this was the day after seeing them in Portland, Oregon. I walked up and Pnut, who I look up to so much for his positive mind and spirit, looks at me excited and says, dude you were blissing out all night last night! That he remembered me and my passion for the music was such an uplifting moment.”

The song “It’s Alright” is the one that means something special to Jordan. “It was a huge motivation for me when diagnosed with cancer, it kept me level headed and in a positive mind. The cruise was 5 years cancer free!” Favorite quote is “Stay positive and love your life.”

Jordan grew up in Clinton, Utah, right by Salt Lake City. He moved to Seattle and is still there currently. He works for Amazon in delivery. “It’s alright, pays the rent and for my 311 obsession.” Aside from loving 311 he loves to go out and have adventures. “Seeing and trying new things, visiting the world. I also love meeting new people and helping those in need.”

Since Jordan’s experience with cancer, he’s wanted to give back to those suffering from the disease. He volunteers for a non-profit organization to help spread cancer awareness and support those with cancer. He has a huge passion for helping other people and does anything he can to help those in need!

Guilty pleasure for Jordan is food. “I love to try new food and to cook.” When not listening to 311, he loves to jam out to Slightly Stoopid, Ballyhoo!, Rdgldgrn, People Under the Stairs, Atmosphere, Pepper, The Expendables, and Rebelution.

To 311 Jordan’s message is this: “Thank you. You all have been an inspiration in my life to live the fullest and to stay positive.”

To all the other fans out there:

“Hope you are all well. It is so amazing to be a part of this amazing community and I hope to see a bunch of you this summer! Also…stay positive and love your life!”

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Thank you Jordan for sharing your story! And congrats on being 5 years cancer free! Such an amazing thing. I hope you all enjoyed his tale of his love for 311. Thank you all for reading and being amazing fans! You guys make my week a lot brighter, I can tell you that. Until next week.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 3/13/17 – Christa Dohy!

Hello again my friends in 311 nation! Happy belated 311 Day! I hope all that went on the 311 Cruise to Cozumel had as an amazing time as I did. I got to meet so many of you in person! Including this weeks awesome fan spotlight. Say a very excitable hello to Christa Dohy!

How did Christa fall in love with 311? Well she said she’s a total bandwagon fan. “I always liked their music, but for whatever reason didn’t start following them until I started dating Aaron about four years ago.” Aaron has been a fan of 311 since the 90’s and because of this 311 went on Christa’s live shows I want to see list. So in 2015, Christa went to her first show, which just happened to be Red, White, & Boom in Vegas. “We literally bumped into a couple excitables in the Mandalay Bay while trying to find the venue and were introduced to a ton of other people who we now consider family. We thought we were just going to a concert, but it turns out that we joined a cult of awesome!”

Since then, Christa has been to 11 shows. “I love the energy in the music – Do You Right has always been one of my favorite songs to bounce along to.” Favorite event she says is probably the cruise that she just got back from. “The cruise is in a class by itself; it’s not even comparable to anything else.” Outside of the cruise she said her favorite show is 311 Day 2016 night one. “The band played a lot of my favorite songs that night.”

Song that she says is her jam is “Neverending Summer.” “Every time I hear the ‘3-11, 3-3-11…’ whether live or just in my car, I get the chills. Between summer tour and my love of warm weather, it’s the perfect song for me.” Favorite lyric? “I met some weirdos and had myself a real good time.” “Pretty much sums up my excitable experience so far.”

Christa grew up in Northeastern Ohio but said she never really felt like she belonged there. So in her early 30’s she had a “mid-life crisis” and moved on out to Seattle. Then through life’s twists and turns, she had a son (who is now 11) and now has a new husband (Aaron and Christa just got married 3-11-17 so everyone say congrats!). Her son now also loves 311 and he went to his first show last summer.

In 2012 Christa developed a spinal condition that required surgeries and by the time the found it, she had developed permanent nerve damage in parts of her body, mostly her legs. “I do my best to control it with medications, but I’m somewhat limited in some things that I cannot do, like jumping up and down and standing on my feet for extended periods of time. So if you see me chair dancing at a show, I’m not just being a lazy bum, I do try to hang with the party as much as I can. Besides, I don’t drink so I’m a built in designated driver too!”

Unique attribute for Christa? She said it’s mom skills. Seriously! “Seriously, ask my friends, it’s a thing. Although it’s probably just my extreme OCD when it comes to planning and organization. You need help planning something I’m your girl. Some of my friends refer to me as the den mother because I keep things organized. Oh and another nickname I have is Mary Poppins because I always have good surprises in my bag at shows.”

Guilty pleasure for Christa is that she loves puzzle games. “Every piece of electronics that I own has Frozen Free Fall installed on it!” For other music and artists that Christa loves, she said she came to 311 from a harder/punk music background. “I love Social Distortion, Authority Zero, Deftones, and Ballyhoo! But I’m also digging the reggae bands that seem to come with 311 like Rebelution and Soja.”

To 311, Christa’s words are these: “Thank you for all of the good times and helping me find my tribe.”

To the 311 fan community:

“Money is better spent on memories than on stuff, because you can’t take it with you. And to all of my Excitable family, I can’t wait to see you all during the summer tour!”

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Thank you Christa for sharing your story and congrats to you and Aaron on the 3-11 Day marriage!! This fan community, in my opinion, is the best ever and I love learning about you all and sharing your stories. Never-ending fan spotlight! That’s my goal! Until we meet again my friends, go be awesome and spread the good karma.

Much Love – The Runt