Runt Rant

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

Just another manic Monday – with a new fan spotlight on Marion Novicky!

April 14th, 2014

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Welcome back 311 nation! I hope you are all coming off an amazing weekend and ready to conquer another week! Get it started right by meeting our newest fan spotlight – Marion Novicky!

Marion first discovered the wonderfulness of 311 back in 2003 when she went to the Rolling Rock Town Fair in Pittsburgh, PA.  She saw a ton of bands that day and as she said, “They all sucked and then 311 came on and I was blown away.”  She went home, bought all the music that she could find, and has been listening to them ever since. “What I loved most was how different their music was from everything else that I was listening to at the time.”

Since then Marion has seen the band somewhere around twenty times. She isn’t sure of the exact number but she tries to see them at least once a year, although it’s usually multiple times. Her favorite event she said is hard to choose because they are all such a blast. If forced to choose, it would be the 2013 cruise, which is the first one she went on.   “I just loved how there was live music playing from every corner of the ship, pretty much 24/7. It was so much fun to go to the name that tune event and have Nick hang out and just jam out.” She also said everyone was just so friendly and having so much fun that you couldn’t help but have a great time too. She also was lucky enough to hit 311 Day this year in Nola and she got meet a ton of other fans which meant a lot to her!

Marion grew up in a Cleveland, OH suburb where she still currently dwells. She still lives at home with her mother, and even though this doesn’t make her happy, she realizes how fortunate she is for this opportunity. It allows her to save a ton of money and go where she wants, when she wants. “It allows me to follow 311 around or go to California to visit my brother and sister-in-law.”  Marion has one brother who is a year and half older than her and he lives in Orange County, CA. (He is in the photo above with her, which she said is her favorite picture!)

Not only does Marion love 311, she loves music in general and doesn’t limit herself to a set type that she’ll listen to. “I’ll listen to whatever I think sounds good. I don’t have any other artists or bands that I love as much as 311. If you look at my playlist, my top 25 songs played are 311. 90% of the time they are who I’m listening to.”

I asked Marion to tell me something that makes her unique, and she responded saying, “I know you say there has to be something but here honestly isn’t haha. I am the most boring and generic person you’d ever meet.” (I sincerely doubt this!)  She does like to read and run. Something you may not know about her though is that she is a vegan. She also said her guilty pleasure is that she “may or may not” watch The Vampire Diaries. (No shame there Marion! I watch it too!  He he.)

Marion is like many of us in 311 nation who have multiple songs that mean the world to them. When asked what song means the most to her, she replied, “I can’t pick just one song, they all mean a lot to me for different reasons.”  Marion’s answers show the lessons that 311 music has taught her. “From Chaos reminds me that people’s actions can only bother me if I let them.  Trouble reminds me that I can be my own worst enemy sometimes and life is too short to hold things in, that I need to just let them go.  Beyond the Gray Sky reminds me of some rough times I went through and how I got through them because of my family and friends.”

Some lyrics that Marion mentioned stand out to her are, “No matter what you do I don’t react, I’m a perfect example of not giving a fuck about the catty rude people that just suck.” She also loves words from the song “Get Down” – “Think I’m despised when I look through the eyes of another, not mine to discover, what the next man think is none of my fucking business.”

I asked what one thing Marion would like to say to the band and she came back with, “This kills me because I’ve met Nick a few times and I always want to tell him how much the band means to me but I clam up like a nerd.” So Nick if you are reading, here is her response:

“I would thank them because they’ve taught me to not care what people think about me and to live with a positive attitude.  Nick has said he’s positive to a fault, well I’m negative to a fault and their music reminds me to not think that way and just enjoy life and live it to the fullest and every time a negative thought comes across my mind I just turn on their music and it fades away.  I will be forever grateful for what they’ve taught me about the power of having a positive attitude.”

That my friends is Ms. Marion Novicky! I hope you enjoyed learning more about her and that one day you all get to meet her in person! The fact that she mentioned all the things 311 has taught her with their music and lyrics shows just how powerful their words affect all of us excitables. Here are Marion’s words to all of you in 311 nation:

“Thanks for all the love!  You’re all so kind and even if I’ve never met you or I’ve just met you, you always treat me like we’ve known each other for years.  It means a lot.  311 fans are the greatest.”

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That’s it for this weeks edition of the fan spotlight! I hope it brightened up your Monday a bit! Until next week, “Oh living is a journey, waking, believing, running.”

-The Runt

 

 

 

Guess what day it is…it’s new fan spotlight day! Meet Mr. Paul Butler aka Clockwork!

April 7th, 2014

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It’s that time of the week again 311 nation! This week we introduce a fan who is from good old New England – the state of Maine to be precise! I actually had to ask him his real name because I’m sure most of you, like me, only know him by the name of Clockwork! Ladies & gentlemen meet Mr. Paul Butler!

When Nick dedicates the song “Down” to all the old school fans in the house, Paul a.k.a. Clockwork is one of those fans. He graduated from high school back in 1991 and he was really into punk music. 311 infiltrated his life somewhere between 93 & 94. “I was a big fan of Fugazi and heard 311 on an older recording of a Fugazi show.”

Clockwork didn’t really keep track of how many shows he has been to, however he thinks it’s somewhere around 24, which includes the recent 311 Day in New Orleans and the third cruise back in 2013. That cruise was his first big event that he attended and he said it was purely magical because he finally got to meet a ton of other excitables. Not to mention he met Doug Benson, as you can see from his photo above!

There are a few songs that strike a personal chord with Clockwork, but he says that “Strong All Along” has a special meaning to him since last summer at the Unity Tour Boston show they dedicated it to the marathon bombing and said, “Boston strong, Strong All Along.” He also loves the song “Old Funk” because he freestyle raps and says that instrumental melodies always catch his ear.

Yes you heard me right, he loves to freestyle rap! He would love to do this as his career. “I freestyle rap A LOT and J. Randy has really inspired me a lot the last few years.”  He can also freestyle for long periods of time. How long? He once did it for three hours straight at a YouTube convention! He says he can rap on any topic and it’s always off the top of his head. I asked Clockwork what his guilty pleasure and he says he believes it is freestylin. “Even though I can go forever and rhyme really well, my delivery is sub par. I really enjoy rhyming in front of a crowd, I’m just really shy about it. So next time any excitables see me, ask me to spit some bars!”

Clockwork was born in Florida but moved to Maine at six weeks old and has lived there his whole life, minus a short stint of living in New Hampshire. He says he has a few ways that he funds his 311 addiction. The main one is he sells motorcycle riding boots ten weeks out of the year. He also works in recycling at a family owned business in Maine. Clockwork has an older sister (he says is not a 311 fan) and a younger brother (HUGE 311 fan). He is also a single dad to a beautiful 10 year old girl. He also says that music is a huge part of his everyday life. He also is told by his family and friends that he is very diplomatic. “Guess I just want everyone to get along!”

Clockwork was a huge Phish head from 1991 to 2004. He has been to over 150 Phish shows! He also loves rap, metal, jazz, and rock. Some favorite artists include Eminem, Suicidal Tendencies, Grateful Dead, Primus, Lamb of God, The Algorythm, and Deadmau5.

One thing he’d love to say to the band, well really Pnut in particular is “Thank you for the basketball tips on the cruise!” And then to the whole band, he says, “Let me freestyle on stage to you guys playing Old Funk!”

So now you know a little more about fellow excitable Clockwork! I hope you all get to see him at a show this summer. And when you do, don’t forget to ask him to freestyle for ya! I know I will!

Here is his personal message to all of you out in the 311 universe:

“To all the good people I’ve met through 311, keep being you. To all I haven’t met, hope to some day! And lastly, we’re not here for a long time…we’re here for a good time! :)”

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Hope you all enjoyed this weeks fan spotlight! If you like what you read, leave comments showing some love for Clockwork! Thank you all for reading, I truly love doing these and hope you love them too. Until next week…”Just take a moment to have a fit once and awhile!”

-The Runt

Hey hey, what can I say…let’s welcome this week’s fan spotlight on Shaden Zakour!

March 31st, 2014

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Hey hey 311 nation! I’m here to get you through another Monday with the latest fan spotlight! Put some papers in front of you on your desk and make it look to your boss like you’re entering stuff in the system, then read on about Ms. Shaden “like Aladdin” Zakour!

Shaden told me people often think her name is pronounced “Shade-in” when reading it on Facebook or various other ways, because people see the word shade in it. So to help people remember how to say her name, she says she’s Shaden like Aladdin! Got it? So now you know how to say her name in your head as you read on! :)

Shaden stumbled upon 311 because she listened to a variety of music and just came across the band one day back in high school. She credits her best friend Poochie (shout out to Ian Camhi!) for really developing her as the fan she is today. When she first met Ian she owned the blue album, and found out Ian was a 311 fan because his license plate at the time was 311MUSIC. It was there that her love for the band began to blossom and grow to be what it is now. While Shaden has no clue how many shows she’s attended, she mentioned that her and Ian once hit six shows in one summer. “We followed them around for as many shows as we could afford.  NY/NJ are givens every year, then we did Philly, Boston and SPAC, where I forgot my awesome keen sandals in the grassy lot, and drove away!  I’ll never forget that one hehehe!”

Shaden says it is hard to pinpoint her favorite show because in her words, “I love them all! You get this overjoyed excited feeling every time with the energy from the crowd and the surprise of what songs they’ll play that night.” However, if she had to choose just one, she said it would hands down be the beach show from the second cruise. “It was just EPIC in ALL dimensions!  311 live in the Sun on a BEACH on a private Island surrounded by the coolest fans ever!  What more could anyone ask for?  Oh yeah, and don’t forget about the carnival beer slaves chasing us with buckets of beer, you couldn’t get enough!”

One song that Shaden loves, and I find it is the one song that seems to have resonated strongly with many fans, is “Beyond the Gray Sky.”  Shaden has lost some close friends and this song always makes her think of them. “It’s a very sad and touching song that hits the heart.  I think everyone who was on that first cruise will always remember that show on the lido deck.  It was purely magical, I just got chills writing about it!!” She also loves “Rub-a-Dub” and says it is her all time favorite because the melody is very happy and it always cheers her up when listening to it! Some lyrics that mean the most to her though come from “Can’t Fade Me”: “Massive yang and yin, on this earth we spin, and sometimes I gotta center, find out who I am. I chill out, I let in the wind, I gotta feel the force of the planet on my skin. I got news for ya, it ain’t nothing’ nice, we all got demons, we all got a vice. The struggle never ends, to keep it in check, but I never stop trying to make the trek what up!”

Shaden is a Queens, N.Y. native – born and raised! She says that many people think she has a New York accent, but she is unaware of it. “I definitely do not speak with the typical New Yawk accent like saying cawfee (coffee) and chawclate (chocolate).”  Her dad worked for the United Nations so she was lucky enough to attend the United Nations International School growing up. It was there she met her first best friend Ansaa who was from Ghana. Ansaa ended up passing away when she was 13 from a brain tumor. Shaden says Ansaa is one of the people that the song BTGS reminds her of. Shaden is a self-proclaimed mutt – her parents are both foreigners. Her mother was born and raised in Leeds, England, but she is 100% Irish, and her father is 100% Syrian. It’s the Syrian side of her heritage where her name comes from. It means when a fawn has her independence to leave its mother. Shaden also has a sister and is a proud auntie! She would love to move to the west coast and feels something out there is calling her, but understandably she is hesitant to leave her family because she is so close to them.

Shaden went through a rough time when she was just getting ready to begin college and she ended up being diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease. She went through many painful tests to figure out the extent of how badly the cancer was impacting her. She also ended up going through six months of chemo therapy. She said she really missed her hair and body during that time. While many people think that you would lose weight having Cancer, Shaden said she actually gained weight. Shaden is a fighter though, and she is proud to say that she is approaching her 18 year mark of being in remission! “Many people ask me, how did you survive?  I tell them that it’s all in the mind.  I told myself that I was going to get treatment, get better and go to college, and I did.  Mind over Matter is so TRUE!”

Shaden currently works for the United Nations, following in her fathers footsteps. She has been there for over ten years and has been in many different positions. Right now she has applied and interviewed for a position that would give her a raise and be a permanent role, as opposed to the temporary roles she has been filling in her time there. She said if she wasn’t working at the U.N., she’d like to be doing something artistic. “I really miss having the ability to create.  I wish I could live on a farm and own a barn with tons of tools!  I love welding, carpentry and ceramics.  I also would love to work on movies/films or in theatre.  It’s so much fun and total opposite of the life I feel I’m ‘stick in’… but hey, as long as I can keep on concert hopping, I’m not complaining!”

Here are some fun facts about Shaden! She has a mini cooper “ROXI” that she believes is the 311est car, at least in the state of N.Y.! It has a huge 311 decal on the driver’s side, and a Familia sticker on the other one. Plus her licence plate is 311LOVER! She lives in her own universe that has it’s own time zone called Whammer Time! Whammer is one of her old nicknames and she says she often loses track of time and ends up running late. So to this she says that Whammer Time took over! Shaden also has a unique connection with cats and believes it’s because she is part cat! She’d like to come back in her next life as one! Let’s see – she also starts talking with a British accent when she is tipsy, and can speak and write both French and Arabic! Can this girl get any more interesting?? :)

Shaden would like to thank 311 from the bottom of her heart, “For bringing together such an awesome vibe of people.” She mentioned that the band has stayed true to their word about making it all about unity. “Their music and lyrics bring so much joy and positivity to my life, so I would thank them from the bottom of my heart!” She also hopes to one day hear the song “Wandering Around” live and she is absolutely IN LOVE with the new album Stereolithic! “Been listening to it non-stop!”

That’s Shaden in a nutshell! She is an amazing soul and I truly hope you all get to meet her one day and give her a giant hug! I have and I’m one of the many blessed to have met her unique and caring soul! I hope you enjoyed getting to know Shaden like Aladdin better! Here is her personal message to all of you in 311 universe:

“Never give up on your hopes and dreams, only YOU can make this happen, your destiny lies in your mind and determination.  GO FOR IT!!  Oh and this is one of my favorites I’ll steal:  Dance like no one is watching, love like you’ll never be hurt and sing like no one is listening!  But most of all SMILE and enjoy your time on earth.”

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Thank you Shaden again for being this weeks fan spotlight! Hope you all enjoyed the read. Until next week I leave you with one of my favorite lyrics from “Boom Shanka”: “Now I’m ready to turn the page on yesterdays and forgive them. Now I’m willing to disengage, to seize the day and move on!” Seize the day people!

-The Runt

 

 

 

 

Start the week off right by meeting our new fan spotlight Kellie “Freeze Time” Felton!

March 24th, 2014

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Another Monday is here 311 nation! You know what that means…it’s time for our new fan spotlight of the week! Are you excitable? Of course you are! We always are! Please give a warm welcome to our latest feature – Kellie “Freeze Time” Felton!

Like many of us in 311 nation, Kellie has been a fan of 311 since she was in high school. She was living in Billings, Montana when she got her first taste of the band. It was her older brother who brought home the Music CD and got her hooked. Ever since she first heard it she said her mind was blown. She isn’t exactly sure how many shows she’s been to at this point, but she knows it’s at least ten. While each and every one of those shows has meant a lot to her, she said it’s the first one that will always be her favorite. “It was in my home town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first show will always be my favorite because I was so excited for it. I could go to a thousand 311 shows but nothing compares to your first show. Boom!”

Kellie grew up in the awesome city of Pittsburgh, PA and lived there until the end of her 8th grade year when she relocated to Montana. As we know, that is where she first was introduced to the amazingness of 311. After she turned 18, Kellie moved back to her hometown and met her love Chuck and they have now been together for 16 years. She says Chuck is an amazing man, but his only fault is, “He is not a 311 fan! They say opposites attract. He doesn’t understand my love for 311, but he respects it.” Sounds like he is a keeper to me then! Kellie and Chuck have twin boys, Donavin and Devin, who are 13 years old. Devin followed in mama’s footsteps and is a “311 nut” as she put it. “He already had his first 311 show under his belt!”  Donavin likes the band, but not to the same level and mom and bro. I can’t imagine having twins, and Kellie said, “The twins keep us on our toes, that’s for sure.”

I asked Kellie, as I do everyone, what song means the most to them. This is the first answer that actually made me tear up. Kellie said that “Strong All Along” is the song that means the most to her. The reason? She has a nephew battling brain cancer and she said that throughout his whole ordeal with the sickness and chemo therapy, Michael has remained “Strong All Along.” Thank you Kellie for sharing that personal information. I don’t know about everyone else, but for me it made me realize just how much we have to be thankful for. If Michael can be strong through everything then the rest of us can too! I hope he wins his fight, he sounds like an amazing person!

Kellie has a lot of quotes that stand out to her from the 311 catalog. A popular one, “From chaos comes clarity”, has been a popular answer from everyone showing how unifying 311 lyrics really are and just how much they hit home! Some of the others are “I grab a moment like a thief and I make it mine,”  “Talkin’ shit like shut up, and listen to me, cutting through the crap is my specialty,” and “Glycerin tears don’t fool me.” Great choices!

Some of Kellie’s other favorite bands include Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, Tribal Seeds, Josh Hienrichs, and One Drop. If you haven’t heard these bands, go check them out! I asked Kellie to tell me something that others may not know and she confessed that she’s really into romantic comedies and chick flicks! “I’m a softy at heart despite my tough and independent attitude. My favorite is Pride and Prejudice. It’s one of the greatest love stories ever told!”

If Kellie could be in front of the band with one thing to say, it would be, “Thank you for being a big part of my life. “It’s been a wild ride, I wouldn’t change a minute.” It’s amazing how many people simply want to tell the band thank you. I don’t think any other words really sum up the unity and positivity they have brought to each and every one of our lives.

So you’ve met Kellie! I hope you all enjoyed her story and if you see her at a show, say hello in person! I leave you with her words to all of the fans:

“To all my fellow excitables – I love the energy and love we share for 311 and each other. I have had the time of my life in Nola with all of you beautiful people who were there. ‘It’s been a wild ride, I wouldn’t change a minute! And of course, “Stay positive and love your life!”

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Thanks for reading 311 crew! Until we meet again…”To all my friends, it’s not the end, the earth has not swallowed me yet!”

-The Runt

Have no fear that Monday is here! It’s time for our new spotlight on Kyleen Mendez!

March 17th, 2014

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Well 311 nation, it’s Monday again. I’m back at work after 11 days off and attempting to readjust to reality that 311 Day is over. So let’s distract ourselves by focusing on something more positive! I introduce to you this weeks fan spotlight – Kyleen Mendez!

Kyleen became a fan of 311 thanks to her high school boyfriend “Eon.” He and his friends were obsessed with the band and constantly listening to them, so it eventually wore off on Kyleen. “There is just something about their music, the lyrics, the riffs, the melodies; they all come together and it’s magic to my ears.”

Kyleen was born in Texas and was a Navy brat, so she traveled a lot. She followed in her parents footsteps and joined the Navy herself back in 2008. Thanks to the Navy, Kyleen has lived in a variety of places like Scotland, Japan, California and Oklahoma. She also spent four years stationed in Norfolk, Virginia on an aircraft carrier that went out to the middle of the sea often. This made it difficult for her to see 311 live as much as she would have liked. She has seen them a total of six times, but that’s not including the second and third cruise. Plus she just recently made the trek to New Orleans to see her first 311 Day!

Even though the Navy didn’t enable her to see many 311 shows, she said she is making up for lost time now by seeing them as much as she can. She is now stationed in Fort Worth, Texas in shore duty, so she doesn’t have to travel out to sea. Even though Kyleen joined the Navy to travel, she also is a self-proclaimed “momma’s girl” so she chose to be stationed back in Texas to be closer to home. Since moving back she has met some truly amazing people. “I have met some of the most amazing, kind and helpful people through the Familia. The Stone family has been such a great help and taken me in as their own ‘adopted’ daughter!”

While Kyleen hasn’t been to many events or shows, she said the third cruise would have to be her all time favorite that she has attended. She went on the second cruise but didn’t know many people then. By the end of the second cruise she had made lifelong friendships thanks to 311. She said the last deck show on the third cruise just had her in tears. “Just the coming together of so many people, the experience was just amazing! And to be able to experience that with my friends was great!”

Kyleen said “Long for the Flowers” is her all time favorite song, but it’s the lyrics “from chaos comes clarity” that have impacted her in a huge way. She has the lyrics tattooed across her chest because it’s always been a quote that means something to her and as she said, “I believe it goes for everyone. No matter how down you get, it will always get better. You have to go through the bad sometimes before you get the good!”

Kyleen obviously loves 311, but she also says she can listen to almost anything country (She loves George Strait!). Along with that, she has, like many of us, found a love for many of the bands that have toured with 311 or been on the cruises. Some of her other favorites are The Dirty Heads, Bad Rabbits, Bumpin’ Uglies, J. Randy, and Full Service. She says other than 311 shows, Mindless Self Indulgence shows are some of her favorite to go to because they have so much energy!

Kyleen has done the cruise pictures with the band and also met SA at one of the Ghostwolf shows, so she’s clearly had the opportunity to speak to them and express her thanks. However, she did tell me that she’d just like to tell them that “they rock and their music has been an amazing stitch to so many friendships to so many people around the world!”  Well stated! :)

So now you’ve all met Kyleen! One more person in the sea of positive people that shares the love for 311 and brings the message of unity to the world! I leave you all with her words to all of you:

“Stay positive and love your life! I love you all and I am blessed to have met you guys. Y’all have made the past four years amazing!”

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Hope you enjoyed this weeks edition of the spotlight! Until next time, have a 311-tastic week! “The continuous life there is no end…” – The Runt

 

 

 

 

Happy 311 Day Week! Show some love for our fan spotlight on Jason Klemmer!

March 10th, 2014

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It’s every excitables favorite week of the year! Happy 311 Day week everyone! I hope you are all celebrating this entire week (and tomorrow especially) in a unifying and positive sea of happiness! This week our special 311 Day fan spotlight features Mr. Jason Klemmer!

Jason fell in love with 311 when they first started having their videos played on MTV (as Jason put it, back then MTV was actually worth watching – so true). Jason played the trumpet growing up, so he was really into jazz music, but after school his brother would always have MTV on and he would hear the songs playing in the background. The videos for “Down” or “All Mixed Up” would play and Jason said he would stop what he was doing and just start dancing by himself in his room. He loved the sound the band created and recognized how well they played their instruments. “I had never heard a sound like that before.”

Some of us know how many 311 shows we have been to. Others have lost count because it’s been so many. Jason? He has kept every ticket stub from the shows he has been to! He didn’t have time to count them all, but he said that off the top of his head his show total is somewhere between 35 and 40. His very first show was back in 2003 when he saw them tour with Alien Ant Farm. He was on the rail for that first show, which he said just made the whole experience that much more epic! Of the many shows Jason attended, he was lucky enough to have been to three 311 Day’s (that’s including this years), the first and third cruise, as well as Pow Wow. One of his favorite events was 311 Day 2010, and as far as the regular tour shows go, he said that the Atlantic City show in the fall of 2012 was just epic for him. “311 played “Let the Cards Fall” and we all thew up decks of cards!” (I’m sure you’ve all heard about this show by now! I wish I had been there.)

Jason was born and raised in South New Jersey. His parents divorced when he was just 6 years old, so he spent his summers in both Florida and Kansas growing up. Jason also has MS (Multiple Sclerosis), a disease that affects the nervous system. He has had the disease for the past 10 years, but that didn’t stop him from seeing 311 live. He said the disease has made it so he can now only do certain things. He still works one job and says that helps fund his 311 habit.

Of all the 311 songs there are, Jason said there are many that hold a special meaning for him. “Jupiter” is one of them in particular, and he has the lyrics “stay positive” and “love your life” tattooed on his arms. He also mentioned that “Strong All Along” is a song he loves for it’s message and title. “Those are words I live by.”  If he could say one thing to 311, it would be that he is truly, “thankful for all the years of music I’ve been privileged  to hear and feel throughout my body. I believe this is a big reason I am as healthy as I try to stay.”

One thing you may not know about Jason is that he absolutely loves to cook and can do it extremely well! He also told me that he really is a very shy person, but tries to hide that side of himself. He also has trouble sometimes explaining how he feels. (I can tell you Jason, you did great with describing how you feel about 311!)  Jason also loves music in general and listens to all kinds of classic rock, as well as Incubus and Sublime. He specifically said he listens to, “Anything my ears ask me for!”

I mentioned to you all that Jason will be at this years 311 Day event in Nola. I strongly encourage you to find him and say hello. He said that, “This is closing in on the end of the road as far as big events like this for me. But it’s been a wild ride meeting all of you amazing people from everywhere imaginable!”  From what I’ve learned about Jason through his answers, I can truly say he seems like an amazing human being who has a lot of fight in him, and he truly embodies the positivity that 311 has been teaching us since day one! I personally look forward to meeting Jason in New Orleans, and hope anyone in attendance gets the privilege of meeting him as well! I leave you with his personal message to each and every fan in 311 nation:

“We are the best fans in the galaxy! Everyone have an amazing adventure in New Orleans! Oh and if anyone sees me, gimme a hug! :)”

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Will do Jason! Thanks for reading everyone and HAPPY 311 DAY!! Love you all! “Stay positive and love your life” – The Runt

 

Welcome to this groove…meet 311 fan Andrea Atchison Gabbitas!

March 3rd, 2014

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Welcome back 311 nation! Is everyone excitable for 311 Day next week? Of course you are! So lets kickstart this week leading up to it by reading a new 311 fan spotlight! This week we give some love to the 311 Twitter family by featuring Mrs. Andrea Atchison Gabbitas!

Andrea was introduced to 311 thanks to an ex-boyfriend in high school, somewhere around early 2000. She was instantly drawn to the music and the positivity in the lyrics. However, it was her first live experience where she really fell in love with them. She said the whole experience was amazing and the fans were so great! Since then she’s never stopped listening and is always looking to befriend more 311 fans!

Andrea met one 311 fan along the way that really stole her heart…she met her husband Seth!  A coworker of hers said to her one day, “Oh you like 311? My two younger brothers love 311.”  Andrea went to a party at her coworkers house and met one of the brothers, immediately asking if he was one of the ones that liked 311, which turned out to be Seth. They ended up talking about 311 the whole night that night. Their first date was to a 311 concert in 2009, and they were married on 3/11/2010. Shortly after their marriage, they unfortunately lost Seth’s older brother Steve (the other big fan of 311) because he had a hole in his heart. Steve passed away on June 10, 2010 (which Andrea mentioned was coincidentally 311’s 20th anniversary). She said that it was a really tough loss, especially since it was Steve who really got Seth into 311, which inevitably led him to meeting Andrea and falling in love with her.

Since falling in love with 311 Andrea has been to a total of 16 shows, including 311 Day 2012. She was six months pregnant with her son at the time, so while she couldn’t party like some of us could, she said it still was one of the most perfect and breathtaking experiences of her life! “I loved being in Vegas, seeing all the 311 shirts and meeting so many amazing people. It was amazing having an entire city swimming in the positivity of all the fans. We met some really great people there and had a really fun weekend.”

One of the songs that was played at that 311 Day was “Taiyed” which is Andrea’s all time favorite song. “I love the lyric ‘out from a love that will keep on burning.’  We named our son Taiyden because of that lyric.” She even said that when the song was played her son was rocking out in the womb, kicking the whole time!

Andrea & Seth’s son Taiyden was born on June 5, 2012, which as many of you know is the one & only P-nut’s birthday! She said she swears she doesn’t plan these things!  Her son absolutely LOVES music and is a little mini-excitable, loving 311 just like mom and dad! Andrea said he unfortunately also likes some music that drives her nuts (she mentioned Low by Flo Rida). However, she admits he is just so cute that she can’t refuse him music he loves!

Andrea and her husband went through a tough period back in October of last year because of a miscarriage, but the love of her family and the music of 311 helped get them through this trying time. In order to have some closure, they decided to name the baby Greyson Skyler because as she said, “He was our moment of bliss” just like some of her favorite lyrics from “Beyond the Grey Sky”, “It is a gift I know, this moment of bliss that we hold. A firecracker flash of light then on to the next plane, soul remain.”

Andrea was born in Boulder, Colorado and raised in Farmington, Utah, where she still resides currently. “My husband and I bought a house in Farmington 3 years ago, so I really haven’t gone far!” She is the proud aunt of a brand new niece! (She told me she answered her questions with one hand while holding her!)  Andrea said she is a pretty open book, very honest and not afraid to share what is on her mind. One thing she said she constantly wishes though is that teleportation were real. “I’d love to be able to go anywhere in just a few minutes!” Andrea I think we all wish that were real, at least I know that I do!

While Andrea doesn’t follow anyone as closely as 311, she does have an admiration for other bands such as Muse, Panic! At the Disco, Dirty Heads, Sublime, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, Alien Ant Farm, VAST and of course, Nick Hexum Quintet!

So there you have it, our latest star Andrea! She has a lot to be thankful for because of 311, and she would love to tell them simply, “Thank you. I owe a lot of who I am to you.”  If you get the chance to meet Andrea at some point, say hello, because she loves meeting all of you! I leave you with her personal message:

“I love you all!!! I love all the support and love I’ve gotten from everyone.  I can’t wait for more opportunities to meet more of you!”

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That’s all for now folks! Until next week, “Stay positive and love your life!” – The Runt

 

Ladies & gentlemen direct your attention to 311 fan Jeremy Hamar!

February 24th, 2014

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Welcome back to blog land 311 nation! I know it’s Monday, but get excited because our new 311 fan spotlight is here. Meet Mr. Jeremy Hamar!

Jeremy has an interesting story about how he discovered the music of 311. He has an aunt who was notorious for giving bad gifts at Christmas. She gave the standard socks and items that no one wants as a kid. One year though she got Jeremy a random cassette tape that she said she just grabbed at the local Target. It just so happened to be 311’s Music. Jeremy said that after just one listen all the way through he went to Target himself looking for more, he was hooked! He ended up then getting Grassroots and he says this is where the story of his life unfolds, with a montage of album covers flying by. Shortly after this he went to the same Target and bought Transistor which came with a sticker pack, which he wishes he still had to this day.

What drew Jeremy to the band was the fact that they were doing something way beyond what other bands were doing. “I tend to lean toward music and artists that are breaking the mold, and 311 not only broke it but invented a whole new one.”  He says the positivity of the music really attracted him to the band since most of what he was listening to at the time was much darker. Since he discovered 311 he says he can listen to that darker music and not get sucked in to it. “Like leaning over a cliff with a rope to keep me from falling. You could say 311 has been my safety rope in life. No matter how many dark days I have had or how many places I have been, I have always had that rope to pull me back up. It’s a blessing.”

Many 311 fans have been to tons of shows, part of the blessing of loving a band that tours so much. Jeremy though says he is unlike most, since he has only attended a total of 8 shows so far – 6 tour shows, 311 day 2008 in Nola, and the 3rd cruise last year. He credits his lack of live shows because he took 311’s advice to “Visit” the world. He’s missed a lot of shows because he has spent a great amount of time traveling. Jeremy says that all of the shows have been special in one way or another to him. 311 Day 2008 he pronounced as “mind blowing” and he made great friends and some really fantastic friends because of it. However, he says that his all time favorite would really have to be the cruise. “From just flying to Miami and spending the night there, to getting up and making my way to the boat and boarding. I was just in awe to be in a place with so many people and so many bands within an arms reach. One of the coolest moments was being at Rebelutions safety meeting during the opening briefing and just getting to listen to them joke around with each other. I lived relatively close to them in Cali and watched them play small shows before they were big, it’s surreal. I had a shirt made that said “Free Hugs”, if you remember Nick tweeting about it, my mission was to get 311 hugs. I only made it to 11, the weather was bad and I had to wear a jacket most of the time but my 11th hug was from the one and only SA!! Made my night. Another part of this trip that was extremely special to me was being back with some friends I made in Nola for 311 day, Brian, Karen and Charlene. Going on this cruise solo was a little scary but they made this trip by just being there.”

You already know that one of the songs that impacted Jeremy the most is “Visit”, but he also says that “Beyond the Grey Sky” really means something to him because he had a friend commit suicide. Another song is “Continuous Life” because he believes that, “We all carry on through energy and maybe we come back, maybe we don’t, but we always flow through this vast universe with light and love. Every step of our life, every event that changes us, is a portal that we walk through.”

Jeremy grew up in a small town in California called Porterville, which he dreamed of getting out of because they had a lot of crime and drugs there. He says he remembers that going out usually involved seeing a fight or someone getting killed. After he graduated, he moved to the coast where he was able to see 311 play on the beach with the bands Pepper and The Wailers. Jeremy then “got restless” and moved up to Portland, Oregon, where he still currently resides. “I love it here. They have amazing craft beer and food carts, and you can’t go anywhere without being feet from a hiking trail into nature.” Jeremy’s love for travel was enhanced back in 2009 when he was awarded the opportunity through work to go live in Germany. He managed to find a fellow excitable like himself who goes by the name of “Riff Raff” and he says she was his buddy while there. “Every morning I would walk to the showers and pass her room, and 311 would be blasting. Always put a smile on my face!”  In Germany Jeremy got to experience amazing events like Oktoberfest, while also having the opportunity to travel Europe. He was able to see Dublin, Barcelona, Paris, and Mykonos. One of the biggest highlights was getting to go to the Louvre in Paris since Jeremy has been an artist pretty much all of his life. “We spent hours upon hours in there and didn’t even see half of what we could have.” He was also lucky to see works of one of his favorite artists, Salvador Dali, when there was an art show in Spain while he was there. Jeremy also had some of his favorite 311 lyrics tattooed on his arm in German (the lyrics are ‘love your life’) because his time in Germany he says “really changed my life for the best.”

Jeremy says he lives his life like an open book so if you know him, you know there isn’t much he doesn’t put out there. “I have no filter and will say what’s on my mind, I am brutally honest.” Other than being an artist (Art of Kid Zero), he is a writer and a die hard animal rights activist.  “I believe all beings share the same inherent right to life as we do. This earth wasn’t given just to us.”  Jeremy supports Sea Shepherd, which is a conservation group dedicated to protecting the oceans and stopping the slaughter of dolphins in Japan. He says that if something is his calling in this world, that his fight to stop animal cruelty would be it. He wants to end it across the world and educate people about it.

Given one chance to say something to 311, Jeremy would simply say, “Thank you for making this music, for spreading this message of love and hope, the world needs it so much. I am grateful to live in this moment in history and have 311 as my soundtrack.”

So there you have it, the story of Jeremy and how he came to love a band that has unified so many people across the world. I hope you all enjoyed reading his tale and learning more about one more member of 311 nation! I leave you as usual with Jeremy’s personal message to all of you:

“My personal message might not be like the others, my message may hit some chords with certain people. But, in the long run I feel we need to be less selfish, we need to be more open to others thoughts and opinions, we need to love one another like we all say we do. Unity is fine and all but it becomes flawed when we allow unethical things to happen because we feel speaking out would be “negative”. I firmly believe in the vibe that got everyone into this music, “One Love”, we are all human, nothing else, so why not just love everyone. I feel like we as a group can do so much for the world and I see so many try, but if we put our efforts together we could be unstoppable. Love and peace are all I want out of life, not just for myself but for everyone out there.

All in all, I love everyone out there and am always excited for the next show or tour or album like everyone else. This music brought us together for a reason, lets blanket the world with our love! Peace!”

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Until next week, as always, “Stay positive and love your life!” Much love! – The Runt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New 311 fan spotlight – Meet Mitch “Hex” Lyons!

February 17th, 2014

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Hello 311 family! Welcome to a new week and new fan spotlight! One of the best things about writing these blog posts is that not only do you all get to learn more about one of our family members, but I get the fun of writing about some people that I’ve never met in person (yet). I hope you are all enjoying these as much as I am writing them. So without further ado, let’s learn all about my latest “victim”, Mr. Mitch “Hex” Lyons!

Mitch’s love for 311 started all thanks to his uncle, who knew that Mitch loved music and introduced him to the band around the time Soundsystem was released. Mitch couldn’t get enough of the song “Come Original.”  He always had around ten of 311’s songs in his music library until his freshman year of high school. It was then that Mitch went through a life changing event – he lost a close friend suddenly from a heart ailment. After his friends death, he was in a very dark place and was having a difficult time handling the loss. One day Mitch had Jenn’s 311 radio playing and the song “Beyond the Gray Sky” came on. It was the first time he had ever heard it and Mitch said, “It honestly changed my life. Since then I bleed 311 and have devoted my life to spreading positivity, love, and inspiring those around me.”

After reading this you can all guess that “Beyond the Gray Sky” is one of Mitch’s favorite songs because, as he said, it changed his life. His entire left side is tattooed in dedication of that. One of the things Mitch mentioned about 311’s songs is that, “Their songs relate to anyone, anywhere, going through anything. Most lyrics are very situational to something in their lives and it is very easily transferrable to our own.”  This really is true and one of the reasons I feel most of us are so drawn to the band! We all have songs that struck a significant chord with us. Mitch said that aside from BTGS, the other songs that mean the most to him are “Come Original”, “Thank Your Lucky Stars”, “How Do You Feel?”, and “Jupiter”. Since there are so many songs that we can all relate to as fans of the band, it’s not uncommon for us to have a plethora of favorite quotes. Mitch listed quite a few, but some of his favorites are: “It’s not hard to be what you are, thank your lucky stars”, “You can take on the world, it’s all in your brain”, “You’ve got to trust your instincts and let go of regrets”, and of course, one of all of our favorites, “Stay positive and love your life.”

I ask everyone in the spotlight how many shows they’ve been to, if they know. Mitch responded with, “Ahhh the money question, haha. Who’s counting anyways?” I love that answer! Mitch has been to a total of 19 shows, including 311 day 2010 & 2012, and cruises 2 & 3. The big 2-0 will be this coming March at 311 Day in Nola! The tougher question to answer is which show or event has been the favorite. As Mitch mentioned, “They’ve all been so unique and partial to where I was at that time in my life, so they all hold a special spot in my heart. If I absolutely had to pick one, it would be cruise #2. Everything just worked out perfect.”

Mitch was born and raised in Chicago, and even though his family moved to the burbs of the city eventually, he still considers himself a “Chicagoan.”  He says that he goes to “great lengths to support his 311 habit” – which I feel like we all do so we can relate! While Mitch always managed to scrape by and make things work, he did mention that he wants to note one special situation that happened to him. “I was going through a very rough time in my life around the time of the second cruise. I made a birthday post, jokingly, asking for 1$ from each familia member as that would be well enough to get me on the cruise! MUCH MUCH MUCH to my surprise within hours the post went viral with people I had previously met and complete strangers (whom I now hold amazing bonds with) who just wanted to reach out to someone and help. I was absolutely blown away by the response and enough people contributed to get me on the cruise. I cried many happy tears that trip spending it with people who just out of the goodness of their hearts wanted a fellow Brodel to go on the trip of a life time. For that I am FOREVER grateful. 311 FAMILIA FOREVER <3.” Those stories and the acts of kindness that 311 fans do for each other are what make us stand apart from the rest.

The one thing Mitch would truly like to say to the band is “Thank you – for EVERYTHING.” I think it’s safe to say from what we’ve learned about Mitch is that 311 really did help him change his life and had a drastic positive influence on it, bringing him out of a dark time in his life. That is one of the amazing things about the band we all know and love dearly – their power to bring positivity and unity to people’s lives is continuous and never-ending! I leave you all with Mitch’s message to the fans:

“To any and all this may concern: I LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU. Whether you know it or not. Whether you know me or not. This community, this band, this FAMILIA has got me through some of the hardest times in my life and I could never thank you all enough. So many people who have reached out beyond what any normal person would do and just completely uplifted me. I’m a youngin’ (22) of the group so I’ve got life long best friends that are old enough to be my dad, mom, brother, sister, cousin, anything. You’re all family to me. I have drifted away from the public eye of the group at times. But not all who wander, are lost. Many of you have kept me close through the best times and the worst times. That’s what this is all about. It has evolved into something much larger than just music and you all know that. I get teary eyed writing this because you all have shaped me and changed me into the person I am today and a million and one thank you’s would never be enough. To avoid a book long of individual shout outs you all know who you are! Just wanted to give one extra special shout out to Mr. Matt Brill. I was ABSOLUTELY BLESSED with the opportunity to become close friends with Matt. He more than anyone has been my go to in any given situation and I would trust my life with this man. I love you for life homie. Cheers to you, and all of my excitable friends for many many more years of beautiful bliss together in this crazy mess we call life. Much love, and ONE LOVE for all. Hope to see you all in NOLA!!! <3”

Thanks to Mitch for sharing his story and until next time 311 nation – “Stay positive and love your life!”

 

 

 

311 fan spotlight on our sister from the south, Ms. Xiomara Perez Caruso!

February 10th, 2014

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311 is a band known worldwide, and their fan base stretches across the globe. Many of us are lucky enough to live in the U.S. where we have year round access to the bands live shows, but there are many that don’t have that privilege. So this weeks 311 fan spotlight is on one fantastic girl who is much farther south than most of us, Ms. Xiomara Perez Caruso!

Have you met Xio? If you have then you know she is a ray of sunshine, emitting positive vibes with her shining smile at the 311 events she makes it to! I had the pleasure of meeting Xiomara at 311 Day 2012 and seeing her again on the last cruise.  She told me that she got to know 311 later on than most of us, because she lives in Caracas, Venezuela! It took time for 311’s music to travel that direction, so her first encounter with their music was the video for “Come Original” on MTV. “I loved the video, the music, the super bright green background, and especially that funky strong bass beat!”  Xio then started looking for more information about the band and got their albums. She was hooked after that and they became her favorite band.

Xiomara’s location doesn’t grant her the opportunity to attend as many shows as she’d like, so she knows exactly how many she’s attended and cherishes every one of them! Her total is 15 and counting, which is impressive given her Venezuela residence! Her first show was in 2011 when 311 traveled to South America and she was able to afford the trip to Santiago de Chile, Chile to see them at the Lollapalooza festival. She had just started a job four months prior and begged her boss to let her take a few days off so she could fly to Chile and make her dream come true of seeing 311 live for the first time. “I thought I was going to check 311 off of my list and move on…wrong! Not only did the show blow my mind, but I got to MEET P-nut, miT, Chad, and S.A. and just fell in love with them! I needed more!” Xiomara managed to attend two of the three cruises, 311 Day 2012, and some Unity Tour shows last summer. As she said, “I still can’t get enough!”

Of all the events she made it to, 311 Day 2012 takes the cake for her. One of her dreams was to make it to a 311 Day show, and the fact that she actually made it to Vegas to attend one was a mind blowing experience for her. She said that it was a milestone. Although she admits her favorite venue so far has been Red Rocks, which she was lucky enough to make it to during last summers Unity Tour. “It’s hard to choose just one answer!”

Her favorite song is known to us all as the happy slam dance song, “Do You Right.”  “This song just makes me smile and dance every time I hear it.”  And it just so happens that her all time favorite quote comes from it: “I’m free as I stare at the sea, and I’m not coming down.” She even has it tattooed on her! Xio said that she is a very optimistic person so this phrase is like her own personal motto. She knows that no matter what obstacle she encounters, she will find a way to overcome it.  She also loves the beach and ocean and one of her hobbies is to drive to the beach, park there, watch the ocean and meditate.

Xiomara was born and raised in Venezuela–Caracas to be precise, although she grew up in a small city by the beach called Puerto La Cruz. She moved back to Caracas when she got her first job. She has strong support from her family and friends, and thanks to them she was able to attend school full time until she graduated in 2010 as a System Engineer. It was on January 3rd, 2011 that she got her first job (and she said in her answers, it was on 3/1/11 or 1/3/11 depending on how you write the date, pretty freaking sweet!). Since 2011 she has been working as a Network Specialist. I asked Xio if she has anything that people might not know about her that she wants to share, but she admits that she really is an open book! “What you see is what you get!”  Although she did want to make it known that the word friend means a lot to her. “I treasure my friendships and my friends know they can count on me for anything.”

Some other bands that Xio listens to are the Deftones, Sublime (without Rome she said!) and the Foo Fighters. She also really digs a band called Travis from Scotland (I had a chance to listen to them, they’re pretty cool!). Xio also got really into the bands she has discovered from the 311 events she has attended like Full Service, Bad Rabbits, Ballyhoo!, and the Dirty Heads. So not only have the events she’s attended granted her the opportunity to see her favorite band live, she’s also been exposed to new music because of it!

Xio knows how blessed she is to have had the opportunity to see 311 and meet the guys. She’d like to tell them, “Muchas gracias por todo!”  She elaborated on that saying, “Just thanks for everything: the music, the events, the shows, and the amazing people I’ve met because of your music! Just a big THANK YOU to 311, 311 management and the whole team behind the band. My life would be so boring without 311.”

Special thanks to Xio for sharing her personal 311 stories with the rest of us, and reminding us to be grateful for every experience we get with the band, because some people aren’t as lucky as many of us to see them as often as we do! I leave you with her personal message to all of 311 nation:

“Love you guys! Hehe. Thank you for sharing this Excitable life with me. Thanks to all the friends who have helped me out one way or another to make these 311 journeys. For those I don’t know yet, come say Hola when you see me. One Love!”

Thanks again Xio! Until next week, as always, “Stay positive and love your life!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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