311 isn’t just a band to us in the community of fans, it’s a way of life. We live, eat, sleep and breathe everything that this band means and the positive messages that they imbed in us. When you meet a fellow fan, you can tell that they too share your passion just by talking to them for a few brief minutes. After reading his answers to my questions, I can tell Broc DeStefano and I share the same connection that all of us do – That electrifying blood coursing through our bodies making us excitables!
Broc fell in love with 311 when his older cousin, whom he has always looked up to, made him a mix tape with the song “Homebrew” on it. He was only ten at the time, but knew that this song connected with him differently than other music. “I thought it was the coolest sounding music ever.” Then the blue album came out and he says he knew “that this was for ME” and he has been a loyal fan ever since. Broc can credit his love to his cousin, who is also still a huge 311 fan still. When the cruise rolled around, his cousin was unable to attend due to his wife being ready to give birth to their son. So Broc, being the good family member he is, took the ultrasound photo of their son and had Nick sign it because they were naming the baby John Hexum in honor of him. What a lucky little boy!
At 33 shows and counting, Broc says that his favorite event so far is the first cruise. “Nothing can ever really top the first cruise…myself and five friends scraped every penny we could to make it happen. It was incredible.” Anyone who went on that cruise has to agree that there was something magical in the air as the ship set sail. “Picture this: You’re on the top deck of a cruise [ship], the sun is setting in Miami, the boat just starts moving away from shore and 311 takes the stage. miT starts playing the opening riff to “Down” – I’ve never experienced anything so electrifying in my life. I’ll never forget it!”
Broc was born and raised in the suburbs of New Jersey where he still currently resides. How does he fund his 311 addiction? By his day job as a baker! How cool of a job is that? He loves all movies by Tarantino and Scorsese, and he is really in to tattoos. As many 311 fans do, he expressed his love by putting some ink on him to represent. He currently has two 311 themed tattoos, one which is the album cover of Transistor with an alien in place of the meditating guy. How he came to get that tattoo has an interesting story attached to it. He was in a local tattoo shop with a friend who was getting inked that day. Broc walked past a room in the shop and saw a bass hanging up that had a 311 sticker on it. He started talking to the guy in the room and saw he had a huge 311 tat on his leg. They started chatting, sharing 311 stories, and as it turns out he is a really great tattoo artist! As Broc puts it, “It was fate! We chatted about some ideas and he was honored to put my 311 tattoo on me a few weeks later. This was about three years ago and this tattoo artist is someone who has become a very good friend.”
Anyone that has met the band knows how precious those moments you interact with them are. Broc was lucky enough to meet Tim backstage when they were touring with The Wailers. Tim has been Broc’s inspiration for playing guitar so as he says, “It was really great to have him talk to me and not be in a rush. He was the coolest most genuine person ever and we talked for a better part of fifteen minutes. They were the greatest fifteen minutes to date!”
Every song means something different to them personally and Broc, like many of us, know it’s hard to pick just one song that means the most to you or narrow down some of your favorite 311 lyrics. “So many songs have meant so much to me at so many different times. If pressed I would say that “Eons” has always resonated with me very deeply. The ending where Nick sings “not an even field”, that part is so beautiful.” Some of his current favorite lyrics come from the song “Plain” which are “Don’t you know the devil he’s in me, and God she is too, my Yin hates my Yang but the hell ya gonna do. I choose a rocky ass path but that’s how I like it, life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and SPIKE it!”
Broc mostly listens to 311 but he also likes listening to heavy bands such as Chimaira, Deftones, In Flames, or Crazyfists. He also throws in some Dean Martin & Sinatra for balance. Something most people don’t know about him is that he only dances at 311 shows! “Most people who have never been to a 311 show with me think that I don’t dance, and in a way, I don’t. I refuse to dance at weddings, clubs, bars, or other concerts. It’s just not my thing and everyone knows it. But at a 311 show, I let out all the dancing that I’ve stored up! It might not be good dancing, it’s kinda like interpretive dancing to the lyrics but regardless it’s my dance and its intense!
I think it’s clear that Broc has the same passion that we all carry with us daily. That fuel that 311 provides to get us through our lives, spreading positivity as we go! Thanks Broc for sharing your personal passion for the band! We loved hearing it! I leave you all with his personal message to the 311 community:
“Throughout the years and all the shows and events, I have met some of the most wonderful people. 311 is not just a band, it’s like a religion and their followers preach positivity. I love all my brodels and slinkies! Thanks for being the awesome people on the planet.”
Thank you Broc!