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