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



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








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



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!


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!”








Extra extra, read all about it! New 311 fan spotlight on Howi Spangler from Ballyhoo!



Hello 311 family! This week we have a very special guest as our 311 fan spotlight. You may know him from a fantastic band called Ballyhoo! It is my pleasure to introduce you to Mr. Howi Spangler!

Sure Howi is in a band and a rockstar himself, but he is also a fan of 311 and been lucky to have toured with them. Howi said that he remembers seeing the blue album cover in stores back in the mid 90’s, but didn’t really know the bands name or pay much attention to it. Then at some point in 95 or 96, JR (Ballyhoo’s bass player) played the song “Don’t Stay Home” for Howi. “I think I really liked the riffing between Pnut and Tim, and of course Nick’s vocals sounded like butter!” Howi then heard “All Mixed Up” on the radio and it prompted him to buy the album.

Of all the songs in the 311 catalog, Howi mentioned that “Do You Right” is a song that he really loves. “It’s so festive. It takes me back to being a teenager driving my friends around so they could skate. It just really encompasses what 311 is about.”  And while “Do You Right” might be one of his favorite songs, the lyrics that mean the most to him are “From chaos comes clarity.”  Howi said those words are just “so true” and I completely agree!

Howi thinks it’s been about 16 times total that he has seen 311 live. The first time he saw them was back in 99 at the HFStival in D.C. He then remembers seeing them again in 03 and two more times in 05. Then it was 2008 before he was able to see them again, and it was because Ballyhoo got to open for the band! How amazing is that? As Howi says, “I’ve been lucky enough that every time I see them now, I’m usually playing with them. I always catch their show when they have us on the bill. Never gets old!”

One of the most amazing events Howi attended was the Pow Wow Festival. He mentioned he had friends that came back from that event saying the trip changed them inside. However, it was the 311 cruise that Howi said really stood out to him as the coolest event he’s been to. “It’s an experience to say the least. And there’s roughly 3,000 people on the boat that show my band a lot of love. The drinks flow constantly. I have a feeling the 2015 trip will sell out really quickly. Word has gotten around and people are really jealous when they see the pictures on Facebook. We’ve done two of them and it’s been a rager both times.”

I asked Howi when it was that he knew he wanted to be a musician. He said it was early on in his childhood that he knew he wanted to be in a band. “My dad took Donald and I to see Ratt, Poison, Tesla & Def Leppard a couple times in the late 80’s. Watching ‘Behind the Music’ made so much sense later. I was there watching during that crazy period in hair metal. Those guys were having the time of their lives and I wanted to do that.”

One of Howi’s favorite bands is Green Day (any of you who are familiar with Ballyhoo! might know this, as you can hear the influence in certain songs). Howi credits Green Day for being the band that made him “get serious and start the band.”  He bought a guitar and started to teach himself how to play and write songs. He was the ripe old age of 13 when he wrote his first one! As he says, “It was really bad.”  Howi has only ever been in the band Ballyhoo! and has devoted his life to making music with the rest of the guys. “I’ve always been so driven and focused on my time with Ballyhoo!”

Howi was born and raised in Aberdeen, Maryland where he says his childhood and upbringing were pretty normal. While he had a good childhood, he went through a tough time when he was 8 and his parents divorced. Howi mentioned that the songs he writes, he writes for himself first, but then they record them and give them to whoever will listen. “I know we’ve helped people through their dark times and that feels really good.” Howi went through his own dark time when he lost his mother to cancer when he was just 15. He mentioned that the couple of years after that were tough for him. However that may be where he says “some of my more ‘emo’ lyrics come from” but in my opinion some of the music that connects the most with fans are born from a songwriters personal experience. The music that Ballyhoo! creates clearly connects with their fans on many different levels and we thank you for that Howi!

While we mentioned Green Day as one of Howi’s favorite bands, he also mentioned that he has a love for UB40 and Sublime. Some new artists he is in to are The Neighbors and Arctic Monkeys. “I try to mix it up!”  But for long drives Howi likes to put on old dub reggae. I asked Howi if there is one interesting thing we don’t know about him and he confessed, “I love hidden object games. I am a geek.”

I’ve been lucky enough to have met Howi a few times at various shows and also on the 311 cruise. One of the funniest moments I can remember is from the third cruise and my husband and I were walking up the stairs and ran into Howi. Like my husband and myself, he was out of breath. He looked at us and said, “Don’t let this lanky frame fool you, I’m completely out of shape.” I couldn’t help but crack up! Those personal moments are part of what make Howi, and the rest of the guys in Ballyhoo! so great. They love their fans, love making music for us, and take the time to give us each personal moments with them. I have to thank 311 for bringing Ballyhoo! into my life, and thank Howi for making amazing music and opening up to all of the excitable that read this blog!

I leave you all with Howi’s personal message to you:

“Thanks to everyone who’s every been to a show or bought an album or t-shirt. You’re the only reason we can keep doing this. Don’t let life pass you by!”

Thanks for reading everyone! As always, stay positive & love your life!