Tis the time for a new 311 fan spotlight…Meet Erik Walder!


We meet again my friends out there in the 311 universe! I trust you all had an amazing weekend and are ready to take this new week by storm! So let us not delay another moment and start it off right by meeting this weeks 311 fan spotlight – Erik Walder!

Back in the mid 90’s Erik was really into the whole rap/rock genre of music that was happening and it was during that time that he saw the video for “Down” on MTV (back when they actually showed music videos). Erik loved the song and went down to the mall, to a store called Sam Goody’s, and bought the album. “I was really into the alien theme back in those days. I had alien hats, posters, candles, movies, X-Files stuff, etc. As soon as I saw the blue album had alien heads on it, I knew it was a good sign.”

Since then Erik has been to 33 shows and also 1 Nick Hexum Quintet show. This past 311 Day in New Orleans is included in that show tally and he claimed it ranks as one of the happiest moments in his life, behind the day he married his wife Sharon and the day his daughter Maia was born. Erik saw the band this summer in Scottsdale, Arizona and he said it was an amazing experience. “We had planned our family vacation to Arizona, and after we had already booked our flights, 311 announced the summer tour. It was awesome that they were playing the same weekend we were out there. It was awesome to rock out with my wife on the rail, and it was my brother and sister-in-law’s first 311 show ever.”

Erik originates from the Baltimore region and has lived in that area all of his life. He attended Rider University in New Jersey from 1996 to 2001. During that time he was always blasting 311 and it was in his hallway that he met Wayne Slater. “He had room #311 and had a giant blue oval logo sticker on the door number. When I joined a fraternity, I met Ian Silber. Instant friends. He took me to my first show at Asbury Park on 11/11/99. I only had 2 friends that were 311 fans, until my senior year.”

Right before Erik’s final semester at Rider he started collecting live shows and found a website that had bootleg trading. Since Erik didn’t have anything to trade the guy for live 311 shows, he worked out a deal with the guy. “I didn’t have anything to trade, so the guy that ran the site told me to send him a spindle of blank CD-R’s and a money order for return shipping. The only way he would burn me all 83 discs that I requested, was that I had to promise never to sell any of them. I could make as many copies for my friends as I wanted, but I was not allowed to sell them. That’s when I realized that the 311 fan community was something special. I’ll never forget it. I hope that I can find that guy and thank him for feeding my 311 addiction.” If you are out there reading this stranger who helped out Erik, say hello!

Since graduation Erik has been working in his family’s poultry business and he has been there for almost twenty-one years. “I love what I do, and I got to spend more time with my grandparents and my brothers while also learning the right way to do business: honesty and experience go a long way. I’ve tried to keep those same morals and values in all aspects of my life.”  Erik met his wife Sharon back in 2002 and they married in 2006. Sharon has been to a few shows (Erik said he thinks her show tally is 4). His daughter Maia is following in dads footsteps and loving 311 just as much as him! “She’s so amazing! I play Stereolithic in my car and she loves to sing along with me. She even asks me to put 311 on instead of Frozen! I can’t wait to take her to her first 311 show one day. She keeps asking when she can go.”

Erik found the Familia on July 14, 2013 and he said his life changed forever because of it. Being from Baltimore, Erik is a Orioles and Ravens fan, and 311 never had any themed shirts for the teams. Erik found a way to make his own by creating custom jerseys with 311 on them. It was thanks to this that he found the Familia. Erik had attended an O’s game and the next day his friend messaged him asking if he had seen the photo of him on the Familia page. Erik said he asked, “What’s Familia?” His friend Chris Sabol added him to the group and he saw the photo that someone took of him, and it had 133 likes and tons of comments. Since then Erik has met amazing people through the group and he said some of the people know him better than his non-311 friends.


If you are friends with Erik you know that he loves to grill. While he says he doesn’t really have any special talents, he does try to always look at the bright side of things, no matter how bad a situation may be. He always tries to keep himself level-headed. “In times of trouble, everyone joins a team.”  He collects 311 posters as a hobby and he loves to trade them (you can find him posting often on the 311 Trading Post). “I love to see all the great art that 311 inspired. Even fan art is awesome. There are so many talented people out there. It’s just amazing.”

There isn’t one 311 song that particularly means the most to Erik because he said each one has a different meaning to him at different points in his life. Although he mentioned he’s been on a non-stop Stereolithic kick since it was released. “I’ve been saying it over and over again that this album has the potential to be one of the most important albums that I have ever heard in my entire life. There’s just so much meaning in the lyrics, and it really describes how my life has been going in the last few months.”  Erik has a lot of quotes from songs that he likes. One in particular is “I always say what I feel and that is a promise. Nothing in life is above being honest.” If you want to see more, just check out his Facebook profile if you friends! There are some great ones listed there!

Erik’s message to the band is simply this: “Thank you for combining many different types of music to create such a unique sound. The lyrics speak to me more than any other artist or group out there. I could listen to the entire 311 discography and never get bored.”

To every fan out there in 311 land: “I always knew that the 311 community was full of great people. After I joined the Familia last year, my assumptions were correct. I’ve met some great friends who share the same love of a band as I do. Lifelong friendships formed because of a band! Can you believe that? “In the comfort of strangers, you don’t see the danger of just letting it flow. This I know.


There you have it folks – you have met Mr. Erik Walder! I hope you appreciate and enjoyed his story. Oh and before I go, Erik’s birthday is this Wednesday July 30th, so make sure you leave him some birthday love in the comment section!

Until our next encounter, just remember…”There’s a door open to walk through, all I want is, just beyond…”

Love you all! – The Runt


Yay the new 311 fan spotlight! Meet Mr. Colin Presley Stacy!


Welcome back my excitable friends! Happy week of 311 shows for all you northeast peeps (myself included!). Before we kick off our week of 311 fun, let us partake in the new 311 fan spotlight! Say hello to Mr. Colin Presley Stacy!

While Colin began listening to 311 in middle school and junior high, it wasn’t until his sister took him to his first show in 2003 that his addiction kicked in. He first experienced them in Cleveland, Ohio and was awed by what miT was “sonically” doing with his guitar. “The tones and effects just blew me away. Also the energy the band had on stage sold me as a fan for life. It’s not hard to get into them after you see them play live!”

Since that fateful day in 2003, Colin has seen the band a total of 24 times and attended five 311 Days. Of those shows, this years 311 Day wins as his favorite, with 2012’s two day event coming in a close second. “This most recent 311 Day just had it all – 311 back in New Orleans, us excitable ones taking over the streets, the set list, sound quality, overall production, and not to mention a new album dropped the same day. It was an incredible experience to be a part of!”

Colin comes from the state of Ohio and grew up in Mentor, a suburb about 25 miles east of Cleveland. While he has traveled many places, he has always lived in this area. “I love the four seasons we get here and there’s a lot more to do than most people think when they hear Cleveland!”  Being from Cleveland, he is an avid local sports fan and said, “Here we go brownies!”  He is also a passionate fan of music and is a mostly self-taught musician. He started playing the bagpipes (pretty cool right?) at the young age of 8 and then taught himself guitar, bass, drums and keys throughout high school. He was even in a band called The Thrifters and they were lucky enough to open for 311 and Matisyahu in Cleveland one year! If you feel like checking out the band, you can find their old catalog of music on Spotify!

Not only is he an avid fan of Cleveland sports and music, but he is also a craft beer enthusiast.  Working at a local craft beer store for three years will probably do that to you! He fell in love with the industry. He has an Instagram account and it is solely dedicated to him photos of the craft beers he drinks. If you feel like looking him up, go follow @colinpresley!

Anyone ever been named after two musicians? Colin is! His first name is after Colin Hay (from the band Men at Work) and his middle is after Elvis Presley. He is also a self-proclaimed professional corn hole player. If you are unfamiliar with the game, it is a bean bag tossing game where you try to toss the bags either on to a board about 30 feet away, or if you’re lucky, into the small hole in the center of that board. Colin said he has been playing for about 10 years and will accept anyones challenge!

I asked Colin to tell me an interesting fact that others may not know about him, and his is the first answer that made me laugh out loud. “I had a perm when I was in the third grade…no regrets.”  He also said he doesn’t really have any pleasures he considers guilty ones, but he is obsessed with the TV show Supernatural. “I’ve watched the series three times and I’m currently on my fourth run through on Netflix. I’m a purist so I need to watch the whole series before a new season comes out. Luckily my girlfriend was the one who turned me on to the show so she doesn’t mind at all!”

The song “Running” off Transistor is the song that means the most to Colin and he says it gives him goose bumps every time he listens to it! “I remember vividly hearing it live for the first time and it was just overwhelming. I got a natural high just from the music and that is an incredible experience!”

Some of his favorite quotes come from other songs and he loves them enough to have them tattooed on his body. He has “This Too Shall Pass” because he says, “You gotta take the good times with the bad because everything will inevitably move on. Enjoy the positives when you have them and don’t fret the negatives because with time everything will pass.” Colin also “Stay positive and love your life” because he tries to truly live by this statement every day and he urges everyone to try and do this. “You’re alive. Just that fact alone is reason enough to love it and even if there is negativity in some fashion, the power of positive thinking can do amazing things!”



Colin met the guys in Cleveland before the show back in 2012 and he got to say everything he’d been waiting to say to them for years. “The main thing was just a huge thank you for the music and positive messages they convey through it. Changed my life for the better and allowed me countless hours of happiness through their music and the shows attended with friends and family.”

Colin’s message to all of the excitable family out in the 311 universe is:

“Thanks for being such an awesome community!  Haven’t met a 311 fan I don’t like, and have made many friends and strengthened friendships solely to the time spent listening and watching 311.  Keep being the most kick ass fan community and of course, stay positive and love your life!”



As always my community of 311 fans, I thank you for taking the time to read this blog of mine and learning more about your sisters & brothers ! Keep on rocking and hopefully I’ll be seeing some of you in CT, MA & NY this week!

Much Love – The Runt


Happy July! Time to read all about Alexa Lopez!


Goooooooood July morning to you all! Welcome back to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight! Remember last week’s spotlight Shayne? He mentioned his awesome girlfriend Alexa and how they met because of 311. Well this week we follow his write up with no one other than that gorgeous lady! It’s time to learn all about Alexa!

Alexa was in high school when she unearthed the awesomeness of 311. She and her good friend, fellow Slinky Emilee Dore, started listening to the band then.  “We grew up in northern New Hampshire, so we spent a lot of time hanging out and just listening to songs like ‘Down,’ ‘Beautiful Disaster,’ and ‘All Mixed Up’.”  Alexa said it was the versatility of 311’s music that really drew her in. “I can listen to certain songs that help me feel better and others that will get me pumped up.”

Alexa attended 311 Day this year and that marked her 10th show. She said it was so great to set that mini milestone and with an epic show to boot. While she has loved the shows she has seen on the Unity tour and this years 311 Day, her favorite shows by far are the ones from the third cruise back in 2013. “I met some amazing people and had the time of my life. Who else can say that they get to go on a boat for 4 days with thousands of other excitables AND be around their favorite bands?”

Growing up in a small town in New Hampshire with her parents and older sister, Alexa spent a lot of time in the great outdoors camping and playing sports. She played field hockey, softball, track & field, and also downhill ski racing. Alexa said she “absolutely LOVES” down hill skiing! “I love the rush of going down the slope, carving into fresh snow and being able to listen to various music that becomes the soundtrack to my day. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the mountain with friends, but there’s also something really serene about being able to just pop my headphones in, hit shuffle, and let the music set my day.”

When Alexa graduated high school she moved to Boston for college because she thought she would want to be in a big city after spending so much time in a small town. However, she ended up only spending a year there and then transferred to The University of New England in southern Maine. There she lived with her sister for a few years to save money. “It was nice to live with my sister outside of the home we grew up in and we ended up growing closer and becoming best friends.”  After Alexa graduated she moved on to Burlington, Vermont to pursue her masters degree at the University of Vermont, where she studied experimental psychology. She said Burlington was a great place to live because she got a city feel with the country just a mere five minute drive away. Alexa just recently moved with her boyfriend Shayne down to Richmond, Virginia to start her postdoctoral fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Ask Alexa what is an interesting fact that most people don’t know about and she claims she is a big nerd! “Most people could figure it out but I’m kind of a big nerd even if I try to hide it by being really girly. I love watching Jeopardy, playing old school Nintendo games, and watching movies such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Indiana Jones.”  I guess I’m a nerd too then Alexa because I love all of those things!

Ok so we know 311 is Alexa’s favorite band, but what else does she listen to? Some bands she loves as well are Ballyhoo!, Dave Matthews Band, Avett Brothers, Pearl Jam (and she says, “Eddie Vedder forever!”), Foo Fighters, Jay-Z, A Perfect Circle, Queen, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen. She also says that 90’s pop and hip hop Pandora stations  are her guilty pleasure! “If we are hanging out and having a few drinks, chances are I’ll end up turning one or both of these on and will be able to sing almost every lyric.”

“Sun Come Through” is a song that Alexa says has to be easily one of her favorites, if not her number one. “I just love the structure of the music and lyrics, and it holds some great memories for me. I still can’t believe it was a B-side!”  Her favorite quote from a song comes from “All Mixed Up” though – “You’ve got to bet on yourself not star, cause that’s your best bet.”

Alexa would like to say to Chad, Nick, Pnut, SA and Tim – “Thank you so much for helping me to discover to love the life I live and to try to be a positive influence on others.”

To the best fans in the world: “Live life to the fullest- if you have the opportunity to take a trip, hang out with long lost friends, or just simply try out a new restaurant, go for it. Live a full and exciting life and don’t let others affect you if they have a hard time understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing. You never know when you’ll have that moment again, so enjoy it. Stay positive and love your life :)”



Thank you Alexa for sharing your story! I hope everyone enjoyed our latest fan spotlight and that you are all either relishing in your high from just seeing 311 or getting giddy about an upcoming show. No matter what, enjoy your life and seize every opportunity you get! Oh yeah, and hopefully I’ll see you all on the next 311 Cruise in 2015!!

Much love to you all! – The Runt