Hey hey 311 nation!! Happy Monday and happy new fan spotlight day! Let’s get to know one of our slinky sisters. It’s time to meet Emily Mathewson!
The year was 2000. Emily’s age was 16. Emily and her friend Brittany were walking into a tanning salon when her friend handed the blue album to her and told her to listen to this amazing band 311 while she was in the tanning bed. “When I came out, I have to sadly admit that I told her all the songs kind of sounded the same (I know, I can’t believe I said that).” Brittany reacted by saying, “NO!!!!!” and telling Emily to give them another chance. She gave her a few more CD’s and they also listened to some of the music together. Brittany and another friend Dustin asked her to listen to the creativity, harmony, and amazing lyrics of the songs. She started to become fascinated with the band then and she credits Brittany and Dustin for, “Showing me how to break down the music and listen, feel and experience it. They are why I listen to 311 today.”
Emily went to a concert with a guy when she was 15 of some bands she didn’t know. While she had fun she admits she didn’t really listen to the bands much, she mostly just messed around with her friends and didn’t pay attention to the music. “Can you believe that the show was 311 opening for Incubus?? I shake my head at that now, those being my favorite bands to date and not even paying attention then lol.” So that was Emily’s first 311 show technically, and she’s seen them about 15 times total. She tries to see them at least once a year. Her favorite show hands down has been Pow Wow. “I have never been to a 311 Day, cruise, Vegas, or anything so I can’t say it was the best for everyone, but for me it was epic. A lot of people complained about the heat, bugs, or whatnot but it was the most magical time I ever had. I met some amazing life long friends in our “tribe”, the atmosphere was filled with positivity and love, and it just really felt like our own world there. I loved camping, the heat, the sweat, the spirit of Suwannee, the sweet tea river, just all of it! And you can’t top that 311 played Transistor in it’s entirety!”
California is where Emily was born, but much to her chagrin she wasn’t raised there. Her parents moved her and her older brother back to Michigan when they were still babies. She moved around the metro Detroit area a lot until the age of 21. She credits the strong music scene in Detroit for shaping her to have a very open minded and well rounded liking of music. “My heart will always be there, and my experiences and the friends there made me who I am today.” At 21 Emily and her mother packed up and moved to Florida. “We were over the cold weather! I just remember a couple of weeks after moving down, we moved to Daytona Beach, I found out that 311 was going to be in Tampa. I didn’t have any friends yet so I just bought a ticket, drove 3 hours across to Tampa, had a blast by myself at the show, met some cool people there too, and drove back home! It was awesome.”
Now settled down with her husband and two sons, Dylan, 6, and Tyler, 4, she’s a stay at home mom with a small craft business. When she first met her husband she told him how much she loved 311 and he said he used to skateboard to them. Now he is a huge fan just like she is! So are the boys and Dylan has already been to see the band. “We took Dylan to his first show when he was 5. He loves 311 and is crazy about Pnut! His face was priceless when he saw him walk on stage. He had so much fun and the fans were SO cool to him. We sat on the lawn and rocked out like crazy. He has been to 2 shows now and counting.” They also can’t wait to finally take Tyler to his first show. Both boys have already started playing drums and strumming on guitars. They want to be in a band together! While Emily says they may not have been to a 311 Day or been on a cruise, they are very blessed to be able to see 311 once a year and share their love with their children. “We love that we get to bring our son, and eventually both of them, so they can experience the vibe that 311 and their fans give off.”
Interesting fact about Emily – at the age of 16 she went and followed Phish on tour! She went with her brother and boyfriend at the time. She pawned anything she could and they bought bus tickets to New York City from Detroit to start following them. Unfortunately she didn’t tell her parents, so she essentially ran away from home and feels bad that she did that to them. But she said it was a life changing experience that she wouldn’t trade. “We sold p,b, & j’s, slept where we could, and partied like crazy for a good couple of weeks in the Phish lot. It was one of the most interesting, insane, exciting, scary, incredible, liberating times of my life. To this day I feel awful for doing that to my parents and am not looking forward to the karma coming back because I now have kids…but I don’t regret it. It really changed me somehow and will always remember it.”
Music inspires Emily so she decided to create a business out of it. She makes and sells guitar string jewelry such as bracelets and earrings. She also does stuff with picks and even vinyl records! While she makes other non-music related items, she specializes in the music stuff. Her husband is a musician, so music is a major part of her life and she likes to express that.
While she tries to be a good girl by eating right and exercising, she does have a guilty pleasure that she just can’t quit and that is dark beer! “I am a sucker for them. I love stouts, porters, dark ales all of it. My fav right now is called Shake. It’s a chocolate porter and SO good! But they also give me pretty bad hangovers lol and I feel like I need a hard day at the gym after too, but I still go for them. When will I learn!?”
Even though so many songs mean a lot to Emily, her all time favorite 311 song she said has to be “Down.” She even designed a tattoo to represent lyrics from the song. She said the lyrics – “Keep my feet on the ground, keep my head in the clouds, electrified by the sound, comes from the down” really sum up who she is. “I strive to be grounded but still let myself dream and not take things too seriously. I am electrified by the sound of 311 for sure haha and just the message of Down means a lot to me. They thank us in that song, and they always play it for the “old school fans”. I may not be considered very old school since I didn’t start listening till about 99/2000. But our school was very small and a group of us were pretty hard core 311 fans. Well, after a few years of rockin’ the music everywhere, everyone in the school knew who 311 was and either loved them or wanted to love them.”
Emily would like to relay a simple message to the guys: “Thank you for being you.” She elaborated on why she wants to say that short simple sentence. “I could have said thanks for making a difference in my life etc, but honestly if they were not exactly who they are now, we would not have the band 311. THEY are who makes everyone’s lives change for the better, and THEY are what makes the music and lyrics so absolutely incredible, mind blowing, beautiful, out of this world.”
To all the amazing fans that make up 311 nation: “We are who keep this family thriving and rockin together we are one organism that loves and breathes in this music. Don’t stop sharing the love for 311 with others. It could be a life changing experience, it was for me. Fuck the Naysayers, be who you are, and if you are ever in a rough patch, really listen to some 311 lyrics because they will always take you home. Stay positive and love your life! <3”
That is Emily’s story my friends! Thanks for taking the time to read about another awesome member of this truly amazing family. Until we meet again, keep spreading the love and good karma! Much love – The Runt