311 Fan Spotlight – Mike Taylor – 4/27/15


Hello again all of my excitable friends! Monday, Monday…can only mean one thing! It’s time for the new 311 fan spotlight – feast your eyes on this weeks fan Mr. Mike Taylor!

Eighth grade is where Mike’s journey with 311 began. His pop gave him five CD’s – Tool, Rage Against the Machine, Soul Coughing, Hed (pe), and 311. “Needless to say, those 5 albums started my musical path.” Mike said it’s hard to put into words what drew him to the sounds of 311. “It just made sense to my ears!”

While he isn’t sure of the exact number of shows he’s attended, he believes the last cruise allowed him to get to the 30th mark. He added them up on memory alone. While each show and event he has been to are all his favorite for different reasons, if he had to choose one it would be the second cruise. “2 words: Beach. Show.” Which leads us into the song that means the most to him, “Stealing Happy Hours.” I’m sure he thinks of the cruise when listening to this song! Favorite lyrics from a 311 song are, “Nothing in life is above being honest.


A small town just outside Rochester, New York, is where Mike was born and raised. He moved out at the age of 18 and has moved twice since then, but he always stays in the Upstate N.Y. area. He funds his 311 habit with hard work and he says a mind that never rests. “I will take my shirt off my back for anyone. I try my best to do my best in everything I do. Music is my life. I love climbing trees, throwing frisbee’s and kicking the hack sack. I love to drive. I am always the DD for everything ever and I like it that way. I like words. Using words. Listening to words. Writing words. Playing with words. Reading words. Which is to say I love communication. I listen to, analyze, appreciate and follow every single word to every single song to all my favorite bands. The lyrics, rhyme scheme, message and meaning of the words in a song are one of my favorite things about almost all the music I listen to.”


Music plays a big part in Mikes life and he said as far as his favorite bands, he could sit here and list them for hours. “I am into every and any type of music that is real, raw, soulful, funky, emotional, energetic, you name it. If it comes from the heart, soul, and mind, it is music I will connect to.”

Do you know what or who you were in your past life? Mike does! “I used to be a Cheetah. I think that is why I still had 9 lives when I started in my current human state. Although I have only a few lives left now (been in a couple intense traumatic experiences growing up).” Mike also said that most people don’t know that his skull is half metal!

A little cool tidbit of info about Mike – he was born on 6/11 at exactly 6:11 A.M. “I became human on 611 at 611. So 611 is a sacred number to my perceptions and I live my life by the numbers. I mean the answer to life, the universe, and everything is 42 so why not!”

Guilty pleasure for Mike is chocolate. “It may very well be the death of me someday but I am ok with that.”

Mike would simply like to tell 311 “Thank you.” And to all of the amazing fans that make up 311 nation:

“Infinite Love is the only Truth. Everything else is Illusion.”



That’s a wrap on this weeks edition of the 311 fan spotlight! I hope you enjoyed the story of Mike Taylor! Now go kick some Monday ass and remember to keep on spreading the message of positivity, unity, and love wherever your path takes you!

Much love – The Runt


311 Fan Spotlight – Josh “Puffyhands” Hurley! 4-20-15


Welcome back to another edition of the 311 fan spotlight my friends! It’s time to kick this Monday off right, so without further ado I introduce you to the infamous Mr. Josh “Puffyhands” Hurley!

The college years were the time that Josh was introduced to the awesomeness of 311. A friend of his picked him up from English class, and had brought along a bag of mushrooms and the 311 Day 2004 DVD. “I had barely heard a couple of songs but couldn’t tell you anything about the band. Needless to say that DVD changed my life.” Josh and his friend Matty K became obsessed with 311 after that day. “Anytime we found a new song or b-side, we immersed ourselves in it. I remember we use to do a song of the week and we would debate ourselves trying to decide which song it was gonna be that week. We basically lived 311 (and still do).”

Josh says what drew him in was the combination of the music genres that the band embodied. “It was all of my favorite genres of music jam packed into one electric sound. I had never experienced anything as awesome as that before. Sometimes you can’t help but to just jump up and down (cuz that’s the 311 sound).”

It’s now ten years later and Josh loves the band just as much as he did from day one. He is still as excitable now as he was that first day. He doesn’t keep track of the number of shows he attends (the only numbers he wants to be defined by are 3 and 11) but he thinks it’s probably somewhere in the upper 60’s or low 70’s. Since 2005 he has attended five 311 Day’s, four cruises, Pow Wow and Halloween 2010. Which event or show is his favorite he said will more than likely change if you ask him each year. “I would change my answer to the most recent 311 Day or cruise. The Jamaica cruise really stands out right now because I was up front for Soundsystem and I was on the best acid I have ever done in my life. Magical, to say the least.”

There isn’t one song in particular that means the most to Josh, there are multiple ones. Here they are in no particular order: “Sever” (which he says no song has probably gotten him through more than this one), “Right Now,” Trouble” (which he says describes him in a nutshell), “Freak Out,” “Lose,” and “Boom Shanka” (to which he added AF). Some favorite quotes are, “I do, I don’t, whatever,” “Just think of all the good times, instead of wish we could times, so much better that way,” and “This too shall pass.”

Josh is from Nashville, Tennessee but wants to move west soon, hopefully by the end of 2015. “I’ve set a personal goal of moving out of here by the end of this year. I’m thinking either Portland or Denver (or wherever I can get legal weed).” He has a Bachelors degree and a Masters in accounting, so he funds his 311 addiction by being an accountant. He says it helps funds his 311/Puffyhand adventures.

Which leads us to the story of the origin of the Puffyhands. It was Halloween 2009. He and Matty K went to a STS9 show and part of Matty’s costume were Puffyhands. The ended up doing mushrooms and LSD that night, and the Puffyhands became the most fun aspect of the night. “Puffyhands just kinda made complete sense to us.” A week later they went on a 311 road trip and the Puffyhands were still in the car, so they took them into the shows with them and they were a huge hit. “Matty K and I have always rocked out hard together, but once we started rocking out to 311 with Puffyhands, everything just seemed different. There’s something magical about rocking out with Puffyhands (especially to 311) that I can’t explain. Sometimes P-Nut feeds off of their powers and you can just feel it.” Puffyhands has become huge (I’m the proud owner of one!) and Josh even has a wholesale distributor based out of China, so he usually wears a fresh pair to every show. “Gotta stay fresh!” He also dressed up as a giant puffy hand for the Halloween show in Atlanta in 2010.

Many of you may think Josh’s last name is Hurley…but it actually isn’t. “It was a nickname I got in college and it has just sorta stuck. Now everybody knows me by that. It also helps keeping my coworkers and bosses from finding me online hehe.” His guilty pleasure he said is “tobacco water pipes.” When not rocking out to 311 he can be found listening to Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, or STS9.

Josh has this puffy message to send out to 311: “Thank you – you’ve gotten me through so many ups and downs, that I am forever grateful. I wholeheartedly believe that music is the language of the universe and I’ve never felt more alive or at peace that when listening to 311.”

And now his puffy message to all of the amazing fans:

“311 fans are the most positive group of people I’ve ever met in my life. I’ve met some of the coolest people ever through 311 and I just wanna say thanks. Also a special puffy shout out to Matty K, Billy/Dave, Brett, Suzanne, Cathie, McGuire and Felicia, Jackie, Sharky, and Matt and Heidi. Thanks for rocking out with me.”


That’s the story of Mr. Puffyhands himself, Josh Hurley! I hope you enjoyed reading about his journey of love for 311. I know I did! Make sure to say a big puffy hello if you ever meet him in person! Thanks as always for reading. Until next time my friends, keep on spreading the message of love, unity, and positivity!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Dan Okopnyi – 4/13/15


Hello all of my friends out there in 311 nation!! Welcome to a new week and a new fan spotlight! I apologize for the lack of a spotlight last week, so how about I make up for it? It’s time to meet the latest fan spotlight on the one and only Dan Okopyni!

The well known 311 songs are how Dan was first introduced to the band (songs such as “Down,” “Beautiful Disaster,” “Amber” etc…) and he always enjoyed them. However it wasn’t until later on when he saw his first concert by the guys that he really and truly became hooked. “I think the actual moment I became a fan was when I was invited to see my first show and saw the raw energy on stage that the band exuded, much different from how I knew Nick as a friend. I was astonished. Shortly after watching them rock the stage, I watched the crowd (I am a people watcher by nature) and was in awe of the positive energy of everyone rocking out. It was not like other concerts I had been to before, it was quite a spiritual experience; a lot of love and good vibes were being put out by people and I had never felt anything like it.”  That show sealed the deal and hooked Dan. He knew he wanted to see more shows and while he says he feels like he has more to learn and witness, he also feels like he has a tiny part in the world of the Familia.

Positivity is what drew Dan to the music and the band. He knows they are unique and that no matter what mood he is in or what he is going through, he can always listen to them. “I ride the emotional waves as all humans do, 311 is like the surfboard that propels me across the emotional currents the comprise my life.” Dan feeds of energy (he says in a good way, “not to be confused with a creepy teenage vampire or something”) and the energy of 311 is what continues to keep him drawn to them. “When the lights go dark and the black lights come on, and I watch as the boys are about to hit the stage; I can feel the crowd and it feels good.”

It was in 2010 that Dan saw his first show, although he hasn’t kept count of how many he’s attended. He goes to most of the Southern California shows and has been to all of the cruises and the 311 Day events since 2010. While he doesn’t have a favorite show per se, he can classify how he feels at some of the places he’s seen them. He loves Chula Vista because it feels laid back and relaxed. Irvine is usually a “family” show since it’s where most locals come to see the band and it always has good energy. Santa Barbara he loves because the venue is beautiful. 311 Day 2014 in New Orleans was an event he’ll always remember. “New Orleans 311 day was awesome and truly magical; the food and the good times were definitely embraced by me and the show was amazing, with that band that came on to play some of their songs with them. I love it.” Then there are the cruises where Dan says he feels he can truly be himself. “I feel like I am able to meet most of the fans at those events, because let’s face it, you’re trapped on a damn boat with me so…yeah, you are probably going to see me and I am going to see you. I feel like the cruise is where I can truly be me; wandering the halls of positivity without a care in the world. I meet the coolest people on the ship and all of them have a special place in my heart for the experiences I have gotten to share with them. I am so thankful for those moments and memories.”

When I asked Dan what song means the most to him, he chose the NHQ song “A Song for Driving.”  “It holds a lot of personal sentiment due to the nature of how the song came to be, and the lyrics encompassed how my life used to be when I was on the road a lot for work. I remember talking to Nick about my job and how I was always on the road, when we took a road trip to Vegas. He then later told me our conversation inspired him to write that song; I was really blown away by this and it made me feel really good inside to be a part of someone’s artistic expression that I only wish I could begin to have the talent to do.” One of his favorite lyrics of 311 comes from “Creatures (For A While)’ – “Sometimes I go a little crazy.”

Born to an immigrant family in San Jose, California, Dan was raised there and says he “fully adopted the grunge generation with bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana.”  He has also lived in Arlington, Texas, Bakersfield, California, and now currently resides in Los Angeles. He lives with his younger sister, girlfriend Kristina, and his adorable, loving dog Toby. How he makes his living is by what he calls being a huge computer geek (he’s a Server Administrator for a medical foundation). He loves traveling to new areas for shows and is planning on hitting Salt Lake City this year. If you catch him at a show, make sure you say hi. He says he likes to think he is easily approachable. “I like running around the venues a lot, seeing people and just generally never can sit still. I have to be honest in the fact that I am not much of a dancer really, so at the shows you can catch me head banging and jumping to the heavy songs, but that’s about the extent of it.”

Dan spends much of his free time giving back to the community around him and helping others because he has been through difficult times in the past. “I feel that helping others is the best way to have my own spiritual peace.” When he has time to just relax he keeps it pretty basic, enjoying movies & T.V. series, or surfing social media. He likes to make people laugh and does so often with witty Facebook comments. He’s been getting into hockey lately and really enjoys football. “I generally play fantasy football every season; even have a 311 fans league, though the waiting list to get in is usually pretty long.”  Some guilty pleasures of his are Star Wars, binge watching T.V. series such as Gotham, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men, and he loves to cook for people.

Can any of you speak fluent Ukrainian? Dan can! It’s one of his many talents. He also has a very creative mind when it comes to writing stories. “I have an overactive imagination that if I get time to put down on paper, ends up being some amazing stories.”  When not listening to 311, Dan enjoys mostly heavy bands such as Metallica, Korn, Slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, The Used and Mudvayne. He also listens to classical when he is at work. “It helps me think.” Rap is another genre he likes, with some favorite artists being Young Jeezy, UGK and Tupac.

Dan would like to say to 311 this message – “Thanks guys. Thanks for being so damn cool to me and the conversations we’ve had. I really appreciate everything you do.”

To all the awesome peeps out in 311 nation:

“You are all beautiful, amazing, heartfelt people with whom I am glad to have met or hope to meet soon. You each carry within yourselves a personal story, a life lived and your own unique characteristics. Please keep being you, the world needs more positive people like yourselves. Thank you for showing me some amazingly good times with equally powerful conversations and above all else, I am glad to be able to call some of you my friends.”


That is the tale of Mr. Dan Okopyni! I hope you all enjoyed his story and had fun kicking off your week with the new spotlight. Thanks as always for reading and for being the awesome people you are. Until next time…keep spreading the love & positivity out into the world!

Much love – The Runt