Happy Memorial Day excitable friends! I hope you are all enjoying this honorable holiday. Let’s kick off this day and week with the latest 311 fan spotlight on Mr. Shawn Van Houten!!
Shawn’s journey with 311 begins at a young age when he first saw the video for “Down” after he snuck out of his room to go watch MTV. “As I grew up, I constantly surrounded myself with all styles of music. I think I always liked them because they appealed to so many styles that I am into.”
Since his introduction to them, Shawn has seen the band 38 times. Narrowing down his favorite was tough because there are so many great ones. For example, this past cruise he says was one of the most incredible times in his lift because he got to play with The Unity All Stars. After mulling it over though, he chose 311 Day 2014 as his favorite event so far. “I was there for a week, saw a ton of great music in the process, stayed in an amazing house with so many people who became some of my dearest friends. Banana Brigade Brunch. Seeing everyone rocking to the Stereolithic for the first time, as one, at the pre-party was truly something I will never forget.”
“All Mixed Up” is the song that is one of Shawn’s favorites, because he said it defines an all around good feeling for him. “From the time I heard it, I’ve always held it close, whenever I’ve needed a song to get me that positive, fun spirit, that’s my go to.” Some of his favorite lyrics come from “Life’s Not a Race” – “The natural way things organize.” He also loves these lyrics from “Prisoner” – “A laser light pinpoints the top of my dome, then through my body as if Scotty’s beaming up a wayward soul.”
Raised on Long Island, New York, Shawn now resides in Brooklyn. He’s lived in New York his whole life and has been a music addict just as long. “I was born into it. My mom was a hardcore Dead-Head. I’ve never met my father, but my family has told me he was a roadie for Led Zeppelin and other bands. I’ve played music all my life. I play guitar, sing, play bass, and play the saxophone.” To fund his 311 habit, Shawn has been working in the restaurant industry for years, both serving and bartending.
Being a music addict, there are many bands and artists that Shawn loves besides 311. Some of them are Rage Against the Machine, Incubus, Pantera, Eminem, Dillinger Escape Plan, Bassnectar, Deftones, Minus the Bear, Mute Math, The Offspring, and Slipknot. Shawn sang in a metal band for a few years during high school. He then went on to form a punk/melodic hardcore band. They even toured, released a record, and as he says, “Fucked shit up. It was a lot of fun.”
A special talent Shawn has that you may not know about…he can balance things on his nose and chin! “Bring me a wiffle ball bat, or a chair, or a table, or a ladder. I’ll balance that shit.” Guilty pleasure for Shawn comes in the form of Facebook. “But I don’t care cause it keeps me in touch with the 311 community.”
When asked what one sentence he would say to 311 if given the opportunity, Shawn wrote this: “There’s really not much to say in one sentence to these men who have changed my life, spirit and energy indefinitely. I guess a simple Thank you for all your hard work, and your impact on me and so many that I care about.”
Now to all of you amazing individuals that come together to form the awesome 311 nation:
“Thank you to this entire community. Thank you for being awesome, understanding, unique, strong, personable, caring, and being the greatest friends on earth. You’ve impacted my life beyond belief, I have such love for so many of you, and I cant wait to meet even more.”
That concludes Shawn’s story and I hope, as always, that you’ve enjoyed reading about another fellow fan! Have an amazing week my friends, and don’t forget to keep on spreading that love and positivity everywhere you go.
Much love – The Runt