311 Fan Spotlight – Beth Haskin – 7/27/15

me cruise

Hello again excitable friends! Welcome back to another fan spotlight and happy Monday! Time to kick it into high gear and meet Mrs. Beth Haskin!

Beth’s discovery of 311 came like many of us with the release of the blue album and the radio airplay of “Down.”  She liked the different sound and style they had. “I had never heard anything like them before and honestly, I don’t think there’s anyone like them today.” While she liked the music, she never really dug deeper into it or saw them in concert until she met her husband Chuck. “He was a huge fan and I could relate to his obsession because I had my own with The Dave Matthews Band. His passion for them made me want to explore their music more.” After he burned her copies of all their CD’s she discovered just how much more there was to the band than she knew. Then on July 19, 2013 Chuck took her to her first show. “He made sure I was on the rail front and center. My mind was blown! I was hooked and the rest is history!”

In the past two years Beth has seen them 8 times, including 311 Day 2014 and the recent cruise to Jamaica. Her favorite so far is without a doubt the cruise. “It was the most incredible trip I have ever been on!  Charles proposed to me shortly after boarding the ship, and we spent the next four days enjoying the band we love, visiting Jamaica and celebrating with amazing people who feel like one big family.  It doesn’t get much better than that!”

with band

group cruise








Song that means the most to Beth is a hard question to answer because like many of the fans, there are just so many that she loves. “I’ve always had a thing for “Beautiful Disaster” and I really dig “Freeze Time”.  I also can’t seem to get enough of “Five Of Everything”.  I love the way it sounds and I think a lot of us can relate to it.  Like many other 311 songs, it reminds you to live in the moment and appreciate what you have instead of always being in search of something more.” Favorite quote comes from “Sunset in July” – “Here I was happy.” She says it reminds her that being happy is a choice and we should live in the moment and appreciate it.

Growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, Beth didn’t always have a great life. She grew up in a poor family where her dad was never around and her mother was an abusive alcoholic. She learned to take care of herself and her brother at a very young age. Due to her situation, she wasn’t raised to have confidence or self-esteem and she fell for the first person that she believed cared for her. At age 18 that relationship moved her to Maryland (where she still currently lives) and she was then married at 20. At age 27 she gave birth to her beautiful daughter Lyric.

While she stayed in a toxic relationship longer than she should have, and while she may have endured some very dark times in her life, she overcame them and doesn’t regret the past. “I had a lot of issues early on in my life due to abuse that I had to work through and overcome.  Music was always there for me and helped me get through.  Despite the fact that I have endured many dark days in my life, one thing is for certain…I always stayed positive!  I always felt that there was something better for me on the horizon and that I would make it through.  I learned to take control of my life, and that I am in charge of my own happiness.  Now I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.  I am happily married to a man who respects me and treats me like gold.  I have a beautiful, smart, healthy daughter and life is one big adventure.  I don’t regret the things that have happened in my life because I think they have made me the person I am today, and I think that those experiences make me appreciate all the good in my life that much more.”

While 311 has become a major part of her life, her main musical obsession is The Dave Matthews Band. “I’ve been listening to them for 25 years and they have gotten me through the hardest times in my life. Like 311, their music also promotes positivity and reminds you that life is short and you should live each day like it’s your last.  I love music that speaks me and has meaning.  DMB also has a huge “family” like 311.  It’s amazing to connect with people through music and experiences, and know that you’re not alone.”

If anyone reading is a fan of the band KISS, then you’ll like that Beth was named after their song! “One of the few things that I  appreciated about my mother was that she had eclectic taste in music.  She listened to everything and exposed me to all types of music growing up.  Music was very important in our household, and it became very important in my life as well.  I am grateful for that.”

Beth is extremely good with children and she studied Early Childhood Education. She has been a child care provider for 21 years, nannied, taught preschool, worked with children with special needs, worked in various child care centers and even ran her own licensed in-home center at one point. “My friends call me the baby whisperer because I can calm any baby, and children are drawn to me every where I go!”

When not calming babies and children, Beth sometimes likes to indulge in some guilty pleasures. “I love reality TV!  Shows like Teen Mom, Kate Plus 8, The Little Couple, etc.  It fascinates me to see how other people live their lives, and at the end of the day it feels good to just relax and watch something that I don’t have to think too much about.”

Beth’s message to 311 is one of gratitude:

“I would thank them for making music that unites people and promotes positivity.  Life can be hard, but it helps to know that are others who have felt the same way, and that there is music out there that can help you get through.  I would also thank them for everything they do for their fans.  Not a lot of bands tour as much as they do, do special days and trips for their fans and take time out to take pictures with their fans.  You can tell that they appreciate their fans very much.”

To all the fans that appreciate everything this band does:

“Nick says it best…”Stay positive and love your life”!  Truer words have never been spoken.  Whatever you’re going through, you will get through it.  Life goes on and this too shall pass.  Happiness is a choice, and you must choose to be happy everyday and live life to the fullest.  Never let anyone but you control your happiness!!!”

us water


And there you have the story of Beth Haskin my friends! I’m glad you all got to learn more about her and thank you as usual for reading! My love goes out to all of you for being the amazing humans that make up this 311 family. Until we meet again, keep on rockin’ and passing on the good vibes to others!

Much love – The Runt












311 Fan Spotlight – Mike Morel – 7/20/15


Welcome back my fellow 311 fans!! Happy Monday to all. I hope your weekend was excellent! Let’s start this awesome week by introducing you to another fan. Time to meet Mike Morel!

1993 was the year. Mike’s cousin asked a favor of him – to hit up the mall and buy him Music on cassette tape. Later on they listened to it together and Mike heard “Visit” and “Do You Right.” “I had never heard a band like that before. Two singers, perfect harmonies and such a unique sound.”

For live shows, Mike is somewhere in the mid 40’s range. His first show was at the State Palace Music Theater in New Orleans on October 30, 1994 when the band played with The Cramps. “That was the day I became a fan for life. Such high energy and sounded just like their albums.” Of the forty-something shows that Mike has been to, he said it’s the last cruise that takes the prize for the best. “The 3rd cruise was my first and it changed my 311 experience forever because of all of the amazing people / friends I met. I now have friends all over the country and friends for life because of it, and I’ll never be at a 311 show alone again thanks to the Familia.”


Favorite song is a tie between “Jackolantern’s Weather” or “Golden Sunlight” since they are both so rare to hear live and the harmonies are amazing. “Although ‘Great Divide’ is moving up quick in the rankings.” Mike’s favorite lyric though comes from “Paradise” – “Musics what I need to keep my sanity.” He says music is something he can’t live without and he needs it in his daily life.

Slidell, Louisiana is where Mike lived until the age of 24 when he moved to South Mississippi for a job. He’s been there ever since. “I work at FedEx and that has helped me attend all of the shows and events I have been to.” One of those events was Pow Wow back in 2011. “One of my goals when I went to the Pow Wow by myself was to meet the Puffy Hand guys. So during the Transistor set I met Josh Hurley and Matty K and they gave me my first official Puffy Hand. Now I am one of the guys in the Puffy Hand Crew and I represent them any time 311 comes to the South East. This July I’ll be in Charlotte, Jacksonville, Orlando and Birmingham with my Puffy Hands.”

Mike has two daughters, ages 13 and 8, that are his pride and joy. “My oldest is just like me. I love spending time with them and of course they are 311 fans.” Earlier I said Mike can’t live without music in his life and he is a self-proclaimed music geek. “I can pretty much tell you the artist or a song title just from hearing the first few notes of a song from 1954 to now.” Another love is football. He’s a huge fan of both professional and college. “I have season tickets for both the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers. Football season is my favorite time of the year.”

Some other bands that Mike is into are Incubus, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains, Faith No More, Dirty Heads, The Urge, Our Lady Peace, Blue October and RDGLDGRN.

To the guys that make up the awesomeness that is 311, Mike has this message:

“I would just like to thank them for changing my life by bringing some awesome people into it. And always being able to keep me positive and happy whenever I listen to their music and see them live. I hope they never quit making music.”

Now to all the amazing fans that come together to make up this phenomenal community:

“I just want to thank all of the awesome, friendly, positive fans out there for being part of the Excitable Crew and Familia. There are too many people to list, but I love seeing all of your faces and rocking out with you at their shows. I can’t wait to see y’all for our next 311 experience together.”


That is Mike Morel slinkies & brodels! I hope you had a blast reading his tale. I love relaying all the awesome stories of fans to you all! Thank you as always for reading. Now go conquer the week and spread that love & positivity as always!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Chris Barry – 7/13/15


Excitable friends, welcome back!!! Monday has arrived and so has our latest fan spotlight. Time to meet Chris Barry!

Growing up Chris listened to KROQ in California and heard “Down,” “All Mixed Up,” and “Don’t Stay Home” on the station. Then in 5th grade a friend brought him a taped copy of Soundsystem and he got a little more into the band. However, it wasn’t until he heard “Creatures” in 2003 that his fandom really clicked on. “About two weeks after I got Evolver I went out and bought every other record the had released to date. The rest was history. For me, the first thing that drew me to 311 was the drums…Chad Sexton is the reason I started playing!”

Now at 40 live shows and counting, Chris doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. He’s attended four 311 Day shows and two of the cruises. Narrowing down his favorite out of all the shows is tough though. He said it’s hard to compare club shows vs. arena shows vs. the cruise. “I’d have to say this past cruise tops them all though. I had my two best friends in the world with me (Kelsey and Darryl) and it was their first cruise. There is no feeling like that sail-away show.”

“Existential Hero” has become a favorite song of his. “That song is the epitome of 311 bringing the swagger. The song feels like you are being taken on a journey through space and time, and the song has some of the best drums in 311’s catalog.” One of his all time favorite lyrics comes from “Omaha Stylee” – “Got more funky styles than a laserjet got fonts.” He said that line always cracked him up.

Orange County, California is where Chris was born and raised. He now currently resides in Laguna Hills where he works in administration for a private high school. We know he loves 311 and drumming, but one of his other passions is aviation. “I got my pilots license in 2012. One day I would like to fly with Eric Stone and Gus Chavez, some fellow 311 aviators!”

Chris mentioned before that he started playing the drums thanks to Chad’s sound and style, and it’s something he considers unique about himself. “I started playing because of Chad and he became my biggest influence growing up. His style is so unique that I think it helped me learn some styles are prevalent in 311’s music.”  Chris is in California’s only 311 tribute band named The Brodels. “I get to play with a great group of talented guys down here. We are jamming for some shows coming up later this summer and early fall, so come see us if you can!”

Any music with good drumming catches Chris’ ear. Some other bands he loves are Tool, Dirty Heads, Pretty Lights, John Brown’s Body, and Slightly Stoopid. Guilty pleasure of his is anything Star Wars! “Counting down the days until Episode VII on 12/18!”

To 311, Chris would like to say this message:

“Thank you for the amazing experiences, life (and music) lessons, and creating an amazing community. And if you guys ever get a private jet, I know a pilot…”

To the amazing 311 community:

“See you all at 311 Day! Over the years I have had some incredible memories and met some amazing friends. If you ever see me, come say hi! Much love to all.”


That’s the story of Chris Barry my friends! Thank you all for reading each week and I hope you like meeting another fellow fan! Until next time, keep rocking out at those summer shows and hopefully I’ll meet some of you at them!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Kevin McNeill – 7/6/15


Monday is here my excitable friends! Welcome back and I hope all of you had an amazing Fourth of July. It’s time to meet the latest fan spotlight. Give a big warm, 311est  welcome to Kevin McNeill!

When the blue album was getting popular, that’s about the time Kevin was really starting to get into music. His friends had the album and used “Down” as the entrance music when they wrestled. Kevin enjoyed the music and as more came out, he downloaded a few songs here and there. “I downloaded Come Original on Napster when it was still free/illegal. I remember taping You Wouldn’t Believe and Amber off the radio too.” While he was listening to 311, he wasn’t fully hooked until college thanks to his friend Liam. He would walk into Kevin’s dorm and say, “K-Mick we’re going to smoke a joint…you’re driving…and we’re listening to 311.”  It was Transistor that made Kevin fall hardcore for the band. “Use of Time” hooked Kevin, he was floored when he heard it. It’s even the song he narrowed down as his favorite. “If only because it was the song that most connected to me when I first heard it.  Tim’s solos in it are incredible, and I remember being with Liam on one of our drives, and hearing the guitar and imagining hearing them live, and the chords ringing in my ears, and it gave me goosebumps.  On top of that, the line “Every time I turn the volume down, all I hear is the deafening sound, of your heart’s pound” really touched me at the time, and it an example of the kind of beauty that their music creates and incites.”

After Transistor, Kevin stumbled onto Evolver and became even more hooked. “I couldn’t really understand what I loved about them so much; everything else I listened to was screamo or metal, and then there was 311.  I think it was my subconscious trying to tell me that not everything had to be so glum; there was “positivity” in the world, to steal a common 311-esque phrasing.  Liam invited me to see my first 311 show in August 2003 in Gilford, NH, and it was the definition of face-melting.  I was speechless, then sweaty and exhausted, and finally hooked for life.  My next paycheck was spent on purchasing the remaining albums that I did not yet own.  Been a lunatic fan ever since.”

Kevin has attended 14 shows since his start in Gilford and he believes there is no greater joy that he can obtain than attending a 311 show (Granted, he said he hasn’t gotten married yet or had a child). While he said 14 may not seem like a lot, it is considering he didn’t see them live from June 2010 to July 2014. His location isn’t ideal for seeing live concerts. He’s seen them in a variety of locations though. “I’ve seen them in Gilford, NH; Mansfield, MA; Boston, MA; Lowell, MA; Portland, ME; and most recently in St. Louis, MO.  And I’ll see you fuckers at 311-Day 2016!” Favorite show that he’s discussed many times with various 311 fans such as Dan, RJ and other tweeps is Gilford, NH 2007. “That show was incredible.  They played “Gap”, “Borders”, “Let The Cards Fall”, “Life’s Not A Race” and “Creature Feature” for the first time ever.  Pretty incredible show, and to know that I shared it with some friends that I’ve since met on Twitter is pretty cool too.”

Kevin grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts, in a town called Peabody, right next to Salem (as in the Scarlet Letter and Salem witch trials). He lived there most of his life, then spent 4 years in Lowell attending school at University of Massachusetts Lowell. He graduated from there with a degree in Criminal Justice, but didn’t really want to head into that field professionally. After working in retail for a while, Kevin moved to Carbondale, Illinois in 2011 (way…..WAY down in southern Illinois he said, about 2 hours southeast of St. Louis). His girlfriend of 7 years is working on her PhD there and Kevin decided to go back to school while there too. He now has a Masters of Art’s in Teaching with a concentration in English. He currently is an English teacher at the local high school and he absolutely loves it! “It’s 1000x better than working retail.  I love messing with the students, and I even have a 311 Quote of the Day, and write a different clever or inspiring 311 lyric on the board every day.  All my students know I’m a crazy fan and pick on me for it.  But they also say stuff like “Mr. McNeill!  I heard 311 on the radio this weekend and I thought of you!” and that’s worth it!”

Cooking is a hobby of Kevin’s and something he says he does excellently. “I don’t like to do it every day, which is why I don’t try to work in a restaurant, but I love messing with spices and flavor profiles, and I’m surprisingly good at it.” He is also a bit of a neat freak and likes to keep everything organized and tidy. “So, the interesting fact is that I’m perfect husband material because I cook and clean.”

A unique talent Kevin has is that he can pull out a Simpson’s reference pretty much for any occasion. “It’s actually pretty pathetic.  But when I do it, and someone else gets it and starts laughing, it’s worth the previous 2483 times that only I laughed.  Every Wednesday, me and a group of my friends go to trivia at a local bar, and every week we name our team some obscure Simpsons reference.  Last week, we were You Don’t Win Friends With Salad.” As far as his guilty pleasure, it’ all about the craft beer. “I’m a craft beer aficionado, and I’ve become quite obsessive about it.  I used to be able to dabble in a few crafty things: Harpoon IPA, Yuengling, a few different Sam Adams.  Now I’m maniacal.” Kevin has an entire cabinet full of craft beer that he says he is purposely aging. He also has a case underneath his guest room bed and 8-10 bottles that are too tall for the cabinet. “Everywhere I go, there needs to be some craft there, and I always want to try something new.  I used to be a status quo kind of guy, and now I need to be on to the newest, tastiest brew I can find!  So thank you craft breweries, for making my drinking problem seem like a neat hobby!”

Kevin is into many different varieties and genres of music. He said besides 311 his other favorite band is Funeral for a Friend. He also said that most of his other favorites fit the “posthardcore/screamo/alternative genre.”  Nineties alternative also is a selection he loves like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots. Being from New England, he still has some local groups he likes such as Too Late the Hero, The Receiving End of Sirens, Therefore I Am, and Me As Time. “All great bands…check them out!

To the band that has meant so much to him over the years he’d like to send this message:

What you guys should do, is hold a worldwide 311 Tribute Band contest, judged by the fans, and whichever 311 Tribute band wins, gets to go on tour and open for you every year, so we get to see twice as many songs at each show!  You could call it the ‘Who Can Be the 311-est? Contest’.”

Now to all the amazing fans in the land of excitable nation:

“It’s been a pleasure to meet and get to know all of you over the past few years on social media.  I can’t wait to run into all of you at a show someday!  Keep living the dream!  Somebody has to do it, might as well be us.

And thanks to Christina for doing this stuff all the time!  You rock!”


Aww thanks Kevin! And thank you to all the supporters of my Runt Rant. I appreciate the time you all take to read more about your fellow fans. This is truly a passion of mine, writing about all of your amazing people week after week!! I hope you enjoyed Kevin’s story. Keep on rocking and being the amazing humans you are! You make the world a better place!

Much love – The Runt