311 Fan Spotlight – Tonya Frye – 11/16/15


Hey there and welcome back my excitable friends in 311 nation! The time is here to meet another awesome fellow 311 lover – Tonya Frye!

A bar that Tonya frequented quite a bit in the early 90’s is the setting for where her love for the band starts. The bar would play “Do You Right” and “Homebrew.” “I couldn’t help but get my groove on when I would hear them.”

Exact count on how many shows Tonya has attended is hazy, but she guesses she’s somewhere in the fifties. “If I had known at the time that this would become such a huge thing in my life, I would have kept better track.”  Favorite event however is an easier question to answer and she chose 311 Day 2008. “It was my first 311 Day, my first time in New Orleans, and it was the first time that I really traveled a long distance to see them. Everything about that trip was amazing.” A close second for her would be her very first show ever which was at Strawberry Banks in Hampton, Virginia, May 27, 1996. “It was such a random venue. Like, someone literally put up a stage on the middle of the field. They opened the show with ‘Homebrew’ and I have been hooked ever since.”

Tonya has a great answer for the question of what’s her favorite song: “Picking which song means the most to me is like asking me which one of my children I love the most lol.” She says there is always a song to match where she currently is in her life. Some of the top songs on her list though are “Hostile Apostle,” “Starshines,” “Hive,” and “Reconsider Everything.”

One of Tonya’s favorite lyrics comes from “Never Ending Summer:”  “Hanging out with my friends, we’re traveling. Out and about, good times that we’re having it’s, harmonic bliss when we are all synchronized, something got to see with your own eyes.” She loves these words because they remind her of Kim James, her 311 partner in crime, as well as all the other amazing friends she has made and road tripped with to a show.


An “older than the average 311 fan” is how Tonya describes herself. “I am 43, which puts me at around the same age as the band members.”  Richmond, Virginia is where she grew up and it was a huge hub for punk music throughout the 80’s. “I was a little, angry punk rock girl for a long time. Hell, I still have a little bit of that angst ridden teenager inside of me.”  Then at the age of 20, in 1992, Tonya moved to Virginia Beach where she still is to this day.

311 has become part of her family she says. She took all of her younger siblings to see them when they were in high school. Now she has four kids of her own and they all have seen 311 as their first concerts. Even her husband got sucked in! “He was a casual fan, you could say, until I started dragging him to shows. Now he is a huge fan and has turned into one of those crazy poster people lol.”


Tonya is a Pre-K teacher, which she says doesn’t pay that much. However she created an after school science enrichment program to make extra money and help support her 311 habit. “Last year I watched one of my students after school to make money for the cruise. 311 Day and the like have become my husband and my Christmas/Birthday present to each other.”   While Tonya says she’s an open book so there’s nothing people really don’t know about her, she can tell you something unique. “Don’t ever challenge me to a trivia contest. I know an insane amount of useless trivia.” She says she even owns every edition of Trivia Pursuit and her family won’t play with her anymore because she takes it a little too seriously!

Her musical tastes are eclectic, and when not rocking out to 311 she can be found listening to anything from The Smiths to Passafire, from The Descendents to Incubus. And even a little Kelly Clarkson, her guilty pleasure. “There I said it. Go ahead and judge, but that girl can sing her ass off.”

311 has a huge impact on Tonya and her families life, so to them she’d like to say:

“I am sure everyone says this, but I would simply say “Thank You”. Thank you for your music and thank for this amazing community that I love. Also ,I would say, ”for the love of all things holy, would you please, please play Hostile Apostle.”

To all the other awesome fans out there:

“Live your most genuine life every day. Like the song says, ‘This moment is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.”


Now you’ve met Tonya Frye! I love reading about older fans (simply because I myself am one lol). I hope you all get to meet her in person one day…I know I do! Thanks Tonya for being a part of this and thank you to all that read the spotlights! You all ROCK!

Until next time, stay awesome.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Zachery Smith – 11/9/15


Good day my friends in 311 nation! It’s that time…not freeze time, but the new fan spotlight time! This week we introduce Zachery Smith!

High school was the era that brought 311 into Zachery’s life. He was watching TRL on MTV and they showed the video for “Down.” Right after that he bought the blue album, then shortly thereafter Transistor was released. “I knew I’d be listening to them for the rest of my life.”

Twelve is the number of times Zachery has seen them live and he says his favorite by far was his first show. The band played at a small venue in St. Louis called Mississippi Nights back in 1999. “They were supposed to come on at 8, but they made us wait until almost 9.  Crowd was rowdy before they came out.  They opened with Omaha Stylee and melted my 17 year old brain.”


Choosing a favorite song was impossible for Zachery, as he said he has different songs for different moods. Same goes for lyrics, since he says so many of them are so memorable. Some of his favorite though come from the songs that his daughters love to sing such as “Come Original,” “Sunset in July,” “Weightless,” “Time Bomb,” and pretty much all of the Stereolithic album. “They sing their hearts out to those.”

Marion, Illinois is where Zachery was born and raised. Then after high school ended he enlisted in the Army and spent the next 10 years there. This included four tours in Iraq. “I was in Iraq when Evolver came out and a friend sent it to me. Needless to say, everyone there with me heard it 1000 times.” In 2012 he left the Army and moved back home where he now runs a restaurant.

While Zachery doesn’t miss the Army, he does miss Iraq, which he described as beautiful. When asked what talent he has, he said he has the amazing ability to be bad at answering questions about himself! “I’m not really good at talking about myself.”  Guilty pleasure comes in song form with the song “Chandelier” by Sia. “Ugh, gets stuck in my head.”

When not listening to 311 he can be found jamming out to artists like Thrice, Dredg, Deftones, The Urge, Toadies, Brand New, Circa Survive, Finch, Glassjaw, Jimmies Chicken Shack, Manchester Orchestra, and Sun Kill Moon. “So much great and unique music out there.”

To the band that impacts our lives so much, Zachery would just like to say a simple, “Thank you.”

To all of the amazing fans his message is this:

“I want to meet as many of you as I can.  I’ve met a few of you through Facebook and at shows, and you all seem cool as hell.”


And that my friends is Zachery’s story! Thank you for taking the time to read it and learn about another fellow fan this week. You are all truly amazing humans!

Until we meet again…stay awesome!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Chad Evans – 11/2/15


Yo I got to say hola…welcome back excitable 311 nation! Time for the new fan spotlight. We took a break for a week but we’re back in full effect – so let’s meet Chad Evans!

Summer before Chad’s senior year of high school was when the blue album came out and he was introduced to the band like many others, through hearing “Down” and “All Mixed Up.”  “It was the beats mixed with the guitar riffs that made me nod my head. Bought the CD and I was instantly hooked. They remained a mainstay of my music library, but it wasn’t until over a decade later that I think I made the transition from casual fan to, well, something a bit more involved.”

As far as shows seen, Chad said he got a later start than some. He started in 2001 and really only attended the local Cincinnati shows up until 2010. Since 2010 though he’s been to three 311 Days, seen shows in 9 different states, went to see the blue album live this past July in Vegas, plus the 25th anniversary show and secret show at The Hive in Omaha (which was show number 35 for him). Out of these shows, he narrowed it down to his first 311 Day (2010 in Vegas) as his favorite. “It was my first big 311 event and first trip to Vegas and I got to attend with my best friend of over 30 years. That, along with the it being the ultimate 311 performance (that setlist…..whoa) makes it a lasting memory. I swore I would never miss another 311 Day from that point forward, and so far I haven’t swayed from that statement. A VERY close second would be the secret show at The Hive after this year’s Omaha show. I’ll never forget being there to see that in person as long as I live.”


Picking a song that means the most out of the expansive 311 catalog can be difficult, but Chad managed to narrow down a couple. “Hey You’ does so much to describe the way I feel about so much of 311’s music…”my constant companion.”   The other song which ranks really high up there for me in meaning is “Eons”. The melody of the song itself along with so many lyrics that just have stuck with me I find myself quoting parts of that song almost daily.” Favorite lyrics include: “Mandatory sentence for a crime with no victim when everybody knows jail terms should be picked in the order of the pain that they cause;” “Every country ‘round the world, the people smoke the herb, prohibition is absurd, the people want it!” and “Now that I’m back to pushing pen, that weighs two hundred tons…I’d like to drop it on you and watch it all fall through.”

Chad grew up in Dayton, Kentucky, which is at the northern most tip of the state, just across from Cincinnati, Ohio. During childhood he spent his summers in Nicholasville, Kentucky, which is just outside of Lexington, where he helped his grandparents on their tobacco farm. “I developed a love of fishing and the outdoors during those summers, and I’ve carried that over to my adult life.  I still enjoy hunting and fishing, and now cherish the opportunity to share my love of these activities with three daughters, ages 17, 12, and 11.”

For the past 13 years Chad has been working as a consultant for one of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S.  Most of his free time is spent being a dad, which includes lots of volleyball, cheerleading, softball, archery, chorus practices, games, matches, and events. When not running around with his daughters, he can be found watching University of Michigan football, of which he’s a huge fan, as well as basketball. In his words, he has a “required allegiance” to the University of Kentucky basketball team since he’s a resident of the state.

A cool fact about Chad’s family is that his mothers parents met during World War II. “My grandmother was Welsh working in London at an ammunition factory when she met my grandfather who was serving in the Army as a jeep driver at a dance/mixer. He would eventually marry and bring her home to the Greater Cincinnati area as one of the many war brides from that era.  The went on to raise 4 children and were married for over 50 years.”

Talent for Chad comes in the form of public speaking. “I won a few contests as a kid, and just never saw the nerves that others seem to experience when talking in front of people.” Guilty pleasure comes in the form of mafia/gangster movies, shows and books. “I can recite every line from ‘Goodfellas’ word for word I’ve seen it so many times.”

When not listening to 311, Chad can be found listening to artists like George Strait, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Lagwagon, NOFX, Snoop Dogg, Sex Slaves (a NYC rock band, that he said you MUST check out for yourselves), and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. “I am pretty eclectic.”

Chad’s message to 311 is this: “Thank you for continuing to stay true to your roots and putting out amazing music which brings people from all cultures, countries, and states of mind together as one.”

To all the fans that rock this 311 nation:

“Stay positive and love your life!!  Spread the word and the herb. Peace and bacon grease!”



And that concludes our story of Chad Evans! Thank you all for reading. You are truly all amazing and the reason we continue this little adventure of learning more about each other.

Until we meet again my friends, go spread the positivity and always love your life!

Much love – The Runt