311 Fan Spotlight – Mandee Flores – 12/28/2015


Welcome back friends to the latest edition of the 311 fan spotlight! I hope Christmas treated you well. Are you ready to meet the next fan? Here’s the story of Mandee Flores!

Middle school days were the time Mandee first heard 311. “I kept hearing 311 on the radio (Down and Beautiful Disaster) and I was drawn to their sound.” After hearing them she did some research and downloaded their music. She bought From Chaos first and listened to it nonstop before buying the rest of the albums. “Every album I heard after that, I fell in love with.  I think I was drawn to the mix of rap, rock and reggae in their sound, and later, I discovered how amazing the lyrics and meaning behind the songs are. After that, I was drawn further in by the amazing fan base and awesome concert experiences. Now, everyone I know, knows about my obsession with the band.”

First concert experience with them was at the Vans Warped Tour back in 2001. Since then she’s seen them any time they come to Denver, plus she’s been to 311 Day 2010 and 2012, plus Pow Wow. While she doesn’t have an exact number, she’s somewhere in the thirties. Her favorite event so far has been Pow Wow. “It was a few days where everyone was just hanging out for the sole reason of seeing 311. It was an experience I’ll never forget. I met so many cool people there too. However, like picking a favorite song or lyric, it is very difficult to choose one experience because they’ve all been unforgettable and amazing.”

Favorite song couldn’t be narrowed down because she said they all mean so much to her in so many different ways. While she loves all the lyrics (as most of us do) she picked “Stay positive & love your life” as the most meaningful since she has is tattooed on her back. She also is really itching to get another 311 tattoo!

Born and raised in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, Mandee had what she calls a pretty typical childhood. Her parents were divorced but she said she and her sister managed to survive. She did well in school (straight A’s) and attended the University of Colorado where she majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Mandee was also lucky enough to travel abroad to Australia during her time in college. “That was one of the best times in my life.”

After graduation in 2010 she went down a dark path making bad decisions and began abusing drugs. She said it only lasted a few years before she got into trouble with the law and was sent to an inpatient recovery program for 13 months. She just left the program a little over a year ago. “I learned a lot while I was there and it was one of the hardest things I’ve been through in my life. Even though I am now a felon, I am still striving to continue to get my life back on track. So now I am living back at home with my dad and working to save money. I now have over two years sober from heroin. I am working at Whole Foods Market and was very grateful they hired me with a felony. I hope to continue there and try to utilize my degree in some way working there.”

We all know that 311 means the world to us but Mandee says that they and their music were really a support system for her during her difficult times. “Whenever I’ve had rough times in life, 311 has helped me get through my troubles. 311 is like an extra support system I’ve had the past 15 years and always makes me feel better. Throughout the last 15 years of being a hardcore 311 fan, I’ve met so many cool people. It’s so awesome to be able to connect  with like-minded people and make lasting friendships over 311. Even when I was spending all my money on drugs, I always found a way to see 311.”

Mandee said that half of her friends call her by that name, the other half call her Amanda so she sometimes has an identity crisis! She is also an atheist, something she says many people may not know about her. Mandee also loves driving and considers herself an “expert driver.” “I’ve driven a 15 passenger van, I’ve driven on the other side of the road through the whole country of New Zealand, and I’ve become an expert in driving in the Colorado mountains. I do not play sports, but if I had to choose a sport, it would be driving/racing.”

Music is important to Mandee and she listens to a wide variety of genres. Some other bands that she enjoys are Incubus, Beck, Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, RDGLDGRN, Vampire Weekend, Deftones, Five Finger Death Punch, Slipknot, Arcade Fire, and Eminem. One of her guilty pleasure is also a musician- Britney Spears! Other guilty pleasures include watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians and she claims herself as a borderline hoarder. “I still have many of my childhood toys, including about 10 boxes of barbie stuff.”

311 has obviously had a very strong role in Mandee’s life, and her words to them are this: “Thank you for saving my life and never break up!”

To all the other fans in 311 nation:

“Thank you all for being awesome and never change!”


That’s the story of Mandee Flores everyone! Thank you for reading and thank you Mandee for sharing your personal story with all of us. Until we meet again my excitable friends…keep on spreading that positivity!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Crystal Tarone – 12/21/15



Welcome back Excitable peeps! Happy Christmas week to all. Shall we meet another amazing fan? We shall! Here’s the story of Crystal Tarone!

Watching MTV before school was a routine for Crystal. That’s how she saw the video for “Down” and discovered the band. “I had one of those Yak recorders that I would with me to school and play the 5 or 6 second clip from the chorus.” (See the photo below if you don’t remember the Yak recorders!) Crystal then got more into Sublime and Green Day, but was reintroduced to 311 through her first serious girlfriend Jen. “Her sister Jess LOVED 311.” Then in 2006 she really fell in love with the beats and lyrics. She was working a job that required a lot of traveling and she had just bought all of their albums that had been released to date. “I worked along the east coast and spent lots of time in western North Carolina. Driving around mountains, getting lifted, and grooving in the drivers seat to 311 kinda changed my life. It slowed me down and helped me appreciate each moment in my life.”


Around 30 is the number of shows Crystal has attended. Her first was in Raleigh, North Carolina back in 2008 (setlist included below). Going to this show was a very last minute, spontaneous decision for her. “I was alone, haven’t herd of the 311 Familia yet, and had no herb on me. As soon as Snoop Dog started,  I met so many positive, sharing, and happy folks. The entire thing was pure bliss.”  While it’s hard to narrow down a favorite, since each one is so unique and holds a special place in her heart, she chose Pow Wow to take the top spot!


Asked what song means the most to her, Crystal answered, “For each album? Lol. Very hard question.”  Her list of songs includes Offbeat Bare Ass, Feels So Good, Loco, Outside, The Continuous Life, Wake Your Mind Up, Seems Uncertain, Evolution, First Straw, Don’t Tread On Me (really the whole album), I Like the Way, Time Bomb, and she said all of Stereolithic.  One of her favorite lyrics comes from “It’s Getting OK Now” – “What if there is no ending, turn from where we’ve been, to a place where all we can see is light pouring in.”

Hazleton, Pennsylvania is where Crystal Charlotte Tarone was born and raised. She and her brother Charles grew up with her grandparents. During elementary school her friends band played “Feels So Good” at a talent show. “They fawking rocked it!”

Crystal’s uncle LA was her father figure growing up and introduced her to a wide variety of music. He worked at a radio station and had an oldies show in the evening. “Sometimes I would go with him and hang out in the little studio. He showed me the basics of the sound board, and dubbing from reel to reel. I made strange mix tapes of some of my favorites songs.” Her variable taste in music is evident in her list of other artists she like, which include A Tribe Called Quest, Full Service, Paul Van Dyk, The Sisters of Mercy, Angels and Airwaves, LL Cool J, Aaliyah, Lords of Acid, Blink 182, Enya, Marc Anthony, Nine Inch Nails, Dead Kennedys, Type O Negative, NOFX, Garbage, Deftones, Orgy, Ani DiFranco, RDGLDGRN and Green Day.

After Crystal moved out on her own, she had this pull to travel and visit the world. “I would just pick up  and leave. 311 has brought me to  Raleigh NC in ’08, Live Oak FL in ’11, Miami FL and Half Moon Cay in  ’12,  Denver CO (Red Rocks) in ’13, 311 Day in New Orleans ’14, along with the motherland Omaha NE and Council Bluffs IA in ’14 for the Grassroots Festival, Myrtle Beach SC in ’14, and Las Vegas ’15. I’ve been to Vegas twice this year, once for an Excitable wedding, and then Red, White, and Boom in Mandalay Bay.”

A fact many people may not know is that Crystal is a vegetarian, which she believes is pretty interesting! She also has the unique talent of the ability to fix things. “I can be handy sometimes. I enjoy doing my own oil changes too.”  Guilty pleasure comes in musical artist form between the Spice Girls and Ricky Martin!

Crystal’s message to the band is, “I never knew the world had so many wonderful and positive folks in it before 311!”

To all those wonderful and positive folks:

“Challenge your Positivity daily !!! And I’ll see y’all in NOLA!”


And now you have met Crystal! Another great story, thanks for sharing it Crystal. Thank you all for reading as always. May your holidays be bright, warm, and full of positivity and love.

Much love! – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Phil Garis – 12/14/15


Welcome back my friends in 311 nation! Are you ready to meet the next fan spotlight?? Of course you are! Time to read about Phil Garis!

Let’s travel back to 1994, the year that Phil first heard the magical notes of 311’s music. He was at a friends house and his older brother was playing it. “Instantly fell in love with it. I begged him to dub me a tape of it. Shortly after “Down” blew up on MTV and the rest is history.”

Somewhere between twenty and thirty is where Phil’s show count is. It’s hard for him to see them a lot since they don’t come to his area that much. Of those shows his favorite is a tie between three events – 311 Day 2008, Halloween in ATL 2010, and Pow Wow.

When asked what song means the most to him, he chose “Taiyed.” “Reminds me how tiny we are in the grand scheme of things.” Favorite lyrics come from the song as well:

“See through us see a soul we have not yet

Learned to harness see the next world inside it

We are the people of skin who left water

Inside the dark womb inside of our mother

Prone to the beat and vibe of our tribe

We catch the drift and ride moving tides

Out from a love that will keep on burning

Now see yourself to the next world returning

This life an old place we face to live again

What is it to understand the hereafter.”

Phil hails from the rural suburbs of Buffalo, New York (between Buffalo and Rochester) near Lake Ontario. He grew up in a tiny town where his graduating class only existed of 92 kids. He married his high school sweetheart and they have one son together named Liam (he’s 3). Phil and his wife have been together since March 1999. He currently works in the Customer Care division at Yahoo! to fund his life and 311 habit.

311 isn’t the only band that Phil loves – he listed quite a few as his favorites and said the list could really go on and on. Some others are Deftones, Bassnectar, Highly Suspect, Jack Johnson, Beastie Boys, Charles Bradley, Red Pill, Oddisee, The Beatles, Run The Jewels, The Black Angels, Bob Marley, Eminem, the Foo Fighters, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Method Man, Redman, WuTang Clan, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Sublime (the original), Rancid, and Snapcase. His guilty pleasure is also in the musical realm. “I love “oldies” music. 50’s, 60’s, 70’s Pop/Soul/Motown/R&B etc.”

To 311, Phil would simply like to say: “Thank you for everything. It’s been an amazing 21 year journey!”

And to all the other awesome fans:

“To quote 311 – You can’t be let down if you don’t expect the world.”


And that is Phil’s story friends! Thanks, as always, for reading this and learning more about a fellow fan. As well as making my dream of writing come true, even if it’s just for fun! Love you all and remember to keep on spreading the word of 311. We need more peace & love in the world!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Torre Smith – 12/7/15

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Hello again my excitable friends! My apologies for the two week lapse in spotlights – times are busy but have no fear, the spotlight shines again! Let’s meet Torre Smith a.k.a. DJ Clickone!

Jason Gladys, a friend of Torre’s, is responsible for his introduction to 311. “He popped in a 311 tape (Music). After hearing it I was hooked!” Since then Torre has been to over a hundred shows. Out of those, his favorite is the show they played at the Roxy in Atlanta. “They played every album leading up to the Blue album.”

Song that means the most to Torre is off Music and that song is “Plain.” Favorite lyrics come from the song “Hive” – “I don’t need friends to act like foes.”

New York is where Torre grew up, although he’s now in Georgia and has been there for some time. He was raised in a very musical environment from when he was just a small child. Torre said pretty much everyone in his family has something to do with music in one way or another. Growing up he was always around DJ’s which is why he ended up becoming one himself. “I cannot go a day without music. It is a huge part of my life and makes me who I am.”

An interesting fact Torre wants you all to know is that he is an over-thinker. “My mind races a mile a minute.” Obviously he loves music and that love has given him a unique skill as well. “I hear music differently than other people. I can formulate beats in my head just from listening to the sounds outside like birds chirping, leaves brushing by, or a car going by. I can put it all together to form one beat in my head. I feel music in my soul.”  When not creating beats, and needing a guilty pleasure break, you’ll find him at the T.V. watching the show “How I Met Your Mother.”

Music is in his soul, so 311 isn’t the only bands he loves. Others include Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, NO/FX, and Pennywise.

Torre’s message to 311 is simple and full of gratitude:

“Thank you for being such a big part of my music life.”

Now to all the awesome fans in 311 nation:

“Spread love and music because music is a universal language.”


There you have Torre’s story my friends! I”m happy to have introduced him to you and thank you as always for reading! Until we meet again, keep on spreading positivity and peace.

Much love – The Runt