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