311 Fan Spotlight – John Katchisin – 1/25/16


Hello again friends and fans of 311!! Welcome to the next edition of the 311 fan spotlight. Start the week of right and read the story of John Katchisin!

The year 1999 is where John’s story begins. His older brother Tommy, 12 at the time, was really into the band. The two shared a room and one day before Tommy left for work he had been playing a particular song. “I remember him playing a certain song that had this really heavy guitar sound with this really cool CHUG rhythm in the intro that caught my attention. He had left the CD in the stereo an I took it upon myself to keep playing back the 1st track on the album. After that awesome guitar intro the song got really heavy with these cool swells, and DJ scratch’s, that turned into (after listening back a million times) “ARE YOU READY FOR 311?” I was instantly hooked. The song was so catchy I could not help myself but keep listening over an over again dancing around my room pretending like I already knew the lyrics.”

John took the CD out and discovered it was Soundsystem and that the song was “Freeze Time.” It was at that moment he became an excitable! He then dove deeper and deeper into their catalog of music, inevitably falling more in love. “That piccolo snare on Chad’s kit was so legit. You can pin point which song comes from what album by the sound of his snare, it’s seriously incredible. I started noticing that the most when I came across a lot their B-SIDE tracks. Another aspect is that you can take apart one of their songs an strictly listen to one band member. They all stand out on their own, they all have a voice. In the song “Running”, I always find myself humming along to P-NUT’S bass line in that track, I can’t help it, it’s so good.” John also said one of the beautiful things about their music is that there is always a lyric of theirs that will fit any situation at any point in your life.

An exact number John does not have in regards to amount of shows he’s seen. He was around 18 when he started to save the concert ticket stubs. He does know that he’s never missed a tour since 1999, plus he’s been to three 311 Day events, a cruise, and Pow Wow. So his total he says is a lot of shows! Favorite so far has been Pow Wow, with an honorable mention going to the cruise. “The Pow Wow experience for me was beyond incredible, so much so that driving back home I could not help but cry. 311 played TRANSISTOR in it’s ENTIRETY. I mean seriously, too good. What was really cool to me was camping out in the woods an meeting/forming a family of excitables. We all helped each other out the entire weekend. If someone needed anything there was always somebody in our group to help, an not even in our group, there was just someone at the festival that would reach out an help, the 311 nation was alive an kicking. All the people I met at Pow Wow I still talk to this day. We are friends for life, that’s what 311 does, they connect you to other’s. Before 311 went into their Transistor Set on the last night, before taking a short break they had closed their first set with the song, “And A Ways To Go”. It was at the ending of the song with it’s trippy bass solo S.A sing’s the lyric, “Come on yeah it will be alright, an we’re gonna take a ride I don’t know if will come back” I bursted into tears. I was so overjoyed with happiness, with my girl wrapped in my arms, the two of us singing along, I realized where I was. I was in Heaven!”

There are a lot of songs that mean a great deal to John but the one that really hits home is “Jupiter.”  “Stay Positive & Love Your Life”, I have a half sleeve tattoo on my arm with that lyric on it. Whenever I lose myself in the chaos that is life, I stop and look at my arm an take a deep breathe, an I know that everything will be alright. But it’s not just that, it reminds me of someone very special an dear to my heart. It reminds me of my Ex girlfriend. I have been, still am, an will always be in love with this woman. She changed my life, she challenged me, she opened me up to so many things an motivated me to become a better man. Unfortunately at this point in our lives we are not together, god I wish we were. Maybe it’s just not the right time an we need to focus on ourselves right now. “If it falls apart will you still be my friend”, yes it did fall apart, an yes we are still friends.” So we know one lyric that means the world to John, but he has a few others as well including, “The soul you have is Electricity,” “Take on the love and the good karma,” and “Try not to think too far ahead, the pendulum swings soon enough.”

Born and raised in Edison, New Jersey, John is also currently still living there. He’d like to live somewhere else but right now he’s saving money and working his butt off so he can’t complain. When he was just 3 years old his parents enrolled him at Metuchen Dance Centre where he began to learn all styles of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, hip-hop, musical theatre, modern and ballroom. When he was 16 he became a certified dance teacher and it was dance that got him into all different types of music. After high school he found a cool school in NYC called S.A.E. where young professionals could be trained in the art of audio engineering. He went through an intense 9 months of training and then picked up DJing as a night job. He’s been booking gigs in Manhattan and really trying to get his name out there the past few years. Once he graduated the program he got a day job as an audio technician and he gets to be in a lot of different places and meet many new people. John said it’s a bit of a struggle because he can be shy and stand offish but that 311 helps with that. “I do a lot of my work on my own so I put on some 311 throughout my whole work day an let it motivate me an help me get through my day an finish my work an relax as much as possible. I’ve realized from doing that no matter where I am, as long as I can listen to 311 at any point I am going to be just fine.”

John’s brother and sister had a big influence on his musical upbringing. Tommy worked in the music industry for 15 years so not only did he get him into 311, but also other bands like Korn, Powerman 5000, Motley Crue and System of a Down. His sister Amanda influenced him in the dance genre and he grew up listening to New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, Nsync and Salt N Pepa because of her. “I have no shame in it at all. Listening to all of these artist’s has shaped me into the man I am today. My musicality is all over the place an I love that!”

Most people don’t know that John is a professional dancer and that he has been doing it for 25 years. “People meet me or look at me and being a dancer is the absolute last thing they would think of. Which is why I love going out on the dance floor and busting a move.” John is also a self taught drummer. “Being a dancer I just had the natural rhythm in me. I was 14 an my brother’s friends band left their equipment in our basement. So I took it upon myself to get on the drums an start making some noise.” Guilty pleasure for John is WWE. He’s been a huge fan since he was a kid. “I cannot help myself. I love it, It’s basically a soap opera for men. I even had my own wrestling league with my friends when we were kids. We called it the IWF (Intense Wrestling Federation) go ahead laugh it up. I loved pretending to be the wrestlers walking down to the ring with entrance music, I thought that was so cool. I was even The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michael’s & Y2J Chris Jericho for halloween. That’s my guilty pleasure.”

John is lucky enough to have met the band and said many things to them. He even got the opportunity to sing on stage with them! (See the video here https://youtu.be/GhA_f4mFQnI). If he was face to face with the guys right now though, his message would be this: “Thank you, for everything! Please never stop making music because I am in it for the long haul!”

To all the amazing fans that make up excitable nation:

“To all the other excitable’s out there. Wether we have met yet, or not. We are already friends for life! :)”


There you have it folks, the tale of John Katchisin! What a great story and I’m glad he shared it. Thank you all for reading each week and learning more about the awesome people that make up this amazing group of fans! Keep on being you and the fantastic humans that you are.

Until we meet again! Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Carmen Taydus – 1/18/16


Welcome back 311 nation! Another week has arrived so that can only mean it’s time for the next fan spotlight. This week let’s meet the awesome Carmen Taydus!

Summer was the season and the year was 1996. Carmen was just shy of her sixteenth birthday and she had gone to visit her sister at college. She didn’t have cable at home so while at her sisters, she was glued to MTV. “When I saw (and heard) “Down” for the first time, I was hooked. I remember thinking, “WTF is going on in this video?” and “What does 3-1-1 even mean?” I watched MTV all day just to see that video over and over and over again.” Upon returning home she discovered that her friend already had the blue album and she made a copy to cassette for Carmen. They wore that album out and then discovered Music and Grassroots, then Transistor came out. “I loved that they didn’t sound like anything else at the time – they rocked, they rapped, they made weird instrumental noises, and they had such good energy at their show. I think it was the merging of rock and rap that initially made me fall in love.”

First time Carmen saw the band live was 1997. She lost track of her exact show tally but believes she is somewhere in the 20-30 range. Favorite show so far she said is a tie between the first time she saw them and the last time. “Ask me again after my next show and I’ll probably say the same. It’s always a good time at a 311 show!”


The song “It’s Alright” means a lot to Carmen and has helped her through some tough times. “Whenever I’m doubting anything, down on life, or just questioning why, “It’s Alright’ makes me feel better (I tell you it’s alright, that’s where you’re supposed to be now). I recently lost my job and was brought to tears when this song played on shuffle. It’s kind of like the saying “everything happens for a reason” mixed with the essence of a higher being and the positivity of knowing that everything is going according to plan and it’s going to get better.” Some of her favorite quotes come from various songs and include, “I always say what I feel and that is a promise, nothing in life is above being honest,” “When I look at you it’s like praying with my eyes,” and “You’re all up in my mix like fuckin’ Betty Crocker.”

A small town in northwestern Pennsylvania is where Carmen was born, then she moved to Cary, North Carolina in Kindergarten. Then in third grade she moved to a home built from scratch in Pittsboro, N.C. “Literally everything from stacking blocks and pouring concrete for the basement foundation to putting up drywall to running electricity and plumbing to the shingles on the roof. My dad says to this day I’m the best concrete mixer ever – haha. It was actually a fun learning experience and I get crazy nostalgic whenever I go to Home Depot.”

Carmen attended UNC Asheville after high school for just three semesters before leaving to go to film school at Full Sail in Winter Park, Florida. She got her degree then moved to Kennesaw, Georgia with some friends where she tried to break into the film and video business. Unfortunately she was unsuccessful, but said she made this awesome rap video about their cats with an old camera lens (you can see the video here: https://youtu.be/ZMJpTpQg2wM ). Carmen ended up moving back to North Carolina, first with her parents, then to Wilmington. It was there that she finally quit trying to get into the film business. She is now living in Asheville where she has been for the last 10 years. She was just laid off from her Social Media Manager job in December and is now looking for her next adventure and possibly a new town. “I’m single with no kids, so nothing is tying my down! As long as I can bring my dog and cat with me, I’m good. 🙂 I’ve never been to a 311 Day or on a 311 cruise – I’ve never been able to afford it….so I’m hoping my next job pays me very well and I’m able to afford all the 311 events I want to attend and all the 311 Christmas sweaters I want to wear!”

Some interesting facts you may not know about Carmen – her family is super Republican and thinks she is too, but she hates politics and if she told them she was a democrat it would be a HUGE conversation she doesn’t want to have! She also keeps buying albums on vinyl…but doesn’t own a record player. She also used to write and has a couple of notebooks chock full of weird stuff! Her secret talent is that she can do a mean Mickey Mouse impersonation! “I only do it for close friends and family and they tell me it’s pretty terrible. But I do it anyway because it makes people laugh.”

A few other artists she’s in to are Twenty One Pilots (one of her faves since seeing them live a few years ago), Atmosphere, Grouplove, Capital Cities, Sublime, RATM, RHCP, The Beatles, The Sheepdogs, Dirty Heads, RDGLDGRN, Wiz Khalifa, Justin Bieber (She said, “Yes, I’m a middle-aged woman, I know”), MisterWives, Modest Mouse, Lil Wayne, Trombone Shorty, Weezer, Tegan & Sara, Cam Meekins, Coldplay, N.E.R.D., Nirvana, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Brett Dennan, 2 Skinnee J’s. Guilty pleasure is that she loves watching American Idol. “It makes me cry, like happy tears, when people from random backgrounds have amazing talent and their families get so excited for them.”

Carmen’s message to 311 is: “I’m so happy you all found each other and thank you for staying positive and humble over all these years!”

Finally, her words to all the other fans out there:

“The world is a crazy place – let’s remember to stay positive and spread the love – it’s contagious! Hope to see y’all at a show in the near future!”


That’s Carmen’s story my friends! I loved sharing her tale and hope you enjoyed it as well. Thank you, as usual, for reading about a fellow fan! Now go spread that love like Carmen said. Until we meet again…

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Colin Rome – 1/11/2016


Happy 2016 excitable friends! Welcome to the new year’s first 311 fan spotlight. Fans come in all shapes, sizes, & age, so let’s meet a young excitable to kick this year off. Here is the story of Colin Rome!

Dad (Scott) is the reason that Colin loves 311. He listens to the band with him, most often when they are driving around. The car is the first place Colin was introduced to them. He’s already been to five shows and he’s only 9!

Of the five shows, two of them  he went to in Salt Lake City and he said they were lots of fun because some of his friends went as well. His favorite though was the Las Vegas shows this past summer. “It was 2 nights and I got to be in VIP Cabana and hang out on the beach.”

Favorite song so far is “Five of Everything” off Stereolithic. Naturally, his favorite lyrics come from that song as well – “Five of everything but I just need one.”

Colin currently lives in Salt Lake City, which he says is his favorite place. However he was born in New Orleans and has also lived in Los Angeles. Currently in the fourth grade, Colin has just started both piano and ski lessons. Since he’s only 9, he has mom and dad to help pay for him to see 311 but as he says, “Only when I do well in school and they play close by.”

As I mentioned, Colin is only 9 but he already has learned to appreciate music and is now learning to play some as well. Other bands he likes besides 311 are Black Eyed Peas and Dirty Heads. When he isn’t listening or playing music, he likes to play on hi iPad or watch Cartoon Network. “I can’t take my eyes off them when they are on.”

Something that makes Colin unique is his love of video games. Not just playing them on his X-Box one or his iPad, he also has started to design his own game. “My mom has been teaching me some coding to make a game.” Very cool!

To the awesome guys that make up 311, Colin would like to say this one sentence: “Thank you for being so nice to the fans, especially the kids.”

Now to all the amazing people in the 311 fan community:

“Thank you all for being so nice to me at the shows. I started to stand in the pit 2 years ago and the fans are so nice. They give me plenty of room and are always so nice to me. Thank you!”


There you have it folks, the awesome tale of Colin Rome! I love learning about a new generation of excitable fans, don’t you? I hope you enjoyed it as always and thank you for your continuing support of this project! Happy New Year to all…until we meet again!

Much Love – The Runt