311 Fan Spotlight – Ian Wheeler – 3/28/2016

Me and Nick pic GOOD

Hello again Excitable friends! Guess what day it is?? Hooray it’s new fan spotlight day! Are…you…ready? Let me introduce you to Mr. Ian Wheeler!

Twenty years ago in the year 1996 Ian used to spend a lot of time at his grandparents house when his parents would go out. He always loved going there because they had cable and he was able to watch MTV. “I remember when it was the top 10 videos and 311’s “Down” was always back to back with Bone Thugs N Harmony’s “Crossroads”. The first time I watched the video for “Down” I was addicted. The funky flows SA brought out and the way they jammed in that video was just mesmerizing. The flying buddha as well. Just all and all I loved that song so much.”

Having just returned home from 311 Day, Ian is now at a show total of 91. Number 92 will come in July when he attends the Chicago show. Picking his favorite of them was a tough one. He said overall that 311 Day is really the greatest event, although the cruise is a close second. “I was actually just discussing this with my girlfriend the other day. I mean all and all the 311 Days are the best without a doubt because they play all the rare songs we never get to see live. The 311 Cruise on the other hand is one hell of an experience. I mean you are on a boat with your favorite band. This band spoils us at every event.”

The song that means the most to him at the moment is “Tranquility.” Ian unfortunately lost a good friend back in September of 2015 and it reminds him of his friend. “My best friend Daniel Gast. It was a shot to the heart. This song reminds me of him constantly. When 311 played it live with the church choir during 311 Day 2016 I lost it. Lots of tears.” Ian said really most of Stereolithic means a lot to him. “Right before this album came out a few years ago, I got to do a live filmed interview with Nick Hexum which was a dream come true.”  Favorite lyrics come from “Hydroponic” and then “Made in the Shade:” “I’m not going to waste life being hateful” and “You gotta keep on climbing the hill cuz if you think you’ll make it you will.”

Ian was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, but grew up just outside Chicago, Illinois in the suburbs.  Pretty much before any 311 event Ian can be found working as much as possible to save up for it. “I think all the fans know to just have a 311 credit card going on tap. I pretty much paid for the bands kids college tuitions already (laughs).” Ian is a local radio DJ with his own show called Wheelers Weekend Jams. He works press at a lot of concerts, events and more. “I’m throwing my first official concert coming this August in Chicago with my good buddy J. Randy who has been on all the 311 cruises. Very excited for this one.”

Honesty is a trait that flows strong in Ian. “Whatever comes to mind I will let you know. Open-minded, loving, caring and will help out anyone who needs it. I’m lucky to have amazing friends and a great family. Give me a hug and I’ll hug you right back.”  Drumming also flows strong and Ian has been playing since he was 8 years old. “Not only does drumming let you get out some aggression time to time but it has a meditation to it. I get to harness my chi. Drumming is good for the soul and drives a way the negatives. It puts life on a whole different beat. Ya feel me? (Go check out my band Coyote Man on our Facebook).”

Unique trait for Ian is that he LOVES drinking egg nog. “I think it’s the most underrated drink of all time. Why doesn’t it sell around yearly and not just Christmas and Easter?” Ian also is a huge movie fan, especially the horror genre, but he has a soft spot for romance as well. “I don’t know if it’s a guilty pleasure but some romantic stuff is not bad. Check out Sleepless in Seattle, The Notebook or The Princess Bride. Classics in my book. Deep down I’m a hopeless romantic.”

Being a DJ, there are many other artists besides 311 that Ian loves and he listens to many different types of music. Some of them include Led Zeppelin, Deftones, RX Bandits, Radiohead, Nirvana, Every time I Die, As tall as Lions, Passafire, The Beatles, Mars Volta, Die Antwoord, System of a Down, Enya, Miles Davis, Rage Against the Machine, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Beastie Boys, Ben Harper, Xavier Rudd, The Green, Van Halen, and Full Service.

Ian has a well worded message for 311: “Thank you for always being by my side with your lyrical genius swagger and (musical) sounds that bring out the best in my life.”

To all the other spectacular fans out there:

“It’s been a pleasure for all of these years seeing 311 live and meeting new faces every time. It’s been a wild ride but I wouldn’t change a minute. More than half of my good friends are 311 fans and it’s a beautiful thing. Other people who don’t understand will always ask me “Why do you go see 311 live so many times”? It’s simple. Not only does 311 put on an amazing performance every time but it’s meeting new people who are into what you are into. Thats something special. It’s like going to church every Sunday. 311 is my church. This is such a special click to be a part of and in the future there will be documentaries about 311 and this fan base. How it’s almost revolutionary in many ways. It’s funny when fans argue with each other on how many shows they have been to or how cool they are because they got a photo pass to shoot at the show. Thats cool and everything but all in all we are in this together. We are united as one. See you at shows! Everyone gather, the more the better. Peace, Love and Unity.”


Great message Ian!!! Thank you for sharing your story. I hope all you excitables enjoyed his tale of his love for 311. I’m so grateful to all who participate and those who read this spotlight each week! You are all amazing, positive people and continue to brighten my life each and every day. Until we meet again my friends…stay positive, keep smiling, and shine on!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – Julia Hockley – 3/21/16



Hello 311 excitable nation!! I hope you all had an amazing 311 Day!! Are we ready for the new fan spotlight? I think we are…so let’s meet Julia Hockley!

A record store in Atlanta is the setting for Julia’s intro to 311. It was when they were signed to Capricorn Records and the rep in her area was relentless about promoting them. “Though I very regrettably missed the first show he put me on the guest list for, he did finally get me to listen! After that first spin, I was hooked!”

The number of shows Julia has seen live? “No idea at all!” Not the normal answer but I love it. Most of the shows she’s seen were in Atlanta, but she’s also traveled to a few as well, including the most recent 311 Day in New Orleans. Her favorite show so far she said is most likely the Halloween show in Atlanta on 2010.

Favorite song is “Beautiful Disaster.”  Favorite lyric comes from “Freak Out” – “The Earth has not swallowed me yet!”

Julia was born in Atlanta, Georgia but moved around quite a bit as a kid to places including California, Texas, and Florida. However she then landed back in Georgia. She currently works as a registered Veterinary Technician at a feline only clinic. She also runs her own business caring for pets while their families are out of town.

Some other things Julia is a fan of are screen prints. “I am a huge fan of Houston based artist Jermaine Rogers.” She also loves turtles!! And while people who know her may not believe it, she’s actually a hardcore introvert with horrible social anxiety. (I’ve met her in person and can see why people don’t believe her! She’s a fabulous person!)

Julia has also seen The Grateful Dead (with Garcia) more times than she cares to admit. Another fun fact, she adores raccoons! Guilty pleasures include rap music and the movie Xanadu. Other artists she’s into are Queens of the Stoneage, Jack White, Primus, and Foo Fighters, as well as a bunch of old school and lesser known bands.

To 311, Julia’s message is: “There’s so much to say! Thank you for being a beautiful part of my life!”

Now to all the fans out there, she has the same message:

“Ditto to the prior answer. Thank you for being a beautiful part of my life!”


That is the story of Julia my friends! Thank you as usual for reading and learning more about this awesome chica. Hope you all get to meet her in person one day!! Until we meet again, keep on being awesome and spreading that positive vibe.

Much love! – The Runt


311 Fan Spotlight – Katie Sluhan – 3/7/16


Hello excitable nation!! Happy 311 Day week!! What better way to start it than by reading about a fellow fan. Let’s meet this weeks spotlight – Katie Sluhan!

A self-proclaimed “newbie,” Katie didn’t become a super fan until 2013. She had always liked the band and the music she heard on the radio, but she really got into them when she met her now husband a few weeks before he went on one of the cruises. “While he was gone, I did some research and downloaded their albums to see what they were about (and to impress him with my 311 knowledge). Turned our the songs that were not on the radio were their best songs and haven’t stopped listening since!”

Show tally so far is at four which includes 311 Day 2014. Favorite so far was Red Rocks in 2013. “It was my first show and I was hooked! Met so many great people and is hands down the best concert I have ever been to.”

The song “Two Drops in the Ocean” is Katie’s favorite song and rightly so – it was her and her husbands first dance song at their wedding! “I think the lyrics suit our relationship and the melody is something different (which I like about it). I think everyone would have been more surprised if we did not dance to a 311 song.” Two of her favorite lyrics are, “Stay positive and love your life” and “Fuck the naysayers.”

St. Louis, Missouri is where Katie was born, raised, and still lives. She is one of six kids, an aunt to four and great aunt to two. “I spoil them all like their my own. Love coming from a big family!” Katie currently works on the Washington University campus where she “keeps all the students fed and caffeinated” by overseeing a café, Starbucks, and Einstein Bagels. To fund all the trips she likes to take, she does a lot of research studies within the university. “Currently I am doing a study on high fructose corn syrup and the effects on the liver, getting paid $1200 for it.”

On December 12, 2015 she married the love of her life in a fairy tale wedding.  While they opted out of 311 Day this year due to this, they are going to Alaska in December to see the Northern lights! “Traveling is my passion and plan on going to as many places a as possible before kids come in the picture. I turn 30 in August and still feel like there is a lot I need to do in life!” Even with Katie’s mom passing away in October, and missing her every day, she has managed to keep her positivity. “One thing she gave me was my positive outlook on life and focus on the dash (the dash between your birth year and death). Life is too short to stay at home and be negative.”

Something many don’t know – Katie is studying to become a coffee master. “It is described as the sommelier of coffee. It also has made me a coffee snob. Have to French press everything now!” So we know that she makes a really good cup of coffee but another talent she says she has is that she’s really good at flip cup! (Everyone keep that in mind if she goes on a cruise and there’s a flip cup tournament). Guilty pleasure comes in the shape of clothing – work out clothes to be exact. “I swear I have enough black yoga pants and motivational shirts to not do laundry for a month!”

One of Katie’s other favorite bands is The Urge and she is lucky enough to live really close to Steve Ewing’s (the lead singer) hot dog shop! “I even got some wedding pictures there with him! It was a surprise to the whole wedding party, including my husband.”

Katie says she turns into a huge blob when she meets celebrities, so to avoid that, she’d like to send this message to 311 here: “Thank you for keeping it real and promoting positivity.”

Thankfully she won’t turn into a blob sending this message to all the other amazing 311 fans out there:

“This has always been my favorite quote and a motto I live by “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

—Mark Twain


That my friends was the story of Katie Sluhan! And what a great story it was. Thank you Katie for sharing it and being the fan spotlight this week! Now everyone, go out, be positive and make someone smile. And of course, have the best 311 Day you possibly can!!! Love you all!

-The Runt