Welcome back 311 nation!! I hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving (if you’re livin’ and rockin’ in the U.S.A. of course). Now it’s time to kick off the holiday season and what better way to do it than with the new fan spotlight! It’s time to meet Joshua Shelton!
Summer of 1997 is when Josh’s love for 311 begins. While watching MTV, on came a video with a spinning, future-like minimalistic T.V. He said something just connected to him at that moment. “Metal guitars, vocal effects, chill beats, then back again with a heavy finish… the song was Transistor and that was the first time I know of that I actually heard 311.” A few days later while riding in the car with his father, he asked what that song he had heard on MTV was…something “supersister.” It was that same day that the universe aligned and Josh happened to stumble across the Transistor cassette tape at Best Buy. “I put that tape in my old-school stereo and it was immediately confirmed *this* was a vibe I wanted more of. Then Galaxy>Beautiful Disaster played and I was forever sold. Since I was just 11 years old at the time, I don’t think I was really prepared to digest what I was hearing content-wise: lyrically and musically. Yet I was hooked, and a few months later I got the Blue album. I listened to both of these damn near nonstop for around two years (Beastie Boy’s Hello Nasty and The Offspring’s Americana was in that rotation too), until Soundsystem came out. It’s like 311’s been in my blood ever since that first time in ’97.”
Four states and ten shows is where Josh is at for seeing 311 live. “The thing about being a 311 fan is that whether it’s your 2nd show or your 100th show, we’re all one in the same- we the 311 Nation all share the unity, appreciation, and dedication. Can’t wait for show #11 though!” Josh said that each experience is special in it’s own way. 311 Day 2012 in Vegas and then 2016 in New Orleans are high up the list. However he said Grassroots Fest 2014 was like a family reunion…literally, since he was in the VIP section with many of the bands family members. “The last time they were in Minneapolis I was front and center on the rail. Times like that, and anytime you get to meet one of the guys, whether backstage or outside the venue, always makes for a real memorable experience.”
When it comes to favorite songs, Josh says he has a list of his “Top 11” songs that he is constantly re-evaluating. One that he keeps coming back to and that has personal significance is “Strong All Along.” “As an impressionable young teenager at the time it was released, that song gave me the freedom to explore who I was, who I was going to be, and just the confidence to grow into that. More recently would be Simplify– before my daughter was born I included that song on a mix I made for her, as an encouragement to life as she would soon be starting hers.” As far as favorite lyrics, he said the possibilities are endless but in the end it all comes down to “Stay positive and love your life.”
Twin Cities, Minnesota is where Josh grew up. Then he attended college in downtown Chicago and after that moved out to the great city of Seattle, Washington for a few years with his wife. They are currently back in MN. When in Seattle, Josh was a barista and would use his tips to fund his 311 adventures, but now he says it’s all about careful planning and making sure his amazing wife is okay with everything!
One thing Josh loves is being a daddy to his almost one year old daughter. “When she was born preemie, she literally weighed 3 lbs 11oz. (the band signed her birth announcement which is now obviously proudly displayed).” Josh has been happily married to his wife for almost seven years and they enjoy family walks around the lake, making their daughter laugh and dreaming big dreams together.
Some things Josh personally enjoys is creative writing, as well as reading, art, design, shooting on his GoPro, mentoring students, snowboarding, wake boarding, fitness and working out. He also loves to travel, stargaze, listen to live music, watching the Seattle Seahawks, and all things X-Files (as well as Twin Peaks and Grey’s Anatomy). When not listening to 311, Josh can be found listening to other favorites like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews Band, U2, MuteMath, Project 86, Mae, Tristan Prettyman, Bob Marley, and Jason Mraz.
Things that make Josh unique are as follows: He used to play rugby in high school and after college; the sustained a spinal injury from a wake boarding accident; While working at the flagship Gap in Chicago, he sold President Barack Obama (then senator) a pair of jeans; And finally he can rap just about anything while driving alone. Guilty pleasure comes in food form – he loves a good doughnut (like Top Pot in Seattle, Glam Doll in Minneapolis or Voodoo in Portland). He said it also compliments his black coffee addiction. He also said he goes to Target about “9 days a week” and spends a small fortune on Starbucks coffee every month.
Josh’s message to 311 is a simple and meaningful one: “Much gratitude for forever following your passion(s)- your impact on me personally has been truly life-changing!”
Now to all the other awesome fans out there:
“Something recently that’s been on my mind is the idea of only giving energy to the things which matter most… I encourage you to consider what this might look like in your life. The other thing I would say, and I say often, is “Stay Fresh” :)”
That is the story of Mr. Joshua Shelton my friends! I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you all for being the wonderful, positive human beings that you are. Until we meet again…simply “Stay Fresh” as Josh would say! 🙂
Much love – The Runt