311 Fan Spotlight – 5/15/2017 – Megan McTigue!

Hello excitable family! It’s that time again, here we go with a brand new fan spotlight. This week I introduce you to the amazing and wonderful Megan McTigue!

High school era, in the mid 90’s, was when Megan received her introduction to 311. “I vividly remember going on a yearly mandatory family summer vacation & playing my Blue album nonstop (which was on cassette!!). Their sound was so refreshing, I just couldn’t get enough. A few years later, I met one of my best friends at work and he was a huge fan. He formally introduced & educated me on the world that is 311… and I’ve never looked back.”

Over the years it’s been hard for Megan to keep track of her exact show count, but she believes it’s somewhere between 50-60. Her very first show was at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC on October 7, 2001 and she is very excited that 311 is returning there this summer! “It’s gonna be very nostalgic for me :-).”  This is also the show she said is hands down her favorite so far. “That night completely changed my life; I was a different person leaving that venue than the one that had entered it. Their sound was like nothing I had ever heard before… mixing those intense guitar riffs with an awesome melody, a beat that could make anybody move & a unified positive message… it’s just everything. The energy between everyone in the crowd was palpable, the sound the band was blessing us with was SO dynamic, and I honestly have viewed life in a different way since then. To say I had an epiphany is an understatement. We should all be at one with each other with positive hearts, and I think 311 fans are more aware of that than others. Life is filled with so much beauty & wonder, with endless possibilities, and I consciously started recognizing that notion after that night. I’m so incredibly thankful for that night & everyone I was with.”

As for favorite song, Megan narrowed it down to three because it’s like choosing a favorite child. Number one is “Tribute” which has always been a huge favorite. “Something about that rough guitar progression & the rhyming makes it so hard not to get totally into it every single time you hear it.” Second for her would be “Unity.” “I wholeheartedly believe in the message of the song (I have it tattooed on my shoulder lol), and it brings people together at a live show like I have never seen  – and I go to a lot of shows.” Final choice is “Eons.” “During that very first show, something mentally changed for me; specifically during this song. A switch flipped and I just got completely overwhelmed with emotion. Listening to SA’s harmony, which was so unexpectedly beautiful, and just feeling so at one with everyone there, I don’t know how to really explain it but I will never forget that feeling.”

Favorite lyrics, well she says, “There are so many prophetic statements in their lyrics that are relevant to not only my life but humanity in general, so I often spit out a lyric in general conversation with people – only the “sick tight” individuals know the significance.” So she really can’t just nail down a favorite per se because it all depends on the situation. However, the signature in her email says, “Be positive with life, just see the good in everybody.”

Born and raised in Northern New Jersey, Megan grew up about 20 minutes north of New York City and is the eldest of three children. It was the young age of 9 months that she was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy while her mother was pregnant with her sister. “She noticed I was speaking much more than I should be for my age, and I wasn’t really moving, so that’s how we knew. My mind was over developing intellectually because it wasn’t developing physically. My parents divorced shortly after my sisters birth & my mom remarried my stepfather 3 years later and had my brother. While my life is different from others, I lead a very full & normal (whatever the hell that is lol) life. In my family, no excuses or exemptions were ever made for me; if something was expected of me, I had to figure out a way of making it happen and I think growing up that way has made me the extremely strong individual I am today. I am most likely the most independent, physically dependent person you will ever meet. I was the 1st person in the state of New Jersey who was differently-abled to be fully mainstreamed in regular classes, including Phys Ed.”

Megan’s brother is also a huge 311 fan and they go to many shows together. She also lived in Miami for a short bit, but she said it just wasn’t for her. “It’s hard to take the Jersey out of a Jersey girl.” She works two part time jobs to support her 311 addiction!

“A few days a week I work at a privately owned food store & 5-6 days a week in the afternoons/evenings I tutor. I’m a very Type-A personality, I like to be busy all the time, but definitely know how to chill when need be. In college, I majored in Music Business, absolutely loved every minute of it, and graduated with a 3.7 GPA. Life the beautiful thing and I love every moment of it. It’s super unconventional, often crazy… but overwhelmingly beautiful, and I try to keep that in the forefront of my mind at all times & allow my positive spirit to do good for others.”

A tidbit of information that most don’t know about Megan – she is a published author! It’s under a different name, but she dedicated an entire chapter to 311! Something that makes her unique is that she can wiggle her ears, independently, at the same time! Guilty pleasure? “I love reality TV, don’t hate. These people are crazy & it’s so damn entertaining.”

When not jamming out to 311 or working to support the habit, she can be found listening to other artists like Metallica (her first concert ever back in 1994), Deftones, Radiohead, Snoop Dogg, Thursday, The Cure, Against Me!, Explosions in the Sky, Dr. Dre, Coldplay, The Police, Depeche Mode, Steely Dan, Hall & Oates, Journey, and Jimmy Cliff. She also often purchases soundtracks “because it’s a great mix of usually great tunes.”

Megan’s message to 311 is this: “Your art has changed my life and the words “thank you” will never be enough.”

Her message to all the other fans is simple and perfect:

“See you at the shows!”


And that is Miss Megan’s amazing story of her love for 311 and life! Thank you Megan for being a part of this, you rock! To all those reading, you rock as well. How lucky are we to be a part of this amazing community of fans with such a positive influence like 311 in our lives? Go be awesome my friends, see you next time!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 5/8/17 – Eric Girard!

Hey all of you beautiful people out there in excitable nation! Is everyone ready to meet another amazing fan? This week we feature Mr. Eric Girard!

The decade was the 90’s and Eric was in Chicago listening to the radio station Q101 when he first heard the sounds of 311. The station would play “Down” or “Homebrew” and he liked the style of the songs. Occasionally they would also play “Do You Right.” Then in 1997 a new kid named Mike came to his neighborhood and they became best friends. They were hanging around one day and Eric was going through Mike’s CD collection. Eric rattled off bands including 311 and asked Mike what they should listen to. Mike said out of all of them 311 is his favorite, so Eric threw on the blue album and after they listened to that all the way through, then they listened to Grassroots, and then Transistor. “I got hooked on it.  I played that out, still do, 20 years later.  In high school Mike and I started getting really into punk music, but 311 was still our favorite band.  The music always kept us interested and you could listen to it non stop without it growing old.  The eclectic mix of styles was also refreshing.  We would go to punk shows and it would be a way different energy, style and message then what 311 said to us.  Punk was “fuck the man, change the system” where 311 was “be positive and do what thou wilt”.  I was always drawn to that.  The open-mindedness, positivity, inclusivity and a fucking amazing time.  The music doesn’t stop either.  I have gotten sick of music, but I’ve never gotten sick of 311… as corny as that sounds.”

100 is the show count for Eric currently. Anaheim, California at the House of Blues was where he hit that magical 100. His first show ever was on March 21, 2000, at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Illinois. “My friend and I had been listening to 311 nonstop for 3 years before we asked to go to a concert.  To our amazement both of our parents said yes, and his mom even drove us to the concert, because we were only 15.  I remember sitting in the car actually wondering if they would play “Down”, oh how naïve I was.  We met the band, got all our stuff signed, the show was beyond anything I could have imagined.  Hooked for life.”

For a long time Eric would have said that the 311 Day events he went to were his favorite shows, but then they played Transistor in full and it was like the cherry on top. But then he met his now fiancé Vanessa. “She brought me on Cruise IV.  That blew my mind.  Cruises, by far, for me are the best thing 311 does.  Get over the sea sickness and constant cruise food and you have three of the best 311 shows you could ever hope for in a lifetime.  The atmosphere with the fans is something you could not even make up.  Everyone is happy, the energy on the boat is almost electric with the excitement leading up to each show.  …and 311 brings it.  They bring it harder on the Cruise than I have seen in any other format.  311 Days, small clubs, large amphitheaters, no where beats the Lido Deck… except, maybe, The Hive.”

There isn’t just one song for Eric that means the most to him. “I take the collective 311 and relate it to my life.  Certain songs have brought out so much in me over the years, to single one out would be unfair to the other periods of my life.” Some songs he did say that are meaningful to him are “No Control,” “Evolution,” and “Time is Precious.” Then he said songs he thinks are awesome are “Let the Cards Fall,” “Random,” and “Visit.”

Favorite lyric for Eric is, “So many people don’t even attempt to understand, the limitless possibilities of man.” “This lyric transcends the song its in, but is quintessential of what 311 to me is about.  The music is always encouraging you to do better things with your life.  I firmly believe that you can change the world if you want to, you just have to go out and do it.  Lyrics like this is in songs, for me, remind me of these things.  When I was younger I looked for people, organizations, things, bands, anything really to help guide me in the right directions in life.  I am happy I found a band that not only rocks, but supports a healthy individual in society that contributes to the overall wellbeing of everyone around them.” He also loves, “Fuck the naysayers.” He said it’s pretty much an anthem for him. “People constantly will tell you the things you cannot achieve.  Show them you can.”

Eric grew up 60 miles south of Chicago, in a town called Bourbonnais. As a kid the Chicago Bears training camp was there, but he said other than that it was a very economically depressed area of the country. He attended college in Illinois and Indiana,  then enlisted in the Navy. “I was trained in Pensacola, Florida and was stationed in Maryland at the NSA (National Security Agency).  After the Navy I wanted to live in NYC, so the day I got out of the Navy I packed up a uHaul and drove it up 95.  On the way I found an apartment on craigslist using my iPhone, got to the place, took a look around and signed the lease.  I took a year off exploring around the city before getting a job working in Television.” Eric started working at NBC and helped them build new systems and broadcast events like the Superbowl, the Olympics and NHL playoffs. “I am humbled to have been awarded an Emmy by the National Academy of Arts and Sciences for being on the team that helped pioneer pay tv to the end user using an IP Infrastructure.  In layman’s terms, I have been extremely fortunate to have a job I enjoy that has been motivated by my general curiosity of technology.”

Eric and his fiancé Vanessa just recently relocated to Santa Monica, California. He said they did it to push themselves to the best quality of life they could imagine. “In my life I try to remain positive, while being practical, knowing who I am and where I want to see myself in the future.  All that while going to as many 311 shows as I can fit in, haha.”

Many of you may know this already, but it was Eric who started doing the #311CouchTour because he didn’t like the quality of YouTube videos that were online, plus the fact that 311 doesn’t sell their concerts online anymore. He only had them stored on his phone and memory cards until people started asking him to share them in Facebook groups or on YouTube. “Once FB: Live became a thing I streamed a portion of the 311 show in SLC, Utah.  Then someone enjoyed that so much they asked me to stream the entire show in the Familia.  That is how this whole thing started.  People wanting to watch their favorite band, and some crazy dude that had a crude way to make it happen.  I hope to continue doing this project, but turn it into a real product that 311 could use one day.”

Something you may now know about Eric, he wrote a poem in the 8th grade, titled “Unique,” that ended up published in a book alongside other poets. Something else that he thinks make him stand out is that he’s really good at troubleshooting problems and finding solutions. “I know that sounds super boring, but I’m pretty good at it.” Guilty pleasure? “I sit on social media a lot. Nasty habit.” Other than 311, Eric has always been drawn to punk, ska, and bluesy, funky rock. He loves artists like The Rolling Stones, Specials, and Talking Heads. His current Spotify list includes Beta Band, Kendrick Lamar, and Jamiroquai.

Eric’s message for 311 is this: “Invest and pioneer the way bands will work together in the future.”

Eric’s message to all the other fans out there comes from this video:



Love that final message Eric! Thanks for being a part of the fan spotlight. I loved writing your story and I hope everyone enjoyed learning about Eric! And thanks Eric for the couch tour, I know I’ve enjoyed it when I can’t be at shows in person! Thanks to all who keep reading every week. This community of fans is just amazing! Until we meet again my friends.

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 5/1/17 – Aaron Kaloustian!

What’s up 311 nation! It’s that time of the week where we get to learn all about a new fan. This weeks fan spotlight takes aim at Aaron Kaloustian!

Like many, Aaron’s story of his love for 311 begins in the year 1995. He saw them on MTV and while he can’t remember exactly what video it was, he ran right out and bought the blue album.

From 1996 until 2001 Aaron was seeing 311 live as he lived in Los Angeles, but he didn’t keep count so he has no idea how many times he saw them then. The recent ones he has kept track of though and since the 2015 Red, White & Boom show he’s seen them 11 times. Aaron said he can’t really say he has an exact favorite show. He’s been to 311 Day in Vegas and the cruise and thought they were all great events. With that being said he said the show where Shaq flew in on a helicopter and played “Psycho” with 311 was a great show. “The best part about 311 shows is seeing all my friends from all over the country!”

While Aaron doesn’t really have a song that means the most to him, the song “Outside” is one that he really enjoys. “There is something about that song that just puts me in such a great mood.” He also really loves “Feels So Good” and seeing it live.  “It really gets me going.”

Aaron grew up in Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, a small town in the Sierra Mountains. He moved to L.A. in 1995 and really loved living there for the music, he saw lots of great shows. “The shows are the only thing I miss about L.A.”  He moved back to Tahoe in 2001 and started working on boats. He lived there until 2011 when he ended up moving to Seattle, Washington since he figured there were lots of boats that could be worked on. “Moving to seattle was the best thing that has happen to me. Since I moved here I have met my best friend and wife Christa Dohy who has connected me back to this awesome 311 community. where I have met so many new and old friend . I have got married. all I can say is that I love my life!”

Working on boats is what Aaron says makes him unique and he loves doing it. Guilty pleasure for him is video games. “Yes I still play video games at 43 lol.” Other musicians Aaron enjoys are Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Incubus, Primus, Sublime, Ballyhoo!, and Zero. “I could go on and on.”

Aaron’s message to 311 – “Thanks for bringing such a great group of people together. Now I have awesome friends all over the country.”

To all the other fans, his message is simple:

“Thanks for checking out my spotlight!”


Now you have all met Aaron Kaloustian! Another fan spotlight is in the books. Like Aaron said, thanks for checking out his story and I hope you all have an amazing week!

Much love – The Runt