311 Fan Spotlight – 8/28/17 – Mike Benoit!


Hello again my friends in 311 nation! New week and a new fan spotlight, so let’s get this party started! Time to meet Mike Benoit!

Mike’s story begins when he heard “Down” on the local radio station in Vermont, he was immediately hooked. He was a big Rage Against the Machine and The Offspring fan, so 311 was a good mix of them. “I believe my exact words when I heard Down was: “who the hell are THESE guys???” It wasn’t until my freshman year of college (2002) where I really started to dig in to 311. I had a roommate who had a ton of their albums. Music and Grassroots pretty much changed everything for me.”

Show count is at 10 for Mike. “Living in Vermont forces you to drive everywhere to see them with the exception of the 1 or 2 times they’ve been here. My first show was 11/13/2003 in Providence, RI at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Still one of the best 311 shows I’ve experienced (Jackolantern’s Weather, Gap, Freak Out, Don’t Dwell?!?!?!)” Favorite show so far was the Hampton Beach, New Hampshire back on 7/19/2016. “First time I heard Stealing Happy Hours and Jackpot live, both were amazing! I’ve yet to experience a 311 Day or a cruise…. hoping to change that when the next cruise is announced.”

Song that means the most to Mike was hard to choose because they have gotten him through many good and bad times in his life. “It’s really about what’s going on at the moment. If I had to pick ONE song that means the most, it would have to be Unity. I love the songs by 311 that feel like an adventure. Ones that are unexpected and don’t follow the same typical structure. Wildfire is a good example of that as well. Unity has great lyrics and it crushes live – “My bros are down for the Unity, 311 is down for the Unity, Unanimity, of the Unity.” Aside from those lyrics, Mike also likes what has become the 311 motto, “Stay positive and love your life.” His favorite SA lyric is “You’re a power spot rotating, ever-changing, Transmitting like a radio wave frequently feeling, What’s goin’ on times are weird all this static, Things erratic seems like we lost the magic, See hear how clear is inner quality, A yin and yang type of thang sacred geometry, Ascending mad energy crazy bad, You’re something NASA fuckin’ wish they had,” Favorite Nick quote is, “How can you say that you’re blue, A rich rock star you are, Yet you still complain, that’s insane, Imagine if you had a child of two, You’re a single mom, son named Tom, You work a long hard day just to bill pay, With no time to play then what would you say.”

Mike grew up in Essex, Vermont, a suburb of Burlington. He was very active growing up, playing baseball, hockey, and running cross-country. The first two were his favorites though. He is a die hard Boston fan except when it comes to football, he roots for The Raiders because his dad is from Los Angeles. Mike lived in Vermont until he graduated high school and went to college for 2 years in Smithfield, Rhode Island, which is where he really got into 311. He found that city life wasn’t for him though and moved back to Vermont because he “preferred mountain views and easy living.” “Once I got my shit together and met what would turn out to be my wife, we moved to Fairfax, VT and then St. Albans, VT. I’ve visited Paris, France, Arizona, Ohio, all of New England, Canada, and most of Florida. My wife April and I traveled 15 hours to go see 311 and the rest of the Carolina Rebellion Tour in 2014. What a crazy ass show that was!!! 50,000 people. Never seen that many people actually get along. Despite being a heavy rock festival where I thought 311 was the odd ball out band, people really got in to them! Great to see!”

Mike was in a band for about 4 years, a cover band called the EMT’s which stood for Ed, Mike, and Tim, the members of the band. “I played bass guitar and put myself in debt trying to think I had some sort of future. Being in a band is a TOUGH job.” Mentioned above is Mike’s love for hockey, and he still plays even now that he’s in his 30’s. He has two daughters, age 2 and 5, and he considers being a dad to two girls a talent! He also brews his own beer. “You name the style and I’ll brew it! I’m a Beer Wench for a few ladies from the New England area who supply them with awesome Vermont beers!”

Guilty pleasure for Mike is the T.V. show America’s Got Talent. He is also obsessed with Batman. “May as well throw Batdad in to that mix as well.” Some other musicians that he loves are Sublime, Rage Against the Machine, Green Day, Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat, Twelve Foot Ninja, Save Ferris, Reel Big Fish, Killswitch Engage, Slipknot, Anthrax, Slayer, to classic rock – AC/DC, Eric Clapton, Rush, and Metallica.

Mike has never had the opportunity to meet the band, so his message to them is this:

“To P-Nut, thank you for inspiring me to pick up a bass guitar. Him and Victor Wooten are the reasons I started playing. To the rest of the guys, thanks for helping get through all the good times and bad over the last 17 years or so. You truly have a gift when a band with all original members can continue to make amazing music and evolve all while keeping your OG sound at the same time. Because of 311, I’ve met some amazing people who I can call good friends now from all over the place. I don’t know any other band I listen to where that has happened. You show up at a 311 show, you leave with friends or “I got a clique, but it’s more like a family.”

Now to all the other awesome 311 fans:

“To 311 Nation – Stay Positive, Love Your Life. We need that more than anything right now, be kind to each other. For the rest of this, I just want to give a shout out to my Hampton Beach crew (you all know who you are) and everyone else I’ve had the pleasure to meet over the years. Thank you for making me feel welcome and contributing to some amazing 311 shows. The band may put the music out, but the fans in the crowd help seal the deal when it comes to the overall experience! Cheers!”


There you have the story of Mike Benoit (pronounced Ben-Wah just so you all know)! Thanks for being a part of this creation Mike, and thanks to all the fans who keep on reading. Such an amazing group to be a part of! Until next time.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 8/21/17 – Lauren Lowney!

Welcome back 311 nation! New week means new fan spotlight! Let’s get this party started and meet the lovely Lauren Lowney!

The year was 1996 and it was Lauren’s sister who introduced her to 311. Her sister used to drop her off at middle school on her way to high school. “A coworker of hers had let her borrow the Blue Album.  I was drawn to how different they sounded from anything else I had ever heard – I think it was the first time I actually “felt” music (I know that’s the corniest thing in the world, but it’s true).” Shortly thereafter 311 became a lifestyle for Lauren. “They are not only who I turn to during the saddest/most difficult times in my life, but also who I celebrate with during the best times in my life.  I was/still am drawn to their message of positivity and unity – about the everyday struggle to see the light instead of the dark.”

Show count for Lauren is at 38. First show happened on December 8, 1997 where she saw 311, Sugar Ray, and Incubus. Favorite event so far though was her first 311 Day in 2016. “I literally had been trying to get to a 311 Day since High School, so it was a true privilege for me to be there. I didn’t really sleep or sit down for about 2 days, but it was worth every second. I met some forever friends and got spoiled by hearing so many songs I had never heard live – including brand new ones! I hope I never miss another one.” She also said that the Transistor Anniversary show that recently happened in Houston was amazing. “I really am just so excited and happy to be a part of this groove in any way possible.”

Song she loves goes to “Unity.” She just recently realized that she goes pretty hard on that song when it’s played live. She literally knows and sings every word! She also loves the song “Gap” and some of the stuff from the archives like “Lemming” and “Earth People.” Favorite lyric comes from “Made in the Shade” – “You gotta keep on climbing the hill, cause if you think you’ll make it you will. Go swimming quick like a fish and every wish will be fulfilled. Strike up and start the blade, and when they fire that warning shot, you’ll have a spot made in the shade.”

Lauren was born in Nashville, Tennessee but really grew up in North Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For the past 5 years she’s worked in sales at a disaster restoration company, which helped fund some of her 311 habit. She moved to San Antonio, Texas, and now works at a performing arts center called The Tobin Center. “I have always wanted to work at a live venue like this, so I am very excited about the opportunity. I love knowing who’s coming to town and what’s going on around the city.”

Something cool that Lauren has done is serving an entire volleyball match for her high school team! “That’s 15 consecutive overhand serves in a row.  I was always kind of the underdog in sports because my parents didn’t kiss ass on the boosters.  The games I did get in on, I did cool stuff like this.  I loved/still love being on a team and that’s why I think I love being on the “311 team” so much.  We’re a total crew and I think it’s the best.”

Booking and artist development is something that interests Lauren and it’s because of that she was able to help book shows like Andrew WK and Def Jam Poets back in college. She is still interested in this to this day. Guilty pleasure for her is the show “Dance Moms.” “I can’t even with Abby Lee Miller – but I really can, she’s something else.  I also love watching funny cat videos on YouTube.”

When not jamming out to 311 Lauren can be found listening to Motown, The Beatles, The Clash, Incubus, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cursive, Deftones, Jimi, OutKast, A Tribe Called Quest, Death Grips, Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac, Tame Impala, Los Stellarians, Rebelution, Tupac, Nas, Weezer, and WuTang.

To the band her message is this: “Thank you for always pushing me forward – for keeping my feet on the ground and my head in clouds.”

Now to all the other amazing fans out there:

“High fives and hugs to all my fellow Excitables!”


Thanks Lauren for being a part of the spotlight and sharing your story! Thanks as always to all those that keep reading. Such a great community of fans, I don’t think this will ever stop! Go out there and spread the positivity and love. We need it for sure right now!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 8/14/17 – David Elrod!

Welcome back again excitable nation! Let’s get this party started and read the story of David Elrod!

The year was 1996 and David moved from San Francisco to Alaska. He played baseball and got to ride to an indoor practice one day with a senior player. In the car the guy was playing the Grassroots album, the song “Silver” to be exact. “I asked “Is this the Chili Peppers?” (was a huge fan).  He said “naa man, 311.” David said he didn’t think much about them again until it was 4th of July later that same year. “I befriended these amazing sisters who’s dad had a fishing boat.  He took a few friends out for the fireworks display in Juneau.  One of the sisters boyfriends put Grassroots in the entirety.  I went out and purchased that album and “Blue” (which had just been released) and never looked back.”

Show count for David is around 15, with his first show being back in 1999 is Seattle. “It was a private show that only Hive fan club members and radio winners were allowed in.  400 cap club.  Stage was 2ft off the ground.  What a night.” David wasn’t able to see 311 from 2003 until 2013. It was at the 2013 Warfield show in San Francisco that he knew he could never miss them again.  Favorite event for him so far though was 311 Day 2016. “I’ve been on the edges of becoming a true super-fan.  311 day set if off.  I made so many lifelong friends and gave fully into the “Excitable Lifestyle.”  Special thank you to Leo Saucedo, Ryan Ellison and Jessica Pursley especially making me feel at home.”

“Transistor” is the song that musically means the most to David. Chad Sexton did an interview in Modern Drummer and he had transcribed that song. “I spent every waking hour for months learning to play it.” Lyrically his favorite songs are either “Eons” or “Reconsider Everything.” One of his favorite quotes is this: “What if the truth is there is no truth? The only thing I can tell is there is no proof.”

San Francisco, California, is where David was born and raised. His parents were both professional musicians and also bike messengers. “My father’s band did pretty well in the 80’s.  They were considered “SF’s answer to REM” label before label and personal issues did the band in.  That meant I grew up in the full on Bay Area Punk scene in the 80’s-90’s.” It was after the house they lived in was sold and they were evicted that they ended up moving to Alaska. David has lived in many places including Juneau, Seattle, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and currently Berkeley, California.

David has worked in the music industry since the age of 19, first at a drum shop in Seattle and then a drum manufacturer. He was also able to take live and studio production gigs during those years. “I was able to connect with some amazing artists and eventually worked as a drum tech for people like Vinny Appice, Simon Wright, and many more.  I’ve also tour managed many bands.  I’ve played in several bands as well and still work on friends drums.”

Currently David works as the Sales Manager for Bandago, a specialty van/bus rental company. Their primary clients are in the music business and he’s worked with many artists including Snoop Dogg, Steven Tyler, and many of the bands that have opened for 311. David has also played in several bands including venerable punk rock act Agent 86, post rock group The Union Trade and Pop-Rock band Mammoth Life.

Interesting fact about David is that he is an avid cyclist. “I bike almost 20 miles a day to work and back.  Even more on weekends depending on scheduling.” David was also a two time all-state percussionist in high school. “I can play any classical or modern percussion instrument with varying amounts of success.” Guilty pleasure for David? “I love 70’s “Adult Oriented Rock” (Yaught rock) Steely Dan, Kenny Loggins, Styx etc..  Love that stuff.” Other artists he loves are Helmet, Suicidal Tendencies, Candiria, and Soundgarden. “Anthrax when I was young.  Now days it’s lot’s of Steely Dan.  Always listening to the Bay Area greats like Faith No More, Camper Van Beethoven, Exodus, etc…”

To 311, David’s message is this: “My life has not had a lot of constant.  311 has been one of them.  Now I feel like The Familia is going to be one as well.  I cherish that I’ve had a band that has meant so much to me be so consistent and so fun.  I remember as a teenager having anxiety about the future of 311.  Worrying about them some day breaking up.  It’s amazing that I can look back and not only say those fears were unfounded, but 311 has been killing it all that time.  So thank you gentleman for being a constant source of positivism in my life.”

To all the other fans:

“Y’all have helped me make myself feel more comfortable just having fun.  Thank you to my new family who accepted me as I have accepted you.  As equals, best friends and the family some of us really needed.”


That was the story of David Elrod friends! I hope you all enjoyed reading it as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for being part of this awesome community my friends! Until we meet again…

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 8/7/17 – Terri Sapp Page!

“The first time Terri met Tim, she was too overcome to take the pic, so Tim took it, “Thelma and Louise” style!”

Hello again Excitable nation! Another week is upon us and that means new fan spotlight time. This week we learn all about Terri Sapp Page!

Fall of 1992, Terri was just starting college at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. She instantly made friends with the theatre, art, and music crowd, and it was a friend from within that group that randomly gave Terri a cassette one day and said, “Terri, I think you will like this…particularly the ‘Latino rapper’ (his words, and she did).”  The cassette was Music and it was Terri’s first exposure to 311. She was immediately blown away and as each song played she became more hooked. “ Growing up, I had (and still do) Bob Marley and the Wailers, Joni Mitchell, Jamaican music, beach music, rock, industrial, and particularly rap music in heavy rotation, so I was drawn to the genre f@&k that 311 brought.  When living, working, and partying in Macon, I was regularly (and to this day with my friends) known as the 311 fanatic.  People actually associated me with 311!!!  I worked at a restaurant during the Mercer days called Music City Grill that was decorated with Capricorn Records memorabilia, with regular visits from members of associated bands and the Walden family.  Alan Walden in particular took note, due to my excitable nature, and would sometimes just give me trinkets here and there related to 311 (thanks, still!).  During this time, I did the majority of my US travel to see the band.  After I moved to Atlanta, I had to scale down the amount of travel, leaving most of my 311 shows in Atlanta (until revisiting the bucket list in the last 5 years).  Anyone who knows can imagine that there are no complaints here, because The City of Atlanta is and always has been on fire in the concert world! I am really thankful to have been in the middle/north GA area when discovering 311!”

As far as show count, when things first started, it was hard for Terri to keep track. “Most of my cross country and multiple tours up and down the East Coast were from 1994 to 1998.  From 1999 (around the time I met my “311 buddy”  Damon Eleuterius-though we found out later that I was at his first show, which was SA’s 1995 birthday in Tallahassee at the Moon where they premiered “Gap” and The Urge opened…small world) through 2013 when I started on the bucket list items, most of my shows have been in GA.  After the 2017 Tabernacle shows (which I made it to despite a short term ban from the venue for a recording incident at a Dave Chappelle show in June), I have experienced approximately 75 shows with 311 over the last 23 years.  Some of my college friends invited me to go to the Sonic Sunday festival in Atlanta in 1994 at the Masquerade Music Park, which sadly has recently been demolished in order to build condos or some crap. This festival is the first time I saw 311 and The Urge live!!!  HOOKED!”

It was hard to pin down an exact event as Terri’s favorite, because there have been so many awesome experiences. So she narrowed it down to all of the events that one of her alter egos, Rasta Raggedy Ann (born in 1995), has attended: “Halloween, 1995, Georgia Theatre, Athens, GA; Halloween, 1997, Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA; Halloween, 1999, Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA; Halloween, 2000, Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA; Halloween, 2010, Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA; and 2015 Soundsystem Jamaica Cruise.”

The song that means a lot to Terri is off of her favorite record Transistor. From the first time she heard it, it has always been “Running.” It, along with the rest of Transistor, just struck a chord with her as something different. “Then, I realized that my main man, Tim Mahoney, wrote the music!  Ever since then, I have begged for plays at shows.  “Running” is even subconsciously my song. I know this, because after returning home from the motion sickness induced-dehydrated-couldn’t keep anything down-ICU coma I ended up in between the last two shows of the 2017 Cozumel Cruise, it was the only song I recorded video the entire cruise.  I didn’t even remember them playing it until I saw it on my phone!” As far as favorite lyrics, she has two tattooed on her legs: “I have no fear of death and no fear of life” and “The continuous life, there is no end.”

Georgia has always been home for Terri. She was born on the southeast coast in the Golden Isles of Glynn County, which includes the islands of Jekyll (her favorite), St. Simons, Blythe, and Sea Island. During her younger years she trained for 11 of them in many forms of dance, she was a majorette in middle school and even a drum major leading the marching band in parades for a short time. She was also on the cheerleading squad in high school and was co-captain for JV during her sophomore year, then varsity for senior year. It should come as no surprise that Terri was voted Most Spirited in the senior superlatives at the end of her time in high school. “I have always owned my quirkiness, and had the perfect family for cultivating it.  We enjoyed family time watching In Living Color, Twin Peaks, and other fun shows, then I would sneak off to listen to Dr. Demento on the radio, and 120 Minutes on MTV.”

Terri and her family also enjoyed music together. Her Mama leaned more toward music like ABBA, The Beatles, KC and the Sunshine Band, and Earth, Wind & Fire, while dad was more of the good old timey country type, mixing in all of the many Motown artists, Prince, and Gladys Knight, who I’m told he wanted to marry until the day he died. Living on the southeast coast of Georgia allowed Terri to see many concerts in Orlando and Jacksonville, like the early Lollapalooza tours, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Reverend Horton Heat, Primus, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, and many others. The festivals also introduced her to new, great bands that became regular concerts for her over the years, like Rage, Tool, and Fishbone to name a few.

High school wasn’t the only place Terri participated in extracurricular activities. She was very busy in college and said she is still busy to this day! “I was a graphics editor for our High School literary magazine-The Rising Surf-which was fun because computers were very new, so I got to spend many days in the dark room bumping the tunes of Primus, Tori Amos, Ministry, RHCP, The Cure, and all of my favorites of that time. It was also a treat to print on an actual printing press.  I also spent a great amount of time in the library researching many countries to represent in the Model UN.  My favorite thing to participate in was our Production Company and Theatre Department, because we were always working on developing live performances.  We worked on many shows that pushed boundaries for a high school group.  Skating all the while!  My all-star flute playing auditions, cheerleading camp one year, and a theatre competition all either took place at Mercer, or were judged by the Theatre Director from Mercer University.  This is how I ended up targeting Mercer as my next step in life.”

At Mercer, Terri was able to take a variety of courses that took her “off guard in a wonderful way.”  She spent much of her time studying communications, great books, the nature and manifestations of prejudice, women’s studies, art history, and theatre, with a focus on directing, costuming, assisting in set construction, and also acting. She had a brief stint away from Mercer at Valdosta State University. There she was a DJ at the college radio station. She returned to Mercer and graduated in 1997. During her summers back home she would work as a lifeguard on Jekyll Island. “Some of my most beloved times while at home during summers was following around and stalking “the turtle girls!”  They were (are) a group on Jekyll that tracked and marked the laying eggs and hatching of the Sea Turtles.  What a beautiful reason to get in trouble for staying out all night when your parents don’t know what you are doing!!!”

After college graduation, Terri followed her Mama to Atlanta. It was then that she started seeing a ton of shows and realized that Atlanta is a favorite stop for many bands and musicians. “Since music is my life and my medicine for the soul, there are so many more concerts that the crew goes to.” The job that funds the concert and 311 habits – she started as an office/billing manager and Paralegal when she moved to Atlanta but now has her own business as a Contract Paralegal, for extra income and to help local attorneys who can’t hire a full time one. She also followed in her mother’s footsteps and started working at Georgia Power 7 years ago. “I started as a 9001:2008 ISO Lead Internal Auditor for the State of Georgia and Support Representative for the Geographic Solutions and Services Department.  Currently, I am one of two Support Representatives for the Georgia Power Transmission Control Center who operates the infrastructure of electricity for the State of Georgia.  The most rewarding part of working with Georgia Power is the Volunteer opportunities with the Citizens of Georgia Power.  We support many local charities.  Since I started with the Company, I have been on The Board of Directors, and have also served as an Officer every year in one way or another leading as President for both chapters that I have been involved in.  Giving back to the community (and an extensive iTunes library) makes the mostly awful traffic somewhat tolerable.”

An interesting fact about Terri is that she taught herself how to read music and play the flute as a child, and then ended up as an all-star concert player! She has also been skating since the 70’s and has a bit of an obsession with it. She has been a skate ref since 2012, under the name of Bunni Wailer, for the Marietta/Peach State (home league) and Macon (for fun) roller derby leagues. Unique attribute is that she can twirl fire batons and is also an animal whisperer who prefers animals to people most of the time! As far as guilty pleasures, well she says she owns the ones she has because she is, “pretty much obsessed with the art of live performance-good or bad, music, well made TV, movies, books, and my insane oddball doll collection.  I guess in the true sense of the word, my guilty pleasure would have to be tattoos, since I am a Mama’s girl, and she never wanted me to get any.  I still do.”

One thing Terri wants to say to, and about 311 is this: “I LOVE TIM MAHONEY, I love Tim Mahoney hugs, and I love Tim Mahoney’s world class guitar dance moves! Also, for fun, check out the 2012 Page “Do You Right” wedding video here: https://youtu.be/w1IC0tBGPz0

Now to all the other 311 fans:

“Since the time I was awakened to the “ginormous” crowds of Excitables, my 311 experience has been heightened and even further elevated into the cosmic trip that is and has always been my 311 life.  To quote one of my favorite director’s choices, (Twin Peaks, S2, E1) “Oooooohhhh, Mairzy doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey. A kiddley divey, too, wooden shoe! If the words sound queer and funny to your ear, a little bit jumbled and jivey, sing ‘Mares eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy’!”  Until next time, Deers!!!”

“Terri and Nick outside of the Ed Sullivan Theatre in NYC before seeing 311 play “Down” at their first late night TV appearance which was on the Late Night with David Letterman.”

There you have the interesting and entertaining story of Terri Sapp Page! Thanks Terri for being a part of the spotlight and thanks to all who are reading! Now go be awesome, I know you will!

Much love – The Runt