311 Fan Spotlight – 10/30/2017 – Melissa Lovejoy!

Hello again to all out there in 311 nation! New fan spotlight time has arrived and this week we get to learn all about Melissa Lovejoy!

It was the era of the blue album and Transistor when Melissa found the magical sounds of 311. However it was when Soundsystem was released that she really got into them more. “Soundsystem really drew me into their unique sound and inspiring philosophies.”

Since discovering 311 Melissa has seen them live 15 times, the first one being 15 years ago at The University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire. Favorite shows so far were the ones she just attended this year on the cruise, which was her first cruise.

Song that means the most to Melissa is “Large in the Margin.” As far as favorite lyrics, she has a few that stand out to her: “Every time you will ignore your heart it will come back twice more, never deny your own instinct, reconsider everything,” “I’ve got a mind full of weapons in the battle of me versus myself, and everything that I’ve kept in, I’m finding the courage to tell,” “The jaded one’s will wither while the optimistic grow,” and

“Do what you feel the more absurd the better.”

Melissa was born and raised a “Masshole.” (Massachusetts born just in case people don’t know that term!) Currently she lives in Tampa, Florida. Processing mortgage loans is how she funds her 311 habit, but she is really a massage therapist at heart. “I practiced for 10 years up north.”

Music is a huge part of Melissa’s life and naming favorite musicians could take her days. Right now she is really into reggae rock and hip hop when not listening to 311.

Interesting fact about Melissa? “I had never seen the Star Wars films until a few months ago.” Something that makes her unique are her eyes. “I was born with bilateral Coloboma of the iris, which is why my pupils are shaped like keyholes. It’s not super unique, but the odds are less than 1 in every 10,000 births.”

Guilty pleasure for Melissa is the movie Titanic. “It makes me cry like a little bitch every time I watch it.”

On the cruise when Melissa went to take her photo with the band, she managed to tell them “Thank you for everything.” She said if she had the time, she would dive more into thanking them for how positively they have influenced her life.

Finally, Melissa has this message for all her fellow fans:

“Familia, I love geeking out over 311 with you! Don’t be a stranger ;)”

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That’s Melissa Lovejoy’s story! Thanks for sharing Melissa and thanks to everyone for reading. Time to go out there and spread that peace, love, unity and respect. Keep being awesome!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/23/2017 – Matt Brill!

Hello again to all out there in 311 nation! How’s everybody feeling? Hopefully good and ready to take on a new week. Let’s start it off and meet the next 311 fan spotlight, Mr. Matt Brill!

The love for 311 began for Matt when he was around the age of 13 or 14. He can remember the precise moment like it was yesterday. “I was hanging out with my best friend back then, John Mock. We’re in his basement. He turns on his stereo to ridiculously loud proportions. It was the song “Down” rattling his entire house. From that very moment I fell in love with 311.” Matt ran out and bought the blue album, then shortly after he found Grassroots. “I can’t really determine what drew me to them back in those days but it happened effortlessly. I instantly fell in love. 311, along with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, are the two groups that brought me into music and became the styles I love to this day.”

Show count is uncertain for Matt. He stopped counting when he reached the 40’s and that was four years ago. His estimate is somewhere in the 60’s now. “My first show was back in 1999 in Madison, Wisconsin at the Exhibition Hall. Madison being Nick Hexum’s city of birth!” Favorite event so far was the second cruise. “I got front row for the first night show, the Lido deck show. I remember running full speed up many levels of stairways with my buddy Jermaine to get that position. Spending multiple days, on a boat, with some of my best friends was surreal. And it was just us 311 fans. No cars, no traffic, no news, no TV, no cellphones. It was beautiful! That was an amazing overall experience. And the island show. Wow! To see 311 play on a Caribbean island!”

There isn’t just one song that means the most to Matt out of 311’s catalog. “There’s so many, collectively, that have different meanings for me depending on my current life situations.” One lyric that Matt loves though is, “The fish who keeps on swimming is the first to chill upstream.” He said it reminds him of his entire life’s journey. “Never giving up no matter what. And with much sacrifice now, comes much better things in the future.”

Janesville, Wisconsin, is where Matt was born and he lived there for his first 32 years on this planet. He and his sister were raised by their single mother and his grandfather was his father figure who taught him how to be a man. In 2015 Matt moved to Detroit, Michigan, to be near his mother, stepdad, and two little brothers, and also for a job working at Ford Motor Company. “My 311 habit is funded by my job at Ford and investments. Back in Wisconsin it was very much funded by “WGTH” sales.”

Interesting fact that Matt says most don’t know about him? “In my younger days I did jail time for stealing a Glock 40, bulletproof vest, and hundreds of hollow point rounds off of a S.W.A.T. team officer. Oops!” Something that makes him special is his frugality. “I know how to get rich by living like I’m poor. I have an exceptional ability to find the best deals and values in every aspect of my life. Sacrifice!” Guilty pleasure for Matt is The Walking Dead. “I love that show! I attend the conventions, meet the actors, know all of their real names, etc.”

Mentioned earlier, another musical talent that Matt loves is Bones Thugs-N-Harmony. He also loves Pink Floyd to name another one. “I fell in love with BTNH right about the same time as I got into 311. From what I remember, the videos for “Tha Crossroads” and “Down” were on MTV at the same time.  I fell in love with Pink Floyd my senior year of high school. My friends and I used to drive around the countrysides of Wisconsin, smoking herb, and Pink Floyd always was the perfect background music to those adventures.”

Matt’s message to 311 is simple yet powerful: “THANK YOU FOR SAVING MY LIFE.”

His message to all his fellow 311 fans is just as simple and powerful:

“Be different.”

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Thank you Matt Brill for sharing your story of your love for 311! It was a pleasure to learn more about Matt and I hope everyone reading enjoyed his tale. Thank you of course for reading each week, and being part of this amazing group of fans. Until we meet again, stay positive and love your life!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/16/17 – Brett Kondrat!

Will Byington Photography © 2017

Welcome again to all those out there in 311 nation! The time is here to introduce the next fan spotlight. Meet Brett Kondrat!

Love for 311 began in the mid 90’s for Brett, back when he was a skater kid. He gives credit to B Love, Brian Smith, and Arlo Eisenberg for his introduction to the band. It was 1995 and they had made a rollerblading video called The Hoax 2. “These guys were my hero’s and they were skating to 311’s music in a few sections of this epic skate video. Arlo owned a skate brand called Senate, it was like the Nike of rollerblading at the time. Nick used to wear Senate tank tops on stage and they became known as a cool band to us skater kids. In 1997 other kids were buying Jordan’s shoes and Deon Sander’s jerseys. B Love had his own signature pro wheels and the artwork on the packaging was styled after the album cover for Music. B Love was standing there pointing right at you. I was like 12, but I saved my money and bought 2 sets of those wheels, I honestly cherished them. I only skated them on wood ramps at the skate park so they wouldn’t get worn out on the street! And I still have them.”

Show count is at 72 for Brett, including six 311 Day events and all 5 cruises. First show was in 2001 at the Warped Tour in Dallas, Texas. The ever hard question to answer was what Brett’s favorite show was. “I would have to say watching Transistor in its entirety at The Pow Wow was the best night of music I have ever seen. Honorable mention to the Unity Orchestra at 311 Day and watching them while floating in paradise at Half Moon Cay.”

Song that Brett loves is “Reggae Got Soul” and he hopes that the band plays it live one day. He couldn’t pick just one song that really means the most to him though. “It’s impossible to pick one. The Continuous Life or Welcome live with the intro are favorites. The song that means the most to me is the one that’s making me feel awesome while I’m listening to it.” A few lyrics that stand out to him as favorites are, “Don’t let the fear get you,” “It’s not ambiguous, it be continuous, it’s all about us, it’s for real my man. The continuous life there is no end, moving through life, moving through death,” and “Damn, you’re a shame, no thank you ma’am, Bitch!”

A small town in Western Massachusetts is where Brett grew up, but he moved to Dallas, Texas when he was 11 years old. He just moved to Denver, Colorado a month ago and so far he loves it. How he funds his 311 habit is by his creation of a lighter called The Wick Light. He sells them online and at retail stores.

One thing Brett believes about 311’s music is that Evolver doesn’t really get the credit it deserves. “That record has Creatures, Beyond the Grey Sky, and Jacks rule the realm and it’s only 11 songs… just sayin’.” When 311 isn’t bumping at Brett’s home, his ears are entertained by musicians like Full Service, Killswitch Engage, Pepper, All That Remains, Times of Grace, Mastodon, and lately a lot of Tom Petty.

At the age of 33, Brett still hits up the skate parks. “I don’t want to grow up.” Guilty pleasure for Brett is the T.V. show The Sopranos. “I have an unhealthy obsession with it. I lost count of how many times I’ve watched it.”

To 311, Brett’s message is: “Thank you for creating beautiful art that brings us together, encourages us to live well and think deeply about ourselves, others, and the universe.”

To all the other awesome fans:

“Thank you all for being the greatest group of positive humans that has ever been assembled. I love you all, see you at 311 Day!”

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Thank you Brett for sharing your story with the best fans in the world! Thank you to all that continue reading. Time to go out there and be awesome, spread that love and unity to all!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 10/2/2017 – Rob Montano!

Will Byington Photography © 2017

Welcome back my excitable friends out in 311 nation! Are we all ready to start the new week off right? Let’s do it by reading the next fan spotlight. Meet Rob Montano!

The radio stations DC101 and 99.1 WHFS were local radio stations that Rob listened to and it was there that he first heard the magical sounds of 311. “I bought the blue album when it first came out and didn’t look back. My older sister was a fan too.”

First show for Rob was back in 2002 at the Nissan Pavilion for the Sprite Liquid Mix tour. Since then he has attended 71 shows total. Favorite of those 71 shows goes to the first show on the last cruise this year and it is for a very awesome reason. “I proposed to my longtime girlfriend Caitlin during the sail away show! Then we popped the biggest bottle of champagne to celebrate!”

Song that means the most to Rob is “All Mixed Up” and it has a special meaning to he and his fiancé. “I had always be mine engraved on my fiancés ring.” Favorite lyric comes from the song “Plain” – “Life’s a bowl of punch, go ahead and spike it.”

Rob was born and raised in Maryland, still residing there to this day. He lives in Montgomery County with his fiancé Caitlin. Currently he is attending school at University of Maryland University College. He is working towards a degree in Cybersecurity and also working full time so he can keep funding his 311 habit! He is very excited to get into the IT field of work. He also has his hands full taking care of their 2 year old puggle P-Nut. “He keeps us on our toes. He enjoys when we have friends come visit, especially our 311 friends.”

Cool piece of information about Rob, his brother lives in Milan, Italy, and his sister lives in London, England. “We just traveled to Scotland for my sisters wedding. I now have a British brother in law. I’m also about to be an Uncle in March.” Something else Rob says some might not know is that he played hockey in high school.

It was in high school where Rob met Caitlin, so he really proposed to his high school sweetheart, not something that happens very often! “We bonded over 311 in computer class and the rest is history.” Some things Rob loves (besides Caitlin) are playing golf, traveling (not just for 311), and going to Bethany Beach, Delaware. When not listening to 311 he can be found rocking out to Tipper, Pretty Lights, Ballyhoo!, Sound Tribe, Ganja White Night, Ott, Jade Cicada, Bogtrotter, Shpongle, Bassnectar, SOJA, and Stick Figure.

To 311, Rob’s message is: “Thank you for everything you have done over the last 27 years and also helping me meet a ton of great people….like Chrissy!”

Now his simple and sweet message to all the other fans!

“Life is short so live it up!”

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There you have the story of Rob Montano! Thanks to Rob for sharing his story of his love for 311 and thank you readers, as always, for keeping this blog alive! We are all part of an amazing community and I love helping tell your stories. Now go take this week on with power, positivity and love!

Much Love – The Runt