311 Fan Spotlight – 4/23/18 – Brian Lee!

A new week is here friends in 311 nation which can only mean one thing – new fan spotlight time. Let’s meet Brian Lee!

MTV in the year 1995 played the video for “All Mixed Up” and that was Brian’s introduction to 311. His dad then bought him the album Music and since Brian didn’t recognize the songs he made him return it for the blue album, which he then played pretty much daily for the next couple of years. “Still my favorite album of all time!”

So far Brian has attended 72 shows. First show was in 2000 at the Berkeley Greek Theatre when they played with Incubus. “This show made me a fan for life, put them above the rest.” Favorites out of the 72 shows are from 2005 when he saw the band 4 nights in a row in San Francisco. It started with a private Live 105 radio show and then 3 nights in a row at the Fillmore with the band only repeating one song, “Applied Science.”

Songs that Brian loves include “Unity,” “Hive,” and “Homebrew.”  One of his favorite lyrics is from “Made in the Shade” – “You gotta keep on climbing the hill, ‘cause if you think you’ll make it you will.”

Brian is originally from the Big Island of Hawaii, so he grew up listening to Hawaiian and Reggae music. It was in the 6th grade that he moved to the San Francisco Bay area and got into Alternative Rock and Hip-Hop. “I really jumped into 311 intensely in college, the music and vibes just matched perfectly with SANTA BARBARA.  We saw 311 play back to back shows in Santa Cruz 2005 when they debuted some Don’t Tread On Me songs before they came out, it was magical, I was lucky to be there.”

Back in 2006 Brian had an amazing experience of seeing 311 live in Hawaii, in Kona. I’ll let his words tell his story of it. “It was the only time they have ever played there.  I went out fishing with friends the morning before the show. Unfortunately halfway through the trip our boat engine died so we were relying on a kicker engine that only went 3 mph.  Problem was we were 18 miles from the boat dock, about an hour drive to Kona and only 4 hours until 311s show with Natural Vibrations.  So I called my hero, my father and he told me to swim to the beach and hitch-hike to Kona.  That’s exactly what I did, and its been one of my all time favorite shows, they played all the reggae tunes and every pakalolo song, nothing like a show where you have to adventure your own way there!”

First 311 Day for Brian was in 2010 and it completely blew his mind, so much so that he got his first tattoo. “There is a unique thing about people who get music tattoos, we are a different breed.  Las Vegas is our favorite out of state place to see 311.” In 2013 he went on his first 311 cruise with friends and he said it was life changing. “I met Renee O’neal on that cruise, she was the very first random Familia person I ever met.  I actually joined her Norcal 311 group before the Familia and only because she was so kind and stoked!!  My wife got to meet her waiting in line at the SF Warfield show that Fall Tour.  That is also the night I scored my favorite 311 Poster, Munk One’s Purple Caterpillar.”

Brian is a father of two little excitables and works from home, as well as in his community, helping families and businesses protect themselves with Legalshield and IDShield. While he doesn’t see as many shows now as he did previously, he never misses one within driving distance. His 3 year old’s favorite song is “Perfect Mistake” and he makes sure to play it for him everyday.

Something you may not know about Brian is that he is always reading a Stephen King novel. Currently he is reading Christine. “I have read about 35 of his books now.  We even have a Stephen King-311 Facebook Group to discuss his fine work.” Guilty pleasures for Brian include Southpark, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Game of Thrones and chocolate chip cookies!

Brian’s second favorite live band is Rebelution. “I’ve been lucky to see them over 100 times, mostly since they have toured in California so much over the last 14 years.” Other band he enjoys include Nirvana, Green Day, and Rage Against the Machine.

Brian’s message to 311: “Keep growing 311, I dream of 20 albums before you retire.  Your best stuff could still be in the future.  You guys keep working hard in the studio and on tour and it really fuels your fans to keep working hard and providing for our families.  I ask for more but I am actually, very happy and grateful to have what you guys accomplished already.  Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo!!”

His message to all the other kick-ass fans:

“Lets encourage our circle of friends and family to find that all out dedication in their favorite music. 311 is not for everybody and that’s how I like it.  MUSIC and Love are the 2 most powerful tools we have to uplift our spirits.  No T.V. shows or movies can provide what music provides, no sports or athletic hobbies, no drugs or alcohol, no amount of Facebook or Instagram likes, no reality shows or epic fail videos, no sugary or fried fatty foods, no game winning shot or home-run, no vacations or weekend getaways no no no nothing can provide and uplift your spirit like your favorite MUSIC.  So be happy, be amped on LIFE, Crank up the Volume!! #unity CHEEHOO”


That my friends is the tale of Brian Lee! Thank you Brian for sharing and much gratitude goes out to all the readers. Have a fantastic week and I’ll see you right back here next time!

Much Love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/16/18 – Danielle Schwartz!

We’re back at it again this week with the new 311 fan spotlight! It’s time to meet the other half of a dynamic duo – Danielle Schwartz!

Driving around with a friend in the year 1996, Danielle had the blue album on repeat in her CD player/tape adaptor contraption. Then Transistor and  Soundsystem came out and she purchased them instantly. Transistor quickly became a favorite for her. She said even though she spent years exploring other music genres, 311 was her constant during that time. “I think what drew me to them was that they were so unique and exciting.  I loved the heavy guitar sound, and the music seemed edgy but upbeat.  I could tell they had a lot to say but I knew I’d have to sit down with the liner notes to figure it all out!  I love that Josh & I share the same love for 311, which made for an instant connection when we met in 1997.   It wasn’t until we reconnected for good in 2005 that he showed me how awesome Music & Grassroots are.  How ridiculous to be missing out on those songs for all those years!”

Show count is right around 40, with the upcoming Red Rocks & Ogden show, plus Cali Roots ready to add to that number making it 44. It was in 2012 that they started to travel to see the band and were able to attend their first 311 Day in Vegas. “These days we’ll pretty much go anywhere they are playing two nights in a row!” She believes one of her first shows was at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz, California. “I’ll always regret missing the Santa Barbara Bowl show in maybe 2000 in college because I opted to go to Mexico.  That would have been such a fun show with their discography at that time.”

Favorite even so far was the first cruise she and Josh were able to attend, which was cruise 4 where they played Soundsystem. “The years around the Red White & Boom shows in Vegas along with the Jamaica cruise were when we really started developing friendships with so many amazing people! I’ll never forget getting on the boat and Josh and I were watching everyone hugging and screaming, and we were like how do these people all know each other?! It was just the jump-start I needed to get involved with our community on Facebook.”

“Rub-a-Dub” is a song that has always held a special place in Danielle’s heart. “It’s simple but the sound just transports me to a peaceful, happy place, no matter what my mood is.” Song that resonates on a deeper level with her is “Simplify.” “It makes me think about how I should appreciate being in the moment and not rush things because I can get wound up over the little things.  After the loss of a friend, I became much more aware of enjoying time with the people I love and appreciating all the little moments together.  This also inspired me to do all the things I want to do, like go to all the concerts and do other things that make me happy and not hold back because of time or money.  I work for my dad at his law office and I’m very lucky that I can take a few days off when I need to.” Picking a favorite lyric is too hard for her because she said that she’s learned so much through their lyrics and they all have had their time and place in her life.

San Jose, California and then Los Gatos is where Danielle grew up as an only child with her amazing mom and dad. “I feel lucky to have had a regular childhood full of love.” She attended UC Santa Barbara and said she still misses living by the beach everyday. “Something in the air just makes me happy and I feel like a better version of myself.” She studied Global Studies, her emphasis in the culture and ideology of Latin America, and also minored in Spanish. After college she briefly lived in Washington, D.C., which she said was a ton of fun. She worked for a radio station and even got hooked up with 311 tickets but had to leave during the opener to go work an event!

Interesting fact you may not know is that Danielle is actually super shy but another side of her comes out at 311 events. She also said she has a cat named Kiva and she’s obsessed with her. Talent comes in the form of dancing and she started it at the age of 3. She has done everything including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip-hop & cheerleading. As if dancing didn’t keep her busy when she was younger she also was committed to water polo and swimming. “I’m still really drawn to water, especially the ocean.  It must be the Pisces in me haha!” Guilty, yet not so guilty pleasure for Danielle is the old T.V. show Psych. “It’s totally my thing- I love a detective show with a comedic edge.”

Musical guilty pleasure is more mellow music like Melody Gardot and similar artists. Aside from this and obviously listening to 311, she also likes Stick Figure and Fortunate Youth. “In the 90s it was all alternative, grunge, and classic rock.  Then in college I developed a taste for punk like Pennywise, Bad Religion, and The Offspring, and later I got into bands like System of a Down and Evanescence.  More recently Josh & I got pretty into blues like Buddy Guy for example.  All of these still have a special place in my heart.  I’m mostly stuck in the 90s besides 311 and reggae.”

Danielle’s message to 311 is: “At a time where I felt like I didn’t have “a thing” or a talent or a passion, 311 has filled the void and I am so thankful for all that they do and all that they’ve given me: a passion for their music, a passion for travel, and a passion for the amazing friends I’ve made.  I really do feel like I’ve found my tribe.”

To her fellow 311 fans:

“You all continually inspire me with your positivity and generosity with each other and the communities around you.  I am always counting down until the next time we can share a moment together rocking out to our favorite music!”

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That wraps up the story of Danielle Schwartz! Thank you for sharing it and to all of those who read each week. Now go be awesome and spread the positivity!

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/9/18 – Josh Schwartz!

 

Well hello again all of you out there in 311 nation! Welcome to the next edition of the fan spotlight. Let’s meet Josh Schwartz!

Hearing “Down” on the radio is how Josh was introduced to 311 and then his friend Chuck told him the band had two other albums. “Loved them instantly and when Beautiful Disaster hit the airwaves I remember thinking, Yes! I’m so happy I’ve already decided that these guys are my favorite band!”

It was only recently that Josh tried to figure out his show tally and he believes that the 311 Day shows this year put him at 46. He is attending the Colorado shows this month and then Cali Roots, so this summer on the Unity Tour he will hit the big 5-0. First show he attended was the Halloween show back in 97 at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, California. Picking a favorite show was hard for him. “Cruise IV (our first) quite simply changed my life. Red, White & Boom that year was when we really started meeting people. This past New Year’s in Tempe is also a major highlight for me; there was something magical about that night. The Fresno County Fair show with the crazy lightning storm holds a special place in my heart for the group of people we met up with that night.”

Songs he loves are “Unity,” “Welcome,” “Let the Cards Fall,” “Use of Time,” “Strong All Along,” and he said many, many more. “Creatures kinda makes me Freak Out, as does One and the Same, Sick Tight, and Jackpot.” Some lyrics that resonate with Josh are: “It’s something one won’t understand, unless they’re in it with me hand and hand,” “Ooh you know we pepper you, with a sonic assault side step a you, I cannot think of a better way that we could celebrate freedom, than make up a set of goals and cold beat ‘em,” “But every time I turn the volume down, all I hear is the deafening sound, of your heart’s pound,” and “Bright mornings, days when I want so much, I want nothing, just this life and no more.I’ll come within this world there’s only one for me. She’s waiting, I’ll soon come.”

San Jose, California is where Josh lived his whole life until he went to college in Berkeley, which is about an hour away from there. He spent two years in San Diego getting his teaching credential, and then he moved to Campbell, right by San Jose. He said classroom teaching didn’t last long and he started working for a tutoring company but quit 4 years ago and started his own one person tutoring company. “Being my own boss is great, and is a huge reason why we are able to attend so many more events lately.”

Interesting fact about Josh? I’ll let you read it in his words. “Kama, a true excitable who seemingly knows everyone, grew up really good friends with my aunt Suzie. I actually remember an occasion when Suzie and Kama babysat me when they were in high school and I was like 10. So when Danielle and I started going to the big events, Suzie put me in touch with Kama. We became good friends and she’s introduced me to a lot of people and culture in the community.”

Something cool about Josh is that he and his wife Danielle are equally obsessed with 311! He said it has brought them closer together. “The only vacations that we take on our own are 311 vacations. Also, our super good friend James, who we started dragging to shows in the mid-2000’s, got big into the excitable crew, and it’s amazing to share that. I got to rock out this past 311 Day with my oldest 311 friend, Chuck.”

Other music that Josh enjoys includes the following: “I used to be big into grunge: Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains. Went through a little nu-metal phase with System of a Down and Evanescence. Love the blues, new stuff like Black Keys and old stuff like Buddy Guy. I can’t leave out the importance classic rock, most notably The Beatles, had on me back in the day. I’ve more recently gotten into acts like Stick Figure, Fortunate Youth, and Tribal Seeds.” Guilty pleasure is also musical, it’s the sounds of Michael Jackson.

To the band, Josh would like to say: “I am so grateful that my favorite band for the last 20-something years appreciates their fans so much, and that’s what I find so special: the unending cycle of appreciation for each other.”

To all the other fans:

“I love participating in the fan merch culture, but what is really amazing is all the great friends I’ve made in just the last three years. It’s amazing how easy it is to make connections with other excitables, and it makes my heart happy.”

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Josh, thanks for sharing your story with your fellow fans! Per the usual, thanks to all who read and support this venture.

Much love – The Runt

311 Fan Spotlight – 4/2/18 – Heidi Eytalis!

Hello again all out there in 311 nation! Who’s ready for the new edition of the fan spotlight? I am! This week we meet Heidi Eytalis!

While Heidi was introduced to 311 courtesy of MTV, she was into other music at the time. It wasn’t until she met her husband and recent fan spotlight Timothy in 2000 that she really started listening. “I asked him, is that all you listen to is 311 and Eminem? It took a month and I was hooked as well.”

Vegas made Heidi’s show count turn to 34. Her first was Warped Tour at Tinley Park, Illinois in 2001. “It was a short set but still so awesome, it definitely solidified my love for them.” While there are many shows she loved, including the Grassroots Festival due to her and her family being able to stand side stage, she said Chillicothe, Illinois show in 2014 still stands out to her because it was beautiful, intimate, and there were so many friends there. “A very buggy show to say the least but so awesome because the boys were really in tune with the new album and just having fun. I know the boys got plenty of protein that night LOL. And my best friend came down from Rockford to see the show with me and her first 311 show. She said “So happy to see you so happy”. She got to see my bliss and understood it.”

Favorite song for Heidi is “Uncalm.” She’s only heard it live 3 times. “It means the most because when I started dating my husband, he said it reminded him of me and it just stuck.” One of her favorite lyrics is, “Gotta keep on climbing the hill, cause if you think you’ll make it, you will.”

Rockford, Illinois, is where Heidi grew up. She also spent a few years in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which she said she loves and is a great place to raise kids. Heidi also said she was lucky because she had an awesome mom who supported her love for music and would take her to shows. “First concert was Mr. Kenny Rogers at the ripe ol’ age of 5 LOL.” She has now lived in St. Louis, Missouri, for 14 years and loves it. “Compared to where I grew up, there are lots of music acts that come through town so that’s a plus. As to how I fund my 311 habit, I’m a business analyst for an insurance company, which I’ve done this type of work for about 20 years (geez talk about aging yourself, yikes). Love my job and the people I work with.”

Craftiness is something Heidi is good at, she even had an interview at the Art Institute of Chicago, but said she chickened out. “Now instead of doing artistic stuff, I do crafty stuff for my kiddo.” Unique talent? She can do just about every dance to New Kids on the Block. “Not sure if that’s unique but me and my friend Toni had a crowd watching us at our 8th grade dance LOL.”

Guilty pleasure? Well she said NKOTB might be one lol. But for real, she doesn’t believe in them because she’s not ashamed of anything that makes her who she is. “Oooh, I do love Twilight! Anything vampires and I’m down, not sure why.” Other music Heidi listens to include The Urge. “Steve Ewing is the sweetest man and has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. He even sang acoustically in my back yard for my 40th birthday party. Best party ever, hands down! No one can top that.” She also can be found jamming out to Incubus, Shinedown, Bob Marley, Bruno Mars, The Gap Band, Dr. Dre, Chris Cornell, and Pantera.

To 311, this is Heidi’s message: “I just love you boys, you bring so much happiness to my family! Thanks for keeping true to yourself and fans. Keep it coming!”

To all the other fans:

“I’ve met some of my best friends from this little band called 311. I love you all! Keep livin’ and rockin’ y’all!”

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That was Heidi’s story! So glad you all got to read it and thank you for being here, connecting with other fans. What a fantastic community to be a part of! Until next time, go out and spread the positivity.

Much love – The Runt