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.”
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