Q&A
  • When reading the Q&A section, the format consists of the e-mail address of the fan that asked the question, then the question followed by the answer. If an individual band member answered, his name will appear in parenthesis before the answer. If no specific name appears, then the question was answered by the band in general or by 311′s management. There are over 10 Archives featuring over 500 questions and answers. To select an Archive see the Archive links directly below. ENJOY! (THIS Q&A WITH 311 BEGAN IN 1999).

    Archive 1 | Archive 2 | Archive 3 | Archive 4 | Archive 5 | Archive 6 | Archive 7 | Archive 8 | Archive 9 | Archive 10

    ARCHIVE 1
    1.Who are the bandmembers of 311?

    Nick (Nicholas Lofton Hexum) – vocals, guitar, programming
    Chad (Chad Ronald Sexton) – drums, percussion, programming
    Tim (Timothy Jerome Mahoney) – guitar
    P-Nut (Aaron Charles Wills) – bass
    SA (Douglas Vincent Martinez) – vocals, scratches


    2. What are the bandmember’s birthdays?
    Cyclopes33@aol.com, Bebo311Sk8

    Nick Hexum – born April 12th, 1970 in Madison, WI
    Chad Sexton – born September 7, 1970 in Lexington, KY
    Tim Mahoney – born February 17, 1970 in Omaha, NE
    P-Nut Wills – born June 5, 1974 in Indianapolis, IN
    SA Martinez – born October 29, 1970 in Omaha, NE

    3. How did 311 meet?
    Krissy3699@aol.com

    We met in our hometown of Nebraska. Nick, Tim & Chad went to Westside High School together and SA & P-Nut went to Bryan High School together. Chad met SA during their first year of college at the University of Nebraska – they both lived on the same floor of a school dorm. One day Chad told SA he was looking for a bassist. SA recommended P-Nut…and 311 began to take shape.


    4. When did you decide on music as a career?
    phille311@aol.com, tluck1@gl.umbc.edu (T.J.), zero311@mailcity.com (Kelly)

    (Tim): In 4th grade when I first picked up trombone.

    (P-Nut): I think that the biggest music fans become the next generation of musicians, so I think that a musical career was inevitable.

    (Nick): My parents tell me I was adamantly set on it by age four.

    (SA): “Say guys, how ’bout we move to California?”

    (Chad): I’ve always loved music and had always hoped for it to be my career. I decided after my first year in college to move to California and put all of my energy into making a career in music.


    5. What bands were the members of 311 in before they formed 311?
    Pjam311a5

    In junior high, Nick played in a band called The Right Profile. They got their band name from a song by The Clash.

    In tenth grade, Nick played in a band called The Extras.

    Nick and Chad played together in the Westside High School Jazz Band.

    Nick and Tim played in The Eds, an Omaha band also featuring Ward Bones, Andy Gray, Lon Breslow, and Ed Birmingham from 1986-87. The band got their name because their drummer’s name was Ed.

    Tim and Chad played in The Bushmen.

    In 1988-89, Nick (bass, vocals), Chad (drums), Tim (guitar), and Ward Bones (keyboards) played in a band called UNITY. Unity broke up in 1990 when Nick moved to Germany.

    P-Nut, Chad, and Jim Watson (the original 311 guitarist) played in the Fish Hippos. When Nick returned to Omaha and joined, the name was changed to 311. Tim and SA joined soon thereafter and 311, as you know it, was born.


    6. How did the name “311″ come about for the band?
    mshollan@indiana.edu, Cory328, Limpy311, rwalsh@umich.edu (Ryan P. Walsh)

    311 is an Omaha police code for indecent exposure. One rainy day, P-Nut and some friends went skinny dipping in a public pool. They were apprehended by police. One of P-Nut’s friends (Jim Watson) was arrested, cuffed (naked) and taken home to his parents. He was issued a citation for a code 311 (indecent exposure). We thought this was funny, so we took it as our band name. After the humor of the name wore off – we still kept it because we liked that it was just abstract and that it did not define us in anyway. The name did not describe our sound or our politics, it just let the music speak for itself. Since most interviewers always ask us “What does 311 mean?”, we have come up with lots of different answers over the years. Some include…. Nick – “five friends making music”, Tim – “a number dictated to me by a higher intelligence”, P-Nut – “knowing a little numerology and studying a little magic, which I do; in some factions, three is man and 11 is magic. So 311 is like male magic.”


    7. Even though you have made it clear that 311 does NOT stand for KKK, can you explain the 311/KKK rumor?
    mcn311@hotmail.com

    In 1997 there was a rumor going around that the name 311 stood for KKK because K is the 11th letter of the alphabet (3K). As a result, some high schools, including Westside High School, banned students from wearing 311 t-shirts. We issued the following statement:

    “It has come to our attention that there is a very unsettling rumor circulating regarding the name of our band ’311.’ We have been told that certain white supremacist groups use the numbers 311 to represent KKK. This is a most unfortunate coincidence and one that is extremely disturbing to us. We would like to state for the record that this is completely at odds with our personal beliefs. We believe the only people worth hating are organized haters like the KKK. Anyone familiar with our lyrics knows how we feel. Our lyrics make a strong stand against racism and a strong stand for positivity and unity. The name of our band originally comes from an Omaha police citation for indecent exposure. We thought it was funny at the time. Now our name simply means – five friends from Omaha making music. Music that stands for peace and unity.”

    A quote from the song “Silver” that speaks out against racism -

    “Of the racist institutions, simple minds belong, not happy being human, no wish to get along – little people need exclusions, sucker groups to throng – it makes them feel special, it makes them feel strong. Now I got a click but it’s more like a family, not an ethnic trip, more like an ethic see – I write the rhyme today, tell it to you later – whether were comin’ in wack or what – it’s a waste to be a hater.”


    8. When was 311′s first show?

    We opened for Fugazi on June 10, 1990.


    9. What is it that 311 wants most for their fans to get out of listening to their music?
    nodn2311@liii.com (katherine), la_311_girlfriend@yahoo.com (Stephanie M. Gonzalez), miller.1782@osu.eduPleasure.

    (Tim): An enjoyable experience.

    (P-Nut): Diversity, melody, musical prowess, laughter, spritual insight and sweat.

    (Nick): Most of all, fun. Secondly a more positive view on life.

    (SA): Love.

    (Chad): There are different feelings or moods associated with each song. But mostly we hope to give off a positive feeling or vibe.


    10. Who do you guys credit for helping you with the realization of your positive message?
    Vico311@aol.com

    Eachother.


    11. If you had to categorize your music into one word, what would you call it?
    Jackalop9@aol.com, Merby226, S311G68@aol.com (Shannon Gibson)

    (Tim): Greased Lightnin’

    (P-Nut): Hybrid – because of the mixing of syles.

    (Nick): Funkyrock

    (SA): Wicked. two words? Wicked-Cool.

    (Chad): ROCK


    12. When is 311′s next album coming out?
    kikass_311@hotmail.com, Augustand (hayley), omahane311@yahoo.com (Z Scheeer), KUdDLEz311, ILLbEMatt@aol.com, samfan311@hotmail.com

    311′s next album will probably come out in October of 1999. A single will hopefully be released to radio in September.


    13. When is 311 going to tour next?
    fire_dncr@yahoo.com (Michele Prindle), LJHWMP, jojo311jaja@hotmail.com, CALIFEM18 (Melissa), Incubus952, jbb2e@frank.mtsu.edu (Rocky)

    Depending on the release of the next album, we should start sometime between September and October 1999.


    14. I heard a rumor that your upcoming tour was aiming towards more smaller club type venues as opposed to more arena shows. Is this true?
    jaknjill311@hotmail.com, joebil_8@hotmail.com (Joseph Bilancieri)

    Yeah, we are going to start out in clubs and theatres and then gradually move up to some bigger venues. First we want to get back to the places that we played in the early days. We want to feel the energy of the crowd going off.


    15. What kind of process do you guys go through when you write your songs, to really bring out your creative abilities?
    ottocr@nsu001.northern.edu (Clayton), tdevane@mail.clemson.edu

    Individually we do a lot of writing in our home studios where we can kind of close ourselves off from the world. When there are no outside distractions it is easier to stay focused and to channel creative energies.


    16. What’s the inspiration behind such clever and meaningful lyrics?
    Matt mwmcgra@ilstu.edu, Cheebabudz@aol.com (Joe), confam5@mediaone.nets (greg and kevin), Jive311 (ryan oppel), 311junkee@angelfire.com (graham), MuDPie66@aol.com, KungFuJenn@aol.com, Soccermon1 (dave corey), TINY311GRL (Brittany Henriksen), Kerry6@aol.com, Phreaky311, OOTan311@aol.com. (Chris), anniepickle15@hotmail.com (Annie Kojar), YomikeYo2

    We are inspired by our own lives and also by what is happening in the world around us. We might get inspiration from listening to music or from seeing a piece of art or from a personal relationship or from something we see on the news, read in the paper or download from the internet.


    17. As 311 has progressed for the better, as a band and as people, so have many of your fans. How does that make you feel having positively influenced and reached so many people such as myself?
    hoambru@aol.com (Jason Pociask), johnomatic@hotmail.com (John Knelange)

    (Tim): It always feels good to hear we influence people positivley. We’re tryin’. Hopefully ya’ll will continue to rock with us.


    18. If you guys weren’t entertaining the world with your music, what do you think you’d be doing with your life right now?
    DestinyAZE (Destiny), u939@truman.edu, Musta82550, jhearn@vt.edu (Jason Hearn)

    (Tim): The possibilities seem infinite.

    (P-Nut): I think I would be teaching music, making movies (which I seriously am going to do when I am older), live in Australia in the bush, going 4x4ing every day, being the freak that I see myself as, making people laugh in some capacity or another.

    (Nick): I’d be working with computers. I find technology exciting.

    (Chad): I might be teaching drums if the rock band didn’t work out.


    19. What barnyard animal would each of the guys be and why?
    Morningsad@aol.com (Meg)

    (Tim): Bird of prey.

    (P-Nut): I would be the barking dog that attacks every third person in a yellow hat.

    (Nick): I know it’s not in most barnyards, but I’m fond of rams. Please don’t consult Freud on this one.

    (SA): Barnyard badass. ‘Cuz.

    (Chad): A dirty swine.


    20. What’s the best thing about touring? What’s the worst thing?
    tbuodon1@aol.com (ashley), SLNKYGRL18@aol.com (Angela), aftershock420@hotmail, iiraverxii@aol.com

    (Tim): Best – playing music with my friends. Worst – being away from home.

    (P-Nut): The best thing about being on the road is seeing all the people that we have touched with our music; showing everybody how we feel about our music. The whole experience of being on the road is great, I love to travel, I think everyone should do as much as possible. It’s good for perspective. The worst thing is being away from my girlfriend and I am sure I will miss my doggy when I leave.

    (Nick): The best thing is the rush of seeing a mass of humans rocking to music you made. The worst is singing with strep throat.

    (SA): The people, the people, the people. The people, the people, the people. Just kidding on that last answer.

    (Chad): The best things are seeing different places and playing the shows….. the worst things are living out of a suitcase and being away from home and loved ones.


    21. Could you please tell me the colors of the your eyes? Ya, I know its silly but its driving me nuts.
    samiam_42@hotmail.com (Brittney Summers)

    (miT): Blue.

    (P-Nut): Peircing blue.

    (Nick): Blue.

    (SA): Brown.

    (Chad): Bluish


    22. Reflect on your most memorable moment on stage, not necessarily the where, but why it’s so memorable.
    starr311@hotmail.com (andrea), SA123O (tiffany)

    (Tim): Memory?

    (P-Nut): It’s a tie for the Fox in Atlanta, Red Rocks in Denver, and Bonner Springs in Missouri, all because of the greatness of the shows, the expressions on the faces and the feeling of accomplishment after the shows.

    (Nick): I remember the Red Rocks Colorado show as a stand out. The moment is captured in our home video. It’s when I told the story of stopping there on our way to LA, when the place was empty, standing on the stage saying one day we’re going to rock this place. Recalling that moment to the full audience was very emotional for me.

    (Chad): Playing at Red Rocks in Colorado. It was a full circle thing. When we were moving to California, we stopped in Colorado, went to Red Rocks, stood on the stage and said to ourselves, “we will play here someday”.


    23. What do you miss most about home when you are on tour?
    mccarter@ic.net

    (Tim): My woman.

    (P-Nut): My girlfriend and dog – it will be the first time leaving her next time we tour, yep, I am getting sad just thinking about leaving my two favorite girls in the world.

    (Nick): My dogs.

    (SA): Jenny, Pablo and Irie.

    (Chad): The weather, cooking and loved ones.


    24. What is your favorite 311 record? Any comments?
    cince@gte.net (C. Ince – Denton, Texas), absolut513@AOL.com, souperstar@gurlmail.com(Linz), DiaBoLiK84@aol.com (Sarah), rage17@hotmail.com

    (Tim): The one Scotch worked on.

    (P-Nut): My favorite 311 album is Grassroots becuase we were at a time in our careers that we could do anything and I think that the music reflected our openess, but this new one is going to be heavy and lovely, so we will see.

    (Nick): I think the blue album captures an era of great optimism in the band. So does Music.

    (SA): I can’t pick a favorite.

    (Chad): It’s very difficult to pick a favorite record. Recording the first record, Music, was very special. We had a good relationship with Eddy Offord then and it was a magical, memorable time for me.


    25. What is your favorite 311 song?
    en325598@oak.cats.ohiou.edu (Evan Francis Novak), rwalsh@umich.edu, bottle_nose_dolphin@yahoo.com (brianna loyd), cbcb123@hotmail.com (Carolyn Brown ), Homebrew66@aol.com, trust-no-one-311@usa.net, dogbyt18@epix.net (Kevin Mennig), Jon311STB@aol.com

    (P-Nut): My favorite song would probably be Brodels, Homebrew, Nutsymton and all the others because I love 311 as much as any fan out there, it’s my fricken’ life.

    (Nick): That’s like choosing a favorite son or daughter. Too hard.

    (SA): Prisoner.

    (Chad): It’s difficult for me to have a favorite song. If I had to choose a handful, they would be: Paradise, Freak Out, 8:16am, Six, Lose, Random, Purpose, Inner Light Spectrum, Stealing Happy Hours, Tribute.

    (Tim): LaCasa Pizza


    26. Would you ever use a gun for anything?
    brantsullivan@hotmail.com

    (Tim): Are you refering to my biceps?

    (P-Nut): Never discharged a fire arm, guns are for pussies.

    (Nick): I went pheasant hunting once. I don’t think I’d do that again.

    (SA): The thought of having to use a gun frightens me.

    (Chad): Sure.


    27. What’s your favorite place or city to have a concert in?
    MrE816, shaftel.1@osu.edu, PhishHippo, Count_SA@mailcity.com, SEC924@aol.com

    There are so many great places to play, from Red Rocks in Denver, CO to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA.

    (P-Nut): Amsterdam is a great city to have a show in, but the people aren’t into us in Europe. San Francisco is the best city in the world.

    (Tim): My pants.

    (Nick): Kansas City, Atlanta, Denver, Virginia.

    (SA): The Fox Theater in Boulder CO.

    (Chad): I like to play L.A., NY, Chicago, Atlanta and New Orleans.


    28. What does it feel like to walk on stage and feel the energy from the crowd, bouncing and singing along, knowing that they have come to see you, 311?
    punisher311@rocketmail.com (Wendy Red Star), Funk3elevn (Sambo), HRC311DMB@aol.com, vansonft25@yahoo.com

    It’s an amazing feeling and a huge rush. The energy at our shows is very positive and really charged so it inspires us to play hard.

    (Tim): Playing music and having people listening and enjoying it is a great feeling. I try to let the music flow and not fuck up.

    (P-Nut): Nothing like that feeling. That is the reason why I play music for a living. So intense.

    (Nick): That’s the best. It’s a natural high with no hangover.

    (SA): Groovy.

    (Chad): I’m usually thinking about my drum part. But it feels great, and I love to watch the crowd while watching our concerts on video.


    29. Who are some of your favorite bands that have sprung up over the past 2 years?
    Goddzilluh@aol.com (Ryun Smith), todaymylove311@yahoo.com (Karen Hayes), PaulsenT@NJC.ORG

    (Tim): Bands I didn’t know about 2 years ago and now enjoy…Ozomatli, Banyan, Black-Eyed Peas.

    (P-Nut): Deftones, Hepcat.

    (Nick): I like 2 Skinnee J’s, Propellorheads, dancehall rapper Vegas.

    (SA): Asian Dub Foundation and Roni Size.

    (Chad): 2 Skinnee J’s, Incubus.


    30. Who’s got the herb?
    Donut00000@aol.com, Vann109, lilly@wcnet.net (Craig)

    (P-Nut): Duh.

    (Nick): P-Nut.

    (SA): Troy

    (Tim): Elixer


    31. My 311 question is regarding out of body experiences. I hear references to it in the lyrics and the music. I was wondering whether or not 311 are frequent out of body travelers. I myself have been a trainee for about four years now, with only a few successful projections. I am sure that you guys project, I would love to know what techniques you use to exit your bodies, and perhaps what songs or lyrical fragments have origins in the astral realms?
    livingphantasm@hotmail.com (Preston Parish)

    (Tim): I suspect melodies and lyrics could have origins in astral realms.

    (P-Nut): I don’t think that any of us (though I am not 100% sure) are practicing for out-of-body-experiences, but I do know that SA had a very intense one back when he was growing up in Omaha. I would have to say that if I was going for that kind of experience, I would meditate and focus, knowing that I have had great feelings of freedom and lightness when doing yoga and concentrating on the breath.

    (SA): I spoke of it in The Continuous Life, I was referring to an experience I had in college. Unfortunately I can’t say that I have experienced any since.


    32. Do you expect the upcoming album to be your best yet?
    StOnY Bby@aol.com

    (Tim): Yes, please.

    (P-Nut): Yes we do expect this new one to be the best yet. We expect the best out of ourselves at all times in the studio.

    (Nick): Yes, but we feel that way on every album so there’s no point in saying it. If we found something wrong with it, then we’d do it different. It’s not until later that our mistakes are apparent. Mistakes include too many songs in not enough time on Transistor. Wrong producer on Grassroots. All I know is that we’ve never taken so much time on an album as we have on this one. I’ll never let myself feel rushed again.

    (SA): But of course.

    (Chad): We’re hoping. At least we’re trying.


    33. What advice would 311 give to people just starting in the music business? Like things that they wished they would have known while they were still in Omaha.
    jwaxter@yahoo.com (Joey Waxter), junior83@webtv.net (junior)

    (Tim): If you live in Omaha eat as much LaCasa pizza as you can, because if you move or tour, you aint gettin’ any more for long periods of time and that’s hard.

    (P-Nut): Be original, don’t bend your art for anyone or anything. Determination is also a good trait. Be yourself, that’s probably the best advice in this answer. Good luck. Do your will.

    (Nick): Originally, I thought I needed to hook up with LA musicians. When I realized the best collaborators I could have where my friends from school, life got a lot better.

    (SA): Everything has been a learning experience beit positive or negative, although never sign anything if you do not feel right about it.


    34. I look up to many people in different professions, hobbies, special talents, etc. I see you guys as my role models in the music industry. Who have you looked up to when it comes to music and who has put the greatest influence on you?
    Sb311sw@aol.com (Steve)

    (P-Nut): Personally I look up to the guys in the band because they have helped me deal with the reality of being in 311 and influenced me to write what I feel in my brain.

    (Nick): Joe Strummer and Sting are a couple of role models for me. My principal influences would have to be my bandmates. We have a chemistry that is very fortunate.

    (SA): I’d have to say that I look up to people who do things independently and who look for alternative ways of distributing their music.

    (Chad): I have so many. Here are a few….Jaco Pastorious, John Scofield, John McLaughlin, Carmen McCrea, Dennis Chambers.


    34. If you guys could meet any muscial influence, dead or alive-that you haven’t met before, who would it be?”
    classof99tw@yahoo.com (Amanda M. ), Loco311D@aol.com (Dave Ashley)

    (Tim): Jerry Garcia.

    (P-Nut): Curtis Mayfield, Tom Waits, Steve Harris, Tad Doyle, Stanley Clarke, John Paul Jones, Charles Mingus, Beastie Boys, I would really love to meet Flea, Houdini.

    (Nick): Bob Marley.

    (SA): Uroy

    (Chad): Carmen McCrea and Jaco Pastorious


    35. I’ve always wondered, what’s everyones favorite color?
    Ditto311@aol.com

    (Tim): silverishblueishgreenishblack

    (P-Nut): purple

    (Nick): blue

    (SA): red and blue

    (Chad): blues


    36. Would you ever meet a fan on MTV’s FANatic?
    lucyinsky_311@yahoo.com (Marilyn Carr), Gina311@hotmail.com, Grassxroot@aol.com

    (Tim): Si.

    (P-Nut): Probably would meet a fan on Fanatic.

    (SA): Never been asked.


    37. What are all of your roots ethnically and do you feel that you integrate those roots into your music? If so, how?
    wicca311@gurlmail.com

    (Tim): It seems the experience in my reality tunnel is what I integrate into our music.

    (P-Nut): I am of Scottish / English decent and fiercely proud of it. I don’t know if you can feel the Ethnicity of me when you listen to my songs, but you definitely know that it’s me.

    (Nick): I’m mostly Norwegian with some Cherokee Indian. I believe that my environment growing up in Nebraska was a bigger influence than my heritage.

    (SA): Mexican-Irish. All music to me is a form of African music in some form or another.


    38. Why do you do what you do?
    sk82311@aol.com (Laura Hartstone)

    (Tim): Livin’ and rockin’

    (P-Nut): There has only been one path to take, there are no mistakes.

    (Nick): It satisfies everything I need in life. Fun, creative expression, and a job.

    (SA): I can’t think of anything more rewarding or as fun.

    (Chad): I love writing and performing music.


    39. What was the last book each of you have read?
    ToneDef311@aol.com (Susan)

    (Tim): The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.

    (P-Nut): I read a book (finished it yesterday) called the Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg, about a group of four guys from upstate New York that find this Ancient manuscript. In the Desert is a monastery where age doesn’t effect the people who live there. It’s a really cool book, I read it for the first time when I was a punk kid. I was looking for it for years, and got it for Christmas, a signed first print, I was stoking in my own juices.

    (Nick): Rule of the Bone by Russel Banks.

    (SA): The Evolutionary Mind.

    (Chad): Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot. (almost finished)


    40. If you guys were to be in any other band (past and present) which band would it be and why?
    Skiebees@aol.com, NHUS1@aol.com

    (Tim): Alex Handroll Band.

    (P-Nut): I would have liked to play bass with Curtis Mayfield back in the 70′s and then I would’ve switched to play with Iron Maiden for awhile.

    (Nick): I would have loved to play in the Clash. That had a similar high energy and creative spirit that we have.

    (SA): The Smiths.

    (Chad): Kiss 1975-78 only and Mahavishnu Orchestra. Kiss-because of a childhood love for the band. Mahavishnu-because the music is technically challenging and unique.


    41. I’d like to know 311′s predictions on what will happen midnight December 31, 1999?
    AHUNDTOFT@CCTR.UMKC.EDU (Tony Hundtoft), jhearn@vt.edu (Jason Hearn)

    (P-Nut): I think that the calendar will change as usual and I do expect some computer foul-ups, but nothing in the way of an apocalypse.

    (Nick): Hard to say, I don’t foresee any catastrophes.

    (SA): Two may enter, one may leave.

    (Chad): An awakening that nobody will notice.

    (Tim): I’m not allowed to talk about it.


    42. What is your favorite song to play live? Which song do you think pumps up the crowd the most?
    MULCH4311 (Ashley), ZMAN420@webtv.net (Zack Hall)

    (P-Nut): I think that Freak Out is my favorite, even though we play it every night, I think it’s the catalyst for the crowd’s excitement.

    (Nick): Freak Out comes to mind for moshing. All Mixed Up is good for dancing. Stealing Happy Hours is good for listening.

    (SA): Freak Out pumps them up as does Feels So Good.

    (Chad): It’s hard to pick a favorite song. But I think that Applied Science, and Fu** the Bull**** get people rockin’.

    (Tim): I enjoy playing all the songs, especially the ones where we’re fuckin’ rockin’ the fuck out.


    43. What’s the story about the RV catching fire during the Music Tour, as mentioned in the songs T&P Combo and Omaha Stylee?
    cbarlow98@hotmail.com

    The “Music” tour almost ended tragically during a trip between Springfield, MO and Kansas City on I-44. Nick was driving the RV when he noticed it was running hot. When he began to pull over, he saw smoke and flames coming up from under the vehicle. He quickly pulled onto the shoulder of the highway and the band members jumped out through the flames. Nick, the last one out, received second degree burns from jumping through the wall of flames. The RV exploded. The van we were towing caught fire and also burned to the ground along the interstate. Traffic was backed up for 2 miles. All of our clothes, equipment and personal possessions were destroyed. We had some minor burns and scrapes, but no major injuries. Nick’s hair was singed, so he shaved his head. Although we were definitely shaken – we decided not to let the tragedy end the tour. We decided to keep going. We headlined a show the next day (SHARKFEST at Sharky’s Brewery in Omaha) with borrowed equipment. You can hear about the RV incident in the song Omaha Stylee:

    “My bros and I were driving the RV bleeding flames us leaping through fire surviving – zoned with no home there was fire all on it – umm, let me have my life, I want it!”


    44. Did the band members ever play any other instruments?

    Nick plays piano, bass and keyboards as well as guitar.
    P-Nut played violin in second grade. Although left-handed, he played right-handed to look like the other violin players. So when he started playing bass, he played right-handed because that was the method he was accustomed to. P-Nut has been playing bass since he was 13 (he was a part of 311 when he was just 14).
    Chad plays piano, guitar and has been playing drums since he was 7.

    Tim played trombone, until eighth grade, when he switched to guitar.

    SA has a gift with words, not just lyrics…check out his short stories on the official 311 website. Besides playing some percussion and working the turntables for 311, SA dj’s at clubs around Los Angeles.

    45. Has the sound for the new upcoming album gone back to your older style like from Grassroots and Music, or has it stayed the same as Transistor?
    Philygoat@aol.com, lynlieh@bellsouth.net (Lindsey), babystar311@gurlmail.com (Ran Ska Krissie), Sexton6474, barthojr@wilkes1.wilkes.edu, OZZman4320, NickChk311@aol.com (Jenn), yacam@sprint.ca (Chad), hoop311@yahoo.com (Chris Hooper), fortyoz1@aol.com, DNCO311 (Dean Redinbaugh), babigirl311@hotbot.com (Jennifer Heil), ali311@hotmail.com, bg19800@binghamton.edu, Squier311@aol.com

    The new record will definitely have the trademark 311 vibe (with rock, funk, hip-hop and reggae influences). I wouldn’t say we’ve gone back to our old style. Right now a lot of the new songs have hard rockin’ guitars with melodic vocals. Overall it will probably have elements of all of our records, but it will also be a step into the future for 311.

    46. You guys have been together for a long time now. What keeps your creative energy flowing so that you can continue to write bad ass music, album after album?
    Puma976@aol.com (Chunky Monkey)

    (Chad): I wish more people shared your same opinion. I think the fact that we love to do it is the fundamental reason why we continue. When you love to do something, you don’t even consider the energy required to do it. You just do it and are fulfilled doing it.

    47. P-Nut, I really appreciate your presence on stage at the shows, you seem to be very much the free spirit (Yea!). Would you say that’s true? How are you off the stage?
    sugarcane81@hotmail.com (Jenny McKeown)

    (P-Nut): I am a free spirit on stage, that’s when I can do anything I want and dance any damn way I feel, but as your question hinted, I am different off stage. I can still be loud and obnoxious but most of the time I am quiet and cerebral. I think that I am a true Gemini. I see my stage persona (p-nut) as a slice of the one me. Still the same person just a different side. The more I type the more I feel funny about what I type so I will stop here.

    48. Tim: I know that you’ve had influences from several areas : Carlos Santana, Jerry Garcia, Bad Brains, etc… but was there any one person who you heard playing and you said to yourself “that’s something I want to do”? If so, who was this person, and what was it about his playing that made you so interested?
    c752249@showme.missouri.edu (Jeanne)

    (Tim): A consistent trait amongst all of my fav’s seems to be the ability to translate or channel melodies that manifest in the soul, then travel thru the nervous system, muscles, fingertips, onto the strings, into the guitar, thru the pickups and electronics, into the amp, out the speakers, and into the air in the form of sound waves. The first persons to spark this fascination were Jerry Garcia and Carlos Santana. They seem so pure. Playing without any distortions of the physical body. A direct path from the soul. They made me want to be able to play in the moment; no past, no future. A place where the music just happens.

    But If you’re asking if there was a person who made me want to switch from trombone to guitar while in jr. high, the answer would be Paul Moerke. I used to see him play at the local punk shows, he rocked out. Also, Eric Pierce playing in a band at the Westbrook talent show, doing covers of Ozzy, up there with an ELECTRIC GUITAR and AMP. I think it was some old school Peavey distortion. It sounded so cool. I had to switch to guitar.

    49. This Question is for Nick Hexum and SA:
    My all time favorite songs are “Do You Right” and “All Mixed Up.” What were your inspiration for writing these songs? And When did you write them?
    Jigga184@aol.com (Nicole Connors )

    (Nick): SA and I wrote Do You Right sitting on the floor of he and P-Nut’s bedroom in Van Nuys in ‘92. It isn’t a story it’s more poetry oriented. The title, “All Mixed Up” is from an early Elvis interview in which he says he’s All Mixed Up over his new found fame. I thought is was funny.

    (SA): I remember sitting on the couch with Nick in our first bandhouse gazing outside. Van Nuys summer, postcard blue skies. I remember our writing session, passing the kind bud. Nick, reflecting a little, then, ” kicking back in the sand in the sun…” We first started working on All Mixed Up on the Grassroots tour. I remember getting off tour and putting some lyrics together. They were about being confused and being unfaithful. I took a section of what I wrote and used them in the song.

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