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).
100. SA Martinez,I have wondered this for a long time about the song “Creature Feature.” What were you going through as you were writing the lyrics? I know that the group believes in being positive, but I was curious as to what you were feeling deep down when you wrote it. Was it during a period of rough times? We are all human afterall.
(SA): “It was when I was contemplating breaking up with my girlfriend at the time.”
101. Was the name FISH HIPPOS changed to “311” because someone in the band didn’t want to make it “big” with such a “strange” name?
RH Lo Ride
(Nick): I thought the name was more humor oriented than our band is.
102. Chad, I’m probably one of your biggest fans. Do you ever like to meet fans like me. I wish I could meet you and speak with you about drums. I read a lot of your articles in magazines, but I really wish you could show me some stuff on my kit, cause I don’t really know how to get my toms to sound too good?
firstname.lastname@example.org (your biggest fan, Roy)
(Chad): Hi Roy. Thanks for listening. I enjoy meeting our fans. We sometimes do meet-and-greets when we’re on tour. When we’re off tour and writing, the band requires much of everybody’s time which makes it difficult to meet fans. My suggestion for tuning drums is to make each spot on the drum head, near a tension rod, the same pitch. And find a drum teacher and/or a local drum shop for tips.
103. Do you guys listen to Art Bell Radio Show? And if so have you ever considered being on the show?
(SA): Art Bell is the man. I listen as much as possible. I’ve never thought of being a guest although I have called in and gotten through on occasion.
104. What was your weirdest/embarrassing/or most horrible experience on stage?
MISSWORLDD@aol.com (Dana), email@example.com (Amy Chiasson), firstname.lastname@example.org
(P-Nut): My wierdest experience on stage was when I was so enraged at the punk mf in front of me that I dropped my shorts and flexed my sfpincter in his frickin’ face, thanks for asking.
105. I was wondering what SA is talking about in “The Continuous Life” when he says “city rednecks who think like the Omega Man.” Is he refering to the comic book character?
(SA): I’m referring to a bank hiast in the valley involving two gung- ho bank robbers
106. Is there any chance Chad is gonna rap a verse on the new album?
(Chad): No, sorry.
107. Which one of you is the best baller? Who really tears shit up on the basketball court?
(P-Nut): Well I have to say that I am the only one that plays with other people on a weekly basis, but I have been put in my place by Nick a bunch of times when we all lived together. I love the sport of basketball more than any other, and I thought you should know.
108. SA! Are you still spining wax with Vestax?
email@example.com (John O’Connell)
(SA): I’m still using the 05pro and am looking forward to the 07.
109. What were some difficulties when you first relocated to California? Were you worried about not being able to survive on playing music alone?
SpacePulse (Adam Robbins)
(Chad): Yes. That was one worry. One of the reasons we moved was so we could concentrate on the band. I knew that if we started getting jobs that it would cut into the band time.
110. How can a fan get you to remember them….who stands out in your mind and what did they do to get in touch with you?
(P-Nut): I keep in contact with fans through my mother (Joan) and she is the one who decides which e-mails I read or not, and then I don’t get swamped and at the end of the day it’s still fun to do.
111. SA: What are your lines about the cosmic conscious in the song Galaxy referring to? “..since i have found the keys to free this energy”? In terms of RAW/Leary maps, do you mean the energy of what they call the 5th circuit? (ie. the one you’d experience by smoking That Crazy Mexican Dancin Weed?) Getting naturally stoned, such as listening to good music & focusing on Mood.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mats Fjellner/ Sweden)
(SA): You’re on the right track, charge ahead.
112. How has success made an impact upon you guys, both musically and lyrically?
Squiggy007@webtv.net (Brian Kelly )
(Chad): There’s more pressure to do well now.
113. Any comments on the song Hydroponic?
(P-Nut): Hydroponic is one of our best songs, and one of my favorite to play even though it is one of the easier ones to do so.
114. I’m from El Paso, Texas. A bunch of us down here were wondering about the lyrics to “Lucky.” “… I’m takin’ it to the bridge and there’s a different country…” “… we got the juice it’s on tap…” I’m sure you guys must have gone to Juarez, Mexico when you played here in El Paso at Club 101. The bridge to Mexico is only about 5 blocks away from Club 101. If the lyrics are about Juarez, Mexico, tell us about your experience.
email@example.com (Phillip Cano)
(SA): Well, to be honest, no. But I’m not sure a distinction can be made. That is when I am in El Paso, I feel as if I am in Mexico. “Pretty sweet,” as Cartman would say.
115. Are any of you guys into Nusart Fateh-Ali Khan’s music or style?
(P-Nut): I have never heard of that artist, but that is no surprise because I have been in the studio for about a year concentrating on 311. I need to hear new stuff, The Roots’ new album is the goods for your soul.
116. Chad. I’m a drummer and I was wondering, within your first few years of playing, what did you find yourself working the hardest on? Such as Sticking, Different beats, etc.
(Chad): I really can’t remember. That was about 16 years ago. The thing you should be doing in your first few years of playing is taking lessons. Because a good teacher will make sure that your lessons are focused and you can tackle your challenges one at a time, and in a logical order.
117. What ever happend to the Count’s dog, Lionel?
(SA): Lionel lives with my exgirlfriend. I miss him.
118. As you guys make new cds does it become much harder to write new material? And does it ever come to a point when the music is just a chore?
(Chad): The only time the music feels like a chore is during practice…..but only when it’s around the 5th practice in a row. I think writing music becomes a little more challenging because you’re always trying to come up with new things. And you become more self-aware.
119. SA…I have read that you no longer smoke pot and I was wondering what made you stop?
(SA): Well that’s not entirely true. I stopped for a long while and, well, like I said, that’s not entirely true.
120. Who is the girl in “Light Years” who says “Come here, now!” and at the end of “GAP” who says “Oh, that was good”?
JasJen@worldnet.att.net (Jason Jahnke)
(SA): Wanda Coleman says “when you comin’ down…”
121. Were there any hard times in the really early years when the whole dream seemed hopeless?
(Chad): The most difficult time for me was in the begining.
122. SA Martinez is my all-time idol!! Along with being my idol, I memorize everything about him, have a page dedicated to him, and want to be JUST like him!! This is the best chance I have on getting any contact with him. I would like to know the best advice he could give me on how to get started in a band. I can sing, play a little keyboards and I’m going to take guitar lessons. Any advice SA?
(SA): First of all I’m flattered. Secondly, all I can say is find like-minded individuals. They’re probably people you know already. And practice.
123. What kind of Ride cymbal did Chad use on the album 311(Blue)?
(Chad): I believe it was a 21″ AA Dry Ride from Sabian.
124. How many 311 albums are there and what should I know about them?
Music (February 9, 1993) – produced and engineered by Eddy Offord. Twelve tracks. There is also a clean version of this cd available, noted “clean for in-store play”. It has an edited version of Freak Out and does not have Fat Chance.
Grassroots (July 12, 1994) – produced and engineered by Eddy Offord and 311. Mixed by Chris Shaw. Fourteen tracks. There are three album covers for this record; with the logo at the bottom (original version), the top (common version), and the middle (rare version). There is also a clean version that says “suitable for in-store play” on the spine. The clean version does not have Silver.
311 (aka the Blue Album) (July 25, 1995) – produced by Ron Saint Germain and 311, recorded and mixed by Ron Saint Germain and Scott Ralston. Fourteen tracks.
Transistor (August 5, 1997) – produced and mixed by Scotch Ralston and 311. 21 tracks. Rewind about two minutes before the first track to hear the “intro.” This does not work on all CD players. The first 5,000 copies of this CD included four 311 stickers inside the package.
Transistor (1997) – Australian release. A two cd set; the first CD is music, the second CD is enhanced with clips from the ETSD home video.
Transistor (1997) – Japanese release. Includes one bonus track, “Gap” (which also appears on the CD for ETSD).
311 Live (1998) – Japanese release. Recorded & mixed by Scotch Ralston. Eight tracks all taken from the New Orleans show of the Transistor Tour.
311 Live (November 3, 1998) – produced by 311 & Scotch Ralston, mixed by Scotch Ralston. Assistant Engineer, Alex Rivera. A compilation of 311 live recordings. Fourteen tracks.
Omaha releases from What Have You Records:
Omaha Sessions (October, 1998) – selections from the early independent 311 albums remastered & repackaged. Available through the Merchandise Section at www.311music.com. or contact 311 Merchandising at P.O. Box 69446, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
Dammit! (1990) – produced by 311. This was when 311 did not include Tim or SA and Jim Watson was the guitarist. Out of print.
Unity (1991) – produced by 311. Out of print.
Hydroponic EP (1992) – produced by 311. Out of print.
Singles and Promotional releases:
Freak Out/My Stoney Baby/Hydroponic (1992) – Capricorn maxi single.
Freak Out/Hydroponic (1993) – Capricorn 7″ vinyl only, promo.
Do You Right (1993) – Capricorn promo, CD & CS.
Feels So Good (1993) – Capricorn promo.
Visit (1993) – Capricorn promo.
Homebrew (1994) – Capricorn promo.
Homebrew/Nutsymptom (1994) – Capricorn promo.
Lucky (1994) – Capricorn promo.
8:16am/Omaha Stylee remixes (1994) – Capricorn promo and vinyl.
Random/Down/Loco clean versions (1995) – Capricorn promo.
Don’t Stay Home (1995) – Capricorn promo.
Jackolantern’s Weather/Guns (are for pussies) (1995) – Capricorn vinyl promo.
All Mixed Up (1996) – Capricorn promo.
All Mixed Up – Remixes (1996) – Capricorn promo.
Down (1996) – Capricorn promo.
Down (1996) – Mercury promo.
All Mixed Up (1996) – Capricorn promo.
All Mixed Up (1997) – Capricorn promo.
Transistor (1997) – Capricorn promo.
Prisoner (1997) – Capricorn promo.
Beautiful Disaster (1997) – Capricorn promo.
Prisoner remixes (1997) – Capricorn Austrailian import.
Muscicain Magazine’s “A Little On The CD Side” – vol. 7 (1993) – Freak Out.
Rawk Tuneup – vol. 5 “Dog Daze of Summer” (1994) – Homebrew.
The Capricorn Sampler – Vol. One (1994) – Lucky/8:16am.
Capricorn Spring Sampler (1995) – 8:16am (remix from 12″).
Capricorn Fall Sampler (1995) – Don’t Stay Home/Who’s Got the Herb?
Hempilation (1995) – Who’s Got the Herb?
National Lampoon’s Senior Trip Soundtrack (1995) – Outside.
Hits Rock New School Vol. 2 (1995) – Don’t Stay Home.
The Copper Mountain Spring Jam Compilation (1995) – Down.
Star Maps 2 Blocks (1995) – Omaha Stylee (12″ Extended T Ray remix).
GO Big (1996) – Nutsymptom, (Multimedia content).
Nowhere Soundtrack (1996) – Freak Out.
Launch – vol. 9 (1996) – Do You Right video live, interview.
Over The Edge (1997) – Down.
MTV Buzz Bin volume 2 (1997) – Down.
Live from the Conan O’Brian show (1997) – Down live.
New Music From the Mercury Hotel (1997) – 8:16am remix promo.
X-Games Soundtrack volume 2 (1998) – All Mixed Up.
Bam Magazine “Golden State Greats” (1998) – Beautiful Disaster.
125. What videos does 311 have?
Enlarged to Show Detail (1996) – full length home movie.
Contains live concert footage, interviews, backstage scenes and videos for Homebrew, Down, and All Mixed Up – which appears after the ending credits. Plus a bonus CD with four outtakes from the blue album.
As for MTV videos – 311 has eight videos (Freak Out, Homebrew, Don’t Stay Home, Down, All Mixed Up, Transistor, Prisoner, Beautiful Disaster).
126. Where were 311’s videos shot?
1. Do You Right – Los Angeles and Omaha – Omaha sites included the Children’s Museum, the Lied Jungle and the Henry Doorly Zoo, the Old Market and a free concert at Sokol Hall.
2. Homebrew – Los Angeles and Atlanta (Masquerade Music Park)
3. Don’t Stay Home – Long Island, NY.
4. Down – Los Angeles
5. All Mixed Up – New York City
6. Transistor – Los Angeles
7. Prisoner – Los Angeles
8. Beautiful Disaster – New Orleans
You can see all the videos at http://www.altvideos.com and soon at mtv.com
126. What are 311’s outtakes?
firstname.lastname@example.org (Lou Wagner)
Outtakes are songs that 311 recorded for a particular album, but did not release.
On the Blue Album:
Tribute, Gap, Firewater, Let the Cards Fall (all available on Enlarged to Show Detail EP), Who’s Got the Herb? (available on 311 Live and the Hempilation soundtrack), Outside (on National Lampoon’s Senior Trip soundtrack), Juan Bond and an instrumental called Next.
Earth People, Grifters, The Quickening, Everything, Writer’s Block Party, Space Funk, Old Funk, To The Future and White Man in Hammersmith Palais (Clash cover, available on upcoming Clash tribute album May 4).
127. Where can I get 311 stuff?
All official 311 merchandise (including t-shirts, hats, posters, stickers, cd’s, guitar books, sweat-shirts, etc.) can be ordered through the Merchandise Section of the 311 web-site, 311music.com, or write to join our free mailing list at 311 Hive, 8904 Florence Drive, Omaha, NE 68147. For further info: email@example.com or 617-666-6445.
128. What’s this about a live album?
311 released Live! on Capricorn Records November 3, 1998. The record features fourteen live tracks.
129. Are you ever going to re-release the early Omaha albums (Dammit, Unity and Hydroponic)?
firstname.lastname@example.org (Jon Sheehan), Krackly@aol.com, Urge420@hotmail.com (Budman), email@example.com (ed correa)
We just released “Omaha Sessions” which is a compilation of our favorite songs from the early albums. We remixed and remastered the songs so this CD sounds much better than any bootlegs that are out there. The CD is available through the 311 Merchandise Section at http://www.311music.com or through our fan club merch brochure. For further info: firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-666-6445.
130. Are you going to do another Omaha Sessions with different early songs – If you are not releasing the early albums in their entirety?
VLB311@aol.com (Veronica), email@example.com (ed correa)
There are no plans for another Omaha Sessions and we don’t plan to release the early albums in their entirety. A number of the songs from our early records that didn’t end up on “Omaha Sessions” we’re already re-recorded for “Music”. ie: Do You Right, Feels So Good, etc…
131. I was just wondering what you thought about some of your older fans saying that you lost your roots and that you should revert back to the sounds of Music and Grassroots?
Roots intact…tree alive. We don’t think that we’ve lost our roots in any way. We have always tried to challenge ourselves musically and personally. We want to evolve and we want our music to evolve with us. That has been part of the 311 foundation since day one. We are proud of our early records and we still love playing those songs live (over 50% of our live show is usually from Music/Grassroots) – but we want to keep moving forward…so our new stuff may not sound exactly like the old stuff, but it still has the same roots and it’s still part of the same growing, living organism.
132. How does everyone feel about the new record in the making? Mainly, do you guys think that it’ll blow up huge like the blue alblum did or do you think it’ll be more of an underground success?
We just make our music. It’s really impossible to predict whether the industry will support it and whether it will blow up. We’ll release the best record we can and we’ll tour and then whatever happens, happens.
133. What’s that stuff on the cover of Grassroots, and who is the girl inside?
Kska2, firstname.lastname@example.org (craig)
The cover of Grassroots is a photograph of fungus and rust on the side of an old barrell. The photograph of the girl inside is a picture of a vintage 1960’s playing card.
134. What’s a Brodel?
Brodel is a slang term for brother.
135. Who is the Nazz?
The Nazz – is a term taken from a recording of Lord Buckley, who is our guitar tech’s (Trevor Cole) grandfather. He was like a Vaudeville speaker, right before the Beatnik era, where people would just get up and tell stories. One of his most famous ones was called “the Nazz”.
136. Who are the south-siders and who are the west-siders?
Nick, Tim, and Chad are from the westside of Omaha. They went to Westside High School. SA and P-Nut went to Bryan High School on the southside.
137. What 311 lyrics are repeated in other 311 songs?
The beginning of Omaha Stylee is from Unity. Interesting to note, the line “311 is down for the unity” happens at 3:11 into the track.
“Nod your head to this” is in Plain and Applied Science.
“Jump up and down cuz that’s the 311 style cruise on by the frowners float follow me now with a smile I gotta golden ticket, I’m not gonna even pick it I heard it he said it I heard it but it went but it went the rhythm will make you want to move your body I have heard it once and never ever forgot it” at the end of Nix Hex is taken from the lyrics to Visit. “trip the ‘shrooms fantastic and shit gets drastic” is in Loco and Fat Chance.
In the song Sweet and 1,2,3 Nick sings, “phenomenon 1 and 2 and 3”.
“my friend the city pity everywhere the enemy” is in Visit and Paradise.
“When I get up to the sun and then I strech out/smoke up-it’s beginning to smell like summer/mota.” – is in Random and Who’s Got The Herb.
138. How many records / videos has 311 sold?
Music is certified Gold (over 500,000 sold)
Grassroots is certified Gold (over 500,000 sold)
311 is certified Triple Platinum (over 3,000,000 sold)
Transistor is certified Platinum (over 1,000,000 sold)
Enlarged to Show Detail is a certified Platinum Video (over 100,000 sold)
139. Who is the Pawn Shop Press?
Pawn Shop Press is a graphic design company run by Jay Papke. They designed the 311 logo and the packaging for Grassroots and Transistor. Jay Papke directed the videos for Homebrew, All Mixed Up, Transistor, Prisoner, and Enlarged To Show Detail (The company is mentioned in the song Nutsymptom: “turn out the dope shit like the one that’s called Pawn Shop Press”.) You can see their website at www.pawnshoppress.com
140. What religion are the members of 311?
We don’t really adhere to any organized religion. We just have our own set of morals and beliefs which we apply to our own lives.
141. How do I join the fan club?
Our fan club is actually a free mailing list. Email Joan8904@aol.com and include your name and mailing address. You will recieve a newsletter with a color merchandise brochure. (Or you can send your info to 311 Hive at 8904 Florence Drive, Omaha, NE 68147).
142. What are “stranger flowers” from the song 8:16 AM?
The line Stranger Flowers in 8:16 A.M, comes from a book called On the Road by Jack Kerouac. (Interesting to note that On the Road has 310 pages. Could 311 be the next page of this exploratory novel, picking up where it leaves off?)
143. What does “We’re all from the same Lucy” mean from the song Electricity?
“We’re all from the same Lucy” refers to “Lucy” which is the name given to the earliest discovered human remains by scientists who support the theory of evolution.
143. Who is “Bobby” in the beginning of Silver?
(Nick): We recorded Grassroots in the living room of our house in Van Nuys, CA. There was a big glass sliding door that seperated the living room from the backyard. When I was recording vocals in the living room – Bobby, my German Shepard, was barking in the backyard, so I yelled, ” Bobby you be quiet out there.”
144. What does the French in Salsa mean?
The French in Salsa, “Je vais a plage parce que la guignol est chouette!” means “I go to the beach because the puppet show is grand.”
145. What’s the noise at the end of Galaxy?
The noise at the end of Galaxy is Scott Ralston saying, “There is just no denying it, that was it” and Chad says, “Yeah”.
146. Who’s the sumo guy in the Down video?
The sumo guy in the Down video was the guy in Unnecessary Roughness (a football movie in the early 90’s). He is the huge Hawaiian center for the team. A super cool guy.
147. Who is Terrence Henry from the song Silver? What did he do that was so terrible?
“The name is Terrence Henry. Thief of trust and money.”
Terence was a friend of ours when we first moved to Van Nuys. We let him stay at our house for a while. When he split, he used our phone card and ran up a huge phone bill… “Called all your relatives and your friends in hell.”
148. Who sings Firewater? Is it just Nick and SA or someone else because their voices sound lower.
Nick and SA both sing on Firewater. Their voices sound lower because the tape was slowed down during mastering, to give it a heavier vibe.
149. How did P-Nut get his nickname?
(P-Nut): I was playing bass and rockin’ out. My already long head was elongated in an illusion. My friend said, “go p-nut, go!”, because my head looked like a big peanut. From then on, the name just stuck.