Wednesday, February 23, 2011

311 at the Marquee Theatre Last Night (Phoenix New Times)

Marquee Theatre
February 22, 2011

Until last night I had never attended a sold out show at the Marquee. I had also never been surrounded by fans chanting any band's name as loudly as the audience of lovable stoners did last night as they waited anxiously for 311 to take the stage. Everyone in the venue was shouting, "Three eleven, three three eleven!" It sounded like the crowd would have collectively swallowed whole anyone wasn't enthusiastic.

311 is one of the most fun bands to watch. SA Martinez rocks back and forth and sways wildly as he raps, and Nick Hexum has as much energy on stage as Chris Martin of Coldplay does when he gets up from the piano. Nick jumped, kicked, flailed, and danced around the stage. It really got people going. Tim is amusing to watch as well -- he seemed to play most of the show with his eyes closed as though he's off in his own little guitar world, but as long as he could produce great sounds, which he did, then it's all good.

The band didn't waste a second by starting off with their loud and heavy hit "Down," and it only took one song for Nick to take off his button-down shirt and get even more comfortable with the crowd. I guess I wasn't the only one who let that good old 311 adrenaline rush get the best of me.

I've seen 311 three or four times before, but I've never heard the band play several songs they did last night, which was a nice change of pace. These guys always make a solid effort to significantly switch up their set list from night to night, which everyone can appreciate.

At every 311 show you go to, the highlight is usually one of three things: your favorite 311 song, the one song you've been dying to hear them play because they haven't played it in a while, or the solos.

For me it has always been the solos. P-Nut was slappin' da bass, and he sure did it well. Chad Sexton's drum set is only second to that of Neil Peart. There's nothing like seeing the group's drum routine, which is why their fans come out to see it time and time again. They do it at every single show. I don't care that P-Nut admitted to me that it's a complete rip-off of Jane's Addiction. In case you couldn't make it, this is the drumming greatness that you missed.

The guys performed a handful of oldies but goodies, which definitely made for a lot of crowd-pleasing hits. The energy reverberating between the band and their fans was immeasurable, and it undoubtedly made for a memorable night for anyone who attended the show.

Critic's notebook:

Last night: 311 at the Marquee Theatre.

Personal bias: Three eleven! Three three eleven! They're one of my favorite bands even though I've only been listening to them for about three years.

The Crowd: I wish there were more female 311 fans. Maybe there are lots of them and they just don't come to the shows. That's their loss. I've taken part in that uneven gender ratio at a 311 concert myself: I once went to a 311 show with nine guys. Last night was a sausagefest, as 311 concerts usually tend to be for whatever reason. Also, stoners enjoy them. You should've seen the guy behind me. He was so high he looked like he didn't know where he was.

Random notebook dump: Not surprisingly, the show was sold out. What was a little surprising was how many other states some of the crowd members came from.

You Wouldn't Believe
Sick Tight
Love Song
Mix It Up
All Mixed Up
Applied Science > Chad Sexton's drum solo > group drum routine > Applied Science
Beautiful Disaster
From Chaos
My Stoney Baby
Don't Stay Home
P-Nut's bass solo
Feels So Good

Creatures (For a While)

311 Made the Marquee Theatre Feel So Good (Phoenix New Times)

Not many can throw down at the Marquee Theatre quite like Omaha alternative band 311 did last night at their completely packed show. They rocked everyone's faces off, and they had everyone jumping around and singing at the top of their lungs.

The band was all about sharing their high energy and extreme positivity with the crowd a few months before their annual summer Unity Tour will kick off.

Read what 311 fans had to say about the show, and check out our review here:

@brodElla311: 311 BABY! 311-3-3-11!!!!!

@hellocindy: 311 days left in the year.. @311 playing the marquee - coincidence? i think not. sold out show.

@realBRENDOR: 311 played another amazing show at the Marquee in Tempe tonight!! Keep on doing your thing guys!

@turnitupinc: 311 Bitches!!!!

@mrsidique: @syalam Yeah they did play Down. Fun concert!


@TroyBeast: @Unity_c7 @pnut @nickhexum @311 Starshines!

@hexthis: Awesome @311 set @nickhexum @pnut I could watch u guys 24/7

@hopediggs: @nickhexum y'all never disappoint! Thanks for visiting the desert tonight! The show was jammin. I've been hitting your shows since 94.

311 at The Grove of Anaheim (Los Angles Music)

Fans caught glimpse of lead singer Nick Hexum's daughter Echo, who seemed eager to step out on stage, before 311 performed to a sold-out crowd at the City National Grove of Anaheim on Monday night.

Hexum and his wife are expecting daughter #2, due in late April.

Opening for 311 was Tears of Joy, a band formed by Jason T. Walters, who manages 311's studio 'The Hive'.

Walters's raps were reminiscent of old skool 311 and focused on positivity, an unjust legal system and getting high.

Lyrics from "Mic Check" (Say, who do I think I am? Who me, well, I'm the S to the H.I.T.) were a tad cringe-worthy, but once "Need to Get..." hits mainstream audiences, it's bound to become the next college anthem. Now's your chance to learn the lyrics and say you discovered them before everyone else!

311's Tim Mahoney joined Tears of Joy on stage to perform "To the Fullest", delivering his usual infectious enthusiasm and killer guitar riffs.

It was easy to spot 311 tattoos, autographed tee shirts and longtime fans while navigating through the packed venue. 311's ├╝ber-loyal fanbase is known to follow the band across the United States, in hopes of hearing their favorite songs and rarities perfomed live.

One staple fans are guaranteed to experience at every show is a drum solo led by Chad Sexton during "Applied Science", during which the entire band joins, drumming in unison.

311 is currently working with producer Bob Rock on their tenth studio album to be released before summer 2011.

"That was a damn good show, I feel like tour has fully begun and we're out to kick a whole hell of a lot of ass," bassist PNUT tweeted yesterday.

311 stay on track and keep it fresh (Charleston City Paper)

Morphing into a classic

For those who remember the tumultuous tangle of hybrid bands during the 1990s, it feels strange to adjust a specific tag like "cutting-edge rap-metal" to the more general "classic rock."

While the flash-in-the-pan acts who topped the charts during the heyday of the alt-rock era dissolved and disappeared after doing their respective things, others carried on and pushed into the 2000s. L.A.-based rock/reggae/hip-hop band 311 may be a prime example.

"I'm glad that we're among the bands of our era that are still going strong," says 311 vocalist/turntablist SA Martinez. "It's a testament to everyone's commitment to playing and seeing this project — and, of course, our fan base. It's not a 24/7 thing for us now. As the '90s were going away, we decided to take an extended break, which we'd never done before. You do lose momentum, but you avoid breaking up. You can find a way to recharge and keep going. That's the chief reason why it still works."

Martinez, vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum, guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton, and bassist P-Nut first came together in Omaha in 1990. They earned success in the '90s with the release of the albums Music and Grassroots and a series of hit singles, including "Down," "Love Song," and "Come Original."

After their hiatus in the 2000s, they regrouped for 2007's Unity Tour with Ziggy Marley. In 2009, 311 assembled in the studio with acclaimed producer Bob Rock and recorded Uplifter.

"We found that we can earn new fans, which is great," says Martinez. "The challenge is to keep what you have going."

There's a mix of some classic 311 moves and new twists on Uplifter. The funky rhythms, amp distortion, and dynamic shifts from rock to reggae sounds on "Hey You" are very familiar. The muscular and lunkheaded "Never Ending Summer" is practically a brand-new fight song. "Two Drops in the Ocean," on the other hand, lilts like a classic soft-rock ballad from the mid-'70s; it's squeaky clean with a few unexpected harmonies enhancing Hexum's nasally croon.

"It's always got to come from the heart, no matter the style," says Martinez. "We've learned that and gone forward making the music that we want to make."

Review: 311 at the Marquee Theatre (ASU News)

A typical Tuesday night was twisted upside down when 311 graced the Marquee Theater in Tempe. The Nebraska natives put on a solid show that drew in crowds of all types — from hardcore rocker fans blowing off steam to brace-faced high school kids trying to catch a break.

With a standing-room-only audience, 311 kicked off its set with “Down,” bringing the energy through the roof and making it quickly obvious why this band has been selling out shows for more than two decades.

The band’s unique ability to combine different sounds, styles and music genres has earned 311 a well-deserved reputation for putting on a great live show. Radio hits “Amber” and “All Mixed Up” offered prime examples of 311’s musical diversity. The band members showcased themselves as professionals who have really mastered their craft as musicians and entertainers — all while making their audience feel relaxed and comfortable.

When Nick Hexum and Doug ‘SA’ Martinez sang colorful vocals on top of the polished guitar of Tim Mahony in “Running” and “Beautiful Disaster,” it revealed how powerful the band’s chemistry is. The set list could’ve used some revision, but the songs still flowed together, whether the tunes had edge and power like “Jackpot” or were a tender, passionate crowd favorite such as “Love Song.”

The real surprise of the night came about ten songs in when the beast of the beats, drummer Chad Sexton, gave an out-of-this-world drum solo during “Applied Science.” Not one piece of his ridiculously huge drum set went untouched. The magic continued with a group drum routine, ultimately leaving the audience in an uproar. Aaron ‘P-nut’ Wills also proved his spot on stage with a bass solo showing everyone just how he can “slap dat bass,” as the crowd eloquently chanted.

Another shocker of the night was the opening act, Katastro. The band had a serious groove and swag that left everyone psyched and impressed.

The positive, carefree mentality that 311 is known for carried the band and its fans throughout the night until the guys closed with “Feels So Good” and the encore, “Creatures.” With their tenth album being released before summer and big tour packages following, 311 is back on everyone’s radar.

Monday, February 21, 2011

P-Nut of 311 on Perry Farrell, Secret Summer Events, and Rocking a Boat (Phoenix New Times)

I don't know how much there really is to do out in Omaha, Nebraska, but being a city girl, I'd imagine that living there would give people plenty of time to bounce artistic ideas off of one another and get creative. Out comes 311. The five-piece rock/rap band's sound is undeniably one-of-a-kind, and it's only getting better with every new album they release. Lucky for 311 fans, a new one is on the way this summer.

Don't miss out on an unbelievably good time that 311 will be giving locals at the Marquee Theatre this Tuesday.

We caught up with bassist P-Nut to discuss Lollapalooza Chile, this summer's highly anticipated Unity Tour, and the KKK. Side note: P-Nut gets my award for one of the most talkative, friendly bass players the world has ever known.

Up On The Sun: You guys have been working with producer Bob Rock, who has worked with many greats such as Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and the Offspring, to name a few. How does he do things differently for you guys compared to other producers?

P-Nut: Every person's different just in the simple way that we're all a little different. Bob's Canadian, which instantly makes him different in the subtlest ways. Our humor in America and Canada is slightly different. When we were making Uplifter a few years ago with Bob, there was that uncomfortable growing period where we were figuring out each other's sensibilities, mostly on the humor and satire side of things. He didn't know if we were joking or we were serious. Now that's all gone. He knows where we're coming from and we know where he's coming from.

He was really tough on me specifically as a bass player on the last album, and on this album he has kind of let me do what I want because I guess he broke me in. The last recording experience was very humbling because was pushing me really hard to make it not perfect but really vacuum-sealed lines interlaced with the drums. The rhythm section is really important; we've got to work together. He wanted that to be as powerful as possible. I learned a lot. Hopefully I carried on all those lessons into this album, and that's why this one has been easier for me to record.

UOTS: 311 has been in the studio lately, and we can expect a new release before this summer. Uplifter had less rapping and more rocking than some of your previous albums. What's the title of the upcoming album, and how does it sound compared to some of the other albums?

PN: We don't have a title yet. The list of suggestions is up on our while at our studio, The Hive, so we're mulling all of it over. Historically, this being an even album, number 10, we've done the title of a song for the album. Don't Tread On Me had a song called "Don't Tread On Me" on it. It's time for us to try to do the same, unless we want to buck history, which is fine too. [Choosing a title is] not the easiest thing to do.

But as far as sound, it's hard to say. There's definitely some old school 311 in these new songs, and at the same time, we've never really cared about trying to recreate something that we've done before. Sure, we'd like to sell albums like we did in the mid-90s, but everyone would want to, as my wife would say. It doesn't really matter that much. We can just tour. We've got a great audience that loves to see our show, and we're just going to concentrate on that and build out from there: just taking care of the people who take care of us, not trying to play for an audience of people who may or may not exist.

On this album, I've been let into the inner sanctum of lyric writing by SA and Nick! They've been coming to me semi frequently [and saying], "Hey, we're talking about putting this and this in the song. What have you got?" Right on the fly. I don't want to sit down with a pen and paper and write down what I think would be a good idea. I want to do it right then and there. We had a really great writing session where I wrote the chorus and a bunch of lines in the verses of this song that's a love letter to our fans, and I think it's a standout on this collection of songs. I'm really stoked about that because a lot of times my musical ideas get shot down because I'm a weirdo. At least I try to be a musical weirdo and give people things they haven't heard before. I love writing lyrics and I'm really having a good time with that, so hopefully that'll be something that will stick around with us. I can add to the depth of meaning in these songs.

UOTS: On Uplifter, you guys sing about your appreciation for music, living in the moment, being open-minded, women, and overall positivity. Uplifter is the perfect name for the material on that album, and the single "It's Alright" totally proves that.

P-Nut: That song came about from the bass solo and the bridge. We built that song out from that, and it was really fun. I played that line for Bob, and he was like, "That's a great song." It's a really simple song, but the message is really powerful, and I love playing that bass line!

That's one of the balancing things we have to do: we love playing our instruments, and we can play a lot of notes and we can play really fast or really complex stuff, but at the same time it's got to be a really great song. The song always trumps however much you want to show off. Songs like that and "Don't Dwell" and "Can't Fade Me" and "Wake Your Mind Up" all have these amazing bass lines in them, which would be interesting without vocals on them. And then when you put a good message on top of them and something that really does represent us in that positive way of solving problems and not adding to them, and kind of getting through the teenage years... I think that could be one of the biggest points that we've never even mentioned.

I love the whole It Gets Better campaign. High school is not the end of the world. You might think there's crazy drama, or your world is ending because you don't have enough friends on Facebook. You're going to grow up, and everything's going to be fine. High school is not the whole definition of you. Everyone feels like the world is ending at one point or another with some stupid drama that comes up when you're a teenager. But it gets so much better. Live through this. That's something that is really important to us because a lot of us are parents now.

UOTS: What's the idea behind the cover art for Uplifter? It's very visually intriguing.

PN: The art demanded to be released as it was. We bought it and got the rights to it and adapted it to fit in the logo and the name of the album. The artist was really cool about changing things around a little bit. We're thrilled to have that in our [catalog] of album art. It's really a standout because it's just a genius piece of work. [The artist's] name is Christian Montenegro. He's an Argentinian badass. [He makes] really cool art, even alongside the stuff that we grabbed. His personality really lent us to using it as well. We had to change it; we couldn't just put his art on there. I could see artists being specific about wanting to leave it. I wouldn't want to change a song to sell Pringles [or something], but hopefully we're not that bad. He didn't mind augmenting his work for us.

UOTS: You're on the artist roster for Lollapalooza Chile, which will take place in April. What is the band expecting of Perry Farrell for this new festival?

PN: I was thrilled we got invited. It's about time! We've been around for 20 years and we never did a Lollapalooza show. Doing the inaugural Chilean Lollapalooza is going to be something we'll be able to hold onto for the rest of our lives.

I'm expecting the unexpected. I've seen pictures of [Farrell] performing totally naked. As a band, we've followed [Jane's Addiction's] career since they were a local band out here in Los Angeles, and we've been influenced by their creativity and their freedom and their sound. We pretty much ripped off our drum jam that we do in the middle of our show straight from them. They're a big influence on us more as a symbol of how to be a great band. We don't really sound like them, but I don't think we'd be the same band if they hadn't existed. We're really happy to be a part of anything that Perry and Jane's Addiction is doing as a whole.

UOTS: The 311 Caribbean cruise to Turks and Caicos is coming up, on which you'll be playing four shows. How does a five-day rock cruise differ from normal shows and regular environments where you'd normally play gigs?

PN: We're going to find out. This is going to be a first for us. The only thing we've ever done on a boat is an acoustic thing for a radio station out [in Los Angeles]. It was really fun, but this is going to be [on] a huge ocean liner, and it's all 311 fans. It's going to be a hot mess of fun no matter what. But is it going to be fun on the crazy side or is it going to be fun on the surprising side? We'll see. It's going to be a learning experience for all those involved, band and fans included.

UOTS: Any word on who will be joining you on this summer's Unity Tour?

PN: It's confirmed, but I don't think I can say it just yet. I really wish I could. It'll be announced really soon, and anyone who was alive in the 90s and likes great music will be really really stoked about this summer. So save up your money for when we come into town because you're going to be really excited about who we're bringing with us.

UOTS: The 311 website says that a special event will go along with the summer tour. Can your fans get any hints about what that might entail?

PN: It's going to be a multi-day event with a bunch of bands. We're going to play another album in its entirety. We played Music in its entirety over Halloween last year in Atlanta. We're going to play another album this summer for the people who come out for that event. That's going to be super awesome.

There are so many things going on with the band that I don't even know what to be more excited about. All of those random factors in the cruise, because we've never done it before, are going to be hilarious [since] it's such a different environment. And then the summer is going to be like normal, except on steroids. With the bands that are coming out with us, that's going to be huge. We do amphitheater tours every summer no matter what, no matter who's out with us. It seems like this is going to be selling out every night. I know if these bands were coming through, I would be really excited about seeing the two together. The thing this fall is going to be just crazy. This is a great year. My son is five months old, so I'm getting used to being totally overwhelmed with how kickass everything's been lately. I'm a thankful person.

UOTS: I know this question is such a joke to you guys by now, but I want to set the record straight! I don't personally believe the KKK rumor, but what's really the story behind the band's name?

PN: The story behind the band's name was that the original guitarist, Jim Watson, got arrested [for] skinny-dipping in a pool. The police code for indecent exposure is three-eleven. We were looking for a name that didn't really mean anything, like The Smiths. Morrissey picked that name because it was the blandest thing. In the 80s [there were] all these really fancy names for bands.

[I think people should] let the music speak for itself. The same thing is true with us. 311 can mean anything you want. You can associate meaning to numbers in very profound ways, or you can do it in very idiotic ways, like in the case of the KKK reference for us. First of all, we're a multicultural band. We're philosophically positive. We're inclusive, not exclusive. All of these things make [that controversy] very laughable. At the same time, when [that rumor] first came out and our songs were being played on the radio for the first time, people wanted to know if it was true. They wanted to talk about it. We've used it because it's such an easy springboard to jump into the denial pool. Just perfect.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Q&A with 311 singer SA Martinez (ASU News)

The alternative music scene has been graced with over two decades of 311’s commitment to rock. The band is looking to leave yet another mark with their upcoming 10th studio album set to release before the summer. Singer/DJ of 311, SA Martinez, shared with The State Press his excitement about the band’s future and their Tuesday show at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe.

State Press: After making over twenty years of solid hits and earning your reputation in the music industry as a “need-to-see-live” band, do you still get excited for your performances? What is it that personally keeps you going?

SM: The fans, really. They keep coming out to the shows, thank God. They’re everything; they are the foundation that this has all been built on. Will we tire of it? I hope not. It’s fine when it’s time to call it a day, but we still have a blast. It takes a lot of energy, and after you get back from a tour, you are just wrecked. For a couple days, you have to forget about doing anything normal.

SP: What do you look forward to most with the band? Writing new music, performing, or maybe even the official “3-11 day” in New Orleans?

SM: Really, what I look forward to is the band just hanging out. When we’re on tour, we don’t really get to see each other a lot. We travel on different buses and the days leading up to the show get filled up. Playing is great; it’s the most fun part of being on tour, but going into the studio and just hanging out with everybody and putting together songs is it. Here’s the thing: we’ve been together so long, and we know each other so well, and there’s such a comfort being with everybody. It’s a relationship and it deepens as time goes on. When we’re hanging out, we bring up old memories that made us laugh, that still make us laugh. Hanging out: that is the best part of being in a band.

SP: 311 is one of the few remaining bands of the early ‘90s. How have you managed to tolerate each other over the years? Have there ever been any close calls, or do you still have chemistry as band mates?

SM: The chemistry is obviously very strong for the band; it is what brought us together and held us together over all these years. Communicating — it’s what has done a lot of bands in. People just don’t talk … Communication is key in any relationship, period. It’s nice to be quiet now and then, and we relish that, but being in a band or a relationship, you have to be able to express yourself.

SP: How did you envision 311 20 years ago? What was your start like?

SM: The chemistry was instantaneous. We were always honing what we did, and we didn’t take a break. When we moved out from Nebraska to LA, we got a band house and we all lived together. We basically had all the material ready for our first record, and so before even being signed we were working on another record. We weren’t content, and we kept working on getting songs together. That is what paid off for us. Also, the aspect of going out and playing as many shows as we could. We really were just getting gas money in the early days to make it from point A to point B, but that kept us going.

SP: Do you feel that 311 has met its goals as a band?

SM: We crushed, unlike anything that we ever thought we would. When we first started the band, none of us saw it going this far; we couldn’t see a month down the road. There’s a lot of energy and excitement involved in just getting out there and in front of people, especially people out there that can help you further your career. We never saw this coming, but we definitely believed in the band. I, for sure, felt strongly about it.

SP: Is there an inside scoop you can tell us about your upcoming 10th album that’s due out before summer 2011?

SM: Well, it’s going to be our shortest, as far as length and duration. Really, it’s so strong, and that’s just it … The music is still relevant. I think our fans are going to love it — both the hardcores and fans that know us from the radio.

311 will perform at the Marquee Theater on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Bass Line: Talking to 311 (Rebel Yell)

311 Bassist, P-Nut, called The Rebel Yell from his Los Angeles home on a monumental day — the first day he and his wife were able to leave their five-month-old at home. Their date plans? A simple lunch. P-Nut’s approach to his personal life is similar to his musical method. He spoke about making music for 311’s loyal fans, Nevada’s “irresponsible” lawmaking and why he’ll be playing with 311 until he’s six feet under.

The Rebel Yell: 311 is working on a new album. What can you tell us about it?

P-Nut: We’re wrapping everything up. We’re trying to just come up with ideas that will add a little color to, what I think, are great songs. It’s just all about putting the period at the end of the sentence in this last day. It’s really exciting. We’re stoked about these songs.

RY: When you’re working on a new album, do you focus on individual songs or the album as a whole?

P-Nut: This time around we’re just trying to write songs for our core audience. We’re still trying to find our place in the world as the music industry has shifted so drastically. Since day one, it’s been about live shows, about putting on a live performance that we can be satisfied with and that people will go home talking about. We want to burn the house down every night. That’s what’s kept us for so long. When we’re in front of you … we are going to knock you over.

RY: Why was it important to the band to tour before the album’s release?

P-Nut: This tour [that stops in Las Vegas] is warming us up for the [311 Caribbean Cruise] at the beginning of March. We’re trying to add more and more special events because the fans really seem to enjoy 311-focused celebrations.

RY: I noticed you tweet your fans. How has social networking changed your relationship with them?

P-Nut: It’s just added to it. We’ve had a fan club since ‘94 and we’ve had an active presence online since ‘96. We’re all about keeping the fans kind of close. It’s so easy and we love to communicate. No one would have ever seen it coming 15 years ago but it’s a part of our daily lives now. Who knows where it’s going next but I’m excited to be riding the wave with our fans.

RY: Has using Twitter resulted in any strange experiences with fans?

P-Nut: I’ve really only had to block one person [on Twitter]. And, I can be pretty intense in my atheistic views. I like challenging people’s views and I like to be challenged by my own views. I don’t mind that kind of conflict online. I think it’s a really good thing.

RY: In the past, you’ve been outspoken about your own drug use. Is that something you’ve reconsidered now that you have a five-month-old?

P-Nut: No, not at all. I think the way we’ve sequestered drug use into this criminal umbrella is really where the problem is. Drug users and drug abusers aren’t criminals until they break the law by stealing or hurting someone to feed their need. That’s when you’re talking about hard drugs. You’ll never hear about a stoner robbing someone so they can get a joint. The laws that Nevada had on the books for 50-some odd years — smoke a joint, go to jail? Come on! That’s irresponsible lawmaking and it’s really just racism when it comes down to it.
The laws were set up to hassle the people lawmakers wanted to hassle and [marijuana] was one way they could do it. Stoners aren’t criminals and I think America is starting to wake up to that.

RY: 311 is originally from Nebraska. How did you guys develop your unique sound there?

P-Nut: We’re just a reflection of what we were listening to. You’re a product of your environment. We were feeding ourselves Red Hot Chili Peppers, 24/7 Spyz and Fishbone. It’s just about hard, rocking funk. We wanted to play music because it’s so much fun. We complement each other really well.

RY: You play The Joint next weekend, what’s one of your favorite songs to play live?

P-Nut: It changes daily, nightly, per the set we’re playing. Certain songs from our second album, Grassroots, like “Six” or “Offbeat Bare Ass” are just so out there. They’re so fun to play and so out there. These are songs that just wouldn’t have come from any other group of people in any part of history and we’re totally proud of that. As an artist, you’re getting a license to be completely honest, completely ridiculous and completely yourself.
Somewhere in there you can find you voice. You’re being led to that by the people that support you. Any shortcut away from that is canceling out a great opportunity to be honest and bold and silly.

RY: Why do you think 311’s earlier hits are still popular in the college scene?

P-Nut: They feel good. We haven’t had to go out of our way to be positive. That’s just who we are. In that party situation we fit in really good. We’re never going to bring you down. If we bring you down, we’ll always be able to pick you back up.

RY: What next for 311? Is retirement an option?

P-Nut: No way! That’s what’s so great about music. It’s not like I’m a professional basketball player or a ditch digger. I’m going to be able to do this until I’m in the ground.
If you choose music or any kind of art, besides dance which becomes physically impossible, you can do it forever. I wouldn’t be the person I am if I hadn’t picked up the violin when I was six and moved on to bass when I was 11. The joy that you can get from playing along with a Pixies song or a current song like Cee Lo or an Iron and Wine song … my wife is totally cracking up at me. [laughs]

RY: You better go enjoy your date.
P-Nut: Thanks!