Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's Trending (CBS News)

The number one downloaded song of this week was still LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem," which has beaten out all the newer songs entering the chart. One surprise however, was seeing 311 becoming the ninth most download artist of the week, thanks to the latest release, "Universal Pulse." The eight-track album features "Sunset in July," and if you're a fan of this band's low key, reggae influenced rhythms, you'll find this song right up your alley. Time will only tell if this song has enough legs to make it past this month.

Friday, July 29, 2011

311 Pow Wow Music Festival (St. Petersburg Times)

Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park and Campground
3076 95th Drive , Live Oak FL 32060

Add this to the list of music fests taking place this summer: Rap/metal group 311 is launching its own rock/reggae festival in north Florida.

Inaugural lineup includes: Sublime With Rome, G.Love, Soja, the Dirty Heads, Reel Big Fish, Ozomatli, Streetlight Manifesto, the Supervillians, Ballyhoo, DJ Soulman and DJ Trichrome. 311 will perform two sets each night, including the entire Transistor album.

Price: Three-day tickets start at $135.
Categories: Concert, Festivals, Music
Phone: (386) 364-1683

Gross-out king ready for some stunts (Charlotte Observer)

Sunday: On an off night from 311's Unity Tour, DJs Soulman and Trichrome hit NoDa's newest music venue, The Chop Shop (399 E. 35th St.) 24 hours before hitting the big stage at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre with 311 and Sublime with Rome. Soulman, the former Phunk Junkeez frontman, and Trichrome, who continues to spin vinyl in the digital age, provide the dance floor soundtrack. John Norris will be doing live art. Limited early-bird tickets are available for $5 for age 21 and up. Tickets are $7 at the door. $10 for ages 18-21.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shows: 311 Unity Tour 2011 Boston (From the Photo Pit)

311 is actually the band that got Jenn and myself into live music photography. Both of us are die hard fans and have been for several years. This time was no different than any other time we’ve been able to photograph them…..An amazing experience.
The band is on the beginning leg of their Unity Tour, which they do every summer and have since 2004. Their 10th studio album release “Universal Pulse” just came out on July 19th and as an avid fan, I suggest you pick it up especially since it’s only $7.99 on Amazon right now.

Nick Hexum rocks the throat and rhythm guitar section, SA Martinez represents vocals and the turntables, Pnut on the bass, Tim Mahoney on lead guitar, and Mr Chad Sexton on the drums. The five of them make music ranging from hip hop rock to dancehall reggae.

Their set in Boston on July 23rd comprised of a good mix of old hits and new. They also debuted the song “Trouble” off the new album for the first time which was a special treat. A highlight for me personally was their live sound. On this tour, they have along with them their old buddy Scotch Ralston, who was with them in the mid to late 90′s and really perfected the 311 sound that I came to love. The band sounded better than ever, which is what I expected when I heard Ralston was on tour with them as the sound guy. Don’t miss the Unity Tour when it comes to your area.

Jenn also runs an online, band and management approved, 311 radio station that streams album, b-side, rare, and live songs 24/7. You can check it out here.

1. Beautiful Disaster
2. Come Original
3. Prisoner
4. Do You Right
5. Sunset In July
6. Silver
7. All Mixed Up
8. Wild Nights
9. Stealing Happy Hours
10. Applied Science
11. Loco
12. Amber
13. Weightless
14. Flowing
15. Jackpot
16. Nutsymtom
17. You Wouldn’t Believe
18. Beyond The Gray Sky
19. Plain
20. Down
21. Trouble*
22. Creatures (For a While)

Ep 38 w/ P-Nut from 311! (A Shot of Yager)

I have been waiting all of my life to say “P-Nut, Beat That Thing!” In addition to finally getting that opportunity I also had a chance to talk to 311’s lovable bassist about the new album, Universal Pulse, which dropped last week just a few days before 311 took over Jones Beach Theater with Sublime w/ Rome. P-Nut talks about the big year 311 are having after putting on the first ever 311 Day Cruise earlier this year and their first ever Pow Wow Festival taking place over three days next week in Florida. P-Nut and I talk about what makes 311 the ultimate summer band, what their songwriting process is like, the famous 311 drum solo, and what we can expect from the band in the future (hint: more cruises). Follow P-Nut on twitter @Pnut as well as the band @311!

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If the sweaty T-shirt fits, you're at 311's Unity Tour (Virginian-Pilot)

The Unity tour, headlined and organized by 311, has become a show that fans expect to see each summer. With this year's eighth edition of the tour, stopping tonight in Virginia Beach, 311 singer/guitarist Nick Hexum believes his band has an ideal support act in Sublime With Rome.

"I think it's kind of an obvious choice because there's always been a crossover of our fans and their fans. If you go to a Sublime show, there are probably going to be some 311 shirts, and I can definitely attest that if you go to a 311 show, there are a few Sublime T-shirts out in the audience. So there's a commonality in the music that we have mutual fans. It's kind of a dream tour for fans of reggae and good-time summer music."

Both bands will be touring behind new albums. For 311, the new disc, "Universal Pulse," comes just two years after "Uplifter." That's a nice change for fans, who waited five years for the band (which also includes vocalist/deejay SA Martinez, drummer Chad Sexton, guitarist Tim Mahoney and bassist P-Nut) to release the previous album.

The shorter interval was by design, Hexum said.

"Rather than taking a long time to make a long album, we realized that our fans, if they had a choice, they'd probably rather have a shorter album sooner."

As a result, "Universal Pulse" is a compact record, with just eight songs. It's also an up-tempo, hard-hitting CD. You'll still hear the reggae, world beat grooves and rap elements that have been part of 311's sound since the band debuted with the 1993 CD "Music." But "Universal Pulse," 311's 10th studio release, is mostly a catchy rock album.

"I can't think of a harder album, because this one doesn't have any ballads," Hexum said. "It's either fast or heavy on this new album."

As for Sublime With Rome, that group's new album, "Yours Truly," is a coming-out party for new singer Rome Ramirez and a new edition of a band that has gained stature over the past decade and a half.

The other two members are drummer Bud Gaugh and bassist Eric Wilson, the rhythm section of the band Sublime. The original group was just tasting success when singer/guitarist Bradley Nowell died of a drug overdose in 1996.

Rather than carry the Sublime name forward, Gaugh and Wilson formed a group called the Long Beach Dub Allstars, then split. Gaugh joined the short-lived group Eyes Adrift, and Wilson started the band Long Beach Short Bus.

But even as Gaugh and Wilson separated, Sublime's fame and reputation grew. Its two studio albums, "40 Oz. to Freedom" (1992) and "Sublime" (1996), became hits, while the group's mix of ska, reggae, punk, surf rock and hip-hop influenced a host of acts that have come along since.

The idea of forming a new edition of Sublime surfaced a couple of years ago after Ramirez met Wilson while the two were working at a studio owned by a mutual friend. Ramirez (who loved Sublime growing up) and Wilson began jamming together and became friends. According to Ramirez, 23, the idea of forming a new Sublime happened quite casually.

"He actually just kind of thought of it one day and just asked me. He's like, 'Would you be down with singing with Sublime?'

"So we went to see Bud (Gaugh) and hung out with Bud for a little bit and jammed the next week.

"It was awesome, man. That was the start of great things."

A successful tour last year set the stage for the next step - recording a new CD as Sublime With Rome (the name the band adopted after Nowell's family and estate sued to prevent the trio from performing or recording under the name Sublime).

The new album, "Yours Truly," carries forward Sublime's musical trademarks, with ska informing the songs "Panic" and "My World," reggae underpinning "Lovers Rock" and "Murdera," and punk surfacing on "Paper Cuts."

Both bands plan to include several of their new songs in their shows on this summer's Unity tour.

Ramirez also expects to feel more at home onstage after last year's tour forced him to make a big transition in a hurry.

"I went from playing in front of 200 people to 20,000 people in two months. There was no in between. I wouldn't let fear dictate my future and ruin anything. So I just said, 'Hey, this is your shot. This is it. Just have fun.' "

As for 311, there will be no such challenges, and the new songs should translate well to the stage, Hexum said.

"Record sales and all that comes and goes, but what's important is that we have an album that serves what we want to play live. So this new album was very much customized to be really good to play live."


For a ninth straight year, 311 will bring unity to the states.

Living up to the essence of its "Unity Tour 2011" billing, 311 will join forces with fellow '90s reggae-esque rockers Sublime (with singer Rome Ramirez), for a tour that is sure to make any outdoor venue that much hotter.

The Unity Tour hits Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow tomorrow at 6:30 p.m.

"If you're a Sublime fan and then a 311 fan, or vice versa, then this is kind of like a dream tour," bassist Aaron "P-Nut" Wills told Weekender in a phone interview from Los Angeles.

"We're excited to bring the bands' friendly and not-so-friendly rivalry from the '90s to the stage."

Like Sublime, 311 was formed in 1988 and released a number of wildly popular albums throughout the next decade. Each appealed to a younger, ska-alternative-loving demographic--and more often than not, their respective fans were fans of both bands.

As time went on, 311 and Sublime saw this appreciation as less of a competition and more of a way to mutually step up their game.

"Both bands really helped elevate artistic output and tenacity," said P-Nut. "Knowing there was another [awesome] band out there was a huge motivator."

Earlier this month, 311 released its 10th studio album, "Universal Pulse." If you're a fan of vintage 311, this latest LP is infused with the hypnotic funk, crafted distortion and infectious rhythm that's defined the Oklahoma-bred band since its inception.

As P-Nut reflects on album No. 10, he can't help but note the biggest agent of change in 311 over the years: Experience.

"The experiences that we've shared are the biggest difference," he said. "We've turned our hopes and dreams into a reality and then manifested them into something beyond--so beyond--what we ever dreamed of."

From the get-go, 311 has endorsed a strict work ethic while balancing the lives of rock stars. P-Nut describes this ethic as stemming from a "regimented drum corps, philosophical background.

"To record [our first album, 'Music'] in 1992 was a really, really special thing," he said.

"We got our ideas down and then started making a second album. We put in so much hard work and dedication that these days it's a routine.

"If we [had been messing around] in the beginning and not taking our opportunities seriously, we wouldn't be where we are today."

And where 311 finds itself today is a pretty happy place. The band is one of the few early-'90s rock bands still headlining major venues, as many of its peers resort to free festival shows or cease to exist.

Aside from hefty album sales, millions of fans and the opportunity to tour the country "like an ant crawling through a yard," P-Nut credits 311 for also playing Cupid.

"A year into touring, I met my wife," said P-Nut. "We've been married for three years and we have a beautiful 10-month-old son. Meeting the love of my life and creating a unique child--you can't beat that."

Music Box: Rock and reggae into your weekend (The Capital, Annapolis)

Modern rock reggae outfit 311 rages on tomorrow night at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Va., with Sublime with Rome and two DJs (6:30 p.m. gates).

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311 formed in Omaha, Neb., in 1988. The music world embraced the band wholeheartedly in 1995 with the release of a self-titled album that included the radio hit songs "Down" and "All Mixed Up." In 2011, 311 put out an album called "Universal Pulse."

The band Sublime came together in that same formative year, 1988. Sublime also found success with a self-titled album and a catchy, hit song: "What I Got."

Sadly, frontman Bradley Nowell died along the way and he owned the band name. So, for legal reasons, the band now tours with new guitarist-singer Rome Ramirez using the extended name, Sublime with Rome.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pick of the Pack (Republica)

311, a rock outfit with a hint of reggae music, returns to the scene with a new single as the lead from their recently dropped 10th album, “Universal Pulse.” Entitled “Sunset In July,” lead singer Nick Hexum says it’s a song about what the group loves doing the most: playing live and watching fans dancing in the aisles and having the time of their lives.

There’s no bigger inspiration. And the very spirit is evident in the single. “Sunset In July” is no disappointment and is highly recommended to alternative rock lovers.

311 in Wantagh, NY (SoundSpike)

311 is on the road headlining "The Unity Tour," which kicked off earlier this month (7/8) and is slated to run through the end of August. The band; Nick Hexum (lead vocals), S.A. Martinez (vocals), P-Nut (bass), Tim Mahoney (guitar) and Chad Sexton (drums) has made it something of a tradition, as the trek marks the band's 9th consecutive summer headlining tour.

Part of the tour includes next month's launch of the band's "311 Pow Wow Festival a three-day, two-stage event at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL, a 500-acre park and campground. The bill features acts including Deftones, Ozomatli, G. Love, The Dirty Heads and Sublime with Rome -- who are also currently supporting the Unity tour -- and 311 who will perform at least one set each day (8/4-6).

We're "Down" With 311 at Bethel Woods (Liberty Independent)

If you lived your teenage years in the 90′s, you know theres no better music than what we listened to growing up. Most of the 90′s bands that tour only play the larger venues closer to New York City. But last March, Bethel Woods answered by announcing that the 311 Unity Tour was coming in July. Sublime (with Rome) & 311 – two of my favorite bands from my youth playing 10 minutes from home? I’m there!!

The show was last Monday and the rain was coming down all day. It looked like it was never going to end. The large crowd that was waiting patiently in the rain was relieved to see the sun come out just minutes before Sublime with Rome took the stage. Sublime was very popular in the 90′s with hits like “Santeria”, “What I Got”, and “Wrong Way”. But in 1996 Sublime’s Bradley Nowell passed and with him the band Sublime. But in 2009 Sublime bassist Eric Wilson and drummer Bud Gaugh brought back Sublime with new lead singer Rome Ramirez aka Rome. Shortly after the band was renamed Sublime with Rome.

Sublime came out performing new songs, lesser known songs, and the hits made famous by the original Sublime. The audience was in it from the start singing along to songs that still get airtime on radio stations – almost 20 years later. Every song played brought me back to listening to Sublime back in High School. I even heard “Lovin’, is what I got, I said remember that” from my kids 11 and 14 as they sang along.

Sublime with Rome played a relatively short set only lasting about an hour. This gave us time to hit the concessions at Bethel Woods before 311 took the stage. The concessions at Bethel Woods ran really smoothly and there seemed to be more than enough places to buy beer, etc… The only snag we had was waiting about 15 minutes for a bag a popcorn, but Jesus C. who was working the stand we were at was very apologetic and had a smile the entire time.

After a short intermission it was on to the main act, 311. 311 has actually been in existence since 1988, working out of lead singer/rhythm guitar Nick Hexum’s basement in Nebraska. Today the band has sold over 8 million records worldwide, and if you haven’t heard any of their hits over the last 20 years you’ve been living under a rock. “Down”, “Amber”, “Love Song”, “Come Original”, “Tansistor”, “All Mixed Up”, and “Beautiful Disaster” are just a few of their hits.

The lights came down on the pavilion and the show was on. 311 got the crowd right into it by kicking the show off with the hit song “Beautiful Disaster”. 311 played almost straight to 11pm with just a short intermission. Every song was perfect, 311 is definitely a band that needs to be seen live. The crowd was dancing and singing in unison to every song that was played. As 311 played their newest song “Sunset in July” I took a minute to look around and take in the grounds of this great venue while in use. Everything was perfect, Bethel Woods is not too big and not too small. It’s a jewel of a venue that was obviously very thought out.

The sound at Bethel Woods was perfect, it was nice and clear inside the pavilion and in the lawn seats. The band sounded exactly as they do in their recordings. 311′s stage crew also added to the show with lighting that drew you into every song played.

We have to give Bethel Woods a perfect 10 on this show. Even with the miserable weather that greeted guest, the staff was friendly and courteous. Everything was orderly and you never felt unsafe. Even leaving the parking area was fast and flawless. The only thing we have to suggest is – get more 90′s bands!

SWU confirma shows de Primus, 311 e Michael Franti & Spearhead (O Globo)

RIO - O SWU anunciou mais atrações para o seu line-up nesta terça-feira: as bandas Primus e 311 vêm pela primeira vez ao Brasil e se apresentam no dia 14 de novembro, ao lado de Faith no More, Megadeth, Sonic Youth e o DJ Sven Väth. O cantor, compositor e poeta Michael Franti e seu grupo Spearhead também foram confirmados pela produção do festival, que este ano acontece em Paulínia, no interior de São Paulo. Além de Michael Franti, no dia 12 estão confirmados os shows de Damian Marley, Snoop Dogg e Black Eyed Peas e os DJs-sets de Frankie Knuckles e James Murphy (ex-LCD Soundsystem). O dia 13 por enquanto tem apenas o show de Peter Gabriel & the New Blood Orchestra.

Fundados na década de 80, Primus e 311 são conhecidos pela sua mistura de rap e metal, bastante popular nos anos 90 - o Primus foi para o lado do funk metal e o 311 é considerado um dos precursores do new metal. Já Michael Franti faz um som politizado, de tons multiculturais. Seu mais recente lançamento foi o disco "The sound of sunshine". E o vídeo de uma das músicas, "Say hey (I love you)", foi gravado no Rio. O primeiro lote de ingressos para o SWU começou a ser vendido no último dia 11, pelo site, com preço promocional. Até o dia 29 de agosto, o passaporte para os três dias custa R$ 535,50, enquanto cada dia separado sai a R$ 210.

A expectativa da organização do SWU é de receber 70 mil pessoas por dia, num total de 210 mil pessoas. Para abrigar os shows, serão montados quatro palcos, sendo que três ao ar livre. Neste ano, o evento será realizado uma área total de 1,7 milhão de metros quadrados, quatro vezes maior que em 2010. O camping terá espaço único para 2,5 milbarracas e até 10 mil pessoas, com banheiros com água reutillizada.

Também foram anunciadas a ampliação do raio e aumento da quantidade de sinalização dentro e no entorno do local do festival, a multiplicação por dez da quantidade de vagas no bicicletário, e uma melhor distribuição dos banheiros químicos pelas arenas onde acontecerá o festival.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sublime with Rome and 311 @Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, 7/22/11 (Short and Sweet NYC)

As I got out of my car Friday night my first thought was “Holy crap it is hot out here.” Sublime with Rome and 311 were the acts of the night. They had the horrible misfortune of playing on the hottest night of the year so far. The fortune however, was that they played at my favorite venue in the tri-state area. Jones Beach Theater is literally on the beach. It is an open amphitheater with views of the water all around you.

Walking through the parking lot it was easy to see how excited everyone was. Everyone was sitting by their cars drinking, talking or dancing. Every car played a different song but all from either 311 or Sublime. When you entered the concert area the first thing you saw was the massive Ford setup that included the new 2012 Ford Focus and everything surrounding it. To be very honest, my friend almost walked away with a new lease. It’s hard to sell me on something but there was so much I liked. Sony actually has their name in the car because all the audio equipment is theirs. The remote start is something my 2000 Mazda certainly does not have. The best part above all is the auto parking. The guy showing us the car saw we were skeptics and promised he had used it earlier that day and loved it. After establishing we were city people he said the 2012 Ford Focus can park itself with only 2 inches left on each side. Before leaving we entered tickets for a serious money raffle and walked away with lots of Ford Focus freebies.

After that serious detour to gawk at cars we took our seats. There were two different DJ’s who spun tunes before the bigger acts. Sublime with Rome was a major opening act. Everyone was standing up and even though the sun was still blazing, everyone danced to the beat. Sublime songs are everlasting, people of all different ages were rocking out. Most people don’t realize it but when you are in front of your favorite band, hearing them play your favorite song, you get a gooey look on your face. It was easy to see an audience full of grinning faces. The last and most memorable song they played was “Santeria.” There was not a single person present who was not either singing or mouthing the words along. After they left the stage audience members screamed for more and chanted for the band to come back.

After another DJ interlude, 311 hit the stage just as the sun set. The energy and vibe were electric. No one sat down, not once. As the sun set it became cooler and people relaxed. High energy songs like “Jackpot” had people jumping up and down while screaming. Songs like “Come Original” and “Amber” mellowed to crowd into an easy beat. “Sunset in July” was the perfect song of the evening. It spoke to everyone there and made the entire concert feel intimate. After an excellent evening I went home tired and with a little less hearing, which is the exact feeling you should leave a concert with.

Primus e 311 são confirmados no festival SWU (ULO Musica)

O festival SWU anunciou nesta terça-feira (26) as atrações Primus e 311, que se apresentam no último dia do evento. As bandas americanas se juntam às já anunciadas Michael Franti & Spearhead, Peter Gabriel, Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, Damian Marley, Faith No More, Sonic Youth e Megadeth.

Na tenda eletrônica, se apresentam os DJs James Murphy, Sven Väth e Frankie Knuckles.O festival SWU acontece de 12 a 14 de novembro em Paulínia, interior de São Paulo.

Formado em 1984, o Primus vem ao Brasil apresentando seu novo disco, "Green Naugahyde", que chega às lojas em 13 de setembro. A banda 311 também traz a turnê de seu álbum mais recente, "Universal Pulse", lançado este mês.

Os ingressos para o evento já estão à venda por R$ 210 (pista) ou R$ 535,50 (passaporte para os 3 dias) e podem ser comprados pelo site, pelo telefone 4003-1212 e nos pontos de venda credenciados. Há meia-entrada para os dois valores. Neste ano, não haverá taxa de conveniência para ingressos comprados nos pontos de venda. Para bilhetes adquiridos pela internet, a taxa foi reduzida para 10%. As vendas para área vip e camping terão início em agosto.

O SWU 2011 vai acontecer em Paulínia --no ano passado o evento foi realizado em Itu--, cidade no interior de São Paulo que fica a 120 quilômetros da capital. O local que vai abrigar o festival também tem uma área quatro vezes maior do que a do ano passado. Até o momento, estão confirmadas as seguintes apresentações:

12/11 - Sábado
- Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, Damian Marley e Michael Franti & Spearhead
- DJs James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) e Frankie Knuckles

13/11 - Domingo
- Peter Gabriel & The New Blood Orchestra

14/11 - Segunda-feira
- Megadeth, Sonic Youth, Faith No More, Primus e 311
- DJ Sven Vath

Segundo a organização, a edição 2011 contará com melhorias em sua infraestrutura, como, por exemplo, o aumento da praça de alimentação e do bicicletário, além de melhor localização e maior número de banheiros. Na parte de camping, 2.500 barracas serão disponibilizadas, com capacidade para 10 mil pessoas.

O festival terá ao todo 70 atrações musicais divididas em 3 palcos (Energia, Consciência e New Stage) e uma tenda de música eletrônica (Greenspace), que também cresceu de tamanho. A pedidos do público, a área vip será deslocada para a lateral dos palcos e sua capacidade diminuída para 4 mil pessoas, proporcionando maior conforto aos que optarem pelo setor.

311 takes Sublime on this summer’s Unity Tour, coming to Verizon (Arizona Tech)

311's SA Martinez says the rockers really lucked out when it came to casting the band's annual Unity Tour, which comes to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater this weekend.

"Creating the right package to take on tour in a lot of cases will make or break a tour," says Martinez, who handles turntables and vocals for 311. "Either it works or it doesn't. It really has to do with luck."

The tour's lineup has previously included Ziggy Marley, Offspring, Snoop Dogg and the Wailers. Touring with 311 this summeris Sublime with Rome (lead singer Rome Ramirez).

"A lot of bands like to tour with 311 because we have a good reputation of working together," Martinez says. "There's not a bad vibe at all, and that's really important. When you go out on tour, you want people who will be cool."

Martinez says he is a longtime Sublime fan. The California band stopped touring for years after lead singer Bradley Nowell died of a drug overdose in 1996. It reformed in 2009 with Ramirez.

"In the early days, we played some club shows with them, so it's awesome now to do a proper tour with them now after they've comeback together," Martinez says. "The guy in the spot now is doing a really good job, though those are very big shows to fill."

311 is touring in support of its new "Universal Pulse" album,out this month. The first hit off the album is "Sunset in July," and Martinez says true 311 fans will recognize the song's signature 311 groove and tempo.

"The song has a shuffle vibe," he says. "You don't hear that in modern rock anymore. It's everything that 311 is. We're not sure we really had that on the last record."

311 fans will also notice that "Universal Pulse" is the shortest album in the band's history, Martinez says.

"When you look at a band's discography for a band that's been around for a while, you can pull out records with handfuls of songs that should not have been on the album," he says. "You can't make that case here. Every song belongs, and every song is strong."

"Universal Pulse" is the band's first release on its own imprint, something the band members felt they had to do for business purposes.

"We have too much history to just give it away, so the natural step was to create an imprint, do it ourselves, take back what we've worked for."

Unity Tour with 311, Sublime with Rome
When 6:30 p.m. Saturday •Where Verizon Wireless Amphitheater • Howmuch $24.50-$51 • More info

The 411 on 311 (On That Note)

It’s not difficult to figure out why 311 has been going strong for over 20 years. The group, which formed in 1990 in Omaha, works relentlessly on diverse pop-rock music that includes touches of rap, reggae and even metallic guitar tones.

“I think part of the reason we’re still happening is because of our Midwest roots,” vocalist-DJ S.A. Martinez said while calling from his Los Angeles home. “There is a Midwestern humbleness about each of us. There’s no rock star attitudes in this band. You work hard in the Midwest. We’re very grounded and I think you can thank Nebraska for that.”

There’s always been an openness to take sonic chances in 311. “Each of us has different musical tastes,” Martinez said. “We’ve always been up for anything sonically. We’ll take chances and not to get too Midwestern on you but I think our risk-taking has something to with the openness of the Midwest. We’re being true to where we’re from.”

The members of 311 all live in the Los Angeles area. “But we have long memories,” Martinez said. “We go back to our roots.”

311, which also includes, vocalist-guitarist Nick Hexum, guitarist Tim Mahoney, bassist Aaron P-Nut Wills and drummer Chad Sexton, kicked off its jaunt aptly enough in the heartland but it’s swinging eastward with a show Tuesday at the Festival Pier.

The band will render tracks from its new album, ‘Universal Pulse,’ which dropped last week (7-19).

“If you’re really into 311, you’ll dig this album,” Martinez said. “It’s a culmination of all of our sounds. It’s more focused since it’s just eight songs but I think that’s a really good thing. I think this album is signature 311 since it touches on all of our sounds.”

The group will mix the new with such hits as ‘Down’ and ‘Mixed Up,’ which were ubiquitous back in the mid-90s.

“We’re all for playing the songs that established us,” Martinez said. “We’re thankful that those songs launched us. We love flashing back to that period. For some reason fans jumped all over those songs.”

The ‘90s and the early part of the last decade were good to 311. The group has a pair of platinum albums and two gold records.

“Success is a good thing,” Martinez said. “We have a fan base that never let go of us. Because of that we can continue to make music. That’s all that we want to do. It’s been a great existence. I thought about this when we hit the 20-year mark last year. I want to keep doing this for another 20 and more with this band. We haven’t had a lineup change in ages (since 1992) and that’s a special thing.”

Pow Wow Music Festival To Be Held In Live Oak, FL (Music Industry News Network)

The Pow Wow Music Festival, hosted by 311, will be held August 4th-6th in Live Oak, FL. Scheduled performances include 311, Sublime with Rome, Deftones, G-Love, The Dirty Heads, Reel Big Fish and others. The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, a 500 acre park and campground, will be host to two stages, camping, fishing, canoeing, an indoor music hall and mini-golf throughout the three day event. Tickets are available at or direct from the venue at:

VIP tickets are also available for purchase and include tents, cots, sleeping bags and pillows set up and taken down for you. Showering amenities and restroom facilities are available to all ticket holders, and upgraded campgrounds that include water and electric hookup are available at additional fees. To find out more about the event, visit Join us this August for three days and three nights of roots, rock, reggae, and the historic Suwannee River at the 311 Pow Wow Music Festival, and stay up to date about the event on and

311 Pow Wow Fest set for Aug. 4-6 (TBN Weekly)

LIVE OAK - The first-ever 311 Pow Wow Festival at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park is Aug. 4-6. Advance tickets are still available.

A great line-up of outstanding performers is scheduled for the multi-day music and camping event. The Spirit of Suwannee Music Park is located in Live Oak, a 500 acre park and campground along the Suwannee River, in northern Florida.

Sharing the stage this year with 311 are Sublime with Rome, Deftones, G.Love, Soja, The Dirty Heads, Reel Big Fish, Ozomatli, Streetlight Manifesto, DJ Soulman, The Supervillians, Ballyhoo, Mix Master Mike, Murs, Full Service, The Movement, Shinobi Ninja and DJ Trichrome.

There will be two stages of performers each night with 311 headlining the main stage on Friday and Saturday with two sets each night including the album Transistor in its entirety.

New additions to the entertainment schedule include comedians Doug Benson and Graham Elwood, who will appear Saturday night beginning at 8:30 p.m. on the main stage.

Located just north of Live Oak, the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is a one-of-a-kind music park and premier campground nestled on the shady banks of the historic, tea-colored Suwannee River in North Florida.

The grounds include areas for camping, hiking, canoeing, bird watching, jogging, putt putt golf and pro-quality disc golf, a honey bee observation exhibit, beautiful rental cabins, RV parking with full hookups, electric and water sites, shower and bath houses, full service restaurant, golf cart rentals, the Arts and Crafts Village, Country Store and much, much more.

Three-Day Advance tickets are $145 plus applicable fees. Tickets are available through or directly at

All these tickets include: access to all shows from all bands on two stages for three nights; three nights of primitive camping (tent style camping); parking (for regular passenger vehicles. additional fee applies for RV’s); and access to canoeing, hiking trails, disc golf, mini golf, fishing, biking, etc.

Special VIP packages that include tent, sleeping bags, 311 merchandise, VIP access to private bars, bathrooms and viewing areas and free catering on Friday and Saturday are available through

Monday, July 25, 2011

The 311 Press Q&A (Music Bailout)

Universal Pulse marks the release of 311’s 10th studio album. Not many bands have had such a long and successful recording career. What has enabled 311 to thrive and now celebrate a 10th studio album?

Nick: People often ask me what is our secret to staying together for so long. The answer is, in a word, gratitude. We know we are very fortunate to have the fan base that we do. We know that we have happened upon a special line-up of five guys. We don't take anything for granted and we work very hard to make our albums and live shows the best that they can be.

P-Nut: There are innumerable reasons why we've been able to last and thrive these past twenty years. But for me, our drive, communication, and the undying support from our fans have allowed 311 to continue. We are thankful.

SA: 10 albums? Damn, that's a lot! Hmmm, why have we endured for so long? Not really sure. I guess we've struck a certain chord with some people that continues to resonate. Music's good like that.

Chad: 5 guys that can cooperate, have understanding, perspective and a general leaning towards the attitudes of how to consider that ones own view point may be wrong. These dispositions have enabled us to write and perform music for 20+ years as a single unit. Plus, the love of music helps. Balance.

Was the approach to writing and recording this album any different from your past experiences?

Nick: We felt like we were in a good groove and that it was important for us to get in there and record a fun, uptempo album fairly quickly. We didn't want our fans to have to wait a long time between albums. We feel the quality of the songs and performances is among our best.

SA: Well we did it all at the Hive which I think is a first. Writing, recording, to mixing. Pretty sure that's a first.

P-Nut: The writing was different for me because I was asked to add my ideas/words to infiltrate SA and Nick's voices. I am very happy about writing lyrics. I have lots to say. Being a father really helps with the creativity. Everything is new.

Chad: Choosing the top 8 songs (from a batch of pre-production material) was a bold decision, which made the album stronger. We've always erred on the side of more material. The decision to have 8 songs was based on quality rather than quantity.

How does Universal Pulse stand apart musically from your previous releases?

Nick: More guitars! Tempos are faster and there are no really mellow songs. I think everyone really stepped up and it feels like there is a certain swagger going on.

SA: Shortest album, yet the strongest as well. Very tight and concise. Meant to move ya, lift ya, slap ya around a lil bit, then tossle your hair at the end.

P-Nut: Universal Pulse is a continuation of this musickal experiment called 311. We are full of confidence and wonderment. 311 fans will embrace these new tunes as great additions to their other favorite songs.

Chad: Universal Pulse is a musical journey with a burst of good energy workings to make happiness available in tough times. We make music to help. Hopefully it can inspire and help us humans to embrace love.

What can listeners expect to hear?

Nick: There are a lot of guitar hooks on this record.

SA: Our fans are gonna love this album. I think it's a return to form in many ways, yet refined. We're all refining. Stylistically I think our old-school fans will appreciate the character of some of these songs. I guess that's what I mean when I say a return to form. The energy is great.

P-Nut: Listeners can expect to hear a band at full strength, forever excited about the next step. One thing to be excited about is Sexton's mix, he outdid himself slaving over the tones to make the balance just right.

How was working with Bob Rock for a second time?

Nick: It felt streamlined. We have developed an easy report with Bob Rock. He came to trust our choices to the extent that he didn't need to be there for the recording of every note. He was there for pre-production and drum recording. Then he would pop in every few weeks to check on our tracks of vocals, guitar, etc... We work very well with him. Bob Rock rocks.

SA: Bob is just great. A real smart mofo. For me it's just the little things, the attention to detail that impacts that Big Picture thing.

P-Nut: It was great working with Bob again, he's amazing. Such a talented person with just the right tools to aid our songwriting and get great sonics. We love you Mr. Rock.

Chad: Working with Bob Rock has been nothing but great. The balance he brings to the band is priceless. He has a vast knowledge and a very open attitude of working.

Any interesting stories behind the making of Universal Pulse? or about any of the songs / lyrics?

Nick: "And A Ways to Go" is a real trip. It goes through many movements, building in intensity until the big frolic at the end. SA's raps tell a really vivid story about a dream he had. The song is about the search for meaning and the trip that is life.

SA: I think the most interesting part of this process was naming this little monster, which now that I think about it, would have been thee ISH title! 311 - This Little Monster! Stop the press!! Anyway, this would've been out by now had we knocked out the title before we sat down to discuss tempos and roadmaps. I think we had a dozen meetings or so where we weren't gonna leave until we had a title. Yeah, that worked out real well.

P-Nut: A day at the Hive; me thinking I'm going home to my wife and baby boy. Nick says, "stick around, we are going to write lyrics". Sweet. I call home. All good. Bob, Nick, SA, and I sit down in the control room and Nick asks me, "what do you want to talk about?". And I say (hehe), "let me introduce you to the excitable crew". Lyrics to Timebomb 90% written in about two hours. That's musickal magick right there. I was jazzed for days about those two hours of great creativity.

Do you have any favorite songs or favorite moments on the album?

Nick: "Sunset in July" is about what we love most about being in 311, playing live. "Watching you dancing and having the time of your life." We get off on watching our fans as much as they do us!

SA: I think Weightless and A Ways To Go are my favorite jammies at the moment. There's also a pretty dope turn in Rock On that's VG++.

P-Nut: Much love to the fans for allowing this journey to be fantastic and long. We are going to rock your brains.

311 will head out on a US Summer Tour headlining amphitheatres. The band continues to draw huge crowds, many shows drawing in excess of 10,000 fans. What do you attribute such touring success to? How does the 311 touring machine continue to get bigger and stronger over the years?

Nick: We just do our best every night. The vibe at the shows is a co-creation of us and our fans. It's really cool to be a part of.

SA: Everyone is good at one thing. Ours collectively is touring! Yes. We've been doin' it and doin' it well for years and years. Many try, but fail and fall flat. At that I laugh, "Ah Hahaha! Foolz!" One must sweat to earn the trust of the concert goer! We put a ton of energy into the shows - night after bloody night. I think we're still mastering the art of showmanship but we're inching closer and closer and the concert goer is sniffing out our trail THUS continuing to come to the shows. That is totally the answer as to why we continue to get bigger and stronger and milk has NADA to do with it.

P-Nut: People come to our summer shows to have fun with other positive people. We put on a physical rock show that people want to see over and over. I can't explain why but I sure do appreciate being able to do what I love and spread the funk all over you. Hehe.

Are you excited for the upcoming Unity Tour: 311 and Sublime with Rome? What can people expect from the shows?

Nick: This is going to be a great summer for sure. We have a nice, long summer tour planned and we are stoked that Sublime with Rome will be out on the Unity Tour. And the 311 Pow Wow Festival (our first multi-day camping & music festival) will be especially amazing!

SA: The package this summer has been a dream of mine for a long time. I mean,what's not to love?

P-Nut: I am very excited about playing with Sublime with Rome. This is a dream tour for us and our fans. Everynight of everyshow anywhere in the world, there's always a Sublime shirt or fifty in the audience. This tour will be nothing short of bliss and fascination.

Any other words to your fans?

Nick: Thank you. Gracias. Merci. Arigato.

SA: All I gotta say is you all are the bee's knees! You make a grown man cry. Love, love you guys!

P-Nut: Follow me on twitter @pnut. And thanks for all the fish.

Q&A With 311 Bassist Aaron 'P-Nut' Wills (Philidelphia Weekly)

Whether you appreciate their feel-good stoner tunes or not, you gotta give 311 props for the longevity they’ve maintained.

For over two decades now, the five-piece rock/reggae hybrid from Omaha, Nebraska, have consistently dropped successful records and headlined tours year-round—all without ever losing a member or going on any substantial hiatuses. And then there’s the always sold-out, five-hour-plus concert they put on every other March 11th in honor of “311 Day,” which attracts thousands of fans from around the country.

The band just released their tenth studio album, Universal Pulse, last Tuesday and tomorrow they’ll be making their annual appearance at the Festival Pier for their Summer Unity Tour along with Sublime with Rome. MMM recently chatted with 311 bassist, Aaron “P-Nut” Wills about buying Lakers gear in the heart of 76ers country (say it with us: ASSSSSSSS-HOLE, ASSSSSSSSS-HOLE) and how the band manages to keep on truckin’. (Nicole Finkbiner)

For the fans that haven’t already copped your new album, what can they expect?

Umm…that it’s better than 3 Doors Down [laughs].

Well that’s a given. Anything else?

They can expect it to be what they’ve come to love, hopefully—an eclectic mish-mash of influences and sounds. We’re just loving this continued musical experiment and loving that people are still enjoying what they’re hearing.

Why only eight songs?

Those we’re just the best ones we had and we didn’t want to force anything on it. That’s just kinda how it turned out. We weren’t going to add something we didn’t want to add and we didn’t want to cut it down and make it like an EP or something like that.

Fair enough. So why come to Philly year after year as opposed to maybe some smaller city you’ve never been to?

The show and the set-up at the Festival Pier is just so much fun. And of course, we show up in the middle of the summer so it’s kinda tough. That’s also the reason why the shows are so good. People have a lot to let go of and we’re in the escapism profession. Philly always just gives us lots of love and lots of energy.

Do you have any favorite places in town?

Mitchell and Ness pops into my mind. It’s always nice to go there and buy some Laker gear in 76er country.

No comment. Let’s just move on. Since the band has been together for so long, do you guys feel like you’re tighter as a group or does it only get harder to keep things from getting stale?

It’s gotta be in the back of our minds. There were two batches of songs for Universal Pulse, but we threw away the first batch because they just weren’t up to our standards. I think we fight off that complacency by being kinda tough on ourselves.

Do you feel the pressure to keep fans interested as they get older and their musical tastes change?

There’s the people that are happy with what we put out and there’s the people that, even though they’re fans, they’ll never like anything new that we put out ever. It’s an interesting balance and all ingredients are necessary to keep us motivated.

Why has the band chosen to hold most of its “311 Day” concerts in New Orleans?

New Orleans was always just ideal because The [French] Quarter would shut down. On both sides of Bourbon Street, clubs we’re playing 311 on the day before and naming drinks after us and there were like ten thousand people wandering around screaming our lyrics.

Any chance you would ever hold it somewhere here in the Northeast?

It’s definitely considered. When we think about doing 311 Day, we think about it on the scale of the whole country. I like that it’s traveled around a little bit. It’s kinda something I never thought would happen. I think Philly would be wonderful. Of course it would be different to do it in the Northeast, but I think that’d be the fun in giving it a shot.

311's Doug Martinez Talks Cover Songs, New Record, and Summer Touring (Phoenix New Times)

For more than 20 years, 311's energizing yet mellow mixture of rock, reggae, funk, and jazz has appealed to listeners, and the band boasts the sales figures to prove it: eight million records world-wide from 10 albums. On July 19 the band released Universal Pulse, the band's shortest effort yet, and one that connects to the band's early work.

Currently, 311 are venturing out on nation-wide tour, with the addition of August's Pow Wow Festival set in North Florida featuring Sublime with Rome, The Dirty Heads and The Deftones. They just finished a spring tour with the 311 Caribbean Cruise, a four night/five day venture from Miami to the Turks and Caicos islands, on a boat packed full of 3,000 311 fans.
Up on the Sun talked with Doug "SA" Martinez (vocals, turntables) about releasing their album on their own, pre- and post-show rituals, and finding inspiration in the band's own catalog.

Up on the Sun: So this is 311's ninth consecutive summer headlining amphitheaters.

Doug Martinez: Oh, it's way more than that! The only summer that we took off was 1998. I mean, we've been going on every summer.

Sick of it yet?

Oh no. I mean we have plenty of downtime and you know, it's what we do. [I am] just a little wiped from the show last night. The heat has been so taxing. I'm just trying to re-energize for tonight.

You guys recently performed on the 311 Caribbean Cruise. What was that like, and what was the highlight for you?

The highlight for that was probably the night we disembarked, we performed on the deck of the ship and man, it was just phenomenal. Everyone was there that was on the boat, and it was killer energy. Just nothing but 311 fanatics and it was awesome. It was one of the best shows we've ever played as well. That's what made it so special was that energy and the love. We hadn't done anything like that prior but it is something we would definitely revisit again.

Congratulations on your new album. In five seconds, explain why fans should pick up 311's new album Universal Pulse.

311 fans will totally dig this record. I think it's got the signature 311 sound, energy -- it's a short record, only eight songs. Once you listen to it through, you're wanting to hear it again. I think a lot of songs on the record are like that. We've been getting a great response from our fans, and many tell us that it's quickly becoming a favorite of theirs. We're pretty happy with it.

So this record was the first release on the band's own imprint, 311 Records. When did that start? Did you guys just figure that you know the ropes of the industry by now, so you may as well release the record yourselves?

Right! Yes! It's a partnership but we definitely have more control and more say over the direction of the record and promotion. It's exciting to initialize that now and get our feet wet with that whole thing. Deciding what should be spent opposed to a label controlling that aspect a lot more. It's a nice shot in the arm for us.

What do you think is the biggest con about releasing the album yourselves?

Well, I wouldn't say there's a con you know, but there's more meetings involved (laughter) because we're a part...we are the machine. Usually we're just focused on performing, recording, writing, etc...and then you're record execs (laughter)

A lot more goes into it on the business aspect!

Yes! And we've always been business detail-minded; let's not say that we're not privy to that. It's just the depth of all of that goes a lot further than what we're used to. It's something we'll grow into.

So let's talk about inspiration real quick. Was there a particularly inspiration for this album?

One of the things we wanted to you know....a fan favorite of our releases is called Transistor, and a lot of people like it because of the things we cover topically, and it has different textures on that record. So without trying to recreate that, but using that as a blueprint as far as inspiration, some of the songs I think hark back to that; to that facet of our career. And maybe how we would redesign that now. Two songs I think off the record, "Weightless" and the "And a Ways to Go," captures that ethos, so to speak. You kind of rediscover a little about yourself again, musically, lyrically and [in terms of] inspiration. And using your own catalog as a guide is a cool thing. Listening to your past records to see where you've been.

On the song "Unity" from "Music", you guys sing "311" right at the time 3:11. Was that timed out?

[Long pause] What now? Really? If we did that wasn't intentional...I'm going to have to go check that out now! It's amazing when other people notice something about a record or song that we didn't catch!

You've said in past interviews that you all have different musical tastes in the band. What is your personal taste, and who in the band is opposite you?

Ah, that's a good question. Hmm..opposite of me. I mean, I wouldn't say anyone is really opposite of anyone extremely. I think we all like things that are similar. But lately -- I'm a record hound. I love vinyl records. And what I've been getting into lately is like black gospel. I've been hounding that on this tour and got some cool scores. In our downtime I like to digitize a lot of my music so I can have it on the road. Actually, Chad's one-upped me. He has a turntable in the front lounge now so he's playing records on the bus.

Any music you've been playing that has been inspiring you right now?

I've been listening to a lot of Latin and a lot of UK folk from the '60s to the early days; this group called the Swindle Folk with really obscure but really ethereal female voices. It's just so cool. You couldn't make a record sound like that today absolutely no way, I don't care what kind of equipment you're using it just couldn't happen.

There's too many variables. It's a matter of time and space. That's what makes music from the '50s sound like the '50s, '60s, so on and so forth. Every era has its sound and it really has to do with the space and time which is cool, you know? So that's what I love about music. It can take you back, but also there's music you've never heard that will take you somewhere, wherever that may be I find it fascinating, and it also proves that it's okay to be melancholy. These songs are so beautiful and inspiring.

What can fans expect at the Pow Wow Festival in Florida this summer?

I mentioned last night actually to the band that we shouldn't have any repeat songs at all and we all agreed. Every set will be unique, so that's something to be stoked on!

Does 311 have a pre -or post-show ritual?

"P-Nut" does yoga...I stretch out,listen to music, hydrate. Especially lately since it's so hot. Then I get the blood pumping with stuff like shadow boxing. It's nice to break a sweat before on stage.

How is it compared to now rather than ten years ago?

Oh wow! We all nap now [laughs]. When you get older you have to listen to your body. In our twenties, it was video games all day, party all night, wake up, and do it again. Things have changed quite a bit [laughs].

311 has played some awesome cover songs that fans love. Personally, what's your favorite cover song to play?

Out of all the covers we've done? Hmm...probably "Who's Got The Herb." That one is fun to play. What's your favorite cover song?

Honestly, it may sound cliché, but I really enjoy your cover of The Cure's "Love Song." I know it's your most popular but it is a fantastic song that you guys bring a new type of energy to. 311 has toured with a wide range of bands [including] Matisyahu, and Snoop Dogg. What is something off the top of your head that you've learned from other musicians on the road, that may be inspiring to younger musicians?

Our like, first tour-- we were really green --we opened for Oingo Boingo, Danny Elfman. He had a massage therapist he took with him. As a surprise he gave us all massages. Because of that we have our own guy on tour with us since, like, '97. We don't leave home without one. That we learned early on and took note of. You don't realize how important bodywork is until you get it done.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

311 Still Hitting Same Old Notes (Boston Herald)

Behold the heavy hammer of 311. It hasn’t changed a lot over 23 years.

The Nebraska-spawned quintet, fronted by singer-guitarist Nick Hexum, delivers a pounding assault leavened by ska and reggae rhythms, and it rarely let up last night at Comcast Center in front of 16,000 people.

The band was back headlining what it called a “Unity Tour,” something it’s been doing with simpatico bands since 2006.

This year it was with ska-reggae-rockers Sublime with Rome. Both bands, to a degree, are out to prove relevancy after their ’90s heyday. Each has brand-new CDs — “Universal Pulse” for 311 and “Yours Truly” for SwR, its first since founding singer Bradley Nowell’s overdose death in 1996.

Hexum, who with his cut build and white teeth looks like he stepped out of a Gap ad, and the rest of the band began their 100-minute set with the head-banging snarl of “Beautiful Disaster.”

At one point, drummer Chad Sexton led a five-man percussion attack and at another, P-Nut unleashed a spacey bass solo — same as what they did two years ago here when I saw them last. Guitarist Tim Mahoney gave the band whatever subtlety it possessed with some tasty licks.

They tossed a few new songs in the 20-plus set, including a skanking “Trouble” at the end.

Overall, though, 311 kept hitting the same notes. Tedium set in and exacted its grip, relinquishing it at the end of the regular set with their shout-a-long fave, “Down.”

Sublime with Rome — the surviving rhythm section of Sublime with burly, tattooed new singer-guitarist Rome Ramirez — opened with an hour of highly compatible reggae-ska-punk, slinkier than 311.

Midset, Rome sang a couple of lines of “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse, the troubled soul siren who died yesterday. Sublime with Rome also played a couple of songs from their new disc plus favorites “Wrong Way” and the closing “Santeria.”

Friday, July 22, 2011

311 Universal Pulse Album Review (The Dub Side) we are again. 311 has blessed us with yet another release of their brand of distorted guitar alternative rock genius. Does that even make sense? I don’ think it really matters. The boys from the Midwest have been soothing the ears of music lovers for well over a decade, and you know what? They still got it.

Universal Pulse takes the listener back on a grassroots time machine. Songs like “Time Bomb” and “Trouble” sound like tracks you would have found on their self titled album some 16 years ago. Yes, I said 16. Now, I said it before, and I’ll say it again. They. Still. Got. It.

The album was produced by the well known Bob Rock, who has produced albums for other rock greats such as Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and Metallica. An interesting note about the album is that all instrumental recordings were done at the same location, whereas on their previous albums the drums had been recorded at an alternate studio.

The band that’s been together for over two decades, and that changed the face of music in the 90′s hasn’t lost a step and proves it with Universal Pulse; which also happens to be their shortest album to date. But don’t let that discourage you. This album has been on repeat for the last 48 hours. Here’s the official animated video of the song “Trouble”.

311 - "Sunset in July" Song Review (Pure Grain Audio)

Omaha, Nebraska’s 311 have quietly established quite a legacy for themselves over the past twenty years. Over the years the band has managed to survive a number of musical movements, always sticking to their reggae/rock sound and never aping passing fads or current trends. Moreover, the band recently celebrated a mega milestone with the release of their tenth studio record Universal Pulse on July 19th.

The album’s first single is called "Sunset in July." Typical 311 here; the song is catchy, groovy and a very chill listen. Somehow these guys have developed a formula for releasing fun, poppy songs and "Sunset in July" is just another in a long list of hits. The song, along with the rest of the record, was produced by the legendary Bob Rock, a man who seems to have done well in maintaining the band’s sound and true essence. I wouldn’t quite include it among 311’s greatest hits like "Come Original," "Down" or "I’ll Be Here Awhile," but "Sunset in July" is a fun, summery-sounding song that should please both casual listeners and hardcore fans.

Run Time: 3:53
Release Date: June 7, 2011

Two 90′s Reggae Rock Bands to Hit Jones Beach (Wantagh-Seaford)

One who listened to rock radio in the mid 1990′s could not escape the sounds of 311 or Sublime.

The 90’s alternative rock bands, who both bring a touch of reggae to their music, will both be stopping in Wantagh Friday night for a performance at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.

For 311, their breakthrough came in 1995, with their self titled “Blue Album” featuring mega hits “Down” and “All Mixed Up.” The album went triple platinum, which is only half as well as Sublime’s self-titled 1996 album, which sold over six million copies and contained songs that can still be heard on the radio every day, like “Doin’ Time,” “What I Got,” “Santeria,” and “Wrong Way.”

While both bands were successful and both developed reputations for playing a relaxed stoner style of rock, the paths they would take after achieving their mainstream success were very different.

For 311, some mainstream hits followed in the years to come, including “Amber” and a cover of the Cure’s “Love Song” from the Adam Sandler movie “50 First Dates,” but the true strength of the band has been their album sales (which have totaled over eight million) and live shows. Their live shows always draw large crowds, especially their summer unity tours, which have teamed them with supporting acts ranging from Ziggy Marley to the Offspring. Their 10th studio album, “Universal Pulse” was released July 19 and the first single, “Sunset In July” began reaching ears last month.

Sublime, on the other hand, is a completely different matter.

Unlike 311, which has their entire classic lineup still intact, Sublime is missing their biggest piece, singer/guitarist Brad Nowell, who overdosed on heroin in 1996, the same year the band became a worldwide smash. Following Nowell’s death, the two remaining members, drummer Brad Gaugh and bassist Eric Wilson decided not to record any new material under the Sublime name. As manager Jason Westfall said about it at the time, “Just like Nirvana, Sublime died when Brad died.”

After participating in other projects following the band’s demise, Gaugh and Wilson reunited at a show in 2009 and resurrected the ”Sublime” name with singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez in Brad Nowell’s place. After legal action was taken by Nowell's estate, a settlement was reached for them to be called "Sublime with Rome" and their tour with 311 this summer is in support of the new lineup's first release, "Yours Truly," which comes out this month.

For more info or to purchase tickets to the Sublime/311 show at Jones Beach, visit

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The first ever 311 POW WOW FESTIVAL announces official lineup (Surf Rhythm)


311 has now announced the final five acts that will join a great line-up of outstanding performers for the first ever 311 Pow Wow Festival, a multi-day music & camping event, Thursday August 4th through Saturday August 6th at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, a 500 acre park and campground along the Suwannee River, in northern Florida.

They are: Mix Master Mike, Murs, Full Service, The Movement and Shinobi Ninja. They join an already announced stellar line-up of: Sublime with Rome, Deftones, G.Love, Soja, The Dirty Heads, Reel Big Fish, Ozomatli, Streetlight Manifesto, DJ Soulman, The Supervillians, Ballyhoo and DJ Trichrome. There will be 2 stages of performers each night with 311 headlining the main stage on Friday and Saturday with two sets each night including the album Transistor in its entirety.


Be sure to check-out the Festival website: for the full line-up performing schedule!

Located just north of Live Oak, Fla, the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is a one-of-a-kind music park and premier campground nestled on the shady banks of the historic, tea-colored Suwannee River in North Florida. The grounds include areas for camping, hiking, canoeing, bird watching, jogging, putt putt golf and pro-quality disc golf, a honey bee observation exhibit, beautiful rental cabins, RV parking with full hookups, electric and water sites, shower and bath houses, full service restaurant, golf cart rentals, the Arts and Crafts Village, Country Store and much, much more. Or, you can just hang your hammock between two trees, put your feet up and relax as you listen to the quiet sounds of nature all around you.

3-Day Advance tickets are $145.00 plus applicable fees are on sale now, available at or directly at All these tickets include: access to all shows from all bands on two stages for three nights; 3 nights of primitive camping (tent style camping); parking (for regular passenger vehicles. additional fee applies for RV’s); and access to canoeing, hiking trails, disc golf, mini golf, fishing, biking, etc.

Special VIP packages that include tent, sleeping bags, 311 merch, VIP access to private bars, bathrooms and viewing areas and free catering on Friday and Saturday are available through:

For more Pow Wow information:

Universal Pulse by 311 (UInterview)

3.1.1. In the past 23 years, these three little numbers signifying a law enforcement code for indecent exposure have rooted themselves in the music scene via a band with an upbeat rock/reggae/punk/rap style that produces the urge to jump up and down, lounge in the sun and dance uninhibitedly, all during one 3 minute 30 second-long song. The undeniable success of tracks like “Down,” “Beautiful Disaster” and “Come Original” secured top spots on Billboard charts, proving that 311 represent much more than a simple set of numbers and giving evidence to the durability of the Omaha group’s trademark sound.

As part of this 23-year-long body of work, 311’s 10th album, Universal Pulse, continues to build upon the foundation laid by albums like their self-titled sensation 311 from 1995 and their 1999 release Soundsystem. With only eight tracks, the album seems to lack the self-identity of previous albums like 1997’s Transistor, for example. However, though it reads more like a handful of songs and less like a unified composition, if you’re already a fan, Universal Pulse offers more of what you love. If you’re experiencing the band for the first time, it’s not a bad place to start.

Listeners will appreciate Universal Pulse for being straightforward and not straying from 311’s eclectic recipe of rock, reggae, punk and rap chopped up and thrown into the same palate-pleasing dish. The new album projects a sense of 311 familiarities that are not repetitive, monotonous or mundane, but that fans will find comfort in. The opening track, “Time Bomb,” welcomes the listener with a combination of fast-paced, heavy, guitar-grounded melodies backed by futuristic, otherworldly sounds that seem to float effortlessly atop reggae-like beats. The concurrence of front man Nick Hexum’s consistent vocals and turntablist Doug “SA” Martinez’s rap interludes also breeds association and represents a staple in 311’s musical niche. With two years passed since the release of their last album Uplifter, long-time listeners will find that Universal Pulse is not necessarily an introduction to something completely new; it's more like revisiting a friend that has been absent for a period of time.

A chunk of songs on the album reminisce upon the innocent times of youth, when feeling invincible in the world led to sometimes shameful anecdotes, side-splitting stories and strings of “Wild Nights,” as track number two’s title indicates. In track four’s “Trouble,” for example, Hexum admits, “I was always lookin’ for trouble, trouble it always followed me,” and “Wild Nights” asks us, “Where would we be/without the wild nights/Without the lows and highs/Failing to get it right.” The lyrical themes are representative of maturation and acquired wisdom, but this is not at the expense of providing fans something fun and entertaining to listen to. One of 311’s talents represented well on the album is their ability to perfectly pair the lyrical message with the sound that accompanies it. For example, the instrumentals in number seven, “Weightless,” come across as ethereal while, as the title implies, the lyrical content has to do with feeling lighter than air.

The closing track “And A Ways to Go” reminds us, as per usual for 311, that, “Yeah, it’ll be alright.” And Universal Pulse is more than alright. While it may by no means be the epic 311 album of all time, at this point, why should anyone expect it to be? The fact that 311 continue to steadily hold their own after 23 years is impressive enough.

The album may not completely blow you away, but Universal Pulse gets the job done by being a vehicle for the positivity and unharnessed energy that 311 thrive on. Being utterly disgusted or disappointed is a sign that perhaps expectations were set too high. Universal Pulse is simply another chapter to add to the 311 story, a continuation or addendum to a tale that has not yet concluded, is not superfluous and that does not show any signs of being a flop.

July 22: Hot Weather, 311/Sublime, and more (Levittown Patch)

1. It's going to be hot outside today. An obvious statement, yes, but also a true one. Forecasts call for highs in the mid-90s over the next two days before some relief comes Sunday. As always, stay safe.

2. If you do want to go out today, the Nikon at Jones Beach Theaterhas a treat for alternative rock fans. 311 and Sublime will be performing there tonight. The show is scheduled to start at 6:30pm.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

311 - Time Bomb (Below the Heavens)

The boys from Omaha are back! I'm two days late on this post, but it is because I have been enjoying the sweet sounds of 311's new album Universal Pulse which dropped on 7/19. This album is definitely different than any of their previous albums. It seems to be a hybrid of Transistor and Uplifter, mixing hard guitar with catchy pop-like rhythms and lyrics. Nonetheless it's a solid album, but it would be nice if there were more than 8 songs though. With that being said, rock on!

311 Releases “Universal Pulse” (No Treble)

311, anchored by bassist Aaron “P-Nut” Willis, has released Universal Pulse, the group’s tenth album. Produced by Bob Rock, the album brings the band back to a more live and energetic sound.

At eight songs, the CD is also their shortest to date. P-Nut says quality is better than quantity.

“Universal Pulse is a continuation of this musical experiment called 311,” he says. “We are full of confidence and wonderment. 311 fans will embrace these new tunes as great additions to their other favorite songs.”

“Much love to the fans for allowing this journey to be fantastic and long,” he adds. “We are going to rock your brains.”

311 is currently on the road for their Unity Tour with Sublime with Rome.

311 bassist Aaron ‘P-Nut’ Wills talks new album and first ever Pow Wow festival (Oracle)

In its 21-year existence, alternative band 311 has established its unique blend of heavy rock sounds and hip-hop wordplay with a laid-back, reggae state of mind. The band's 10th studio album, "Universal Pulse," was released Tuesday, coming at the midpoint of their 2011 Summer Unity Tour.

The tour takes an extended stop in Florida with 311's first ever multi-day music festival, the 311 Pow Wow, Aug. 4-6.

Taking place in Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park, the festival features two stages and multiple bands, including Sublime with Rome, Deftones, G-Love & Special Sauce and Reel Big Fish. The Oracle talked to 311 bassist Aaron "P-Nut" Wills about the new album, the 311 Pow Wow and life on the road.

The Oracle: You guys recorded the album in your own studio. How was the process of recording the album in the studio different from past albums?

P-Nut: This is the first time we've thrown away a whole batch of songs and really started from scratch while still in the writing and recording mode, separated by a tour. Everything got better, we were all more on the same page — more like the same paragraph — and just enjoying the process that much more. Though it was a long process, it just came out kind of fantastic. We're really proud of it.

O: With the 311 Pow Wow, how did you come up with the idea for an extended show and why did you choose to do it at Live Oak?

P-Nut: We wanted to bring some friends along and make it a multi-day camping thing where we get to play a lot of songs. The venue just kind of showed itself to us through the genius of our booking agent. So we're giving it a shot, seeing how good it can be. I think we've already surpassed the Allman Brothers on the first year of their festival — they started kind of small with a few thousand people and built it up from there. Should be a good time.

O: You're playing back-to-back sets on two of the nights, while headliners just play right at the end. Why are you pushing yourselves so hard at this stage of your career?

P-Nut: Our fans kind of demand it, which is a good thing. They've always supported us so much that we're continuing to be ambitious. We're going to play a ton of songs and it's so much fun for us as a band. We're putting in the work by rehearsing the "Transistor" stuff because we're going to play that whole album. We've never done that before — in fact, one of the songs, "Tune In," we've never even played live before. It keeps us on our toes the more events we do like this, so I really welcome it.

O: 311 has been together for 21 years. Is it safe to say you guys are still enjoying yourselves?

P-Nut: It's very satisfying being in a band for 21 years, playing with the same five guys, making all this music. Love playing the old stuff, really enjoying playing the new stuff, and I kind of can't believe how good the response is with the new music. We'll probably play a ton of "Universal Pulse" at the Pow Wow to balance out the old stuff.

O: If you don't mind a personal question, how did you get the nickname "P-Nut?" P-Nut: I got the nickname from a friend of mine who thought my head looked like a peanut-shaped head, and ran with it.

O: So you embraced it? P-Nut: Yeah, I like the idea of taking on a different persona, and not taking myself too seriously. It's just been perfect.

O: Well I know you're a Los Angeles Lakers fan. One of your players recently changed his name to "Metta World Peace." Would you ever consider changing your name to P-Nut?

P-Nut: No, no, if I would consider anything it would be dropping "P-Nut" and being Aaron. But I've really enjoyed the P-Nut side of things. It allows me to be just slightly different enough that I can let it all hang out on stage. I thought so as a kid, and I'm continuing to believe that as a 37-year-old.

O: What do you do on tour to stay sane?

P-Nut: We kind of mind our own business. At any given time, someone's family will be out so that person will be disposed. S.A. (Martinez) goes record hunting, I'm on (World of) Warcraft and Chad (Sexton) and Tim (Mahoney) are listening to Brothers Johnson records on their newly acquired record player. Stress and tension and unneeded activity kind of all takes away from the show, so it's nice to just be kind of chill.

O: What class and level is your Warcraft character?

P-Nut: I have an 85 warrior. I'm a tank — like most badasses. I like the responsibility of keeping the group alive, drawing all the attention to me and trying to take all the hits from the enemies.

O: The unsung hero of the group, kind of like the bassist?

P-Nut: Yeah, exactly. I have to hold it down in a big way. Except for last night's show — we had a really nice train wreck. We can't figure out who to point the finger at, but it was hilarious. It happens like every 100 shows for us and we were all looking at each other going, ‘What are you doing?' Hopefully, someone was recording it on their smart, or not-so-smart, phone and it's already on the Internet, but it's the real deal. It's not like Britney Spears — we are actually playing the show.

O: If you could play in any other band for one night, who would it be?

P-Nut: Oh, I don't know. I look up to so many other bass players that are my heroes. I would never think to walk in their shoes. So I guess it would have to be someone I consider more like friends. I think I would have been a good member of Incubus, especially back when they were dropping more funk. I think I could have fit in with that incarnation of the band very easily.

O: What's next for 311? Are you guys going to take a break after the tour?

P-Nut: No, we feel a lot of momentum. We've felt this before. Around the end of the "Transistor" tour in '97, we just started saying no to all these really good opportunities. It was probably better for the band. There's probably an alternate universe where we said yes to all those things and got burnt out. Now we can be smart about what we say yes to and continue the momentum. People's attention spans are shorter than ever, so we've got to take advantage of something while we've got it.

New Album: 311 (BAEBLE BLOG)

A new album sometimes means a new sound. In some cases, it's a bad sound. In others, it's a really bad sound. But 311 manages to change up a few things without spoiling the goods with Universal Pulse, only two-days fresh off the market.

The pinnacle vibration of Universal Pulse distinctly varies from 311's nine other studio-albums. Weighty distortion bursts on the scene of the majority of the tracks. Excluding the final track, "And a Ways to Go", incidentally also the most sobering track, none of the songs surpass 4 minutes in length. The overall album features 8 songs, and runs at about 30 minutes, making it their shortest studio-album to date. The end result is a blitzkrieg that will certainly grab your attention, hit you over the head a few times, and maybe come back to visit on the right summer night. It's not 311's apex album by any stretch, feeling slightly rushed at times, but it's packing more than enough heat to keep your ears occupied until that day comes.

The album is available for preview and purchase here. Check out what's left of the summer tour below:

7/21 Thursday HOLMDEL, NJ
7/22 Friday WANTAGH, NY
7/23 Saturday BOSTON, MA
7/25 Monday BETHEL, NY
7/28 Thursday VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
7/29 Friday WASHINGTON, DC (Bristow, VA)
7/30 Saturday ATLANTA, GA
8/1 Monday CHARLOTTE, NC
8/2 Tuesday RALEIGH, NC
8/4 Thursday 311 POW WOW FESTIVAL, FL
8/5 Friday 311 POW WOW FESTIVAL, FL
8/6 Saturday 311 POW WOW FESTIVAL, FL
8/11 Thursday LAKE CHARLES, LA
8/12 Friday HOUSTON, TX
8/13 Saturday DALLAS, TX
8/14 Sunday AUSTIN, TX
8/16 Tuesday DENVER, CO (Morrison, CO)
8/17 Wednesday SALT LAKE CITY, UT
8/19 Friday SAN DIEGO, CA
8/20 Saturday IRVINE, CA
8/23 Tuesday SAN FRANCISCO, CA
8/25 Thursday EUGENE, OR
8/26 Friday SEATTLE, WA

311 brings tour to PNC Bank Arts Center (North Jersey)

The band's last album debuted at No. 3. Its new single hit No. 13 on the alternative charts.

But Chad Sexton of 311 — the '90s group that gave us "Amber" and "Down" and a slick cover of The Cure's "Love Song" — has few explanations for his band's extended run of success.

"The original guys are still together, so that maybe has something to do with it," the drummer said during a recent phone interview.

"Sometimes it's luck. Sometimes it's skill. Who knows?"

If you go

WHO: 311 and Sublime with Rome.

WHAT: Rock.

WHEN: 6:30 tonight at PNC Bank Arts Center; 6:30 p.m. Friday at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater.

WHERE: PNC Bank Arts Center, Garden State Parkway Exit 116, Holmdel; 732-203-2500. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, 1000 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh, N.Y.; 516-221-1000. See

HOW MUCH: $32 to $101.55 at PNC; $27 to $101.70 at Jones Beach.


311 returns to New Jersey this week. Sexton carved a few minutes out of his schedule to chat with us.

Q. In 10 words or less: Why should fans pick up the new album ("Universal Pulse")?

Because it's easily digestible in this mad, fast-paced world. It's basically quality over quantity. We're kind of shooting for that, and obviously it won't cost as much as a normal thing. We just thought the shorter we make it, the better it's going to be, as long as we choose the best of what we've got, which is what we did

That's more than 10, but …

Q. A few months ago, you did the 311 Caribbean Cruise. What was that like, and what did you like about it?

Well, it was on a very large boat. It was just basically a cruise — us as well as 12 or 13 other acts. Some were comedians. Some were DJs. Some were other bands. It was just one big party boat. The thing I liked about it … it's just great to see a bunch of people get together and have a great time. People will go by high-fiving each other when they don't even know each other.

Q. No seasickness or anything like that?

The thing about it is, when you landed you felt like you were still on the boat for about two days. … You kind of get used to rocking. By the time you get to solid ground, you're still kind of swaying back and forth. It was a little weird to get your land legs back.

Q. In another interview, 311 singer S.A. Martinez said, "Each one of us has different musical tastes."

Oh, yeah.

Q. How would you describe your own?

I get into classical music: Leonard Bernstein, Mozart. The jazz artists: Buddy Rich, Count Basie. … Bass players like Jaco Pastorius. There's a whole instrumental side of music like Medeski Martin and Wood; like John Scofield; like Jon McLaughlin. … I love all types of music.

Q. The video for "Sunset in July," one of your new songs, it kind of reminded me of a slide show of Pink Floyd album covers. What was your impression of the video?

That's really all that was. A slide show of the artwork. We wanted to show just what's going on with the package, the artwork behind the "Universal Pulse" title, and what we're trying to do with helping and healing with music, but in not such an obvious, bland way of saying it.

Q. You guys come through here a lot. Any funny or fun stories from playing in New Jersey over the years?

Oh, man. We played the Stone Pony, right? It was one of our first shows there when they had that kind of half-built boardwalk over there. Not really any stories, just history. Going there so many times over the years, almost 20 now.

Album Review: 311 – Universal Pulse (Video Surf Blog)

The 311 boys are back and have lined up 8 tracks on the Universal Pulse album for our listening pleasure. Fanboys have been curious of the direction the band would take with this album and now it is time for the official review. Will we experience the 311 of the early years or the pop influenced version?

Well to answer that question quite simply, this album would have been amazing if it came out in the late 90’s. If you went back in your old CD collection and pulled out the Transistor album from 1997 and only listened to the unpopular tracks, you would have Universal Pulse. You can take that statement however you like and I’m sure that viewpoint will make some people excited and others cringe.

The album ranges from heavy guitar rifts, to funky bass lines, to old fashion rap rock, to laid-back beach tones. The songs all complement each other but there really wasn’t any specific tune that reaches out and grabs a hold of you. Everything seems like it has that potential to be something more but in the end, just lets you down. With that in mind, lets jump into the top songs from the album.

We should probably start off with the first single from the album, “Sunset in July”. The song itself is barely single worthy but it definitely has a catchy feel and hook on it. Out of all the singles from the bands past, this one will be less memorable and seems like it has been done before. With that being said, this is still one of the better songs off this album, but it doesn’t really standout versus the other tracks.

“Count Me In” is probably my favorite song from the entire album and is very fun. This song gets poppy but maintains a true 311 mentality throughout. A nice balance of rap / rock elements, upbeat and beach feel to the melody, and just feels really good.

“Weightless” is probably the most single ready song on the album and probably will be the main reason people will come back to this album. The chorus is beyond groovy and Aaron “P-Nuts” Wills bass line is just to die for. The opening lead guitar by Tim Mahoney is pretty wild as well. It is a great introduction for the song.

So now it is time for the final verdict. All in all, even with the occasional glimpses of fun times, this album just doesn’t live up to expectations. If you want something to get you over the 311 hump, this might suffice, but most people are either going to love it or hate it. Universal Pulse gets a 3 out of 5, but is worth at least one full disc rotation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New Music Releases from 311, 3 Doors Down, and Imelda May (China Shop)

311 are still around (was just enjoying a trip down nostalgia road and listening to Transistor a couple minutes ago, weird), releasing Universal Pulse today; alt-rocksteadys 3 Doors Down keep managing to churn them out; plenty of under-the-radar indie releases with AM and Shawn Lee and Burlap to Cashmere, and the Captain America movie releases its soundtrack.

311 - Universal Pulse

Make 311 feel good and download their album (Rock It Out! Blog)

Even though it’s over 100 degrees pretty much all over the USA and Mother Nature is serving up heat strokes like ice cream cones, surprisingly some people out there still aren’t in that summer mood. Well there is a way to relieve that feeling. The new 311 album, Universal Pulse, is out now and you can download it off of iTunes so you don’t have to suffer from melanoma as soon as you step into the sun.

This album has been getting decent reviews and, of course, the band is in full summer mode on their Unity Tour with Sublime with Rome. All the tour dates can be found at their website.

311 - Universal Pulse (Live Music Blog)

Reggae/rock band 311 returns with their tenth studio album Universal Pulse, released July 19 as a much-anticipated dose of summer songs.

Formed in the late ‘80s, 311, made up of Nick Hexum, S.A. Martinez, P-Nut, Tim Mahoney and Chad Sexton, began as many legendary groups do: recording in their basement. The group began by releasing unsigned EPs and albums while touring the local clubs of their hometown, Omaha, Neb.

The band’s name was taken from the police code for public indecency in Nebraska and was the title of their most popular album to date. 311, also known as The Blue Album, produced the band’s singles “Down” and “All Mixed Up” and these accompanied the group’s mainstream breakthrough in the mid ‘90s.

311’s following releases such as Transistor, Soundsystem, and Don’t Tread on Me were also popular hits for the band that found a unique niche in reggae-influenced rock music with a hint of ska flavor. The band has since been touring with successful acts such as Ziggy Marley, Matisyahu and The Offspring. This year, the band is performing alongside the remixed Sublime with Rome.

Universal Pulse is the band’s shortest album yet, with only eight tracks. Bob Rock, who has produced rock greats such as Metallica, Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, produces the release. The band’s unique sound is introduced on “Time Bomb” and the album begins with a darker guitar tone behind Martinez’s vocals and even an attempt at a rap-like section.

“Wild Nights” begins with an almost metal-sounding guitar riff and the album’s single “Sunset in July” follows. The track is not the band’s strongest, but is true to 311 as a rhythmic hit in combination with rock aspects.

“Trouble” has a more classic reggae beat while “Count Me In” and “Rock On” are more rock-like with distorted guitar lines. The final track “And A Ways to Go” is a soft, psychedelic track that is intriguing and finishes the album well.

Universal Pulse has good and not-so-good moments, but the overall sound is fully 311. With catchy vocals and reggae beats mixing with electric guitar lines and jam sessions, the band truly lives up to the multi-genre experience it promises. 311 is most definitely here to stay as well as the band’s signature style and groove.

A hot homecoming for 311 (Omaha World Herald)

Omaha welcomed hometown heroes 311 back with open arms.

On Tuesday, the rhythmic rock band — which plays reggae and rap, too — had a great homecoming night.

About 7,300 fans — most on the infield near the stage at TD Ameritrade Park — showed up. That's a small crowd for the 17,000-capacity stadium but a big one for 311.

"What's up Omaha? How ya feelin'?" lead singer Nick Hexum asked after the band took the stage.

Hexum, drummer Chad Sexton, guitarist Tim Mahoney, singer Doug "SA" Martinez and bassist Aaron "P-Nut" Wills started 311 in Omaha more than 20 years ago before moving to Los Angeles and scoring a major label deal and selling millions of albums.

"What a night for us. A hometown show. An album release," Hexum said during the concert. "We want to thank you guys for coming out tonight. It's a very special night for us."

The band released a new album, "Universal Pulse," on Tuesday. The 23-song, 105-minute set included several songs from the album, which were great additions to the concert.

"Sunset In July," the band's latest single, was another great summer jam. Energetic and bouncy "Time Bomb" is my favorite from the new album and was dedicated to the "excitable ones," one of the band's nicknames for its fans.

That excitable crew kept the energy alive throughout the show. While "Amber" had the crowd singing along the loudest, every song had a faint buzz of fans singing. There also were crowd surfers, a giant mosh pit, call and response refrains during half the songs, as well as plenty of jumping around.

311's show capped off a great day of music for Red Sky. The festival's second day went smoothly, MECA officials said, and attendance for the afternoon was good.

Both George Clinton and STS9 had huge crowds, way larger than any crowd seen the day before.

After a day of good music, 311 was the perfect way to spend a hot summer night. For me, 311 is best enjoyed in an outdoorvenue. Plus, the band puts on one of the most fun, energetic and engaging performances every time I see them (which has been a lot).

Of the bands I've seen multiple times, I can count on very few to deliver that good of a performance time after time.

I'm proud they're from Omaha. Sure, there's plenty of other bands from here with a national presence, but none compare to 311's success.

They appear to be proud of their hometown, too.

Band members made a lot of subtle references to Omaha during the show. Before playing "Do You Right," Hexum mentioned that the song's video was recorded at Sokol Auditorium in 1993. He dedicated "Rock On" to the owner of The Hive Lounge, a downtown Omaha bar with a 311 theme. The band also performed the song "Omaha Stylee" as well as "Nutsymptom," a rare tune that mentions friend of the band and Omaha musician Curt Grubb.

Tuesday night's set list was varied, featuring songs from nearly every 311 album from "Music" to "Universal Pulse." Most of the show was rocking with songs such as "Sick Tight," "Wild Nights" and "Beautiful Disaster," but the band also slowed things down with "Beyond The Gray Sky" and "Amber."

A highlight of the show, as always, was the lengthy drum solo during "Applied Science." As is tradition with the band, midway through the song, Sexton performs a drum solo before being joined by the other band members playing additional drums and other percussion instruments. The solo gets more and more complex every tour and lasted more than five minutes Tuesday night.

The band didn't tire through the show and neither did the fans, who continued to hop, dance and sing through the encore of "Omaha Stylee" and "Creatures (For Awhile)."

The band was grateful for the attention. At the end of the show, the band stayed onstage to throw out souvenirs and shake hands.

"Thank you so much, Omaha," Hexum said. "Stay positive."

As they exited the ballpark, I heard fans say things such as "So cool" and "Amazing."

One woman's opinion of 311 could be said by a lot of fans: "That was my 10th time, and they are still so amazing."