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 By: Michael D. Vogel

 © October 10, 1998. Michael D. Vogel.  All Rights Reserved.


Nicholas Hexum – vocals/guitar

SA Martinez – vocals/scratcher

Timothy J. Mahoney – guitar

P-Nut – bass

Chad Sexton – drums




“Being a musician is an endless journey. If you try only to reproduce the first music recorded, you will eventually become very stale and people will ultimately see right through you. Every musician must go on a journey to experience the different flows of melody that an individual song can provide” – Nicholas Hexum

The inevitable flow began when the band (vocalist-guitarist Nicholas Hexum, vocalist-scratcher S.A. Martinez, bassist P-Nut, drummer Chad Sexton and guitarist Timothy J. Mahoney) met in their hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. Together they unveiled an extreme passion for music that has produced four studio albums, a video compilation and now 311 Live for the unexpecting and the unassuming.

Fusing elements of dub, trip-hop, roots-reggae, hard-core punk with some vicious guitar rock, 311 create one of the most distinctive sounds in music today. It is this unique sound combined with insightful lyrics, and delivered in a highly potent musical cocktail, that has propelled 311 to rock SRO crowds as well as achieving multi-platinum status. From Hawaii to Hong Kong, Los Angeles straight home to Omaha, 311 have toured the globe, and along the way built a worldwide legion of followers through unparalleled high-energy performances and an uncompromising flow of consciousness.

Beginning in small clubs in their native Nebraska, the 311 legacy began with three self-produced efforts. After catching the eye of Phil Walden, 311 released their first of four successful gold and platinum albums, Music, for Capricorn Records. “Our debut album was a greatest hits for us — up to that point. We had a wealth of material to choose from, so we picked the best that we had written at that time plus we included a few new tracks as well,” reflects Nick. “Whereas for the Grassroots album, we wrote and recorded it all in a couple of months in the living room of the house we all shared. The energy level was very fluid,” continues Nick, “but the songs themselves evolved more out on the road.”

Shortly thereafter, rock radio became more receptive for bands that fused hip-hop with rock, ultimately setting the stage for the 311 explosion that the eponymous titled album would bring, along with three Top 10 tracks including the #1 smash “Down.” Reflecting on their third album, Nick continues “the vision was so clear that we felt it was worthy of calling it 311.  It was all just a dream for us: We picked the producer and the studio we wanted to record in as well as beginning to feel the rewards that constant touring can bring. It was just a consistent flow of positive energy.”

This flow helped carry 311 into the studio for their fourth and most ambitious studio album to date. Transistor, continues Nick, “was somewhat of an over achiever. There were more than 30 song’s recorded for the album. Our goal was to be extremely innovative in order to make sure that we weren’t labeled as a pedestrian band sticking to the same rigid path.”

311 may still be one of music’s best kept secrets-but not for much longer.

With their most fully realized album to date under their belts including multi-Platinum status on the last two studio albums, 311 are set to release their first official concert recording, 311 Live. “Our bootlegs were available on a widespread basis. On top of that, there seems to be a huge demand for them as well. We realized that by recording our live shows and mixing them properly, we could release a live album that we were really proud of! We have always maintained that a 311 show is something to be experienced because they are all about the energy of the show itself and not exclusively a listening experience.” Nick further adds, “It’s just our way of thanking the fans for the continued support as well as giving them a quality recording of a ‘live’ 311 concert.”

311 Live is an amped-up blast of Rock & Roll crunch mixed with super-sweet melodies. Its fourteen tracks of knockdown, speaker-thumping rock combined with an explosive rhythm section.

As defined by their trademark sound, 311 delivers a one-two punch with a lethal dose of raw energy, two-part vocals, a frenzied guitar and bass attack along with big and dominating hooks, 311 Live smack you in the face (like a cold winter day.)

The centerpiece of 311 Live is the lead single, the relentlessly catchy ‘Beautiful Disaster.’ Also featured are some of the best that 311 has to offer, including the high energy performances of classic tracks ‘Down,’ ‘Homebrew’ and ‘Freak Out.’ This collection presents 311 captured in their element, doing it for their fans with an exciting mix of live versions of radio hits as well as concert favorites.

In a nutshell, 311 are the swift kick in the ass that end-of-the-century radio has been longing for!


© October 10, 1998. Michael D. Vogel.  All Rights Reserved. This originally appeared on the Vogelism blog at https://www.vogelism.com, authored by Michael D. Vogel. This article may be shared or reprinted as long as this entire copyright message, including the source location of this article, accompanies it.


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