311 is touring from June until early September in cities such as Boston, Chicago, and more. This is in support of their 2017 album Mosaic. Get tickets to see 311 live today!
Omaha, Nebraska's 311 began their saga as "Fish Hippos," they adopted the name 311 from a skinny-dipping police-arrest based on the citation code they were issued. A lot of their music is influenced by a brush with death after their tour RV caught on fire, causing them to leap from the burning vehicle. 311's musical style complements their name - a blend of raw, nude punk, hip-hop and reggae and they have crowbarred themselves into a unique niche in today's ever bifurcating genre-fest.
Between 1990 and 1992, 311 underwent their formative years, releasing first Dammit! - on a label built by band-member Nick Hexum called What Have You Records - followed by Unity, a record that began to see some significant sales for the band. It wouldn't be completely true to say that 311 tickets were selling like wildfire, but they were selling, and this was the first trickle of recognition the group received. The band had been reshuffled, as many bands are during this period, and guitarist Jim Watson left, to be replaced by Aaron Charles Wills, a personal friend of the theirs. It had been Watson's skinny-dipping escapades that gave the band their name, and this absence of sentimentality propelled them into the spotlight with a vengeance.
First, Latino DJ-Vocalist SA Martinez joined the band, and their journey into realization took a quantum leap. People began to notice how different 311 really were, and the unusual blend took on a life of its own. After touring local auditoriums, they moved to The Big Orange - Los Angeles - and were signed to Capricorn Records.
It was 1993, and the 311 sound was years ahead of its time. They released the aptly-titled Music, which hit Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart with the single "Do You Right" at No. 27. Unfortunately the album as a whole did not make an impact, and Capricorn pulled their support. Not to be deterred, the boys hit the road on a self-financed tour in their (later burned) RV. After the fire, they continued, using borrowed equipment, encouraged by the sales of 311 concert tickets. Their next offering, Grassroots, made No. 8 on Billboard's "Top Heatseekers" chart (designed to promote developing bands), and college stations began to give 311 increased airplay. Slowly, these determined oddballs from Nebraska began to congeal in the collective youth imagination. People recognized their cool attempt at a novel fusion, and they wanted more of same.
By 1995, their self-titled 311 had started making waves. Also known as "The Blue Album," 311 produced a single, "Don't Stay Home", which went mainstream. The next single, "Down", went to Number 1. 311 were now firmly in the spotlight, and they appeared on Letterman, playing their song. 311 tickets reached a premium, and they entered a period of total acceptance and success, the dream of any young band. Following more album releases, their first two albums Music and Grassroots, went gold, too, and fame was theirs.
Since their self-titled album, the group has released many more albums. They are now multiple decades into 311's career longevity with no signs of slowing down. Their latest is Mosaic, which dropped in 2017. The band is on tour this summer in support of their new work.
From Chaos (2001)
Don't Tread on Me (2005)
Universal Pulse (2011)