Last summer during their annual Unity Tour, 311 announced New Orleans would be the location of their 311 Day concert, along with news that the release of their 11th studio album would coincide with the celebration appropriately set for March 11, 2014 (3/11/14). Now 311 has released further details about the release of their upcoming record, including the beautiful cover art and track list!
The band’s first independently released album since their initial releases in the ’90’s, the 15-track STER3OL1TH1C is 311’s 11th studio album and the first record to be released under the band’s own 311 Records.
This past year, 311 vocalist/guitarist, producer & musician, Nick Hexum, looking to develop an outlet for musical expressions that deviates from the heavier Alternative Rock riffs of 311, developed a solo-side project of sorts, titled The Nick Hexum Quintet. Hexum released the group’s debut record, My Shadow Pages, on his own label, What Have You Records.
As was done with My Shadow Pages, 311 has partnered with Ingrooves Fontana and PledgeMusic’s direct-to-fan retail channel to distribute the album. This crowd-sourced-tinged retail and marketing platform allows fans the opportunity to not only pre-order the album, but purchase additional souvenir rarities. Fans who pre-order, gain instant access to a virtual private “backstage area,” featuring exclusive content, photo galleries, videos, news and information about the recording experiences. Every order will come with a digital download of the album, plus everyone that orders is automatically entered into a prize drawing to win special prizes from, 311!
With just over a month until the release of STER3OL1TH1C, 311 has only released limited details about the new record. When the project was initially announced, 311 would only say that the band had completed pre-production on 13 tracks before their summer tour and would cut the record as soon as the tour ended. In the fall of 2013, returning to their individual home studios, the band brought back the producer of iconic 311 records Transistor and Soundsystem, Scotch Ralston, to work on STER3OL1TH1C, the first record in five 311 records to be produced by Ralston.
Familiar with some of the older 311 catalog, Ralston dug through the band’s older and unreleased material. According to Hexum, Ralston contributed a lot to get the ball rolling on this new album. Hexum explains, “He is just super driven! For example, he sent me one of my demos he had re-arranged, and he was like ‘I really want you guys to do this song, I really really want you to do this!’ He keeps lighting a fire under us and it’s great! We are already hard working, but to have someone like that, obsessed with our productivity, it really-really helped.”
As far as content goes, the band has only revealed a few short snippets of new tracks which backed their recently released “The Making Of” videos. The band has told multiple media sources that the album will have “darker themes”, “push in new directions” and at times “takes some left turns…exploring some weird sounds!”
In an interview with The Pier last year, Hexum described the collaborative effort used to create content: “…Usually it would be me P-nut, SA, and Scotch would sit in the control room and we would just talk through things. People are throwing out different ideas, and we would just kind of get into a theme, maybe a song about materialism or about the way that our brains work, or maybe about a relationship or keeping a good attitude, the songs each have a theme. This time, it was done more collectively! The list of song writing credits per song, is going to be longer on this album than any album before as this process becomes more and more of a collective thing as time goes on.”
Describing the musicality of the new record Hexum explained to The Pier, “there’s definitely a lot of rock, as that becomes more and more of the staple of what we do, but the band did have an eye for, ‘ok this sounds unique, lets keep going towards this.’ That’s what is important, keeping that freshness in there…I think it’ll be big, I know Chad wants to go to tape, which makes things have a different sound. On our past two albums, Bob Rock had convinced us to go to computer, and I’m glad we did – I think they sound great. I know Chad wants to record at least drums and maybe bass to tape, so that gives the record more of a full sound.”
311 also brought back artist is Sonny Kay, who created the album cover art for their last record, 2011’s Universal Pulse. Known for his graphic design artistry and psychedelic album works, for STER3OL1TH1C, Kay created a spacey psychedelic scene featuring a rocky martian planet in the foreground. In the background, is a geometric juxtaposition of night and day. Placed along the boarder between night and day are three stars, and centered in the artwork are two rectangle columns, respectively the three and ones in the overall 311 imagery, and representative of the 11th album.
Along with releasing the cover art and announcing the track listing of the upcoming record (shown below), 311 has also released additional details surrounding their 311 Day Concert. In addition to the show on Tuesday, March 11th at the New Orleans Arena, 311 has just announced details about the 311 Fan Party. A chance for 311 fans from around the world to meet each other and get pumped for the show. Set for 3/10 in New Orleans, this Bourbon Street block party will be a free event the night before the big 311 Day show and the night before STER3OLI1H1C is released. Hosted at two venues across the street form each-other, the event will feature mini-sets from Ballyhoo!, Bumpin Uglies, The Phunky Monkeys and Full Service, as well as several DJ sets and two STER3OL1TH1C listening parties!
Be sure to check back for updates about this highly anticipated release. For more about 311, their music, and detail about their tour dates, check out the information below.
1.) Ebb and Flow
2.) Five of Everything
4.) Revelation of the Year
5.) Sand Dollars
6.) Boom Shanka
7.) Make it Rough
8.) The Great Divide
9.) Friday Afternoon
10.) Simple Truth
11.) First Dimension
12.) Made in the Shade
13.) Existential Hero
14.) The Call
Exclusive 311 Blog
Article By: Aaron Solomon
WATCH: The 311 Day 2014 & New Album announcement video.
WATCH: One of 311’s The Making of ‘STEREOLITHIC’ videos with P-Nut & producer Scotch Ralston at the Hive.