Tuesday Feb 20
2012 Lifetime Achievement Award: 311

The Pier’s 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award: 311

One of the biggest names in the history of American reggae-rock is 311. 311 is not just a talented group of musicians or a phenomenal live touring act, they have become a movement and a lifestyle for legions of fans across the globe. With their celebratory live shows & uplifting albums, 311 have continued to fill the souls of fans with their music for more than 20 years and counting.

In an era when mixing and matching different styles of music was not the norm, 311’s hybrid blend of rock, reggae, funk and hip-hop made them true musical pioneers of the early 90’s. Now, over 20-years later, 311 is still going strong…and at the same time, they are helping to usher in the next wave of great acts. Bands like Pepper, Ballyhoo!, The Movement,The Dirty Heads, The Expendables, Slightly Stoopid, Matisyahu and many more have all shared the stage with 311 on their annual summer Unity Tour. 311 has brought their Unity Tour package to amphitheaters around the country for the last 10 consecutive years….essentially becoming our favorite summer soundtrack.

Beyond their impressive touring streak, 311 has sold over 8-million CD’s/DVD’s in the United States alone. Since the band formed in 1990, seven of their albums have reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Sales Chart. However, record sales were not the main objective for 311.

Nick Hexum recently told The Pier that he wanted the fans to, “Remember [311] as being just positive people that had a good influence on people’s psyche and their lives. We always tried to have a fun time with the fans at all the live shows and different settings, and just play good songs for them to enjoy. That’s what music can be; it truly can be like a miniature vacation for the fans. Whether it is just putting on your headphones with an album or attending a show in person, we just wanted to make these people’s lives a little bit better and help them out with our music. And, hopefully we did that, and made their lives better through our music.”

311 has lived up to their end of that bargain, and they now have fans traveling to their shows and events from around the globe. This March, 311 will set off on their 3rd “311 Caribbean Cruise” (www.311Cruise.com) – a 4 night cruise from Miami, FL to a private island in the Bahamas, along with 3,000 fans and 12 other great bands & DJ’s (Rebelution, Less Than Jake, Badfish, etc).

And, every other year on March 11th (“311 Day”), 311 hosts a special concert event that has become a gathering of 311’s biggest fans from around the world. At 311 Day, the band typically plays an extended setlist (up to 5 hours / 60 songs). Just this past year, 311 sold out the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and tickets were sold to fans from all 50 states and 13 different countries. 311 also hosted their own “311 Pow Wow Festival” last summer at a campground in Live Oak, Florida. It was a 3-night camping & music festival for their dedicated fans.

There is no other band quite like 311. As so many of the greats from the 1990s alternative music scene have either imploded or disbanded, 311 has continued to chart their own course in the dwindling music industry. Nick Hexum remarked, “It is kind of sad though, with the collapse of the music business, there are just not as many bands coming out to tour as there used to be. Only the bands that are really savvy with their social media are able to get everything going and make everything work. Back in the 90s, there were tons of bands that were just into playing and touring, and I think that those types of bands have really fallen off a bit. For us, we just feel grateful that we were able to survive the downturn.”

311 has done far more than just survive. Other bands look up to them as leaders or guides down the musical road to success. With all their accomplishments, 311 is a band that is beyond deserving of this Lifetime Achievement Award. And yet, the most encouraging thing about 311 is, they are still recording new music, and have no intention of stopping anytime soon!

Hexum says, “We always change our style and sound. That’s the fun part. That is the exploration. A lot people say, ‘I am really curious where you guys go with your next album.’ And all I can say is, ‘Yeah, me too!’ We have no idea where the collective group’s conscious will take us next time, but that is the fun of exploration. We are always changing, so it is more of a wait and see process.”

We can’t wait to see what’s next for 311. And it’s with great honor that we at The Pier proudly award 311 with our second annual Lifetime Achievement Award! Congratulations, 311!

311 Links:
311 Editorials
311 Website

Written By: Kris Siuta
Photos By: Amanda Zancanella & Bill Colbridge

Video: 311 – Down

Video: 311 – Come Original

Video 311 – Sunset in July

14 Responses to 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award: 311

  1. Shaun Fishburn says:

    311 has sooo many times in my life been there for me with thier music. I can’t think of any other concert that Ive been to where I smiled for weeks and months after the show. For some of us, our summer vacation is going to the Unity Tour. Side note, back in 99′ I had the pleasure of pointing out SA at Lorenzo’s pizza on South St. after a show at the TLA (Philly). I rapped out Hive, and when it got to the part, “I drive a mach 1, no dash board Jesus,” the whole crowd around me sang, “Hey-yo, that’s Doug Martinez!” SA was cool about it, and used my back as leaverage to sign the crowds posters and shirts. Good positive times! Everytime. Congrats 311. I’m glad for ya’s.

  2. OGMP760 says:

    Shaun that’s a RAD story! THanks for sharing! I went to my first 311 show when they opened up for Red Hot Chili Peppers back in like 2000 i believe? I use to be a biased Sublime fan until i saw them live. Their live show was so killer and that week i went out to what was then called The Wharehouse and picked up like 2-3 of their albums. Been a fan since and the collection and live shows have only gotten bigger! Cheers!

  3. RuggedRyan69 says:

    Glad to see 311 finally receiving the accolades they deserve. I’ve seen these guys 41 times in 8 different states over the past 13 years, including 2 311 day shows and I can’t get enough. The energy these guys put forth each show is inspiring considering they are in their 40s now. The evolution of their music reflects their maturity as adults and as musicians. It is astonishing to see a band that can grow with its fan base, but also maintain its hybrid music roots and culture. In a world of increasing evil and fear, the band’s main motto of “Stay positive and love your life.” couldn’t ring any truer. Cheers to 311.

  4. Definitely deserved!!! All I can say is, between 311 and 311 familia, my life has been surrounded with possitive vibes!!! Great music, great fans, and definitely all great people!!! Once again, well deserved. Oh, and cmon March 1st!!! We be cruisin!!!!

  5. Ben Mason says:

    MY fellow Nebraska bro’s have been such a big part of my musical part of my life. Im the same age as them, they are from Omaha and Im from Lincoln. I had never heard of them , and my friend talked me into seeing them play the student union ballroom at the University of Nebraska, where I was a student, must have been 91. Man, they just blew me away, and have been a loyal fan every sense. I would love to take that cruise this spring. I havent seen them in a few years now.

  6. Travis Hoffman says:

    I’ve seen 311 live in Atlanta every summer for 8 years in a row now with one of my best friends (2005-2012). They never disappoint. I wasn’t a huge fan of the band until my friend from Nebraska (whose older sister went to the same high school 311 did) got me to go to a show with him, and I’ve been hooked ever since. P-Nut and Chad Sexton are wicked talented at bass/drums, and it’s worth going to the shows just for their solo sections.

  7. Tracyc311 says:

    As a long time dedicated fan of 311 this article and award means so much to me. I always say if you’re not a fan of 311 it’s because you haven’t seen them live yet. It’s more than just a concert, it’s an epic experience. My first show was in 1995, and this last summer was my 23rd show. Nick, Pnut, SA, miT, and Chad deserve this recognition. Such a great band who truly appreciate their fans. Stay positive and love your life!!

  8. God bless 311 and all the positive vibes that go with them wherever they roam.

    Indonesia loves you!

  9. Jason Foreman says:

    Well deserved. A Great band and a great catalog of music.

  10. Juan Pablo says:

    Greatings from Mexico….i’ve been a 311 fan since i was 12 yr old ….and after all this 18 years i truly believe there’s no award that can describe what 311 has been for me all this years…..it’s a LIFE CHANGING band!…

  11. ANdy says:

    This is well deserved!!! I’ve been listening to 311 for twenty years. your music has been an inspiration to me and many other devoted fans.. I can’t even explain the feeling I get in the pit just dancing around and having a kick ass time!!

  12. Larry Maner says:

    I’ve been a fan of 311 for a very long time. They are and always will be my absolute favorite. I tell people daily that they are the greatest band in the universe. I’ve seen them 20 times or so now and I never get enough. The positive vibe that the band and the crowd show at each show keeps me coming back for more. Myself and a group of people and bands did a tribute CD for them a few years back and they were so appreciative that they let us sell the CDs at their shows. Hell, I’ve even gotten my kids into 311. Congrats to them for this award and I’m glad to see all these awesome stories from fans.

  13. Nick Powell says:

    My very first cd/album i ever purchased was 311’s “Transistor” when i was 10, and I fell immediately into a lifelong obsession. Absolutely the BEST band to see live, but I can still just listen to any of their cd’s on repeat for weeks and never get tired of it. Definitely deserving of this award. Best concert I’ve ever been to? Pepper, Ziggy Marley and The Whalers, and 311 at towercity in cleveland. Such an amazing experience.

    • Krystal C says:

      I remember that show in CLE, one of my 1st ones

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