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About 311

Although 311 are closely associated with the ’90s rap-rock movement, the band elude easy categorization. They’ve toured with ska icons The English Beat, rap legend Snoop Dogg, and feel-good vibe merchants Sublime With Rome, while their best-known singles have diverse influences, including chugging hard rock (“Beautiful Disaster”), playful hip-hop (“All Mixed Up”), and woozy, tropical psychedelia (“Amber”). Vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum founded 311 in the late ’80s in Omaha, NB; they released several albums before their fortunes shifted for the better in the early ’90s, after rapper Doug “SA” Martinez joined the group as a full-time member and they landed a record deal. The 1993 single “Do You Right” was a modest radio success, setting the stage for a triple-platinum 1995 self-titled effort that featured the metallic-flecked “Down,” a hugely popular song that paired Martinez’s easygoing delivery with Hexum’s gravelly voice. This eclectic blend of influences has remained a hallmark of 311’s career—in 2004, the band had a hit with a brooding take on The Cure’s already-moody “Love Song”—and has ensured that they retain a massive, loyal fanbase. In fact, March 11 is celebrated by the faithful as “311 Day,” and every other year is commemorated with a massive concert, held in rotating places such as Las Vegas and New Orleans.

Omaha, NE, United States
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