311 Interview

311 is an Omaha-based rock band. They have sold over 8.5 million albums worldwide. 311 are known for their passionate fanbase and epic live shows. They are playing The Midland December 6th. Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Nick Hexum recently wrote in to discuss opening for Fugazi, 311’s songwriting process and the mindset that has kept them going strong for over 20 years. For more info on 311, check out http://www.311.com/

What did you enjoy most about the early days of the scene in Omaha?

We had weekly all ages shows on Monday nights at the Ranch Bowl.  The Ranch Bowl was a now-defunct entertainment center where we cut our teeth and learned how to rock a crowd.  That was a blast.

Do you remember your first show together?

Sure, opening for Fugazi at Sokol Hall was the ultimate launching point for us. 1,000 kids ready to mosh!

How do you approach live shows differently than your studio work?

The trick is to keep live shows and studio work somewhat similar. It’s important to bring that passion and energy that we have live into our recordings. We’re going better at that.

Do you have a favorite motto or quote that you live by?

Stay positive and love your life.

Are there any artists or albums that you always find yourself listening to?

The Beatles.

You easily mix musical styles together, creating a sound that is all your own. How does your creative process work when songwriting?

Sometimes people bring in fragments and sometimes people bring in completed songs.  We’ve learned to open up and let each other in our songs more which helps them develop to the best they can be.

311 has been together for over 20 years. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome in your career and lessons you’ve learned from being together so long?

Learning to accept not getting your way is really important.  When you’re in a band you have to surrender to democracy and have faith that the group as a whole will do the right thing even when it’s not to your liking.  It always works out in the end!

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