311 began playing together as 311 in 1990. With the first real show on June 10, 1990. From that date on 311 was busy playing packed shows through out the Midwest. 311 produced three albums itself in Omaha. The albums are Dammit!, Unity, and Hydroponic, and all of which sold well. This helped 311 to develop a devoted fan base.
In March of '92, 311 rented a house in Van Nuys, California and started to work on their music. 311 gained the attention of Eddy Offord, who is a well-known record producer. He saw the talent and greatness in 311 and they made a demo tape in L.A.
Several record companies were interested in signing 311. The band signed with Capricorn Records (a Warner Bros. label). The band began recording the album "Music" at Ocean Studios in Burbank. Eddy Offord was both producer and engineer. And the album was brought in both under budget and under deadline.
"Do You Right" off of "Music" was 311's first video. Filming for the video took place in California and Omaha. In Febuary '93, they started touring in support of "Music." 311 crossed the country several times, playing a total of 115 concert dates during 1993.
The tour almost ended suddenly during a trip between Springfield, MO and Kansas City on I-44. Nick was driving the RV when he noticed it was running hot. When he pulled over, he saw smoke and flames near the gas tank. The members tried to rescue the equiptment, but the RV exploded. The RV caught fire and burned along the interstate, with the band's equipment inside. Traffic was backed up on the interstate for 2 miles! Everything was lost and several "minor" injuries sustained, but the band regrouped quickly and headlined one day later at the Sharkfest at Sharky's Brewery in Omaha with borrowed equipment. The RV fire is mentioned by SA in the song "Omaha Stylee." The tour continued throughout the fall.
The next album, "Grassroots", was released in '94. They released a video for Homebrew off of "Grassroots." Once again the band toured in support of this album.
311's third album, "311," was released in '95 and gained national attention in '96. The band released a little-known video for "Dont Stay Home." Then came the video for "Down," a MTV buzz clip. "Down" gave 311 national airplay and helped to boost album sales and popularity. Then the video for "All Mixed Up" was released helping to further 311's growing popularity. Both of these videos reached #1 on the MTV Top 20 countdown. "311" went Double Platinum.
In '96 a long form home video, "Enlarged to Show Detail," was released. This video includes three videos, "Homebrew," "Down," and "All Mixed Up," live concert footage, home videos, and interviews. It also has a four-track CD included.
In 1997 311 released "Transistor." The first single off of "Transistor" was the title. The album debuted at #4 on Billboard's top 200. The second single from the album is "Prisoner." This was the band's most expensive production to date. The next single is "Beautiful Disaster."
311 has toured with a wide variety of bands, including De La Soul, Bush, Smashing Pumpkins, Blues Traveler, Sublime, Kiss, Fugees, Butthole Surfers, Spin Doctors, No Doubt, Veruca Salt, George Clinton, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, STP, and the list goes on and on. You get the idea.
311 has come underfire about their name. People thought it stood for the KKK, with K being the 11th letter in the alphabet and repeated 3 times. This is far from the truth. To quote the great P-nut, "Fuck the KKK." Actually, 311 is a police code for indecent exposure. Former guitarist Jimi Watson was arrested for skinny dipping in a public pool. He was arrested, hand-cuffed, and taken home to his parents, all this time he is still naked. This is the story behind the name. 311 is not about hate or anything the KKK stands for.
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