311 (Three Eleven)

An interview with Singer/Guitarist Nick Hexum
by Aaron Manogue
May 2011

311 release their 12th studio album this summer titled Universal Pulse

311 release their 12th studio album this summer titled Universal Pulse

“Stay positive and love your life.” These words, spoken at the end of each concert by lead singer/guitarist Nick Hexum, exemplify what the band 311 is all about. For the past 21 years, their music has not belonged to any one genre or type. It’s merely been what it was always intended to be: 311 music. With 8.5 million units sold in the U.S., six albums reaching the Top 10 on Billboard’s Top 200 Sales Chart and eight singles reaching the Top 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Alternative Chart, it seems fans have received their message loud and clear. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue sat down with lead singer/guitarist Nick Hexum to talk about their upcoming Summerfest appearance, what Summerfest has been like for them over the years, and the upcoming twelfth studio album Universal Pulse.

Maximum Ink: 311 has been touring for the better part of 20 years now and gone around the world. What is it that makes Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI such a great place to perform?
Nick Hexum: There is a special vibe at Summerfest. I like the way it caters to all kinds of different tastes in music and culture. There is such a wide mix of ages and types of people partying together. It’s a pretty unique happening.

MI: You guys have played Summerfest multiple times in the past, your first time being in 2003. How has Summerfest evolved or changed since you played there for the first time?
NH: It just keeps getting bigger and better.

MI: What are some of your best or even worst memories of Summerfest?
NH: I walked next door to see the Jonas Brothers a couple years ago. I knew it would be really weird for me, and that’s exactly what it was. The sound of fifteen thousand tweens screaming at once is something that stays with you.

MI: Your twelfth studio album Universal Pulse is due out later this year. What can fans expect from the much anticipated release?
NH: It’s a fun, upbeat album. I feel like we were in a really good place during the writing and recording of it, and it really shows. They are songs that will be a blast to play live.

MI: Can fans expect the world-renowned 311 sound or have you gone a different direction with Universal Pulse?
NH:  It’s always hard to sum up a direction of an album until you’ve lived with it for a long time. We placed quality over quantity and put forth just the very best ideas that we had. The album is all killer and no filler.

MI: Anything else you’d like to promote or say to your fans?
NH: As we enter our 21st year, we are so grateful for the life that our fans have given us by supporting our music. It really is a dream-come-true. So, thanks.

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CD: Universal Pulse Record Label: Volcano/Jive Records
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