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311: Pioneers of Alternative Rock and Reggae Fusion



311, photo by Brian Bowen Smith

311 is a band that has carved its own unique path in the music industry since its formation in 1988. With a distinctive blend of alternative rock, reggae, and rap, they have left an indelible mark on the music landscape, gaining a dedicated fan base, and achieving widespread acclaim for their genre-defying sound and energetic live performances.

311’s music is often described as a fusion of rock, reggae, funk, and hip-hop. But it’s not so easy to pigeonhole their sound into a single genre. This diversity is one of their defining features, and it sets them apart from many other bands of their era. Their 1992 debut album, Music, showcased this eclectic style with tracks like “Do You Right” and “My Stoney Baby,” offering a taste of what was to come.

In 1993, 311 released their self-titled album, often referred to as the Blue Album due to its iconic blue cover. This album featured the hit single “Down,” which received extensive radio play and catapulted 311 to mainstream success. The song’s catchy melody, blended with rap-infused verses, showcased the band’s ability to craft songs that defied easy categorization.

311’s commitment to touring and engaging with their fanbase played a pivotal role in their rise to fame. Their live shows are known for their high energy and sense of community. Fans often form a tight-knit group known as the “311 Family.” With a legacy spanning over 2,000 shows across 27 countries, 311 stands tall as one of the enduring pillars of rock music, sharing the stage with iconic acts like U2 and Radiohead.


Their illustrious career, marked by celebrated live performances and an unswerving touring regimen, has fostered an unwavering and expansive fan base that stretches nationwide. Their impressive roster of past support acts reads like a who’s who of the music industry. It features luminaries such as The Offspring, Snoop Dogg, Sublime with Rome, Cypress Hill, Slightly Stoopid, Dirty Heads, The Roots, Matisyahu, and Ziggy Marley.

In a world where musical acts often rise and fall with the changing tides of popular culture, 311’s enduring presence and continued relevance are a testament to their extraordinary talent and unwavering commitment to their craft. As they continue to make music and perform live decades later, 311 remains an inspiration to musicians and fans alike. They are a shining example of the enduring power of creative expression in the world of music.

In their journey through the annals of music history, 311 has crafted 13 studio albums. That goes along with two greatest hits collections, two electrifying live albums, three DVD releases, and now even their own IPA craft beer. (Read our product review right here.)

“We are really excited to share our new beer, Come Original IPA, with you all. Creating this with El Segundo Brewing Company has been a great experience. Enjoy, stay positive and love your life. Cheers!” –P-Nut

311’s exclusive Come Original IPA, a product of their exciting partnership with El Segundo Brewing. Choose from convenient packaging options: 6-packs, 16-packs, or stock up with a 26-pack. But remember, these flavourful offerings are only available while supplies last at


P-Nut, bassist for 311, was a recent guest on the Midwest Mixtape Podcast via The Barn.

The Barn, located in southeast Missouri, plays host to a number of podcasts that include Girl Dad, Vulgar Display of Podcast, Birds & Swords, Live from the Leadbelt, 3rd Eye Review, Show-Me Music Podcast, Knuckleball Prime Time, Comics and Cosmetics, The Barn Radio Show, The Chris Sabo Power Hour, and The Wellness Investors.

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