311's S.A. Martinez Informs: "311 Is About the Live Experience"
The members of 311 have come a long way from their high school days in Omaha, Nebraska. After moving to Los Angeles, and three albums later, they found mainstream success with a self-titled CD. In 1996, their single "Down" made the top of the modern rock charts and "All Mixed Up" hit number two. In 2004, they returned to the top of the charts with a cover of the Cure's "Love Song."
Since that time, the reggae, rap, rock influenced band has remained a massive live draw with their annual Summer Unity tours and their 311 Day concerts falling on March 11 (or 3/11, get it?!).
Days before 311 bring the 2013 edition of the Summer Unity Tour with Cypress Hill, Pennywise, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Sublime with Rome to Cruzan Amphitheatre, singer and DJ S.A. Martinez cordially spoke with us about Mayer Hawthorne and the "live experience" of his band.
New Times: 311's been throwing their Summer Unity tours since 2003. From Matisyahu to Snoop Dogg you always have an eclectic line-up. What's the process of deciding who will tour with you?
S.A. Martinez: There's no rhyme or reason. Sometimes it falls together nicely. Maybe there's a band on our radar that we've toured with. Maybe they're touring a new record or something. We really lucked out over the years as far as attracting acts to come out with us. This year's no exception. We've been blessed.
Is there a dream line-up of bands you've yet to have on the Unity Tour?
I really like Mayer Hawthorne, he's sort of a retro-soul. I would love to tour with De La Soul. It's been a number of years since we toured with them. Jurassic 5. Gosh, there's so many great acts out there.
Any reaction to Rolling Stone magazine calling your tour one of the summer's best concert bargains?
I think it is. We've got a great bang for the buck. We deliver a high energy show night in and night out. Our set lists are never the same. Not many acts come close to that, and the package we're bringing is tough to beat.
As performers, what do you hope audiences get from your concerts?
We just want people to have a good time. It's really all about that. 311 is about the live experience. Our fans really crave it. We see so many faces that come to multiple shows. There's a hardcore staple that travels around with us, so we're fortunate. I think someone who has never been to a 311 show are in for a treat.
Your tour itinerary has an intense schedule the next month.
Actually, it's the shortest tour we've done in a long time. We're working on a record, so we want to keep it short so we can get back and finish some new songs. We haven't had a record out in a couple years, so instead of our usual two month summer tour this will only be one month.