311 Biography

Formed at high school in Omaha, Nebraska, USA in 1990, hip-hop/rock crossover band 311 recorded three independent albums before relocating to Los Angeles in 1992. Named after the local police code for indecent exposure, the band comprises Nick Hexum (12 April 1970, Madison, Wisconsin, USA; vocals/guitar), Tim Mahoney (b. 17 February 1970, Omaha, Nebraska, USA; guitar), P-Nut (b. Aaron Wills, 5 June 1974, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; bass), S.A. Martinez (b. Douglas Martinez, 29 November 1970, Omaha, Nebraska, USA; vocals/turntables) and Chad Sexton (b. 7 September 1970, Lexington, Kentucky, USA; drums). With the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against The Machine having popularized a cross-genre rock hybrid, 311 seemed to be a ripe commercial prospect, and they were quickly signed to Capricorn Records. Unfortunately, neither of their initial album releases provided them with any commercial reward. Instead they concentrated on live work, playing with bands as diverse as Kiss and Cypress Hill and building a loyal fanbase. Their fortunes were transformed when ‘Down’ was released as a single in 1995 and was given rotation play on MTV. The single was housed on the band’s self-titled third album, which as a consequence went on to sell over three million copies and break into the US Top 20.

The home video Enlarged To Show Detail preceded 1997’s sprawling double set, Transistor. The following year’s live album was a welcome release for the band’s loyal fans. Hugh Padgham was recruited to help regular producer Scotch Ralston on the band’s new album, Soundsystem, which was regarded by fans and critics alike as their best since 311. The quintet then signed a new recording contract with the Volcano label and re-emerged in 2001 with another strong album, From Chaos. The ambitious Evolver followed in 2003. The subsequent compilation album celebrated 311’s decade-long recording history. The band also performs an annual concert (3-11 Day) on 11 March.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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