Innovative band fuses metal, rasta, fiesta

By Jason Fierstein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Labeling has eluded the Nebraskan innovators known as 311. Maintaining party status in the music underground for the last five years, these funk/metal/jazz/reggae wizards are out promoting their latest Capricorn Records release "Grassroots."

Attempting to explain the band's methodology, lead singer Nicholas Hexum said, "We're part of a new school that says you can put anything and everything together in music. New school bands do it their own way . like Urban/Dance Squad, the Beastie Boys, Bad Brains . and 311."

Other than noticeable exceptions such as 3rd Bass and the Beasties, very few white guys have ever managed to maintain high profiles in the hip-hop playground. The band's smooth even-flow of rap fuses with metal guitar slashes, skankin' rasta beats, and punky party attitudes.

Many bands offering fresh musical innovation have attempted to incorporate two and sometimes three different musical genres, such as rock/rap/fusion, but these efforts have been short-lived. Reggae/rap was hawked in years past, but not too many hip-hop rastafarians saw the light of day.

Members of 311 seem to blend genres in a pleasantly funky way, with the intention of getting down and pumping beats into life's fiesta. Fusion styles come and go, but the 311 Frankenstein seems to be fixed permanently.

311, with very special guests Phunk Junkeez and Sinister Dane, will be rolling into The Rock Wednesday night, Nov. 16. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, call 629-9211.

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