311's career is about as long as it is unlikely — that is to say, very long and very unlikely.
Front man Nick Hexum and bassist Aaron "P-Nut" Wills co-founded the reggae-rock-rap fusion band in 1988, and no one is more aware of 311's quirks or its appeal than they are.
Hexum and Wills have heard it all, and during a recent interview with Q104.3 New York's Out of the Box with Jonathan Clarke, they rattled off some of the most tired comments people make about their band.
"Can you believe they're from Nebraska? That sounds so ... unlikely."
"Wait! The guy's gonna rap! Wait."
"Imagine how high these guys are to think of these ideas."
While the band has been at it for more than 30 years at this point, as far as Hexum and Wills are concerned, 311's 30th anniversary is 2020, marking three decades since the band's current lineup was established.
It's an alchemy that keeps working over and over again. 311's new album Voyager —its 13th overall — entered Billboard's Independent Albums Chart at No. 1.
Keeping a band together for such a long time — even a successful one — is no small feat. Hexum credits famed producer Bob Rock with imparting on 311 some sage advice on how to keep getting along.
"You've got to be ready to not get your way and respect democracy," he says. "We luckily have five band members, so it's going to be 3 - 2..."
"It's always 3 - 2," Wills adds.
"...We know we have something special so we take care of it," Hexum continues. "It all started with friendship. A lot of bands today maybe have one or two original members and then a bunch of sidemen, but we have that real thing that started in my dad's basement. We were friends, and we were partying together and had a dream. So it's very organic. It's cool. It's gonna be great to have a 30-year anniversary next year."
Check out the full interview in the player above or here.
Thumbnail Photo: Getty Images
Here's the official music video for 311's new song "Good Feeling":