On Friday, Omaha-bred band 311 returns to the area for another concert, which will feature some songs that fans may not hear very often.
The rap-reggae-rock band — which got its start playing Omaha venues such as Sokol Underground, Howard Street Tavern and the Ranch Bowl — will bring some lesser-played songs to its set.
“Now, we have a lot of songs. We try and rotate as many as we can,” 311 drummer Chad Sexton told The World-Herald. “We're concentrating on songs we haven't played in the last eight years.”
During a week of rehearsals with the band, Sexton called to talk about 311's plans for the summer tour, which will include a big chunk of the band's catalog.
Just don't expect any new tunes. The band's still playing songs from its 2011 album, “Universal Pulse,” and Sexton said band members are still writing songs individually and will bring them together in the fall.
“We used to play new songs all the time in the '90s,” he said. “And then the Internet came in. If we're writing something, we don't want someone to record it and put it somewhere before it's finished.”
Things like that come with have a fervent fan base that likes to record shows, document setlists and travel to see the band. Fans of 311 have also made it possible for the band to have multi-day events like 3-11 Day (the band's biennial celebration), Pow Wow Festival (the band's first-ever festival that took place last year) and the 311 Carribean Cruise (the second event wrapped up this spring).
The fan base also means the band completes its Unity Tour every summer and, with record sales majorly declining, helps keep the band afloat financially.
“We are completely blessed with that. They're amazing. high-energy, very positive group of people that love to have a good time and step out of the normal life box, you know?” Sexton said. “It's a blessing. We can't do it without them. They're the exact fan base I would wish to have.”
While talking about the band's past, Sexton had some laughs when trying to recall specific concerts. Some of them blend together, he said, but that's natural for a band that's lasted more than 20 years.
There's no secret to the band's longevity — only that everyone is focused on continuing to make music together.
“It's not like we ever haven't disagreed or ever haven't strongly disagreed,” he said with a laugh. “I think it comes down to when it's up to each individual, you would more likely than not want to move on with the band and see how far it can go. That overrides anything else that would break it up.”
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