Welcome to Radio Feedback, Radio.com’s weekly feature where we ask artists to wax nostalgic on the first time they heard themselves on the radio.
Since the band’s inception in Omaha, Nebraska, during the late 1980s, groove-rock outfit 311 has gone on to sell millions, their fanbase growing into a diehard community following the group’s every move, which now includes an annual 311 Day and bi-annual (or thereabouts) cruise.
Back in the early ’90s, however, frontman Nick Hexum and crew were just another aspiring band living in Southern California and hoping for their first big break, via Los Angeles’ KROQ (a Radio.com station).
“I do remember the first time we actually heard ourselves on a real radio station,” Hexum said during a recent interview with Radio.com. “It was in 1993, and we had put out the song ‘Do You Right,’ and KROQ jumped on it right from the start.”
Hearing the high-energy single from 311’s debut album, Music, on the radio is something Hexum will never forget.
“I’d moved out to L.A. first in 1988, and listened to nothing but KROQ, and then to hear us on the radio there in ’93,” he said. “We were actually by the pool at our little house in Van Nuys that all five us of lived in. It came on and there was a lot of high-fiving and cannonballs into the pool and probably smoking out, you know, just celebrating. That was a cool moment.”
While 311 is busy readying the band’s next album for release on 311 day 2014 on March 11, 2014, Hexum has been broadening his horizons by crafting his first solo album, My Shadow Pages, with the Nick Hexum Quintet.
“I think it’s kind of like I can put out my own record [with Nick Hexum Quintet], put out a 311 record, and then maybe my own. I realize that with having this more do-it-yourself approach, you don’t have to wait and have a major label cycle that takes a long time,” he told Radio.com in regards to relaunching the band’s independent record label, What Have You Records. “I can put out more music more often, and that’s just more tunes for the people.”