311's S.A. Martinez Informs: "311 Is About the Live Experience"

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New Times: 311's been throwing their Summer Unity tours since 2003. From Matisyahu to Snoop Dogg you always have an eclectic line-up. What's the process of deciding who will tour with you?

S.A. Martinez: There's no rhyme or reason. Sometimes it falls together nicely. Maybe there's a band on our radar that we've toured with. Maybe they're touring a new record or something. We really lucked out over the years as far as attracting acts to come out with us. This year's no exception. We've been blessed.

Is there a dream line-up of bands you've yet to have on the Unity Tour?

I really like Mayer Hawthorne, he's sort of a retro-soul. I would love to tour with De La Soul. It's been a number of years since we toured with them. Jurassic 5. Gosh, there's so many great acts out there.

Any reaction to Rolling Stone magazine calling your tour one of the summer's best concert bargains?

I think it is. We've got a great bang for the buck. We deliver a high energy show night in and night out. Our set lists are never the same. Not many acts come close to that, and the package we're bringing is tough to beat.

As performers, what do you hope audiences get from your concerts?

We just want people to have a good time. It's really all about that. 311 is about the live experience. Our fans really crave it. We see so many faces that come to multiple shows. There's a hardcore staple that travels around with us, so we're fortunate. I think someone who has never been to a 311 show are in for a treat.

Your tour itinerary has an intense schedule the next month.

Actually, it's the shortest tour we've done in a long time. We're working on a record, so we want to keep it short so we can get back and finish some new songs. We haven't had a record out in a couple years, so instead of our usual two month summer tour this will only be one month.

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David Rolland is a freelance writer for New Times Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland