Taking the name from the local police code for indecent exposure, the Alternative-Rock band 311 was formed in Omaha, Nebraska USA, in 1990 by five long-time friends: lead singer + guitarist Nick Hexum, guitarist Tim Mahoney, bass player P-Nut real name Aaron Wills, turntablist + rappers SA Douglas Martinez and drummer Chad Sexton.
Over the next two years the group released three independent albums on their own label, What Have You Records: "Dammit", "Hydroponic" and "Unity". With these records and their solid live show, the band quickly established a following in the Midwest and then set out for the West Coast.
311 then relocated to Los Angeles, where they signed with Capricorn Records who issued their major-label debut, "Music", in February 1993; the record was an infectious mix of Funk Metal and Hip-Hop and although it failed to chart, generated the Modern Rock top 30 hit "Do You Right".
They followed it up a year later with "Grassroots"; soon after they set out on tour to support the album which climbed into the top 10 of The Billboard Heatseekers list.
311 delivered their self-titled CD, known as the 'Blue Album', in July 1995; it entered The Billboard Top 200 chart at #12, spawning "Down", which rose to the #1 spot on The Modern Rock chart, "All Mixed Up", which hit the top 5 on the same chart and the Modern Rock top 30 single "Don't Stay Home". The 'Blue Album', eventually went on to sell 3 million copies worldwide.
The band's popularity continued to grow, leading to The Billboard 200
#4 album, "Transistor"; the record, released in August 1997,
included three Modern Rock hits: "Beautiful Disaster", "Prisoner"
and the title-track, the latter of which reached the #14 position.
After an exhaustive international tour supporting "Transistor", the group released a collection of live recordings simply entitled "Live".
In October 1999, 311 released its fifth Capricorn studio-album, "Soundsystem", which shot to #9 on The Billboard 200; the main single, "Come Original", peaked at #6 on The Modern Rock chart and was followed by a second alt-Rock radio top 20 hit single, "Flowing".
2001 saw the band back in the studio to record "From Chaos" which was issued that summer on Volcano Records; the CD debuted at #10 on The Billboard 200 Albums chart spawning no less than three Modern Rock top 20 hit singles including the #7 "You Wouldn't Believe", "I'll Be Here Awhile" and "Amber".
The quintet returned two years later with their seventh studio effort, "Evolver", which peaked at #7 on The Billboard 200, generating the Modern Rock top 3 smash "Creatures (For A While)" and a further Modern Rock top 40 hit, "Beyond The Gray Sky".
In early 2004 the group was asked by Adam Sandler to contribute a song
to his movie "50 First Dates"; 311 recorded and released the
cover of The Cure's "Love Song";
the track smashed into The Modern Rock chart at #1.
In March the band performed a 5-hour concert in New Orleans, the entire show was filmed and recorded and ultimately released as a special 2-DVD set; "3-11 Day Live In New Orleans" included 64 songs plus a behind the scenes look at the band and their fans; the DVD is now certified platinum.
The compilation album "Greatest Hits '93-'03", which appeared in June 2004, celebrated 311's decade-long recording history; the set rose to #7 on The Billboard Top 200 chart and included two previously unreleased tracks, "How Do You Feel?" and the Modern Rock radio top 20 hit "First Straw".
In August 2005, 311 released its eighth studio album, "Don't Tread On Me"; the Volcano/Jive set crested at #5 on The Billboard Top 200 while the title-track fell just one position short of #1 on The Modern Rock chart and the second single, "Speak Easy", charmed its way into a respectable berth just outside the top 20.
In late 2008, the group returned to the Hive Studio in California to work on studio album number nine with legendary producer Bob Rock. The result, "Uplifter", was an album that crept into the top 3 on The Billboard 200 upon its June 2009 release; the lead single, "Hey You", shot to #3 on The Modern Rock chart and its follow-up, "It's Alright", reached #16.
"Universal Pulse", 311's next album, was released in July 2011 peaking at #7 on The Billboard 200. The disc's first single, "Sunset In July", became the band's ninth Hot Modern Rock top 10 hit and "Count Me In" reached the #31 position on the same chart.
On March 11, 2014, 311 will release their new album, "Stereolithic", similarly stylized on the cover as STER3OL1TH1C. The 15-song set includes the single "Five Of Everything".