311’s Nick Hexum talks food, New York City, and the band’s new ’Mosaic’ album
Since forming nearly 30 years ago in 1988, 311 has sold more than nine million albums in the United States alone. Scheduled for release on June 23 via BMG, Mosaic is the band's 12th album, produced by Scotch Ralston and Goldfinger's John Feldmann. Mosaic features the first single — and immediate radio hit — “Too Much to Think”; the LP is likely to become 311’s 10th consecutive Top 10 album debut on the Billboard Top 200. Beyond the traditional recording and touring that one would expect from a major rock band, 311 has branched out in recent years with the annual 311 Caribbean Cruise, its 311 Amber Ale, and the Grassroots Uplifter vape pen.
The Daily Meal chatted with singer/guitarist Nick Hexum, who — along with 311 bandmates S.A. Martinez, Tim Mahoney, Chad Sexton, and bassist P-Nut — is readying for the band’s 18th consecutive summer tour. The tour kicks off in Cleveland on June 22 and includes New York City area stops on July 11, 14, and 15. More information can be found on the band’s website.
The Daily Meal: What do you remember about the first live show you ever played in New York? Where was it?
Nick Hexum: On our very first couple of tours, we played at the Wetlands, which was such a cool hippie oasis in Manhattan. It was cool to be included in the recent documentary about Wetlands. On our third tour, we played the tiny Coney Island High, which was utter madness. We were in the middle of our big ascent in ’95 and people went absolutely crazy. We could barely breathe it was so hot and sweaty. P-Nut puked on stage.
You have a few New York area gigs coming up this summer. Will you be playing a lot of material from your new album Mosaic?
Definitely! We are so stoked on this new album.
Do you have a favorite song on your new album?
I feel like there are so many breakthroughs. The rockers "Too Late” and “Wildfire” are exciting, and the chill tunes “Inside Our Home” and “Places That the Mind Goes” have me really excited.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
We like Stanton Social. Chris [Santos] always takes care of us.
New York aside, do you have a favorite restaurant where you live?
I like to eat sushi at Sugar Fish.
Catering-wise, what's usually on your rider? Any foods you must have before a performance?
Espresso is the must-have thing on tour.
Upcoming tour aside, what's coming up for you?
Excited to get our beer, 311 Amber Ale, and our cannabis product, Grassroots Uplifter, more widely available.
When not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
I’m outside a lot. Doing stuff with my kids, hiking in the mountains, playing basketball.
Finally, Nick, any last words for the kids?
311 fans rule! Thanks!