311 Preps for Rebellion Festival

Anthony Canova

Normally accustomed to marathon five-hour sets played every March 11 for their diehard fans, the band 311 is not intimidated by a simple festival date.

“We just got done doing the Guitar Center Sessions, which is eight songs,” says 311 bassist Aaron Wills (aka P-Nut). “It was a total walk in the park. It’s the same thing for festival shows, which are an hour to 85 minutes. It’s easy to let it all go by and wow, there’s only three songs left. We can just deliver endlessly as hard as we can.”

The Nebraskan band developed their surfy Californian sound by incorporating reggae, hip-hop and funk with hard rock. With their different tune, they will absolutely stick out in the metal-leaning Carolina Rebellion Festival, which takes place Saturday and Sunday.

The band headlines Sunday with Kid Rock and Five Finger Death Punch, while Avenged Sevenfold and Rob Zombie head up Saturday’s 15-band lineup.

“It’ll be a challenge for us,” Wills says. “Approaching 25 years as a band, to still be able to have challenges and want to face them is a great thing. We’re excited about these shows. The Charlotte metalfest stands out because of how our loyal flag-bearing fans were like ‘Cancel that show!’ It was weird. The faithful were shook for some reason.”

It’s not as if 311 can’t rock.

It’s not as if 311 can’t rock. Its new album, “Stereolithic,” is packed with the crunchy signature guitar hooks that made them famous, along with the laid-back sing/rap delivery. Wills thinks it’s the band’s greatest album in years.

“Stereolithic” is by far 311’s most collaborative album, with Wills contributing lyrics with songwriters Nick Hexum and SA Martinez.

“When we collaborate, there’s something about it that goes along with the whole mixing up of styles and the dance with harmonies and hybrids,” Wills says. “It makes a little more sense. Writing lyrics, there was way more of a committee with me, Scotch, Nick and SA. Seven songs we wrote together.”

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