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Interview:
311 Planning To Take Some Time Off
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

311 frontman Nick Hexum says now is a good time to catch the band, because it might become a bit scarce in the near future.

Hexum isn’t sounding the farewell alarm, however. But he does feel that after the group fi nishes touring to support its latest album, 2005’s “Don’t Tread on Me,” “it’s time for a little bit of a break so we can figure out what the next thing we do will be.

“I wouldn’t feel satisfi ed if our next album could be so closely compared to the previous one,” adds Hexum, 36, who co-founded the punk-reggae band during 1990 in Omaha, Neb., and relocated to Los Angeles in a year later. “It’s time for a step.

“At certain points you have these revelations of, like, ‘OK, this is where we need to go.’ I think we need to step back and think about that for a while.”

Hexum says the move is “pre-emptive” and there’s no trouble in the group.

“I want to take time off before we get sick of it,” he says.

And while he knows “it’s a risk to let your name die down by stepping out of the spotlight,” Hexum also is confi dent that “our (fan) roots are so solid that if we take a little time off, it’ll be OK.”

Hexum plans to fi ll his time with other projects, including reggae-style covers of pop standards he began recording several years ago, as well as his liberalhexum.org Web site, which focuses on global warming and other environmental issues.

Ultimately, he says, “I’m waiting for that bolt of lightning to hit me that I get when I write my best music. So I have to keep my chops up, and doing the covers is a great way to practice.”

311, the Wailers and Pepper perform at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (August 10th)at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $35 pavilion and lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit

Web Site: www.palacenet. com

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