lost password recovery

recover my password

Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact

sign in

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the Newsletter

Down by 311

Album: 311Released: 1995Charted:
37
  • Written by 311 lead singer Nick Hexum and DJ S. A. Martinez, this is a song for the fans (who were "down" with them) to thank them for being loyal before the band became successful, and also an expression of gratitude for their bandmates.

    311 emerged from humble beginnings in Nebraska, and when their second major-label album, Grassroots, made the albums chart (at #193) and got some radio play, they knew it was going to work out for them. "There was momentum swelling," Hexum said in his Songfacts interview. "We knew we were blowing up, and it was strictly from a grassroots basis, and not from being media darlings or anything like that. It's a 'thank you' to both the band members and the fans."
  • This was a breakthrough single for 311, marking their first appearance on the Billboard Airplay chart (it wasn't released as a single, so it wasn't eligible for the Hot 100) and getting them on MTV. The song isn't typical pop fare, but it made an adventurous addition to many playlists looking to branch out from grunge, hip-hop and easy-going pop (we're talking about you, Hootie & The Blowfish).
  • 311 performed this on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on August 23, 1996. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Kiona - Huntsville, AL
  • The music video, which makes liberal use of various fun-house effects, was directed by Josh Taft, who also did the Stone Temple Pilots vids for "Plush" and "Sex Type Thing."
Sign in or Register to post comments

Comments: 20

Look, it's 2012 now. 311 has been around now for over 20 years and STILL rocks the house! Hell just last year they had a 311 Pow-Wow Festival, a 311 Day in Vegas, and a 311 Cruise! What other band takes their fans to the Bahamas for a concert?!? This year they are touring still, just got producer Bob Rock (Metallica, Offspring, Aerosmith) signed with them, and are probably going to put out at least 2-3 more albums. How awesome is that? If you say their songs are slow and boring, then you obviously haven't been to concerts or festivals. These guys put on one hell of a rock show and combine all types of melodies to jam out combining rap, hip/hop, reggae, pop. Yes, Down made them mainstream, but did you know they've put out over 10+ albums since that? That's not selling out. That's continuous unity for their fans.Fox - Gainesville, Fl
I don't know about selling out, but their music has changed dramatically. They were a fun group to listen to with their first few albums and then they became boring and too poppy and rely too much on slow songs.Casey - Glendale, Az
They didn't sell out, but unfortunately there later stuff does'nt even fractionally compare to their earlier stuff, I love em', my first show was at the Roxy in '93, there new stuff is boring, listen to "Music" again and you'll see what I mean. That album is amazing, pure originality, after Grassroots, they lost that originality.Dave - Northridge, Ca
Probably one of 311's most popular songs. Definitely a great one, and one of the first ones I heard to get me to start listening to them more frequently. They are now my favorite band of all time. It's a shame this site doesn't have more of their lesser-known hits!Don - Baltimore, Md
its funny how people think they sold out with this song. like after they made three CD's they were going to make a song on the fourth cd just to sell out with. they didnt sell out at all, all they did was make a song that just so happened to be liked by the majority of the people listening to alternative music at that poing in time. i think its great for them to have had their last couple of CD's have big hits on them. they are getting older and need to make the money for their efforts. they deserve it. they have done a lot for people in this world.Chris - Omaha, Ne
This is one of 311 best songs and was played often on KROQ 106.7 in 1995 here in the Los Angeles and Orange County area of Southern CaliforniaMichael - Costa Mesa, Ca
Jeez, I'm so tired of hearing that term "sell out". When I was younger, late 70's British Punk was starting to invade the US. I had a few friends that were striving to be so "different" from anyone else that they purposely segregated themselves from any and all music that was mainstream; even if they liked it. If it was on the radio, according to them the band "sold out", and that just wasn't cool to them. Mark from Miami said it already; if you don't "sell out" (for lack of a better term), your chances of ever making it big and carving out a successful musical career are nil. Selling out just means that there is a market for you ... who wouldn't want that?? Didn't the Sex Pistols sell out????? Oh, but Mike from CA apparently wants bands not to succeed. Too bad; 311 does a great job of not overexploiting themselves, yet are a great bunch of musicians that I will gladly continue to support. "Down" is a great song mixing rock-rap-reggae-pop all together. I'm a fan of all, sooooooooooo :)Scott - West Palm Beach, Fl
no k look they didnt sell out theres as good now as they were in the 90s and they dont sound an ounce like rhcp what are u smoking they have a distinct sound that makes me love them =]Dawson - Draper, Ut
Ive seen 311 over 40 times. With 20 people in 90 here in Cali to 40,000 recently, this is my band. to say they "sold out", you know NADA about the band, 311 HAS GRASSROOTS-TRUE! And to say they sound like The Red Hot Chilli peppers is comedy, PeacePaul - Oc Cali Biatch, Ca
311 is great because they dont let the fame get to their heads. My dad knew Chad and Nick (from Westside High School, and also Chad from Drum and Bugle Corps at UNL) and he has always said they are great guys.Trevor - Omaha, Ne
nope my dad didnt go to skool w/ martinezTristan - Omaha, Ne
i love this song and i like how nick and tim play guitar in this song and i think my dad went to high school with doug martinez or his sis or idk someone in thier family but i love 311 and i love the new album dont tread on me and i think they should go on tour againTristan - Omaha, Ne
dedicated to all us omahaaa fans cause we love 311 :). finally letting us be known for something other than corn and stds.Kelsey - Omaha, Ne
I like 311, they are different, ot a lot of ppl like them. I wish that they didn't quite copy The RHCP, it is kind of borring having two reggea rock bands, or whatever they like to call their music.Grunge=dead - Nowhereville, Ca
Listen guys...selling out isn't a bad thing. If bands don't sell....then they don't have fans, and then they gotta get real jobs...get it!?!?! Now the thing that is hard to keep is the sound of your music...3/11 never went all "pop" on us like a lot of other bands, and for that they get props!!! :)Mark - Miami, Fl
I think one of the best things about 311 is that they keep it real. They never really got sucked into the MTV hurricane that destroys most bands(or at least in my opinion). They are just a chill, no worries kind of band with good vibes.Michelle - Salem, Or
They didn't sell out my friend.Jeremy - Sioux Falls, Sd
Funny how they dedicate this song to "old skool" 311 fans. Uh, this song is what made them sell out.Mike - L.a, Ca
311's message is what im all about, and if michelle and kaylene are hot we need to hook up and listen to some music.Nick - Cypress, Tx
311 is one of the best bands. i love this songMichelle - Pueblo, Co
see more comments