If you’re a 311 fan, you probably recognize the name “D.J. Trichrome” by now…and if you don’t, I’m not sure where you’ve been!
311 fans were first introduced to D.J. Trichrome, AKA “Willy Wonka,” on the first 311 Caribbean Cruise back in 2011. Since then, he has joined 311 on the 2011 Summer Unity Tour, the Spring 2012 Road to 311 Day Tour, and two more 311 Caribbean Cruises.
It seems like Trichrome blew up just recently on the 311 scene, but it turns out he has some very deep roots with the band. Trichrome’s connection to 311 dates back to the early 1990’s, when he used to make the three hour trek from Sioux Falls, SD, to Omaha, NE, to visit Joe Voda’s Drum City (Trichrome began his musical career as a drummer in his teens and twenties). Joe Voda’s probably sounds familiar to many 311 fans, as Chad regularly praises the store – he grew up taking lessons there, and also worked at the store alongside his mother, Linda, who managed the drum store for over 20 years.
During one visit to Joe Voda’s back in 1992, Trichrome struck up a conversation with Linda. As he eyed the pictures of local and world-famous drummers that covered the walls inside the store, one photo caught his eye – a black and white glossy promo photo of a band. He asked, “Who is this Three One One?” To which Linda replied, “That is 311, my son’s band. They will be a household name one day.” She gave him a Music cassette tape, and Trichrome was instantly hooked. “Welcome” was the first song he ever heard – what an appropriate introduction! – and “Hydroponic” and “Feels So Good” were fast favorites.
Less than two years later, Trichrome met Chad at a party in Omaha via some mutual friends. They chatted music, drums, and more, and Trichrome went to see 311 the following night at the Capital Bar downtown. The show got a little rowdy, to say the least, as Trichrome recalls numerous support beams breaking under the floor as a result of the crowd jumping nonstop. And, to top it off, Yetti (Chad’s old drum tech) threw Chad’s drum kit out the window at the close of the show! It was later learned that the bar had to shut down for a few weeks to repair all the damage that was caused that night. After the show, Trichrome met up with Chad and the rest of 311 to party – and a lifelong friendship ensued.
Trichrome has had the unique experience of being both a fan and friend of 311. It was through this friendship that Trichrome landed his first opening gig for the band on the very first 311 Caribbean Cruise back in 2011. Trichrome is an experienced deejay, who first started out spinning for his high school dances and a local radio station – picking up the trade again in the late 1990’s after discovering reggae music. When Trichrome heard 311 was planning their first cruise, he approached Chad, saying he “had to be on the boat with them.” Chad asked Trichrome if he was still deejaying, to which Trichrome responded, “Hell yes!” And Chad said the magical words: “Here’s your chance, dude.”
Words can’t describe how excited Trichrome was to be a part of the first cruise lineup. He said, “I didn’t know what to expect – none of us did, not even 311. This was a first for all of us.” He brought as many different types of music out on the ocean with him as he could, and rocked each set as hard as possible. But it was his very last set – at high noon, on the Lido Deck, on the way back to Miami – where he went through 70 or 80 45′s in two hours. It was an all-reggae set – his specialty – and it was this performance which he believes earned him an invite to join that summer’s Unity Tour.
Since the first 311 Caribbean Cruise, Trichrome has opened 48 shows on 311’s Summer Unity Tour in 2011; supported a two-week west coast run in spring 2012; and also performed on the 2012 and 2013 311 Caribbean Cruises. Working next to 311 is, and has been, a unique experience for Trichrome, who said, “Doing anything with 311 is very special to me; they are my brothers. We have grown up together – and now we are all dads! It’s a beautiful thing! I have played with a lot of artists, but it’s different with 311 because they are truly a family.” He thinks the fans are one-of-a-kind as well. He said, “I LOVE 311 fans! There are no fans like 311 fans – such spirit and positivity. A true tribe!”
As one may be able to guess, Trichrome has countless amazing memories associated with 311, each specific band member, and the shows in general. Aside from the hundreds of late nights spent on the bus laughing, drinking, smoking, and just hanging out and playing music over the past (nearly) 20 years, his favorite memory is by far the first 311 Caribbean Cruise. “We were out on the ocean, and it was like outer space,” he said.
What’s next for D.J. Trichrome?! You can catch him at 311 Day 2014 in New Orleans, spinning at the 311 Fan Party on Monday, March 10, at The Swamp. He is also slated to pay a visit to Omaha this summer, rocking sets at the first-ever Grassroots Music Festival on July 12, as well as pre- and post-parties at the Hive Rock Club and Gallery before and after the show on the 12th. Additionally, he is currently hashing out the details of a summer tour set to feature himself alongside D.J. Soulman and D.J. Bobby B. from the Kottonmouth Kings. In his spare time, Trichrome stays busy with gigs at bars and clubs in the Madison, WI area. For a full list of appearances, visit djtrichrome.com.
D.J. TRICHROME’S 311 STATS:
Total # of 311 shows: 200-300 (Too hard to count!)
Greatest # of shows seen on a single tour: 48 (Summer 2011); and 9 (1995 Blue album tour)
Greatest # of shows seen consecutively: 48 (Summer 2011)
Favorite tour: Besides the one he was on (Summer 2011) – 1995 Blue album tour
Total # of states where he has seen 311: Nearly all of them, besides Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Tennessee
Total # of countries where he has seen 311: 2 – U.S. and the Bahamas
Favorite place to see/open for 311: Jones Beach and Red Rocks
Top 5 favorite 311 songs: “Plain,” “Silver,” “T&P Combo,” “Galaxy,” and “Large in the Margin”
Favorite 311 album: Grassroots
Favorite/most unique 311 merch/item: A signed Veuve Clicquot champagne bottle from the Soundsystem tour that the guys surprised him with for his birthday
Biggest 311 “goal” he has yet to accomplish: To be a part of a 311 song – he would love to collaborate with them.
And finally, D.J. Trichrome’s message to the band: “Thank you for always uplifting us! And thank you for converting alien soundwaves into music we can all rock out to!”