Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333): 'We do our best to encourage people to recognise their power and remind themselves of that power'

Jason Aalon Butler (Fever 333): 'We want to be demonstrative of our own idea of freedom while allowing people to demonstrate theirs'

Vocalist of the genre-hopping rock band discusses their key message and approach to music

Fever 333 specialise in a politically charged mix of hip hop, metal, industrial and even p-funk. A band who think about everything they do, even their name comes loaded with meaning. 'I like the idea of a fever spreading like a sickness or an epidemic,' explains vocalist Jason Aalon Butler. 'That idea of something spreading from one person to 10 to 100 to thousands to millions. C is the third letter of the alphabet, and they [333] stand for Community, Charity and Change which is the foundation for this whole project.'

A chance meeting with Blink 182's powerhouse drummer Travis Barker while working at a supermarket, while his previous band Letlive were on hiatus, was the flashpoint that led to the creation of Fever 333 with former Chariot guitarist Stephen Harrison and Night Verses drummer Aric Improta (Barker guests on the album and also the tour when available).

Just a few minutes talking with Butler and you realise how seriously he takes the band and their message. Their debut album, Strength in Numb333rs, tackles racism, police brutality, poverty, gun violence and social justice. However, it's not some po-faced diatribe but an explosive hardcore rap-rock hybrid that rattles the bars of the cage. 'There are a lot of institutions and different agendas that are usually used to leverage power against people and we're hoping to do our best to encourage people to recognise their own power and remind themselves of that power.'

When asked if he finds it depressing that even in 2019 there are so few black and ethnic minority musicians in rock and metal, Butler pauses, thinking, before replying: 'I think that a lot of people are unaware that people of colour had an integral hand in creating rock, people are quite miseducated. We had chain-gangs, we had blues that evolved into rock'n'roll. It was born of adversity and a subversive nature. A lot of it was born out of ethnicities that are very underrepresented in rock music now.

'Recently we've seen a sterilisation and homogenisation of something [rock/metal] that used to be very challenging and confronting, that used to be very progressive. Which is why rock has had a hard time competing with hip hop and pop music which seem to be leading the charge when it comes to moving forward, sonically at least. The idea of people of colour, women, LGBQT+ in rock music is something that not only exists but deserves more representation because it had such a large hand in its genesis.'

They approach their live shows from another angle, labelling them demonstrations rather than gigs, 'essentially because we want to be demonstrative of our own idea of freedom while allowing people to demonstrate theirs, creating a safe space where people can exhibit who they are and who they want to be.'

After supporting Bring Me the Horizon in 2018 F333 are back for a short UK tour including a slot at Download. 'Last year we played Download, and honestly we don't expect anything, but the way we were received and the way people appeared to be so invested in the project so early was absolutely incredible. Download was just wildly insane. We're just a component of the project, if there was a diagram I don't think we'd even be at the top, the people would be at the top, at the centre would be an idea and we're just allies to a movement that is already happening. And in the UK it was fucking crazy, so we're really excited to come back.'

Cathouse, Glasgow, Mon 17 Jun, and touring.

Fever 333

American hip-hop and punk rock trio made up of former Letlive vocalist Jason Aalon Butler, former Chariot guitarist Stephen Harrison and Night Verses drummer Aric Improta.

Manchester Academy

Sun 3 Nov

2

£19 / 0161 275 2930

Academy 2

£16.50 / 0161 275 2930

O2 Forum, London NW5

Thu 7 Nov

£22.85 / 0203 362 4110

O2 Institute, Birmingham

Sat 2 Nov

2

£19 / 0844 844 0444

Also at:

Post a comment