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Feature

Fever 333 are kickstarting a revolution with their message of hope, acceptance and change

Jason Aalon Butler is leading a crew determined to make a difference.
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Published: 10:00 am, February 21, 2019Words: Ali Shutler. Photos: Frances Beach.
Fever 333 are kickstarting a revolution with their message of hope, acceptance and change

Two's company and three is a crowd, but you're going to want to make room for Fever 333. Their debut album ‘Strength in Numb333rs' is a rage-infused, forward-thinking riot of acceptance, power and progression. 

On the surface, they're a political rock band who want to tear down systems and stages, but it's 2019 - there's more to them than blood-pumping destruction. Built around a mantra of community, charity and change, this band is about creation.

Album opener ‘…' starts with breaking windows as the reports come in from "a very raucous yet somehow focused gathering," it declares. "Hundreds, if not thousands of people have gathered to boisterously demand change. People of all ages, different colours, beliefs, and genders. One of the most eclectic gatherings I have ever witnessed. And they seem to be here in the name of progress for all people." 

Welcome to Fever 333.

"It has to happen right now," starts Jason Aalon Butler backstage at Reading Festival. "The whole world is at this crazy boiling point. Because of globalisation and technology, we can all see what's happening.

"I'm not putting this on anyone and I'm not calling anyone out, but I don't think enough people are doing things about the things they want to change. It felt like this was the time for us as artists and activists to do and say something. "

From the moment Jason, Stephen Harrison and Aric Improta played their first show in a Californian parking lot in the summer of 2017, Fever 333 have been speaking loudly, proudly and with conviction. 

"To those of you who want change, here is an offering to start that conversation," came the wider unveiling. "To all the tired, frustrated, and brave, come join us." 

“When did we start making a commodity out of excitement?”
Jason Aalon Butler

The band aren't waiting idly by for people to find them and their message. They've hit the road hard, including lengthy jaunts across Europe and North America supporting Bring Me The Horizon. A new band playing arenas and preaching change has got division written all over it, but Fever 333 was born from struggle.

"It's most important to speak with those people who have diametric and opposing beliefs to show them that you're not a conspiratorial fucking freak, which is what they think. You've got to go in and create an area where you can talk to those people, and not just say, ‘Fuck you, get out of my face, you're dumb'.

"We're not trying to ostracise people. We want everybody to come through and try to feel something and express themselves, so if we get a chance to play in front of a lot of people, we're going to take that chance."

That unwavering belief has allowed Fever 333 to be fearless in everything they've done, but it's also allowed to exist.

"If you believe in something and you see it in your head, the possibility and the potential, there's no reason you can't at least try. That's what we've been doing, and luckily we've had the privilege of seeing success and doing things the way we want to do them."

‘Strength In Numb333rs' rages with emotion. Rather than pointing fingers or painting crosshairs on ‘The Man', Fever 333 find similarities and encourage empathy. It's feelings first, from the twisting autobiographical epic of ‘Inglewood' to the uniting romp of ‘One Of Us' that proudly welcomes you in. "Now you're one of us," it promises.

"I wrote that line for my solo project that hasn't seen the light of day yet," explains Jason in between tours. "I wrote that line when I was walking with my dog and listening to Bon Iver, for whatever that's worth. He was suffering from some trauma after being attacked, and I realised my dog truly is the canine version of me in the way that he acts, feels and reacts to the world because of what has happened to him in his past.

"My dog Louie has taught me so much about myself. This animal that can't speak to me taught me something or showed me a part of myself that made feel less alone. When I wrote that line, I was hoping to offer people a sense of belonging that my dog Louie offered me."

In everything the band do, they offer empowerment, representation and hope.

"The larger idea of what this whole project is about is that we must eventually find a way to work together. In our disparity, our large cultural and ideological differences, at the end of it all, the largest sense of power and strength will come from solidarity."

Fever 333 are kickstarting a revolution with their message of hope, acceptance and change
Fever 333 are kickstarting a revolution with their message of hope, acceptance and change
Fever 333 are kickstarting a revolution with their message of hope, acceptance and change
“Motherfuckers need to stop being scared to take chances”
Jason Aalon Butler

It's not about thinking the same; it's just about finding a way to work together. "It's about stripping away the constructs that keep us separated in order to be one." It's about challenging racism, inequality, the patriarchy and the systems that have been put in place by people to maintain their power, at the cost of others. It's about burning them down to start anew.

"I know it sounds so fucking cliché, 'we are all one person', but honestly the truth is that we can find a way. I'm not a misanthropic man; I really believe we can find a way. Take away all the bullshit you've been told to think about someone, something or a culture, and look at the person for who they are, who they want to be or who they can be. You'll see there's much more similarity than you assumed."

It's not just in their lyrics that Fever 333 offer challenge, confrontation and the hope for the new. Musically, ‘Strength In Numb33rs' takes the idea of a subversive rock band making protest anthems and updates it. Across the album, they blend the expected with the surprising. Soulful, brutal and constantly exciting, it moves with furious, unapologetic speed.

"What happened to being the movement that scared people into wanting change? What happened to being the movement that came out of subversion and adversity and struggle? When did we start packaging danger? When did we start making a commodity out of excitement? Motherfuckers need to stop being scared to take chances in a scene, in a world that was built on pushing the envelope.

"Unfortunately there's always going to be something to react to. I'm not a pessimist, I'm not being dismal, but there's always going to be something to react to. Even if it's just music becoming stale again, we're gonna react to that as well."

Taken from the March issue of Dork, out now. Order a copy below. Fever 333's debut album ‘Strength in Numb333rs' is out now.

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