The Fever 333 is on the road in support of their new E.P. “Made An America” and they recently played two Nebraska dates (5/23 in Lincoln for a headline date, and 5/24 in Omaha supporting The Used. My wife Virginia and I caught up with the band after their show in Omaha to talk new music, community outreach, and why Deftones makes the best baby making soundtracks.
Stories From The Crowd: First off, I’d like to thank you for the two amazing shows and taking the time to talk with me.
Jason Aalon Butler: For sure, thank you for spreading the message of our band!
Stories: So you’re out here promoting the new E.P. Made An America, which is a killer record by the way, do you guys have plans for a full release any time soon?
Jason: Yea, we have over an album’s worth of material written, we just want to make sure we are releasing new music when it will make the most impact.
Stories: You guys are all from previous groups, but with The Fever 333, have you had to adjust to a more hectic tour schedule or has it been about the same?
Stephen Harrison: I toured a lot with my previous band, but it’s been about four years since I’ve toured, so that’s taken a little getting used to, but performing just comes naturally.
Jason: I toured incessently with my previous band so I’m used to touring, but this is the first tour I’ve been on since becoming a father and that has been a whole new world. It can be tough, but I fly home as much as I can. Any free time I have I want to be with my family.
Stories: So Jason, you’re from Inglewood, a pretty rough area of our country, and most of your material seems really true-to-life. How much of your life experience makes its way into your songs?
Jason: Yes, Inglewood is a very under-served community without a doubt, and that’s where I’m from. I feel like I can speak to and inform this project from my own experiences for the most part, but there’s a lot of observations that have to made as well. We try to create a safe space for people who feel displaced or underrepresented and share our life experiences. Hopefully people can say “I feel that way too”. Maybe not necessarily for the same reasons, but there will be a connection on an emotional level.
Stories: So last night you partnered with The Action Network in Lincoln to combat poverty. I didn’t see a charity partner for the show tonight?
Jason: Yea, when it’s our own headline show we partner with a local charity every time. Since this wasn’t a headline show we didn’t have one tonight. Honestly, that’s why we try to play shows on our own. We’re not trying to put anyone off, we just want to make sure we can make an impact from every angle of this movement.
Stories: That makes sense. Have there been any charities that you’ve been introduced to that you’ve become more familiar with as a result of touring?
Jason: All of them! Seriously, there’s been so many awesome charities we’ve been able to work with on this tour. Basically, we reach out to local residents for suggestions before we head out on tour and then we research all the prospects and link up at our shows.
Stories: That’s awesome. So I wanted to mention regarding your band and The Used, I feel like this is the house that John Feldmann built. John helped The Used with their records and then Goldfinger took them out, now John and Travis Barker are helping you guys with your record and The Used is taking you out. It’s like they are passing the torch.
Jason: Definitely. John and Travis are an integral partners in this project. They’re very much a part of this band. When we put our full length together, John and Travis will help with the writing and recording.
Stories: That’s awesome. I was going to say, when Bert mentioned being in Omaha with Goldfinger in 2001, Virginia and I were at that show. It was so sick, they didn’t have a barrier so people were stage diving all over the place!
Jason: No way! That sounds like a great show.
Stories: It was incredible. They opened with a cover of “Just like heaven”. Speaking of incredible shows, what’s the first show you remember going to?
Jason: My dad’s band. I don’t actually remember it, but my mom has pictures of me in Colorado in the snow going to watch my dad play when I was really young.
Stephen: NSync- No Strings Attached Tour. I was in the fifth grade.
Stories: NSync, that’s so cool! Speaking of Dad bands and Nsync, when I was 11 my dad’s band The Confidentials actually opened for NSync when they toured on their first album. It was for a radio festival “Sweetstock”? I think. My dad’s band was the local opener and there were all of these girls everywhere backstage waiting for NSync. After my dad’s set, he asked if I wanted to stay for NSync. I said “Who’s NSync?” Oh man, I could’ve met young JT! Oh well. They also had a bunch of other pop bands and they all played to a click track and didn’t even really sing. It was pretty lame.
Jason: So even at 11 you knew that was wack.
Stories: Yea, they were no Fever 333 I can tell you that. There was no hanging from the balcony.
Jason: Ha! Right on.
Stories: So what’s the first record you ever bought or what band really made you want to get into music?
Jason: My dad. I owe all of this to my dad. He was like my representation of what it meant to be a man and an artist. So yea, my dad, but what changed my perception of rock music was Chino from Deftones.
Stories: Oh!!! Deftones is my absolute favorite band!! I’ve seen them 10 times, traveled to MN, TX, all over the place to see them.
Jason: Yea I was playing soccer when I was ten and my dad knew the promoter of the Warped Tour and the show was actually on the same grounds where I played soccer. So we went and my dad’s like “Do you want to see some rock music?” and I’m like “Yea that’s cool, whatever”. We go in and I see this dude with bleach blonde hair, saggy dickies shorts, pulled up socks, and converse shoes. My dad said “Check these guys out” and Chino climbs on the huge P.A. stack and jumps off into the crowd and he’s screaming “7 words”. I told my dad I wanted to do that for a living. He laughed, but he bought me a guitar like 2 years later.
Stories: That’s so awesome!
Jason: Yea, my last band actually toured with Deftones a few times. I got to sing “7 Words” and “Lotion”, it was so sick.
Stories: I can’t even imagine. So Virginia and I have been together for a long time. When I was trying to date her back in high school I knew she liked Deftones so I got tickets for the White Pony tour and we saw them on this very stage. Glassjaw opened up.
Jason and Stephen: Oh dang!!
Jason: I talked to Glassjaw and they said a lot of people hated them on that tour.
Stories: Yea there were a lot of people at the show that didn’t really get post-hardcore music yet. I actually wasn’t a huge Deftones fan until White Pony came along. Some of the earlier stuff had really heavy screaming ( which I appreciate now as a superfan) but White Pony changed everything.
Jason: White Pony is so dope.
Stories: When we saw them on that tour it had just dropped and it was number three on the charts behind NSync or Britney Spears (whatever pop albums were out at the time) and Chino took off his belt and said “If you don’t buy my album I’m gonna whip you!” Oh man, it was so crazy! I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
Jason: That’s so nuts, Chino was a beast back then!
Stories: Yea we love those guys. We have 3 kids and White Pony made that happen, haha!
Stephen: What’s that sexy song? Digital Bath?
Stories: Yea there’s that one and (Virginia cuts me off at this point), lol!
Stories: Well thanks so much for your time. I’ll definitely be back the next time you guys come through. You have a new fan for life!
Jason: You better watch out Chino!
Stories: For sure! Thanks guys.
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