We speak to Jason Aalon Bulter, frontman for Fever 333, known for his erratic stage performance, which involves high-energy nonstop movement, dance routines, smashing of onstage objects, frequent crowd surfing, and climbing festival stages and find out what really makes him tick.
The 333 in ‘Fever 333’ stands for the 3 C’s COMMUNITY, CHARITY, CHANGE. Explain that message?
Essentially it's the foundation upon which the whole project rests. Change is the overarching theme, right? Something that we can talk about and all we want. But I think action and actual participation in the change you want to see is most important. So for us, the charity contingent is a very large contingent piece of the project and everything we do from playing these demonstrations tonight to merchandise to album sales there is a percentage of that, that goes to the Walk In My Shoes Foundation. A brand fund non-profit that I started that aligns with various charities. It gives you a choice online to choose which one you think you align best with.
When we are playing these headline demonstrations we find a way to pair with local charities and local organizations in order to offer them a thank you for allowing us space and the time to share the community with us. That is how those all play into each other and form the idea that is Fever 333.
Fever is famous for the phrase “Stand up. Or die on your knees.” What do you want fans to take from that?
I want them to take away their idea of power, to recognize the power, to understand their inherent power. Just simply by being here you are powerful. I think that we have this anticipatory, relinquishing of power that we've been taught for years and years from different systems and insensitive authority and constructs and we tend to forget our power. And we are told many times that we do not possess the power that we do. And we're convinced that we are not as powerful as we are. So those things for me it's a way to remind people of their power or just help them recognize it in the first place.
Let's talk about your latest album ‘Str333ngth in Numb333rs’: ‘ANIMAL’, refers to the struggles of the working class and how power figures enforce boundaries within society. What do you think people can do to combat these struggles?
That song is really again trying to offer this almost dream state of what it would be like to just say fuck it, we can fight back and be ok with who we are.
‘BURN IT’ refers to how people can be ignorant of what’s going on around them for a happier life. Do you feel it’s your duty to change this way of thinking?
Personally, I feel it's my duty, I have put this upon myself. But I don't feel like there should ever be a point where other people feel as though they've been told to do anything. It’s something I told myself, that I would like to be a part of the change in sort of lifting the veil that has been put across my own eyes and many others around me. I would hope that for many other people too. What people want from themselves and what they want from their communities, but understand that most local you can be is within yourself.
You wrote ‘INGLEWOOD’ to pay homage to your hometown. As a successful musician do you feel it’s important to never forget your roots?
You can ask my band. Maybe every three shows I go: All right. Remember this dressing room that's basically a basement that has black mould in it and you really shouldn't be breathing in here. Remember the fucking van breaking down. Remember everything that it took just to get here. It may seem as though there's a buzz about this band right now and we're perceived as something, I think that is sometimes bigger than we are. I always try to remember that if this is the first level of success everything we had to do to get here was insane. It's been 15 years for me personally just working in bands and being in a band or being on a crew or writing music. We're here in a place that's the most comfortable I've ever been for sure but by no means in the larger scheme are we exceptional. Like our comforts aren't necessarily exceptional in that way but they are to us. So I guess it's all relative.
As a kid what music got you through hard times?
Hip hop and RnB to begin with and then punk rock sort of spoke to my frustration. That became a positive; I guess a catalyst for me changing my life. My favourite rock band of all time would still would have to be Bush.
Travis Barker and John Feldmann have a big input in the Fever 333 project. What have you learnt from them so far?
John Feldmann has been mentoring me for like 10 years. He's always given me ideas of what it means to be an artist, he has told me not to compromise, taught me to learn about myself and to push myself. Then Travis Barker came along and showed me that I'm not crazy because I've always wanted so much. When everyone around me has been like it's not possible, you can't work like that, you can't ask for that much, you can't challenge things that much. Both John and Travis have showed me that; not only is it possible, but it works. They're a living breathing example of the success that you can see. By just not compromising and really sort of giving yourself to art and what you believe in and what you love. I used to listen Goldfinger, like 'Superman' was the track on Tony Hawks Pro Skater. Travis Barker wrote 'Enema of The State'. These were massive parts of my childhood. To have a seat at the table with them and to be able to share ideas is inspiring.
Your collaboration ‘Scary Mask’ with pop singer Poppy was a definite surprise for fans, tell us how that came about? Did you have much creative input?
Our friend Zach who we have done Fever stuff with since the beginning knows Poppy. Steve, our guitarist is also a fan. One day Poppy and Zach got together to write a song, they had Steve in the studio doing some riffs. I was in the studio too doing Fever stuff. Zach was like "hey here's a song, would you sing on it?" and I was like "let me hear it". Once I heard it I was like "ya this is sick, it's wild." I love things that challenge the way that we see and perceive music and art. What you hear on that track is literally my first pass. I knew what it was about and I just freestyled it.
We know that the Black Panther logo has a lot of history behind it. Can you tell us why you chose it as your logo?
The idea of the Black Panther was implemented because black panthers do not strike unless they are pushed into a corner to where they have no way out. I think the idea of militants is something that people used to cloak and overshadow all the great things they did like the free lunch programs and all the community service that they offered. I got in contact with Emory Douglas (Minister of Culture for Black Panther) who aestheticised the party, his version of the cat was the one that they used as there logo. So us using it was to pay homage to that.
Your song 'Burn It' has won a Kerrang Award. How does it feel to have already made such a great impression?
You know we're like coming into it and being recognized for whatever reason. The platform seems to be a little more open for us right now, which is great. I think there's so much great work that's been done by the other nominated bands too.
What is the one thing you want to do but haven’t done yet?
To be honest I want another kid and I don't have one yet.
Tell us one thing about you that your fans don’t already know?
I used to really, really, really, really dislike popsicle sticks like ALOT. Hated them. I don't know why. I just don't like the texture.
Famous Last Words....
I hope there's dogs up here.
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