FEVER 333’s Jason Aalon Butler: The 10 songs that changed my life

FEVER 333 and ex-letlive. vocalist Jason Aalon Butler dives into his record collection…

FEVER 333’s Jason Aalon Butler: The 10 songs that changed my life
Mischa Pearlman
Jonathan Weiner

Firebrand FEVER 333 frontman Jason Aalon Butler reflects on a wayward youth, the one that got away and what it means to be a cool guy...

The first song that I remember hearing...Aalon – Rock And Roll Gangster (1977)

“This is my dad’s song from the record his band made [1977’s Cream City]. I remember him being in the garage doing versions of it back in the day and it was so amazing hearing this song he’d written. My early ideas of what it meant to be a cool guy was my dad playing all this music with his homies and being really fucking good at it.”

The song that makes me think of childhood...Sade – The Sweetest Taboo (1985)

“Other than my dad’s music, I remember stealing the Slim Shady EP [by Eminem] and Korn’s Follow The Leader. I stole them from a record store and my mum was like, ‘Where did you get these?’ and I told her I bought them, but they had a parental advisory sticker on them so she realised there was no way I bought them and she made me take them back and apologise to the store. But that’s just one memory. Anything funk or soul or R&B related is the biggest reminder of childhood, but this song in particular reminds me of growing up with my mom and dad.”

The first song that I learned to sing...Jeremy Jordan – My Love Is Good Enough (1993)

“I bought this single with my allowance money and I absolutely loved it. That’s the first thing I remember really trying to learn to sing. I mean, I sang songs from The Lion King when I was a kid, but this one was cooler than just Disney. The first song I ever played on guitar was Glycerine by Bush.”

The song that’s got me into the most trouble...letlive. – Renegade 86 (2010)

“Remember that time I got into a fight with security at Download? It was our first time at the festival and I was good until one of them tried to [grab me while heading to the stage from the crowd]. I started throwing hands with these dudes and then they didn’t want it because they realised I wasn’t just going to take it. I’m not trying to be macho, but I’m not bad at fighting. I’ve trained with my hands for years, so I did that to show them, ‘Hey, you’ve got the wrong guy.’ And then they all backed up. When all my homies from the crew and Your Demise came down it was soon apparent that security weren’t going to win.”

The first song I ever stage-dived to...Death By Stereo – Wasted Words (2003)

“It’s all a bit of a blur, but the first time I ever stage-dived was at the El Segundo Teen Center [in Los Angeles]. Fuck, man, I’m pretty sure it was while Death By Stereo were playing and I think it was this song, but honestly it’s hard to remember exactly what happened because the whole show is a hazy memory now.”

The song I can’t listen to anymore...Something Corporate – Konstantine (2003)

“Okay, there’s a girl who – let’s say it – broke my heart, and we used to listen to this song. I get sucked back into that moment in her room where her window would look out on to this street that was covered with trees and… oh man. She was the one that got me a little fucked up when it came to getting into relationships after we broke up.”

The song I wish I’d written...Whisky Winter – Heavy (2013)

“There’s a few of these, but this is a song that I used to listen to with my now-wife. They’re this Australian band from Perth and they literally only released this one song. They played maybe two local shows in bars, and you can’t even find this online now. They’ve wiped it from the internet, and I think there’s something really cool about the mystique of that.“

My favourite song to play live...FEVER 333 – We’re Coming In (2018)

“I enjoy playing this because it gets such a good response and people become so visceral so quickly. It’s really crazy. There’s a groove to it, it’s not hard to remember the chorus, and it’s a bit rebellious, but it also has a meaning to it. I wanted it to be an empowering hook and when we wrote it I hadn’t really done anything like that with letlive. before.”

The song I’d most like to be remembered for...FEVER 333 – Trigger (2018)

“I was trying to think of a ballad for this, but forget that. So let’s say Trigger, because it opened up a really hot-button conversation that otherwise maybe our generation wouldn’t have been comfortable enough to speak about. And I would love that to happen because of this song.”

The song I’d like played at my funeral...2Pac Feat. Dr Dre – California Love (1996)

“I know my wife’s funeral song, but I haven’t thought about my own too much. So maybe a 2Pac song, because I’d like people to have fun, I wouldn’t want them to be sad. California Love is the one. It would be so sick to get everyone lit instead of being upset.”

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