FEVER 333’s Jason Aalon Butler knows the world needs more empathy
It’s no secret that Jason Aalon Butler of FEVER 333 has openly voiced his thoughts on rebellion and democracy. In an exclusive 10 Topics interview with Alternative Press, Butler reveals the product his Gentlemen In Real Life company hasn’t created yet, the music that always makes him cry and more. You can read the full interview in issue 387.
THE MOST REBELLIOUS SOUND YOU EVER HEARD.
Black joy. Black people having fun and the world around them thinking they’re doing something a little more nefarious than just being joyous. Since I was a child, when we’d be in a different scenario with my Black friends or family and anyone outside the cultural understanding took a look or saw it, they would typically paint it as something that we did not intend. I think that is one of the most rebellious-sounding scenarios I’ve been a part of.
All the things that people consider rebellious. All the things that seem challenging. All the things that are upsetting many people that would like to uphold or sustain the status quo. Anything that is uncomfortable, really, at some point, I think becomes a type of forward motion.
LIFE BEYOND NEWS CYCLES.
The most important thing in order to have empathy is truly your own life experience. Because if you watch the news, you don’t have any sort of barometer to gauge what you’re listening to. And you will believe anything that you were fed on that news feed. You need to have your own experience beyond the news feed. And if you can’t have the experience? You have to nourish yourself in the other experiences, scenarios and circumstances of other people. You have to. Every five minutes, you get caught up in the wrong feed, and you go down a path that is not only destructive toward whatever that propaganda is against but also destructive toward you as a possibly benevolent and understanding being.
WHAT YOU’LL TEACH YOUR CHILDREN.
I really want to teach them that we are all different. And that’s what’s beautiful. And that’s what makes us so special as a species. And then teaching them that as a species, there are many other species that are different. They need to be considered the way you consider people. This goes beyond animals and creatures that you may see. I’m talking about the bigger picture, starting within yourself. Being able to accept yourself for who you are in all things that may seem flawed or beautiful and then extending that empathy to all creatures and species around you. One of the most important things I need to teach my children is empathy and respect for everything.
THE G.I.R.L. PRODUCT YOU HAVEN’T OFFERED YET.
[Laughs.] I had this wildly ambitious idea about an entire lifestyle kit. Tablets and vitamins you take in the morning to something you put in your drink with a G.I.R.L. bottle. A skincare regime with a workout. I had a whole daily to-do list to enrich one’s own mental, physical and spiritual health. I think I would call it the Betterment Cult kit. This whole idea that we’re part of this betterment cult, for the betterment of ourselves. Therefore, we are better for our community, better for the world. I never released it.
Problematic. I think it’s ironically problematic. I believe it homes in on a part of humanity that is very degenerative. I think the inability to extend empathy is one of our biggest problems in the world. I believe that cancel culture is offering this strange momentary power to somebody to say that “I don't fuck with you. So, therefore, the power dynamic has now been leveraged in my favor.” And I don’t think that is a healthy or correct way to handle any problems. I do not think that it offers us much solution, and I actually think it might exacerbate a lot of the problems that we think we are extinguishing.
THE SONG THAT WILL ALWAYS MAKE YOU CRY.
I get really emotional when I listen to either “Glycerine” by Bush or “Konstantine” by Something Corporate. I hear those songs, and I think about this time of my life where I first really allowed myself to explore love. And a little bit after, I realized the pain that comes with being vulnerable in the romantic sense. I really remember falling in love and listening to those two songs.
BEYOND THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT.
Understanding what we meant when we said “Black Lives Matter.” Understanding what we were asking for and why. And hopefully starting to get it. People seeing that once Black lives seem to matter more, [we’ll have] a significant seat at the table where we feel, heard and felt. I really do believe that. I really do believe that they will open up doors for more people than just Black people. I think [it’s] so important to elucidate that throughout history, we have seen that Black rights have precipitated, catalyzed and paved the way for the rights of so many others. We need to consider all of our citizens. They are here. They are part of this fabric. They are part of the progress. First and foremost, we’ve got to get these people to feel the same liberties that we promised when we told them to get their ass on a boat and come over here or when we just put their ass on a boat and took them over. If history is any indicator of what is to come, we will see the rights, liberties and benefits be extended to more than just Black people.
A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.
Negative energy and the lack of responsibility for the energy that you provide are just such a waste of time. Equally, if you’re listening to or ingesting negative energy. The one thing that we can find ourselves and be responsible for is at least making an attempt at some point to frame our own scenario in a way that we’re the hero. I’ve dealt with my dark, dark period. I’ve been in these dark times, and I’ve done some dumb shit. I believe my biggest waste of time was believing that the pain I felt at that moment would never end.