That's right. It's Travis Barker back in action baby. And he's back with a plan up his sleeve. A new wave of rap-rock is rising and it’s far removed from the boorish, white-washed strain that dogged the genre’s turn-of-the-millennium heyday led by acts like Limp Bizkit. Hyro the Hero, a black artist from Houston, spent 11 weeks on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart in late 2018 with “Bullet,” a cry against police brutality.
But no act is better capitalizing on this trend than Los Angeles-based FEVER 333, whose incendiary single “Made an America” recently spent 20 consecutive weeks on Mainstream Rock Songs and earned a Grammy nomination for best rock performance. The song’s lyrics attack state-sanctioned violence (“Cop cars, true killers and they still at large”), and its video shows frontman (and director) Jason Aalon Butler forced into shackled labor and a minstrel-like song and dance while a white audience looks on.
Billboard tells us, the 3's in the band’s name represent C, the third letter in the alphabet, and stand for community, charity and change. Powerful.
After adding guitarist Stephen Harrison and drummer Aric Improta, FEVER 333 signed with Roadrunner Records, who has also signed Angel Du$t and enlisted Barker and John Feldmann (5 Seconds of Summer, Underoath) for songwriting and production assists. Its 2018 debut single, “Walking in My Shoes,” spent 19 weeks on Mainstream Rock Songs, peaking at No. 8. “Made an America” followed, helping the band’s first album, Strength in Numb333rs, enter at No. 4 on the Heatseekers Albums chart in February.
Barker believes that groups like FEVER 333 are “creating a new genre of really heavy, aggressive music influenced by rap.”
And Butler feels, “If guitar-based music is going to survive, it has to evolve. There’s this weird backlash in a lot of purist rock, people who feel as though it shouldn’t go any further, and that’s the most dangerous thing you can do in any form of art.”
Author: Kyle Sobieski
Kyle Sobieski is a digital content producer and founder of First State Studios. With a background in music and songwriting under the pseudonym Pierce Frolic, Kyle personally knows the amount of work and determination that goes into becoming an artist of any medium. Towards the end of high school, Kyle realized the lack of support in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware for the arts and underground talents. So he began digging deeper into the lives of local artists, and thus, First State Studios was born. Sobieski has a diverse musical palette and loves nothing more in life than seeing people who are passionate and courageous with what they do. "It's these people who make the world a more colorful, intimate place for everybody."