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Pictures from Monster Energy's Fever 333 performance in Kyiv, Ukraine

Artist to Artist: a weekend in Kyiv with FEVER 333 and DETACH

Dec 012019

Last week was the time for the first ever visit of the US rapcore band and a member of the Monster Energy music family - FEVER 333. These three have been killing it recently, becoming a real breakthrough on the global hard music scene in just some two years. Their music is a challenge to society and its contemporary issues, while FEVER 333’s lives, referred to as “demonstrations” by the artists themselves, is a different universe altogether… Impossible to explain - an overwhelming flow of emotions and energy, which has to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to miss the Kyiv demonstration, make sure to check the guys’ IG profile for some madness. But we’ll come back to this later, since our fever-weekend has begun a bit earlier.

Namely, we have started from gathering our boys FEVER 333 and DETACH at one of Kyiv’s go-karts centers to have some fun. That nigh made an amazing impression on all of us (especially those two fans who won the wildcard for the race). We were impressed by the easy-going, sincere and friendly nature of the guys, and the guys themselves felt pretty psyched on the Ukrainian bread crumbs snacks - and that’s no jokes :)

Long story short, that was an amazingly friendly night, which must have strengthened the impression of the show itself greatly. Check out the pictures below! By the way, FEVER 3333 didn’t make it to the top of the go-karts podium, neither did DETACH… but who cares.

On the show-day we have found some time for the artists to have a conversation in the more intimate space. When I came into the room, some chemistry between two bands has already occurred - the conversation was in the full swing. So, I do beg for a pardon, but we’ll continue from the moment I’ve started following it.

The idea, its concept - it’s bigger than just us playing some songs.

Is it often that you feel you could have been a bit better after the show?

Jason: Yeah, pretty often, to be completely honest. Because typically I expect a lot - everything - from myself. A lot, a lot, a lot - every single time. And it’s hard to nail that consistently. So, it’s actually more often than not I feel like I could have done more. But on this particular tour I had one of the most accomplished shows I think I’ve ever played.

We are the band, you are the band - we know that sometimes there are bad periods in each band. You know, sometimes there’s like some stupid magic happening that makes us argue, compromise or not even speaking to each other for hours. How would you suggest to deal with that?

Jason: With my last band as an example - I’ve left, straight away. I just left and started this band. Either ideologically or artistically - we just weren’t jelling. What the guys in my old band wanted to do and what I wanted to do, it didn’t work out, so I left. I just don’t take it - for me to compromise what I think is the right way forward artistically or ideologically with messaging. Every time I would be performing or writing in such a way, it would be less than 100%. So, I left because I couldn’t offer the best what it could be. But in this band - this is the result for me.

Steve: I guess every band has their times when the stuff gets difficult. You just need to try to communicate continuously to ensure you stay on the same page and have the same ultimate goal as the other person, so you could humble yourself, set aside who is right or wrong for a moment, just trying to talk. But sometimes you do have to leave, sometimes it’s not for you. I think as far as this band is concerned, we don’t run a whole lot into that, primarily because this band is bigger than just three of us. The idea, its concept - it’s bigger than just us playing some songs. There is a lot of people involved emotionally in this for us to take care only about our own stuff. But even if we do run into this - it’s always like a quickly sort of squash, ‘cause there is a bigger sort of mission, than just being mad.

Thanks! Really nice thoughts. I’m wondering if being the band of three was something you planned to differentiate from other bands when setting up FEVER 333 or it’s just a thing of a chance?

Jason: Quite literally every single thing that people see on stage, or in the Internet, or they read, or hear about FEVER 333 was thought of. We thought of everything before we presented ourselves. In a lot of band decisions there’s a collection and an aggregate of years of experience and things what we did and didn’t like about music and activism, policy, politics, socio-political things, community, culture, ethics… Like, we spent so many years individually sort of battling with not only ourselves, but our environment, trying to figure out what we can present as the best option to make things better. So, it became a sort of our offering to the punk rock, rock, metal, hard-core, hip-hop, rap community… We though a lot about how it would be the most effective. Everything we did was deliberate, considered.

You don’t always have to be perfect as long as you are being honest

We perfectly understand that being as crazy as possible during the show is something that brings energy to the crowd. But when you are making crazy stuff on stage, you are not always playing nice - do you criticize yourselves for this?

Steve: Well, there are times when I know I could have been tighter or more accurate, but…

Do you prioritize your play rather than the on-stage performance?

Steve: Yeah, for sure. I mean, the stuff luckily is not so complex, that I have to just stand and play. But there are times when I do get carried away - I do let to hear wrong notes and stuff, but at the same time it’s not like the end of the world, I can usually find my way back pretty quickly. But yeah, there’s times where we could all be a little bit tighter. We have to really-really try to f*** up a show for being so loose. We wanna be tight, we wanna be on it.

Do you plan your play and performance during the songwriting itself? Have adjusting of these mediums ever brought you any struggle?

Aric: I feel like we are usually trying to prioritize what Jason’s singing about first - everything else comes second. Not to say this is not important, but the point is to support what is he saying and find the way to convey that in the music. In performance, if we are talking about being free to the crowd, our priority is to be free on stage. Of course, we practice, but we’re not going up saying like: “this part i’ll jump, this part i’ll f*** everything up”. It’s more just like we did all the work off-stage, so now on-stage we wanna create something that you can’t get on the record. In our experience, it’s not really about the level of complication of the live play. We just wanna have the feel that it’s honest. All of our favorite bands aren’t perfect live and we feel like when we go to see them, we get the experience that’s exclusive to that moment… I think if we ever been a band that played the same show every night, we wouldn’t get bored or break up. 

Jason: For Aric to say that is just huge, because to me he is the most dexterous, precise, talented and unique drummers ever. And for him to say that is, I think, a huge testament to reminding yourselves that you need to feel what you’re playing. You can be all the things you want, you can be as complicated and as technical as you want, but if people don’t feel that - you’re playing to a mirror. You’re playing in your room. You know what I am saying? You don’t always have to be perfect as long as you are being honest, as long as you are playing something that supports a song, or a moment or a feeling - live. And for all musicians - they should think like this, I believe. If you’re here to play music to touch, to make people experience it, to make people feel something - make sure you’re feeling it too. I think it’s important.

Thanks dudes for your honesty and for all the answers, very much appreciated - this is something that we needed from the guys like you!

Some highfives and buddy hugs are given and we are heading to the hall, not exactly knowing what a hell of a show Kyiv’s about to experience in some half an hour. We wait you guys back!

Photography: Oli Zakrevska, Artem Skorokhodko