Letlive frontman Jason Aalon Butler calls out rock fakers

Jason Aalon Butler
Jason Aalon Butler

Letlive frontman Jason Aalon Butler has hit out at rock bands who write “fake” protest songs and are afraid to say what they really mean.

The band release their fourth album If I’m The Devil on June 8 and previously made the politically-motivated track Good Mourning, America available to stream.

In an exclusive interview with Metal Hammer: In Residence on Spotify, Butler says he is more direct about his political and societal beliefs now than he’s ever been, but wishes more bands would say it like it is.

Butler says: “I’ve become a lot more deliberate in my intentions when writing certain songs. I’m making it very clear, I’m not going to tie it up in too many metaphors. I’m just gonna say that shit needs to change.

“The protest music is just a soundtrack, I’m just writing a soundtrack. But that’s not me being active, in order to be active you have to invest yourself in what you’re talking about. You need to put yourself into that thing that you’re trying to change, into that protest.

“I feel in modern rock music there’s this real strange, sterile, subdued and sedated idea of what it means to write subversive music. So my protest is clearly one of political and societal school or association, but it’s also a protest against those who are faking the funk.

“That’s a lot of people out there. I’m not gonna sit here and call people out and start a radio beef, but you know who you are man.”

Asked why he thinks more bands don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves when writing lyrics, Butler adds: “Protest music, or subversive music or things that go against the grain – it don’t make dollars.

“People are afraid to say what they really mean because it doesn’t yield the success that they’ve been granted as an allusion of being an artist or being in a band.

“But I got a fucking reality check for those people, this ain’t the business for that. Music ain’t the business for that no more. We’re not pop stars. If you’re doing rock’n’roll, you gotta be out here to push something.”

Letlive launch a US summer tour next month.

The second episode of Metal Hammer: In Residence is available on Spotify now, and also features interviews with Gojira and WWE star Triple H. A Spotify Premium account is required to hear the interview segments.

Letlive If I’m The Devil tracklist

  1. I’ve Learned To Love Myself
  2. Nu Romantics
  3. Good Mourning, America
  4. Who You Are Not
  5. A Weak Ago
  6. Foreign Cab Rides
  7. Reluctantly Dead
  8. Elephant
  9. Another Offensive Song
  10. If I’m The Devil…
  11. Copper Colored Quiet

TeamRock and Spotify join forces

Police Story: How An Arrest Inspired Letlive's New Single

Letlive 2016 summer US tour

Jun 14: Los Angeles The El Rey, CA
Jun 15: Mesa Nile Theater, AZ
Jun 17: Odessa Club Patron, TX
Jun 18: Dallas The Door, TX
Jun 19: Tulsa The Vanguard, OK
Jun 21: San Antonio The Rock Box, TX
Jun 22: Houston Scout Bar, TX
Jun 24: Atlanta The Masquerade Hell, GA
Jun 25: Orlando The Social, FL
Jun 26: Tampa The Orpheum, FL
Jun 28: Jacksonville 1094 Music Hall, FL
Jun 29: Greensboro Arizona Pete’s, NC
Jun 30: Philadelphia Underground Arts, PA
Jul 05: Allston Brighton Music Hall, MA
Jul 06: New York Irving Plaza, NY
Jul 08: Virginia Beach Shaka’s, VA
Jul 09: Baltimore Baltimore Soundstage, MD
Jul 10: Pittsburgh Altar Bar, PA
Jul 12: Cleveland Agora Theatre and Ballroom, OH
Jul 15: Columbus Park Street Salon, OH
Jul 16: Pontiac The Crofoot, MI
Jul 17: Bridgeview Toyota Park, IL
Jul 18: Minneapolis Skyway Theater, MN
Jul 20: St Louis Fubar, MO
Jul 21: Lawrence Granada Theater, KS
Jul 22: Denver The Summit Music Hall, CO
Jul 23: Salt Lake City The Complex, UT
Jul 25: Portland Bossanova Ballroom, OR
Jul 27: Seattle El Corazon, WA
Jul 29: Orangevale The Boardwalk, CA
Jul 30: San Francisco Social Hall SF, CA
Jul 31: Santa Ana The Observatory, CA

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.