Interview With The Voice of Seether- Shaun Morgan

Seether
Josh Lowe for Alternative Revolt
Hailing from Pretoria, South Africa, Seether has been rocking stages around the world for the last 15 years showing no signs of stopping now. The post-grunge alternative band have accomplished things in the last decade and a half that most bands only dream of. From winning awards such as Best Alternative Artist (2008) to #1 Song Of The Year (“Country Song”) to songs featured on WWE PPV and Madden to world tours and platinum albums, they’ve done it all. But even with all of that plus now 6 studio albums under their belts, “All they really want is something beautiful to say”. Alt.Revolt got a chance to sit down with the voice of Seether , Shaun Morgan to talk about their just released 6th studio album Isolate and Medicate, music videos and being on tour.

 

Alt.Revolt-

You’re a couple hours in distance from me right now in Peru, Il on the second show of the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. How did the first night of the festival in Detroit, MI go?

Shaun-

It was great! We played in Detroit and it was a great crowd. It was sort of an odd show at first because our drummer John is at home right now on some family issues so we actually have Sal, the drummer from Staind sitting in for tonight’s show as well. John will be back on Monday but it was kind of nerve-racking, a bit of a weird way to start a new tour without the band unit as one ou know what I mean? But it sounded great so we were pretty happy.

Al.Revolt-

I definitely send my condolences to John as well. Now, “Isolate and Medicate” is your 6th studio album having just been released in July. You had said before that this album is a “more mature Seether“. Your progression and evolution as a band to outsiders seems to come to you fairly naturally with one album picking up where the other left off. Do you find it easier to find inspiration going into each new album?

Shaun-

I think with this album I was pretty inspired by the situation I was in at the time. Other times when things are going too well there’s not too much to write about. I was in a situation where I wasn’t very happy, I was pretty mad and I felt trapped in it, so I had a lot of stuff to write about. That was the inspiration for this album. I think just in general I’m inspired by things that happen around me. I just see a lot of ugly things in the world that frustrate me. I remember after the Boston bombing I went off and wrote a couple of songs about that which never made it to the album, so they were songs kind of just for me. It was the first time that I had actually written about something that had happened in the world, that had not actually happened to me personally, it was kind of an odd thing for me. But I’m always inspired by relationshops that I’m in or relationships past, I really don’t have much of a shortage of inspiration to write songs with.

Alt.Revolt-

Do you find it easier to write about the “ugly” things?

Shaun-

Yeah because it’s sort of just the process of just dealing with it. I deal with all the negative stuff because I find that when I’ve written a song about it or written it down on paper, it helps me to feel better about it afterwards. So it’s a theraputic thing for me as well. I Think most of the greatest artists and musicians in the past all have been tortured in some way. Most of the greatest srtistic things or songs haven’t been written by or created by very happy people. That’s just my opinion, the stuff that I like is all pretty dark. I think pop music is more so for kids. There’s nothing real about it. I mean I listen to pop music if I am just having a good time but I don’t listen to it or country music if I feel like I need to get through a situation. 


Alt.Revolt-

In a prior interview Shaun, you had said that “Words as Weapons” was basically the mission statement for ‘Isolate and Medicate’. Could you elaborate on what that mission statement is?

Shaun-

I think once we had written that song we had kind of raised the bar and we used that song as a reference point for the rest of album as it were; that all of the rest of the songs on the album had to be better than that one.It needed to be well written, it needed to be melodic. So yeah, I basically set up for myself that standard because I think it’s a great song. I basically like to write music that I’m not hearing on the radio. At the end of the day it’s the sort of stuff that gets me through. That song was really what we had just decided to use as a standard for the rest of the album to exceed. If you have a really strong song and you can set the rest of the album against that and it needs to be better than that then I think it makes the album that much better as a whole.


Alt.Revolt-

Speaking of “Words As Weapons”, the music video for it was released in mid-June. What was the thought process going into the filming of the music video?


Shaun-

Well, I’m going to start out by saying it’s not a very good video. It’s unfortunate, because we had so much lined up that was great, the artwork for the album and the track list and everytihng. The treatment we were promised for that video was suppose to be this artsy…it was suppose to be this cool looking artistic video…To be quite honest I don’t really understand the concept of the video. It was a European director, it was just this whole long sob story really at the end of the day. I don’t like the video, in fact I think it’s the worst video we ever made. I just wish that they had gone through with the promise on the video that they had given to us. The first edit of the video when it came back was so bad that we had to hire someone else to edit the video to make it less crappy than it already was. It’s just one of those things, we tried for what we thought was going to be something cool and it tunred out to be something completely different but at the end of the day we had to salvage what we could. I was really disappointed on how it turned out. We’ve learned our lesson now and I think also now in the future, our label will trust us more with what we want to do for videos. With the next video we hope to redeem ourselves.

Alt.Revolt-

Well I didn’t think it was a bad video at all. I just was unsure about the concept. I think a band like Deftones could do a music video like that and no one would question it, you know but Seether just isn’t the of the strange sort you know what I mean?

Shaun-

Exaclty I know! Now it just looks like us playing in the desert with a bunch of naked dudes running around in the background with mirrors, it’s just SO bizzare but like you said it’s just lessons learned and we just have to move on, you know?

Alt.Revolt-

That I do! Now back tracking to Uproar again, so you’re headlining with Godsmack and you’ve got other bands such as Pop Evil, Skillet and so on that are also on the tour. Initially, did you have anything special planned for this tour?

Shaun-

We like to just kind of keep it simple. We don’t like any sort of pyrotechnics or any drum risers or that kind of thing. We’re here to play rock music we’re not here to do a caboret. I know it’s cool and it’s awesome but I feel like some bands might rely on that stuff too much and it deters from the music. We like to let the music speak for itself. We always try to do someting interesting with the lighting which I think we’ve got this time which is cool. Again, we just try to make our statements with the music and with the lighting together. We’ve had thins before where we’ve had big versions of our amps that are 12 feet high or some cool horror movie gimmicks but I think for this tour we just want to come out and be a rock band. I think we will save any tricks or any major production thins for when we do our own headlinin tour. That’s just how we like to approach it is just to go out and play.Each band is just comfortable doing what they are comfortable doing but it’s just not us. I would feel kind of ridiculous if I had things exploding and flames you know what I mean. I just think it’s something that’s not really necessary. I think if you play your music and you play it well and you play it live, I think that’s really how we like to approach it.

Alt.Revolt-

Have you gotten to play much back at home?


Shaun-

We unfortunately haven’t been able to get back there for about 2 years now. I think we’re planning on doing it pretty soon, in about the first 3-4 months of next year. We usually like to wait about a year or so between visits but maybe hopefully we can make it part of our European tour so we can go back home and see friends and family. 

 

Thanks Shaun so much for your time! Seether fans don’t forget to pick up your copy of “Isolate and Medicate” availlable everywhere and check out the tour schedule to find out when they are coming to a city near you!!


“Words as Weapons”- Music Video

Seether- Facebook 

Seether- Website

 

 

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