Grunge Lives - Seether Seeks To Revive Genre

By John Boyd , Staff Writer
November 6, 2003

''Hey kids! Don't go out and be who you are! Try to be someone else!'' Seether frontman Shaun Morgan says, but it's in that phony, I-want-to-sell-you-something, advertising voice that drips with sarcastic machismo.

''That's why you have a lot of clones,'' Morgan said.

Only ten years have passed since grunge music slapped popular culture across the face, inviting the masses to be themselves, and Morgan doesn't understand how culture has already regressed so far that rich kids from affluent neighborhoods in his native South Africa are ''acting like ghetto rappers'' and wearing Timberland boots.

Doesn't anyone want to drop the act and come as they are, like Morgan's idol Kurt Cobain begged of an entire generation a decade ago?

''I don't think that it's just an American thing, but it seems like the youth don't know what they are looking for anymore because the kids are following the leader,'' Morgan said. ''At least 10 years ago, kids were more open-minded and open to experiencing themselves.''

Everyone else be damned, though - Morgan and Seether are going to play grunge music, even if they're the only band doing it.v
Seether's live shows are the epitome of Morgan's grunge mentality. The band pops with invasive tenacity as Morgan turbulently works through his weighty lyrics about fragility and anger.

''I feel the dream in me expire and there's no one left to blame it on / I hear you label me a liar because I can't seem to get this through,'' Morgan sings on Seether's biggest hit to date, ''Fine Again.''

In a nod to the grunge gods, Seether also performs Nirvana's ''You Know You're Right'' at every show. Their cover just adds more fuel to the fire of critics who call them a Nirvana rip-off, but Seether doesn't really seem to care about their critics. They want to play good music.

''When 'You Know You're Right' came out, it was the freshest thing on the radio,'' Morgan said. ''It was just one of their throw-aways from the studio, and it was the best thing I've heard this year.''

Even their Web site has a certain ''screw it'' mentality. While most bands protect their songs like a junkyard dog protects its table scraps, Seether's latest album, ''Disclaimer,'' can be heard in its entirety - for free - from

''Ultimately, there is now way to get around piracy,'' bassist Dale Stewart said. ''If someone wants to get your album, they can get it. That sucks, but hey. . .''

''I think it's important to treat your fans well. It's all about the fans. I don't want to sound cliche in any way, but if the fans aren't coming to your shows and aren't buying your albums and buying merchandise, we wouldn't be on the road touring and doing what we want to do.''