How I Wrote A Hit Single!

Guitar World

November 2005

Seether's Shaun Morgan Describes how he wrote, recorded, and performed "Remedy," the hit single from the group's latest release, Karma and effect.

The Inspiration
Shaun Morgan - We had written about 15 new songs when we came off the road from our last tour, but we were still looking for more ideas. So I went back to my house and dug out the tapes we made while on the tour bus. There were about six hours of acoustic riffs. I went through all of them, writing down a description for each riff: "this is a good verse, a good intro," et cetera. The main riff in "Remedy" was one I had totally forgot about. As soon as I heard it, I thought, that's pretty cool. I thought it could be a straight-up rock and roll song based entirely on a single riff instead of a vocal melody or something else. I presented it to the band and they dug it right away. The entire song came together very quickly, which is standard operating procedure for us.

The Recording
The rocording process was very simple, because we went into the studio with 16 songs that we had demoed more than six months before on Pro Tools. In fact, we used a great many of the guitar tracks from those demoes as final tracks. For "Remedy," we replaced only the bass and drums from the original demo and added a few guitar overdubs. The demoe's were done at our Producer Bob Marlette's house, the drums were done at hensen Studios in L.A, and the rest was done at Avatar in New York. For guitars, we mostly used a fender Subsonic Baritone guitar. It has a longer scale length than a regular guitar, but we tune it to what's 'normal' for us, which is Drop D down one half step[low to high : Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb]. That guitar has great bottom end and a clean sound, and it really cuts through the mix. It blew me away when I first heard it. We also used a Scecter Baritone and an assortment of Fender Jazzmasters and Gibsons. My strings are Dean Markley .013-.060. The amplifiers we used were Mesa/Boogie Triple rectifiers and Marshall JCM900s.

How To Play "Remedy"
NOTE: You can view the tab in this sites Tab section.
The intro is played like this. My part consists of a repeated progression of one finger and open-string power chords on the bottom three strings. Pat adds solo-type fills made up of double-stops, unison bends, and open notes. For the verse, I play the same chord shapes but pick the strings individually. The pre-chorus is just a two-bar power chord phrase. The only difference between these chord voicings and the previous one's is there here I add my pinkie to each chord form two frets higher on the G string. The chorus guitar partis basically a recap of the intro riff, but after playing the one-bar progression three times, I go up to A5, than down to G5. Thr bridge starts on a Csus2 barre chord, fretted on the middle four strings, followed by a shift down to an open Asus2. I then hit the open bass strings[sounding D5] and repeat the two-bar phrase three times. The songs ends on the chorus, with an abrupt stop on the G5 chord.

Why "Remedy" Is A Hit?
I have no idea! We never really expected the song to be so well recieved. I like it because I think the main riff is catchy, and the last line of the chorus, "You'll be the death of me," sticks in your head. But I'm bad at picking hits. I never get it right!

Interview by Andy Aledort.