Good Morgan

By Brian Stillman
January 2008 (Pages 10 and 44)

Thanks to a stint in rehab, life on the road for Seether frontman Shaun Morgan is very different today than it was a year ago. Gone are the nights of hard partying and even harder drinking. Now, conscious of his health, the singer/guitarist spends a lot of time "hiding out" from the things that would tempt him.

"It sucks," he says, "I like being social."

But while Morgan says rehab "makes you feel like a piece of shit for having to go in the first place," he acknowledges that the experience gave him not only health but also a welath of songwriting material. "I wrote more than 50 songs when I got out of rehab," he says, "and each one captured a different stage of the healing process."

There's no denying that the intensity of the songwriting process served the band well on the 15 tracks that make up Seether's newest release, Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces (Wind-Up). Tracks like "FMLYHM" ("Fuck Me Like You Hate Me"), "Fallen" and "You're No Jesus Christ" rumble and grind with aggressive guitar licks and balls-out screaming, while at the other end of the spectrum, "Rise Above This" shines like perfect radio-ready pop gem. "Walk Away From The Sun" splits the difference, exploring the band's softer, more acoustic side before building toward an arena-rock explosion.

To help craft a more emotionally diverse record, Seether--which includes bassist Dale Stewart and drummer John Humphrey--enlisted the help of producer Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, All American Rejects). "He pushed us hard," the guitarist says. "I rewrote and recorded our first single, 'Fake It,' four times before he was satisfied."

The experience seemed to bring out the best in Morgan: though he describes himself as a "terrible soloist," during the Beauty sessions he began knocking out solos and lead work spontaneously. "I'm amazed at how much better I got on the guitar." What's more, Morgan says it was the best fun he's had in the studio, sober or not. "Listening to this record brings back a lot of memories, both good and bad," he says. "I wouldn't change a thing."

-GUITAR: Schecter Telecaster, Schecter Baritone guitar
-AMPS: Diesel, Bogner, Sound City, Vox AC120, Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier
EFFECTS: Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor, Boss CE-5 Stereo Chorus, Dunlop Zakk Wylde Wah
STRINGS: Dean Markley