Hershey Chronicle

Seether Singer Discusses Discusses Endless Touring, Rock In America

October 23, 2003

Seether's original members may all hail from South Africa, but lead singer/guitarist Shaun Morgan doesn't really consider that country to be his home any more.
"I consider my home to be the bus," Morgan said with a slight laugh. "We go home once a year."

Since releasing Disclaimer, their Wind-Up Records debut, in August 2002, Seether have been perpetual road warriors, playing to fans and introducing their hard-rock sound to newcomers throughout the US. The band's most recent run of dates is with 3 Doors Down, who they'll open for at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia this Saturday.
"It's really good," Morgan said of the tour. "The 3 Doors Down guys are good guys."
That outing wraps up next month, but Seether will most likely remain on the road until some time in early 2004.
"The 3 Doors Down tour finishes on the 13th of November," Morgan explained. "Then we're gonna be on tour with Evanescence and Finger Eleven until some time in December. We're all good friends...so that's cool. Then we're gonna go to South Africa for two weeks."
After forming in 1999 in South Africa, Seether released their debut album, Fragile, in 2000. It became one of the country's top-selling titles of the year.
"There's a fairly sizable rock scene," Morgan said. "[But] it's pretty underground 'cause no one really cares about it."
Seether, which is rounded out by bassist Dale Stewart, drummer Kevin Soffera, and second guitarist Pat Callahan, quickly became one of the biggest rock groups in South Africa. However, the band members had their sights set on reaching a much wider audience.
Morgan said they sent copies of Fragile to labels all over the world looking for takers. Surprisingly, it was a German record company interested in signing only German bands that helped Seether score a deal here in the States.
"Someone in Germany heard it and they passed it on to Wind-Up," Morgan explained.
A few years later, driven by the success of hit singles like the up-tempo rocker "Fine Again" and the brooding, distortion-drenched "Driven Under," the band's first American release is nearing gold certification for sales of 500,000 copies,
"Gasoline," the third song to spin off of Disclaimer, has made some inroads at rock radio recently, but Morgan is already looking ahead to a fourth and final single.
"We want to release another one," he said. "It's a choice between 'Sympathetic' and 'Broken.'"
Ultimately, it's up to Seether's record label to make that decision. However, Morgan said that Wind-Up is far from dictatorial in directing its bands' careers.
"They do a cool job," he said. "They're a really easy label to work with - it's more of a cooperative label."
Since getting signed, Morgan said he's been enjoying the flourishing rock scene here in America.
"I've been exposed to a lot more rock here than we were in South Africa," he said. "The level of musicianship is higher in the States."
Touring with other hard rockers has also inspired Seether to be better musicians themselves.
"Sevendust has been really cool to us," Morgan said. "They've been a real inspiration. When we toured with Ozzfest, we saw System of a Down every day. We saw Ozzy."
Once they finally get some time off the road, Seether will be putting all of that experience into their follow-up to Disclaimer. And while six of that album's tracks were re-recorded versions of songs from Fragile, Morgan said he's ready to get some of the band's 30-odd new and unheard songs out to the public.
"I'd prefer to have an album of new material," he said.
Fans of Disclaimer shouldn't expect any dramatic changes in the band's sound, though - just a natural progression, as well as a continued emphasis on diverse songwriting over monotone heaviness.
"I'm a big Nirvana fan," Morgan said. "Our new guitarist, he's a big Pearl Jam fan. We all listen to everything. We don't want to restrict ourselves."
But don't worry - that doesn't mean Seether will be going soft any time soon.
"We've got a couple new songs we're [working on]," Morgan said. "I think mostly we've played around with tunings. We've tuned the guitars a little bit lower. Some of the stuff is heavier."