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Interview with Shaun Morgan

Shaun Morgan, lead vocalist for the South Africa-based Seether, will take your questions about the band prior to their Summerfest show on Tuesday. The band, heavily influenced by the Golden Age of Grunge, released "Karma and Effect" in late May, their first new studio recording since 2002. One of Morgan's most popular songs is "Broken," a duet with girlfriend Amy Lee of Evanescence.


Q: Jenn of Fairfield Iowa - I was at the Des Moines concert and thought that all the bands rocked but the crowd was amazing. My question is: What town that you have visited on your tour so far did you think rocked the most? -Jenn@};-

A: Shaun Morgan - I would say the most rocking town we've been in so far was Columbus, Ohio. Ohio has always been a good state for us - it's always been a really rocking state, and we haven't been there for about two years. Anywhere in Ohio, any of the four major cities, we've always felt those are our favorite cities to play in as far as the crowds.

Q: Thomas Barker of San Antonio - What inspires most of your lyrics? Don't stop rocking!

A: Shaun Morgan - Just life in general and the experiences that affect me profoundly enough to have to write about them.
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Q: Lisa Sylvester (bluehorse) of Midway Ga. - A lot of musicians tend to start "foundations" to benefit one organization or another. What would your biggest issue with humanity be, and what would you suggest to start to Remedy the situation?

A: Shaun Morgan - My biggest problem is men who abuse women and people who abuse children. Off the top of my head I don't know what I would do in order to remedy the situation, but I know it's something I've dealt with in this album on a couple of my songs and it's something I've always felt very strongly about and it's something that's always made me really sick.
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Q: Rachel of Twin Lakes - What is the next single?? PLEASE TELL US!!

A: Shaun Morgan - The next single is a song called "Truth." Right now we're waiting on treatments for the video, which we are going to be shooting in the second week of August.
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Q: Kirsten of Sheboygan - I love the new album. There's just something about it that digs a bit deeper this time around. How long did it take you to write it, and what would you say was your biggest influence (as far as the new album is concerned).

A: Shaun Morgan - We started writing this album 2.5 years ago. It's been a lot less time spend on this one than the first one. The first one I started writing when I was 16 and ended up recording when I was 23. We had a lot less time to actually write the songs. I don't know that I can put a finger on one single inspiration, whereas the first album was hugely inspired by bands like Nirvana, this one wasn't. When I was 16 and writing songs as a kid, what I would listen to was bands like Nivana. If anything, we were trying to get away from Nirvana comparisons on this album. But I don't know that I could pinpoint one particular influence. I was influenced by singers, like James Traci Bonham, PJ Harvey.
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Q: John Kirikos of San Antonio - Who would you consider your most offbeat musical influence?

A: Shaun Morgan - Kenny Rogers and Tom Waites. I think those are two people wouldn't necessarily expect me to say. And ABBA. And the Beach Boys. I was raised by my Mom because my parents got divorced when I was really young, and I spent most of my formative years with my mother and she was a real country music junkie. And then my Dad used to play Foreigner and Paula Abdul and such, but I didn't get to see him as much. As a kid, we would drive along and sing along to these songs and they were kind of poppy and happy.
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Q: Neilan of Las Vegas - Shaun, in my opinion the new album sounds commercialized and lacks the passion that the last album possessed. Disclaimer seems to state "We are Seether, this is what we are about", while Karma and Effect seems to state "We are Seether with a record company breathing down our neck". What songs on the new album would you consider target your old fans of Disclaimer?

A: Shaun Morgan - I don't see how this album can be considered more commercialized. We particularly concentrated on making the production more minimalistic than on the last album and concentrated on writing heavier album than the last album has. For someone to say this album is more commercial, I don't understand that. But obviously it's an opinion and I have to respect that. As far as I'm concerned, the last album was much more commercial than this one was. But it's not the first time that someone has said that. I would be curious to sit down with someone who thinks that and have them explain to me why they think it's more commercial. I thought we were pushing more boundaries musically.
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Q: sammy of east meadow - whats your favorite special place to be to relax and unwind?

A: Shaun Morgan - I don't know that I ever found relaxed and unwound. I would say the closest I ever get to that is when I hang out with my daughter. So then by definition, I'm only relaxed and unwould about two weeks a year. She's in South Africa with her mom.
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Q: sammy of east meadow - whats your favorite special place to be to relax and unwind?

A: Shaun Morgan - I don't know that I ever found relaxed and unwound. I would say the closest I ever get to that is when I hang out with my daughter. So then by definition, I'm only relaxed and unwould about two weeks a year. She's in South Africa with her mom.
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Q: Shaina of Cincinnati - What is your most memorable experience on tour?

A: Shaun Morgan - The single most memorable experience was when we played Rockin Rio in Portugal and the Foo Fighters were headlining. We got to watch them perform from the side of the stage and then hang out with them in our dressing room afterwards. A lot of our favorite songs are Foo Fighters song and to be able to meet them and have them be really really cool to us was amazing.
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Q: Ty of Vancouver BC - Shaun, what advice would you offer to an aspiring band?

A: Shaun Morgan - I would advise anyone that if they start playing music to play music for the right reasons. And to be true to themselves as much as they are allowed to once they get signed. Do it for yourself before you do it for anyone else, and as long as a band plays the music without the intention of being rich and famous, then they'll be fine. Always remember not to get a big head when they get a song on the radio. A lot of bands get songs on the radio and then disappear. You might think you're a cool guy right now, but it might be that two or three years down the road, no one will know who you are anymore. And no one likes a guy who thinks he's a cool guy.
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Q: Tracie of - Hey Shaun! Do you have any idea how long you guys are going to be touring for this album?

A: Shaun Morgan - This tour started officially on May 28, and as far as I know we might very well keep touring until December 2006. The last one was a year longer than that. We're not very keen to do another two and a half years of touring on one album. So we're going to cut this one a bit shorter and get into the studio and do another album instead.
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Q: Allie of Twin Cities, MN - A while back on tour with Evanescence, you signed my dollar bill. That led me to wondering, how many dollar bills have you signed?

A: Shaun Morgan - Actually, a dollar bill is not too uncommon. A lot of people will just pull out a dollar bill because they don't have anything else for me to sign. But I did hear somewhere that it's illegal to deface currency, but I haven't been arrested anywhere if that's true.
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Q: brooke of lubbock texas - first of all seether is so awesome and i love you guys.....i was wondering,ive noticed that the other guys in seether have tattoos,do you?if you do what and were are they?thankx alot shaun....i love you so much

A: Shaun Morgan - I have a little tribal tatoo on my right wrist, which was my first tattoo that I got when I was about 19. I have a big tribal tattoo on my right shoulder. I have another one on my left shoulder - they don't really mean anything, but I like the way they look. I have a fire angel on my right forearm and the ice angel on my left forearm. I just got those on a whim. I have another tribal tattoo on the back of my neck. And the last one I have is my daughter's name on my left wrist in Chinese, Jayde.
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Q: Lia of holt - shaun, i look up to you as an artist who do you look up to?

A: Shaun Morgan - I look up to a bunch of people. I don't know if I look up to people or if I'm just inspired by someone and the two things are different to me. If I was influenced by somebody else, then that's great, but ultimately everything I write I want it to be something with me in it, rather than by somebody else. I do get inspired by other bands, in terms of the melodies they use or the lyrics they write, but those can come from anywhere. It's not that I'm inspired by a particular person. When I was a kid, I was inspired by Nirvana and that was the ultimate reason I wanted to start playing music. Unfortunately there aren't that many people around who I really enjoy listening to.... I enjoy listening to A Perfect Circle albums - I think they're phenomenal, I really enjoy Portis Head, PJ Harvey, Traci Bonham; I still listen to L7 sometimes. When I was a kid I was really inspired by female grunge bands. In today's time, Aaron Lewis. But a lot of rock music for me these days is just screaming or alternatively it's all whining, and I can't stand being overexposed to either of those. I live very much in the 90s with all of my music. With the exception of Seven Dust, Deftones.
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Q: Abdul-Aleem of Cape Town, South Africa - Hey Shaun, when do you plan on coming back to South Africa for a tour?

A: Shaun Morgan - I believe the current plan is to try to set something up for the end of this year, whereas if that's happening or not I'm not 100 percent sure, but I know that's what the band wants to do. We had spoken about doing another week or two week tour in South Africa at the end of this year. What we would probably do is go home for about two weeks and then the band would come out and we'd tour around for another week or two and head over to Australia.
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Q: Melissa of La Crosse, WI - What is your favorite thing to do when your on tour?

A: Shaun Morgan - I like to read books. I like to - we have our own personal spaces on the bus, and to be able to just disappear and just read a book once in a while is just awesome. We also have an XBox that's always on. There are a lot of hours you spend just dying for hours to do, but then the rest of they day is just full.... When we do have that time, we mostly try to do the brain-dead stuff, like TV and XBox. I'm reading the Motley Crue book, the band's biography. It's really interesting stuff. It's all about the experiences they had on the road. I've just been told it's crazy and I want to find out if it's as crazy as everyone says it is. I am quite excited for the new Harry Potter book.
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Q: Zack Wells of Amarillo,Tx - What is the coolest gift any fans have given you or any of the other band members?

A: Shaun Morgan - We don't necessarily get gifts per se, we get cookies and stuff all the time. I guess they think homemade cookies will make us feel a little better about us being on the road. For some of the band members, it really works. We have one fan who brings us cards she has made for us. She has these cards that she's written poems in and handmade. The coolest gift I've ever gotten was from a friend of mine in Social Boom, the guitarist, Chris, and it's a plastic body of a woman from the neck to the knees, and it's a pregnant woman with a baby in the stomach. He's just a cool, weird guy who gives that kind of cool thing.
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Q: Miranda of Louisville - Did the people in South Africa discourage you to make rock music?

A: Shaun Morgan - This is going to be our last question with Shaun for today. Shaun: No, when we started playing it wasn't to make money off of it. Rock music was just something I just connected with very strongly. When I first heard AC/DC and then Metallica and Nirvana, that was teh stuff that just spoke to me. If anything I was discouraged by my parents more than other people. It's a parent thing. It's parental concern of saying 'look, you want to be a musician, yeah, everyone wants to be a musician.' The chance of that coming true is really limited, and there are just so many bands. It was just my parents concern that they wanted me to have something to fall back on . We fought really bitterly for a long time to a point where I ran away from home when I was 17, but now my Dad is the biggest supporter of the band. He came to a store we had in South Africa and it was a terribly organized show. And my Dad wrote a letter of complaint. He gives me feedback all the time. Demographically, we have a country of about 45 million people and approximately 4 to 5 million people are white people. And when Apartheid ended, rock music was such a small part of the scene. It's tough. Right now, though, the demographic is that record labels are not going to sign rock bands because rock bands are something that they can make 1/10th of their revenue off of. One of a South African hip-hop artist can sell 800,000 to 900,000 copies of an album. We consider ourselves really lucky to be in a position now where we're in the states and able to go back to South Africa once in a while... There's a lot of rock music culture there, but it's very small and not very well supported by the industry. Thanks, everyone, for the questions. Seether will be playing at Summerfest tonight.