Rock Band Seether Wants To Make A Difference

By Anne Erickson
For the Lansing State Journal

Seether is passionate about more than playing rock music.

"If you can stop a kid from killing himself or if you can give someone the peace of mind knowing they're not alone gives them, that's almost enough for me," said lead singer and guitarist Shaun Morgan. "That means somehow I've made their world a little bit better."

Seether - completed by bassist Dale Stewart, drummer Kevin Soffera and guitarist Pat Callahan - got its start in South Africa.

After making the move to America in 2001, Seether inked a deal with Wind-Up Records (Creed, Drowning Pool).

Next, the guys tapped producer Jay Baumgardner (Papa Roach, Drowning Pool) to record their debut major-label CD, "Disclaimer."

Even months before releasing the album, Seether hit the road with a high-profile debut showing at Ozzfest 2002. Last August, the disc debuted at No. 92 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and scored two major radio hits: "Fine Again" and "Driven Under."

The meanings behind Seether's post-grunge, alt-metal/rock songs - complete with heavy guitars and angst-ridden lyrics - aren't exactly straightforward.

"I think it's better that someone takes their own meaning out of it than if I give them what it means to me," said Morgan, who writes all the songs and lyrics. "If they don't know, it's fun for them to take their own connotations on it."

At least one thing's for sure: Morgan's songs stem from a super-personal place. "The songs and lyrics are a journal," Morgan said. "A diary of things that have happened that are important enough to create something out of them."
This year, tours with Socialburn, Finger Eleven and Trapt, among others, have kept Seether busy. But Morgan finds real value in playing alongside his peers.

"We've met all the bands we've toured with, and we're really good friends with everyone," Morgan said. "You make this huge other family that folds up and these are people you can rely on. If you ever need them, you can call them at 3 in the morning and they'd do whatever they could for you."

Along the way, Seether is earning the respect of other bands.

"We feel we work really hard for any of our success and any of the acknowledgment that we get from the industry and other bands," said Morgan. "When we play and any of the bands that respect us are there, they watch us play.

"That to me is the ultimate sign of respect - when you look around and you've got Mark Tremonti (guitarist for Creed) standing on one side and the 3 Doors Down guys on the other side. And I think we're slowly getting that."

Seether's future will see more touring, a DVD - "It'll be an hourlong live set," said Morgan - and a few videogame soundtracks. But Morgan seems more interested in inspiring youth to hang in there through Seether's music.

"I know what it's like to be one of those kids who thinks there's nothing else left to do but kill yourself," said Morgan. "So, my intention (is) by showing that I've turned that around, and turned that into what I have, that anyone can do that."

"Anyone can do whatever they want, just as long as they believe in it enough. And if I can see that - through what I've done and through the lyrics - then that's all I ever wanted to do."