Rockers Endure Starting Over
Thursday, July 14, 2005 at 12:00am

It's tough enough for most bands to develop an audience and establish a reputation in one country, but the rock/metal ensemble Seether has actually had to do it in two different nations and continents. Originally from South Africa, they've spent much of the past three years not only touring constantly, but also reworking and crafting a sound that was more ambitious and edgy than what they initially did on their early recordings.

Seether, performing tonight at Bridgestone's Dancin' In The District with Crossfade, Dark New Day and Ligion, ranks among the rare bands to have its debut release become a huge hit in two different versions.

"We wanted to make more challenging and diverse music," lead vocalist Shaun Morgan said. "In the beginning the songs did sound more like the early '90s Seattle style, but now we're incorporating many other things into the arrangements. The compositions are more collaborative, and each person is getting directly involved in influencing his part, rather than me just writing out every aspect. There's more intensity, variety and energy in the music."

Getting there
What: Seether, Crossfade, Dark New Day and Ligion
When: 6 tonight
Where: Riverfront Park, 100 First Ave. N.
Cost: $5 in advance, $8 at the door
Info: 255-3588

What makes things even more interesting about Morgan's assessment is that Seether actually had a hit single from the first version of its initial release Disclaimer, with "Fine Again." The group got a further push when some of their songs made their way onto the soundtrack for The Punisher, a limp cinematic adaptation of the Marvel comic. Though the film fizzled, but the publicity aided the band, particularly the duet "Broken" that featured Evanescence's Amy Lee.

Subsequently Disclaimer II appeared, mixing some new tracks with the original songs from the previous release, among them a fresh version of "Broken."

Despite the crunching, frenzied style of most Seether numbers, Morgan said he didn't grow up hearing many rock or metal bands.

"My parents were into Kenny Rogers, The Beach Boys, Paula Abdul and Foreigner," Morgan said with a laugh. "It wasn't until I heard Nirvana and the kind of raw, incredible emotion that came from that music that I was really exposed to real rock music. That was kind of a transforming experience, and it also convinced me about how important genuine emotion is in music. That's by far the most important thing to me as a songwriter and a performer, communicating something that's real and honest to the audience. I'm much more concerned about that coming across in our songs than anything else, and if we do that, then I think we've accomplished something.