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....................... ...........8/2002
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 Seether
Rocking the USA!



 
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INTERVIEW WITH SEETHER Shaun MORGAN
Q: So you're from South Africa you guys must get a lot of crazy questions about that?
A: The first they wanted to know when we came over were we white. When we were in studios Jay had some friends and they were like yeah these guys are from Africa. And they were like, "Are they white." Do we have to check in our spears at customs when we came over. No we didn't have to do that. You know, the cool thing about too, is that hopefully we're going to get people to understand is not up the coast of New Zealand, which is one thing we've been asked so far. You know, it was fun to do that thing, because I'd like to show people and tell people about our country and we don't ride elephants to work and we have roads and cars too. It was nice to be able to dispel some of the myths.
Q: So you say Africa you say is pretty much like L.A. It's got everything just like a normal city.
A: It's a combination of L.A. - where we lived it was very L.A., and then the actual city itself is very New York. Dingy and it smells bad and everyone drives badly and yells and that kind of thing. And where we lived in the suburbs it was like L.A. was the traffic jams and you can't get anywhere unless you have a car.
Q: It's definitely been an English settlement a while back.
A: It's a combination of Dutch and English. What happened were the Dutch were there first, which is where my family comes from. I think his mother comes from the Dutch side too. Then the English colonials came in and it was like that's his Dad and my Dad. So, we grew up with a whole bunch of mixture. You still have to this day, you have the upper-Kon speaking people which are the Dutch descendants and the English, which are the English obviously descendants. I've got to defend my Mom's Dutch and my Dad's English and to go between the families is really weird now.
Q: Now as far as the music side, you say there is a music scene there and you don't have any problems buying equipment or anything.
A: There's a music scene but you can't buy anything that you'd like to buy. Like I couldn't get the guitar that I'm playing nowadays. I couldn't get Mesa Boogies out there. All you get there is Marshals and Fenders. It's like they get the popular stuff. Yeah, its really cool to be out here and like "man, I want this guitar." And you just go to Guitar Center and its there. Q: You're right. We're quite spoiled here actually. A: Yeah. People don't realize. Especially living somewhere like New York where everything is at your fingertips 24 hours a day. L.A. it's like you can do anything you want. And anything you would want to possibly do today you can do. So, it's cool.
Q: New York - you've been there for a while?
A: No we lived there from January till mid-February and we moved out to L.A. to do the album and we got 10 days to go home in April and we went back to L.A. and now we're on tour. So, we can't afford to keep a place in L.A. while we're on tour. So, we're currently living in a RV
Q: Home man. But these OzzFests have terrific recognition and your timing was perfect because instead of doing 100 clubs all over the United States, you've got thousands of people who are going to see you everywhere. You're pretty high up on the list already being on the second stage. A: The thing is it's been rotating. I don't think it's been like the other years where you can actually move up to the next stage. But it's cool. Yeah, cause we started out with the first show we played at 10:00 in the morning. Usually at 10:00 we're still sleeping. 7:00 a.m. load-ins and you're here at 7:00 a.m. and it's like damn man ... oh, it's the sunrise. But it's fun going to all the different cities and seeing the different crowds and knowing where we wouldn't go back to - like St. Louis. Q: Did you just play there?
A: Yeah. We played there like a week ago man and it was very kind of static crowd and they were just standing there. The other bands before us were like resorting to saying "beer," "weed," and "Ozzy" on stage to get some reaction out of them. But we eventually we got them to ... I broke a guitar in frustration.
Q: I was wondering what that was like, when you're working your ass off up there and people are not responding. This first crowd is just starting to get going just a little bit. That can be kind of tough, especially being the first one out ...
A: Yeah. The first band got on this morning, I think there were 10 people in front of the stage. They started playing and there was like 30 and toward the end they said they had maybe a couple hundred people, but it was like they'd say "hey, California" and there was 10 people going "yeahhh."
Q: Do they still do that deal where they take one band off the second stage and put them on the main stage sometimes?
A: Yeah. It's happened every day so far, so tomorrow's our show on the mainstage at the Shoreline.
Q: That's only 3 hours from here. You get a break finally.
A: We just drove from Denver. We left yesterday at 9:00 a.m. So, we got here at 7:00 a.m., just in time for loading.
Q: So, what do you do for jet lag, plenty of coffee or what?
A: The guy that's driving, he's the only driver, because we don't ... I don't have an international license. He does. He drove literally; I think he drove 22 hours. Coffee. And now he's out there getting the stuff set up and tuning the guitars. So, hopefully one day we'll get to have another guy driving and another guy setting up. He's going to kill himself.
Q: I'll really like your songs. I like the way you placed them on your CD also. A lot of people put their hit songs first and then you're going that's it.
A: It's interesting you should say that, because we had a different set up first where it as the way the band wanted it originally and we had to reach a compromise but we didn't want all the singles, one, two, three four, whatever, you know what I'm saying. We wanted ... you have this song, then you bring it down and take it back up. I wanted it to be a trip through the album, not just a light stuff, heavy stuff, done. It's cool that you think it's a good order.
Q: And what single did they make into a video?
A: "Mind Again."
Q: I just saw that this morning for the first time. I used to watch videos all the time, but it took too much of my time up. And actually a lot of bands got famous from being on videos when MTV first started. I love all the different signs. I understand that your CD has different pictures?
A: Yeah. We've got 10 different versions of the album cover so that 10 different people holding different ones.
Q: It has to be a first.
A: Yeah. Especially since they got them to mix them all up. So, instead of just printing 10,000 of one, they've got 10,000 of all 10 and they've got them into boxes, so they've really pulled some serious moves there which is cool.
Q: The CD is consistent right?
A: Yeah.
Q: I didn't read into your lyrics that much ... is that they are gloom and doom, but is that pretty much what you're trying to come across?
A: No No.
Q: That's what I had read about it.
A: Some people are likely to interpret for themselves. If you go into our message board, since the album came out, kids are like thanks for the lyrics dude. There's this one kid who said his dad's gone to prison and he was going to kill himself and heard Mind Again he saw on the TV and he was like "dude's it's not worth it." That happened at home too. We had a girl that overdosed and she was sitting in the hospital and she heard this song and she was like "dude, I can't do this anymore." That told me it's cool. People can say there's some gloom and doom in there, but it's not. It's with the intent of making something positive out it.
Q: I think that's what you have to think about. I go to a lot of these concerts. I see a lot of these kids. They're all coming from different backgrounds and walks of life and everybody has little problems here and there and if the music can uplift them and they can relate to something that you saying, that's the best part.
A: I mean you've got to figure, I'm a kid of divorce and the divorce rate in this country is like 60% or something. Like when I was listening to bands and I listened to music, it was cool to know that there was someone else who knew that this was what I was feeling and its in these songs and I can deal with it. It's like a catharsis in that sense and I'm just lucky enough to be able to do that myself nowadays and put what I feel into it and hope to helps other kids.
Q: I like that too, because that's what a lot of these bands are doing. Besides your music, your music's really excellent too and you have a lot of different riffs and things going on there, but what wanted to know is did you have some other songs you wanted to put on here and they're on standby?
A: Thanks. Yeah. We have ... I think we have a catalogue at the moment where the 3 of us have written about 60 songs and we have already written like 4 or 5 new ones. It was really really hard. But last night we were jamming some of the old stuff we used to play like 2 years ago, but I think what we're going to do is, each new album we're going to bring out one of our old old songs and just put it down because we never really recorded those songs. These songs that we used to play on the radio shows ... and it was like live stuff. We did a cover of Mother Mon____ with a friend of ours who used to sing. She was like ... and I was up there dude Mother Mother ___. I want to get all that stuff. I want to record that stuff.
Q: When that Napster thing happened, it was a nightmare for a lot of Start-up band like you. What do you think ?
A: See, when we were at home it made sense to us because we got people from Portugal, and Florence, and Australia and all these people were on Napster and they were getting stuff on some South African kids. But now obviously it's a different story, because at home there was no way we were going to make money anyway so it was just about the music and still is to an extent but we now to ... you have at some point look at it and say logically we have to survive.
Q: You were getting a lot of recognition with people getting your songs right then, but you have drawn a line. You have to pay for this stuff.
A: People can go to our website and listen to our whole album if they want. They can't download it, but they can listen to it as much as they want. We're all about exposing the music and stuff like that, but that was selling in some places for like $5.00 man. $5.00, $6.00 - that's cool, kids they can afford that. For me, my whole thing is, I don't know if you read the bio, it's like my whole thing was to do that for kids. Every time I see a kid - it's like "you just fucking did this for me?" I'm like that's cool. That's my whole objective.
Q: That's very honorable.
A: One of the major reasons for me to, is that when I die one day, and it'll just be like that's it. I used to walk through cemeteries a lot because my Dad used to be into historical sites and you walk through and you wonder "dude, I wonder what that person did in their life?" You would never know, because these people are just like a number or a name and I didn't want to be that. So, at least I'm leaving something behind to live through.
Q: Do you have a 6-album deal with wind-up?
A: Yeah. We just want to make every album better than the first one. We're already thinking like, next time we're going to be like this and we're already thinking ahead. Everything we've done - I mean that's the reason why the Two Sale Ass Kicking Kids (?) are selling in America besides Wind Up because we sang on the radio, we went out and played as many shows as we could play - we played like 200 shows in a year. And you go to the same city like three times in a week and every step that you get to, you've got to think about the next one and go for that next step straight away. It's funny; we had a sign up at home that we wanted to be at the Grammies in 2003. And that's been there since 1999 man. We've never ever been ... we've always taken it as seriously as we can. We don't drink before a show. It's just because we are totally committed to getting this music out. And for me, totally committed to letting as many people know it that life isn't that shitty even though sometimes it feels like it is.
Q: That's dedication. That's great. I can see why Steve Parish liked you. He e-mailed me right away. You got to hear this band. I couldn't get down to L.A. when you were down there. When you first started out, were there certain bands that you were really influenced by that got you going?
A: When I was a kid about 12 years old, I was listening to as embarrassing as it is, I had like the Paula Abdul album. Q: She has a good voice.
A: And I had like Pump up the Jam. And when I was 13 years old man, I'd listen to AC/DC and a little bit of Metallica and it wasn't like it wasn't doing. Because lyrically, it was at a time exactly when my parents were having a big custody thing and they'd been divorced for like 8 years already as it was and now they were having a big pissing match about who's going to have kids. Dude, that was when I heard Nevermind and it was like ... I played that album like 6 or 7 times. I couldn't get enough of it. My Dad hated it, which was cool too. And it was just like so bad ass and that was when I started playing the guitar. I always wanted to play the guitar too because you can go to a campfire and you can make a party happen. You can set a mood by playing a song. That's kind of cool to be able to do that.
Q: That makes sense. I'm always fascinated when bands tell me how they got started because sometimes its different influences that creates their band. I read into your band that you're just full good heavy rock and you bring it down a tempo and bring it up a tempo.
A: We don't have like a stage outfit or a shtick.
Q: Creeds got the flames now.
A: And Nickback's got a whole bunch of powers now too. That's why it's weird for us to be on this tour to, because we're nowhere near as heavy as some of these bands.
Q: You feel like you're competing out there sometimes.
A: Yeah. Sometimes.
Q: What's really cool is I've seen as these OzFests progress, sometimes you can get some members of the band collaborate. A: Especially like the more the tour goes on the more we've been meeting the guitarists and the bassists. They're really cool, like the guitarists is speaking fishing with Dale. "And I use this fly..." and he's riding on his bicycle. The band Chevelle guys are really cool and that's a band that's my favorite new band in the world so.

By Randy Cohen

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Shaun Morgan - vocals, guitar, songs
Dale Stewart - bass, vocals
Nick Oshiro - drums


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