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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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
........This is the Official Rock Publication Web Site
All photos and written material courtesy of Rock Publication
.Copyright © 2002
Shaun Morgan - vocals, guitar, songs
Stewart - bass, vocals
Oshiro - drums
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