Seether is a South African post-grunge/alternative metal band founded in 1999 in Pretoria. The band was originally formed under the name "Saron Gas" until renaming it to "Seether" in 2002. They are currently working for Wind-up Records and Musketeer Records. Disclaimer is their original album and major label debut. They gained mainstream popularity in 2004 with the single "Broken" which peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, and have continued moderate success with #1 hits on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart such as "Remedy", "Fake It", and "Country Song".
The band was formed in 1999 under the name "Saron Gas". In 2000, the band released an independent album called Fragile under their original name.
Rumor in South Africa has it that Seether was eventually forced by their record company to change their name from "Saron Gas" to "Seether" following the 9/11 attacks in the US.
Beginning and Disclaimer (2002)
In 2002, Seether launched their first official album, named Disclaimer, which earned the band three singles: "Fine Again", "Driven Under" and "Gasoline", in which only the first managed some repercussion. The year 2002 was very trendy for Seether. After the release of the Disclaimer, the band never stopped touring. When near the end of Disclaimer Tour, the band decided to return to the studio to record their second album, a project that had to be delayed by almost a year, since at that time Seether was on world tour with Evanescence. "Fine Again" is also in the video game Madden NFL 2003 and 1080 Avalanche.
Success and Disclaimer II (2003–2004)
Following the release of Disclaimer, the band toured continually in order to increase sales and name recognition. A planned second album was delayed for nearly a year when Seether was selected as the support act for an Evanescence worldwide tour. Seether reworked their acoustic ballad, "Broken", as an electric ballad with guest vocals by Amy Lee of Evanescence. Favorable audience response led the band to record the revised version, with Lee on vocals. The track, along with a new song entitled "Sold Me", was featured on the soundtrack for the 2004 film, The Punisher, and became a major success for the band, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. A romance developed between Lee and Morgan during this time.
Morgan has stated that the song is based on an incident in which the band was subjected to the wishes of the record company, rather than those of the band. An alternate version of the original album, with many of its songs remixed or rerecorded, was released in late 2004 and entitled Disclaimer II. The alternate version also featured eight extra tracks.
Karma and Effect, One Cold Night (2005–2006)
The band's follow-up album, Karma and Effect, was released in 2005. Originally titled Catering to Cowards, the name was changed at the record label's demand. "Karma and Effect" debuted at number 8 on the US Billboard 200 album charts, and was certified gold in the US and Canada. The album spawned three singles, "Remedy", "Truth" and "The Gift". "Remedy" reached number 1 on the US Mainstream Rock Charts, Seether's first number 1 hit.
Seether released an acoustic CD/DVD set titled One Cold Night, recorded at Grape Street, in Philadelphia, on 22 February 2006. Morgan had been suffering from a stomach ailment, and decided to do an acoustic performance of their set rather than cancel the show. The exclusion of "Needles" and "Burrito" from the album is due to the label's desire that it contain no obscenities.
Lead guitarist Patrick Callahan's departure from the band was announced on 16 June 2006. No reason was given, but he apparently did not enjoy Seether's new material. Shaun Morgan commented:
- "Um... relieved a little... actually a lot. He was the guy in the band that was always our naysayer, and he was the negative energy as far as writing. I personally have no love lost, which is weird for some reason 'cause he was my friend for four years. But when he walked out, it kinda walked out with him."
Morgan entered a rehabilitation program for alcoholism in August 2006, which forced the band to cancel a tour with Staind and Three Days Grace.
Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007–2009)
Shaun Morgan, prior to the next album's debut, claimed that it would be more diverse than previous efforts. Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces was slated for an August release that was delayed until 23 October due to the suicide of Morgan's brother, Eugene Welgemoed. The album debuted at number 9 in the Billboard 200 album charts, and sold 57,000 copies in its first week. Its cover artwork featured "Candice the Ghost", and was illustrated by David Ho. The first single, "Fake It", reached the top position of the US Mainstream Rock Charts and Modern Rock Charts, and held that spot for at least 9 weeks on both charts. It became the theme for WWE's No Way Out (2008). "Rise Above This", written for Eugene Welgemoed, was released as a single and reached the No. 1 spot on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and No. 2 on its mainstream counterpart. The final single from the album was "Breakdown", the video of which was released on 12 November 2008 after a delay from its original 23 October scheduled release date. Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces won Seether's first South African Music Award, in the category "Best Rock: English", as well as their first MTV Africa Music Award for "Best Alternative Artist".
A tour launched in support of the album in early 2008 lasted much of the year. Troy McLawhorn, of Dark New Day, Evanescence, Sevendust, and doubleDrive, was hired as a touring guitarist on 15 February 2008. Bands Seether shared the stage with on the tour included Three Days Grace, Finger Eleven, Breaking Benjamin, 3 Doors Down, Skillet, Red, Papa Roach, Flyleaf, Econoline Crush and Staind. McLawhorn was afterwards made an official member of the band.
"No Shelter" appeared on the NCIS Official TV Soundtrack, released on 10 February 2009, and a version of Wham!'s "Careless Whisper" was made available for purchase as a digital or mobile download. The song was reportedly covered as a joke, in which the band turned a "Cheesy 80s pop ballad" into a Hard Rock/Metal song in response to Wind-up's request that they record a Valentine's Day song. The music video for "Careless Whisper" premiered on 15 June 2009, and the song is included as an additional track on the reissue of Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces.
Seether supported Nickelback on their Dark Horse tour in March and April, 2009. Shaun and Dale confirmed in an interview on 2 March 2009 that, after the Nickelback tour, Seether would take the rest of year off to write and record the follow-up to Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. The band nevertheless gave performances through the remainder of the year, which included a date in Okinawa to play for American troops as part of a USO tour on 23 and 24 May at Camp Schwab, and then in MCAS Iwakuni on 26 May for the US Marines. Seether also made appearances at a number of festivals during the summer, including sets at the Chippewa Valley Music Festival and the Quebec City Festival, before the tour's conclusion at The Big E Festival, West Springfield, MA, on 4 October.
Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray (2010–2013)
The band spent several months recording in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Brendan O'Brien, then resumed touring in April 2010 with the intention of returning to the studio "in the first week of June" to complete the new record. Drummer John Humphrey confirmed in August that recording was completed, and the album was in the mixing process. He said that the band believed this album to be their best work, and that the songs are "very strong, melodic, and heavy at times." Morgan confirmed the album's completion in September, and gave the expected release date as early 2011. A new song, "No Resolution", was debuted on 4 September 2010, during a live show at the DuQuoin, IL State Fair. McLawhorn and Humphrey, in a radio interview, announced that the new album would be titled Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray, and that it would be released in May. The album's first single, "Country Song", was released on 8 March in the US and on 4 April in the United Kingdom, and the new album was released on 17 May 2011. Seether reached their highest position on the US Billboard 200 Charts when Holding On to Strings Better Left to Fray rose to the Number 2 position. It also reached number one on the US Rock Albums, US Alternative Albums and US Hard Rock Album Charts. Their single-week sales of 61,000 records was their best since Karma and Effect sold 82,000 copies in 2005. Billboard named Seether the No. 1 Active and No. 1 Heritage Rock Artist of 2011. A remix EP of the Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray album, titled Remix EP, was released on 7 February 2012.
Troy McLawhorn's departure from the band and return to Evanescence was announced on 8 March. Seether performed live in Cincinnati, Ohio on 10 May, and in South Bend, Indiana on 11 May. Both concerts were recorded, and released as a limited edition CD set for each individual city. Seether played main stage on the Uproar Festival alongside bands Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Bullet For My Valentine, and Escape The Fate, and supported 3 Doors Down on their European tour from November to March.
Seether: 2002-2013 (2013)
On 3 September 2013, the band announced the name of a compilation album, titled Seether: 2002-2013. The album was released on 29 October 2013 as a 2-disc album, featuring some of Seether's greatest hits, unreleased demos, soundtrack songs and 3 all-new tracks, including a cover of Veruca Salt's "Seether" (the song that the band is named after). "Seether: 2002-2013" also contains two new recorded songs ("Safe To Say I've Had Enough" & "Weak") and was produced by Brendan O'Brien. The band released a 15-second demo clip for the song "Safe To Say I've Had Enough" on loudwire.com. The band also carried out a small, semi-acoustic tour of Europe and South Africa.
According to sources, the band is working on their sixth studio album which is expected to release around May 2014. The album title, track listing and release date is still to be revealed.
In a recent Twitter interview, Dale Stewart, the band's bassist, has confirmed that the band is writing songs for their upcoming album. Another confirmation that Seether is currently working on their new album, is a statement from leadsinger Shaun Morgan on the website Reddit.com which came during an AmA (askmeanything) interview, where he stated that band was "In the studio getting ready for our new album..."
On January 31 2014, the band posted a video on their YouTube channel in which frontman Shaun Morgan stated that the album was well underway and recording should be completed in about a week (as of the video post date).
Isolate and Medicate (2014 - present)
During a recent Twitter interview, John Humphrey, the band's drummer, stated that the upcoming album is due for a summer release. More details about the new album will be announced in "the next month or so".
Seether's new record is rumored to be called "Isolate and Medicate" with a due release date of July 1st, 2014 on Banshee Records.
Musical style and influences
Seether are heavily influenced by American grunge groups such as Nirvana and Alice in Chains. Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote "Seether's lead singer/songwriter, Shaun Morgan, is an unabashed, unapologetic worshiper of Kurt Cobain, using Nirvana's sound as a template for Seether". Seether have also been influenced by Deftones and Nine Inch Nails.
- Current members
- Shaun Morgan – lead vocals, guitar (1999–present)
- Dale Stewart – bass, acoustic guitar, backing vocals (1999–present)
- John Humphrey – drums (2003–present)
- Former members
- Johan Greyling-lead guitar (1999)
- Tyronne Morris-bass (1999)
- Dave Cohoe – drums, backing vocals (1999-2002)
- Nick Oshiro – drums (2002–2003)
- Patrick Callahan – lead guitar (2002–2006)
- Troy McLawhorn – lead guitar, backing vocals (2008–2011)
- Touring members
- Nic Argyros-drums (2002)
- John Johnston-drums (2002)
- Erik Eldenius-drums (2002)
- Nick Annis-lead guitar (2002)
- Kevin Soffera-drums (2003)
- Session members
- Josh Freese-drums (2002)
- Fragile (as Saron Gas) (2000)
- Disclaimer (2002)
- Disclaimer II (2004)
- Karma and Effect (2005)
- Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007)
- Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray (2011)
- Isolate and Medicate (Rumored Title) (2014)
- Official website
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