Review The Artist (27)
Such is the standpoint of Shaun Morgan, singer-guitarist-songwriter of the South African band Seether. His immediate, cerebral writing saturates the band's U.S. debut, Disclaimer, producing a compelling illustration of the communal powers of rock and roll; loud in a very literal and very abstract sense. "I don't care if no one knows what I look like," he says. "That's not the point. The point is to know I've touched people."
After forming in 1999, Seether (originally Saron Gas, a name they plucked from the back of a sound effects CD not knowing its sinister connotation) quickly gained notoriety in their home country's anaemic rock market. The band's South African release, Fragile, became one of the best selling titles of the year, and Seether emerged as a top live draw. This was no small feat in a land where rock bands play second banana to indigenous music and pop. Still, Seether's monumental mongrel rock couldn't help but stand out, and Morgan's words built a bottomless bond between the band and its fans.
Everyone from disenfranchised teens to incarcerated individuals has felt his influence, but the foremost example is the impact first single "Fine Again" had on a family whose daughter overdosed. The song a stark, mid-tempo deliberation on life after a bleak period inspired the recuperating girl to right her life. The family bonded with the band and reacted emotionally upon learning Seether was headed stateside. "They were actually crying. That was the most surreal experience. They're all standing around and saying, 'We don't know if we should be happy for you or angry at you' and that's pretty cool. It's good to know we've had such a positive influence on someone."
Morgan's motivation and inspiration stems from a lack of acceptance. His parents divorced early on. His Afrikaans mother's devout Christian family held him in disregard because he was part English on his father's side. His paternal family shunned him for being into rock music and dressing the part. The hostile environs culminated in a defining moment, as Morgan sat with a gun in one hand and a guitar in the other, facing a choice. "It was suicide or the guitar. I picked the guitar and got rid of the urge to take myself out." He continued sneaking out to rehearse with any band that would have him. "This was all I ever wanted to do," he says simply.
Disclaimer, produced by Jay Baumgardner (Papa Roach, Drowning Pool) offers a brutally transparent glimpse into Morgan's childhood. As he scrubs at the pain of his past, the singer's scratchy, eerily familiar voice and his guitar work are cutting accomplices to the catharsis. The sum effect is as thrilling as it is consuming.
"Pig" picks at familial scabs, asking, "Have you ever wished for fire/to burn away your mind restraints?" "Needles" rails further, demanding retribution, "Let me stick my needles in/let me hurt you again/fuck you for killing me!" over a torrid, towering wall of noise. "69 Tea" mocks salvation in a slow, rolling boil. "Gasoline" chugs and churns and spits at a woman who could be a lover or a mother it's impossible to tell. Therein lies a key to Seether's appeal: Morgan balks at expanding on his lyrics, opting to preserve both his own, and the listener's, interpretation. In his mind, offering one static explanation would dictate the effect on the listener which is simply unacceptable.
"I'm not trying to be a spokesman, because I wouldn't want to have a spokesman myself. This is a way for me to say how I feel now and get it out. Other people will paint something or draw something or dance it out or whatever. This, I suppose, is the only way I can purge, but it is therapeutic."
His convalescence manifests supremely in song and is chiefly evident in the cautious optimism of "Fine Again" and the plaintive, yet soaring, "Sympathetic," in which he sings, "My words will be here when I'm gone." Even at this embryonic state, Morgan has made his statement and it bodes well, as the band waits on the cusp of success. Through it all, he remains the humble craftsman, ego and expectations in check - words preserved for posterity despite no immediate plans to depart the planet. Of course, he's happy to know he's made a difference.
"Even if it's just one or two people that say, 'Man, it's really sad that he's gone,' that's all I wanted to hear."
Thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org for submitting the biography.
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Seether vs. Nirvana | Reviewer: Rachel | 3/16/13
Seether is better than Nirvana in the following ways:
Even though Kurt was a good artist as well, Shaun made better decisions that gave his music more time to evolve into something greater than Kurt's because he didn't take the easy way out and just die. (Musical Darwinism...lol)
Shaun is a survivor, Kurt is not.
Shaun is taking steps toward sobriety. Kurt's suicide was contributed to alcoholism and hard drugs.
you don't know me yet, but someday you will | Reviewer: hi shaun | 10/3/12
Shaun, you are one of the most awesome singers i have ever heard, and, yes, like you, i was a huge fan of nirvana. you have defininitely risen above so much, as have i. and i listen to you every time i need a lift, because your voice is beautiful and real, and it doesn't hurt that you are a hottie.........thanx for the music, you write like i do, maybe someday i will send you a song, i cant write music, just lyrics, but i can write. Keep on rocking......so sorry about ur bro, i lost a daughter to cancer a couple years ago, not fun.......but life has to go on......never give up.......You will go far, you already have, and you do make a difference in lots of peoples lives because of your music and beautiful voice........Just keep it goin on........luv ya
Brutonic | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/10/11
Be who you are and don't let those around you choose your life opportunities. Suffer sorrow at the mistakes you have made but learn and gain happiness from them. Seether fucking rules!!
This is a great band | Reviewer: Hannah | 3/2/11
Really every time im down or just plain bored out of my mind in class this is one of the bands i turn my ipod to. I really like their music and i hope they continue to make music for a very long time =)
Legendary | Reviewer: Lisa | 3/12/10
Seether is one of the best fucking bands that I have ever had the fortune to hear. Their lyrics actually have a deep meaning behind them. And their lyrics actually make sense. Shaun Morgan is an awesome screamer, and he has a video on YouTube showing him recording "Like a Suicide" from their new album, "Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces." From his voice, I can clearly see that they do not use ANY voice modifiers. It's amazing, how a band can have that much talent so that they don't have to "modify" anything. They are my idols, and they are so freaking hilarious and awesome at the same time. They are one of my most recommended bands. And no, they are NOT wannabe Nirvanas. They both have different styles. Seether is unique and awesome in their own way. Seether all the way!!
fuck haters | Reviewer: Abraham | 7/27/09
i hate the fact that my cousin reviewed this son of a bitch biography some smart ass wrote he said that seether was basically a wanna- be nirvana so im all pissed and shit i know thats not true seether is way fuckin better than nirvana i actually listened to nirvana fairly i compare them and i say fuck nirvana listen to seether they are my idols i skate to their music !!!
the best | Reviewer: danny | 5/7/09
the last past 10 years have ben hell for me every time it seems to be geting beter it falls apart again my dads on his death bed and i have no way to go see him my girlfriend of 2 years broke up wit me for another man all i got to say is seether your my hero when im down i lisin to your music it saves me thank you you guys are the best !!!!!!!!
Fukn great band. | Reviewer: lolah | 1/10/09
Gosh just love seether so much!
It helped me through so many times when i felt unwanted nad down...it helped feel as if i wasent alone..i absolutely fell in love with seether when my friend gave me their album for birthday...i played it so many that mum got sick of me.
but seether is one of the most talented and unique bands ever...and No they are not trying to be like nirvana..completly different...
And yes they are both realllly guuuud bands.
I just love how unique and the lyrics are...and sometimes when i feel alone i just listen to seether. Its just so great being able to have a great band to listen to .
Keep rocking seether..
and omg shaun morgan is so hot!
I LOVE SEETHER-U HELP ME THROUGH A BAD TIME | Reviewer: grace in waco,tx | 1/3/09
I HAVENT SEEN THEM YET EXCEPT IN VIDEOS-SHAUN U GUYS R AWESOME BEYOND WORDS.I HOPE TO SEE U IN SAN ANTONIO TX IN APRIL 2009. I LOST MY SON IN IRAQ LAST YEAR AND YOUR MUSIC HELPED ME TO COPE WITH HIS DEATH.YEAH IM NOT A YOUNG GIRL,IM 42 AND I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED ROCK MUSIC!IM PROOF THAT ROCKERS R AGELESS I WANT TO WISH U GUYS A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Absolutely The Best Band Ever. | Reviewer: Pathos Bedlam | 11/9/08
The reason they are the best is simple, because their music is pure, raw emotion, wrapped together with beautiful melodies, and haunting guitar riffs. It doesn't get any better. Since discovering this band 4 months ago I have gone out of my way to get copies of all their CD's including the Saron Gas one Fragile, and after having their music going constantly, in game and out for all this time, I have to say I am certain I will be still listening to them years from now. Shaun if your reading this, thanks from all of us for making the right choice, the world would suck so much without you. Also I lost a close friend in 2007 as you did your brother, so I know how much it can haunt you. So keep putting it down on paper, like I do, and try not to wreck too many rooms with Amy. LOL.
Luv u Guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! | Reviewer: Ayla davies | 10/25/08
omg i just heard seether is touring in melbs in 2 weeks i cant fucking wait ill b there 4 sure.
i feel up set or down i put on a seether song and i can get though shit it has helped me get though life and its problems lu u guys c u soon keep rocking on you rule luv u shaun luv aylax0x0x
Seether Fucken Rocks! | Reviewer: Loah Paim | 5/31/08
I just love seether so much! i Can't believe that people missunderstands them by saying that they are nirvana wnna be!
thats fuc*k up!
They are one of the greatest bands i ve seen and heard!
Seether helped a lot of young teen who were confused and didn't know what to do at those hard times in life.
The lyrics are so real and they seem that they were written just to get you out of the sad mood and stand up for the fuk*n world.
And please if you dont like them just keep it to yourself coz we dont want to you your stupid thoughts.
seether-the best | Reviewer: Anonymous | 5/13/08
seether and nirvana are both great bands. shaun loves nirvana so its a given that they would wanna take notes from them. im sick of hearin they area knockoff of nirvana. shaun morgan is as individual as they come. his lyrics and music are awesome and they can reach to the deepest core of my being. saw them live a few months ago and it was the greatest show iv ever seen. they will be remembered and love til the end of everything. fuck all the haters!!!!!!!!!!!!
Local Legends | Reviewer: Jose Falcao | 2/4/08
I watched shaun perform a solo unplugged gig at the blues room in sandton South Africa he was here 4 the hols. He FUCKEN ROCKED!! He has an awsm voice! The gift,driven under & 69 tea where among my favs. If u didnt know better u,d think u listening 2 a cd thats how gud he is.Shaun Welgemoed,Dale Stewart thank u guys 4 putting the South African rock scene on the world map. Seether u guys rock Luv u guys! Rock out with your cock out!!!
Kick Ass! | Reviewer: ROCK'N'ROLL | 1/29/08
Seen them 2 nights ago live.... and wow. They fucking rocked that place. They put on a great show and then the end was the coolest when he through his guitar across the stage. I enjoyed Seether more than the main band (3 days grace). Seether is a great band, the music is not to hard nor is it to soft which is nice. They remind me a lot like Nirvana but newer age which gives a great sound. There new single Fake It... is another fucking great songs among all the others. When they played that song I was floored, it sounded exactly like on the CD, which most bands cannot do! Over all there a great band and they put on a great show. GO SEE THEM FOR YOURSELF!
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