Seether Speaks Out
Erin Hibbard
6/10/2003 8:57:04 AM

"We just do what makes us feel good."

This year’s annual Pointfest radio show ran the gamut of rock, pop-punk and nu-metal, with groups like The Used, Staind and Seether making up the big names on the bill. Radio festivals are always a risky venue, but did this one go well?

If you’re talking about the music-- definitely. The weather? Absolutely. The crowd?
Ah yes, the crowd…

Living in St. Louis all my life, and writing reviews, I’ve grown a bit accustomed to the music scene (both big and small venues), and I’ve been proud of the fact that St. Louis is known as one of the most supportive cities in the country. But all I can offer on behalf of the crowd at PointFest is, THANK GOD FOR THE LAWN CROWD because the seat-people suck.

After Shaun Morgan and his bandmates in Seether tore through an amazing set, caught up with Seether's lead man for an interview. He was mighty disappointed in the response the bands were getting from “the front half,” but to no avail, he was more than friendly with us.

NT: So, this is your second trip to St. Louis in less than a month! I saw you at Pop’s in May with Trapt and Smile Empty Soul.

SM: Oh, yeah. That was, like, two or three weeks ago.

NT: Do you prefer the big stage shows like today’s or do you like the smaller venues better?

SM: I definitely prefer clubs.

NT: Really? Why is that? Do you get a better response?

SM: Yeah, I mean, it’s really strange playing these shows because the people who are actually enjoying it are standing way back on the grass. There was a guy sitting in one of the front rows actually eating popcorn. I was just like, okay. I mean he paid his money for it; he can do whatever he wants. But it just gets you down, you know?

NT: Yeah, I can see that. Is that what happened at Ozzfest? I read in an interview that you didn’t enjoy the St. Louis stop during last year’s Ozzfest tour.

SM: No, no. Last year…Ozzfest. (Laughs) I mean, all the bands had the problem, actually. We watched Chevelle about 9:30 in the morning and the crowd just stood there.
Eventually the bands just resorted to saying “Ozzy” and “weed” just to get a response out of the people. Yeah, I think I actually trashed my guitar that show.

NT: To get a reaction out of them?

SM: Well, yeah, I mean, at least I got a reaction for doing it.

NT: What do you think is wrong?

SM: I don’t know. It’s really weird. We play everywhere else in this country and people respond. To be fair, it was a great response up on the hill today. It was really cool. Those people on the lawn were freaking out, crowd surfing and stuff.

NT: Well, I noticed at the Pop’s show a couple weeks ago, you guys got a huge response from the audience. It was crazy.

SM: Yeah, yeah. Every band likes St. Louis. They all say “St. Louis, yeah!” Everyone prefers club shows here to these big shows.

NT: Here it seemed kind of 50/50. There were a lot of people who were really into it and enjoying the show, but you’re right, I did notice some people sitting around too.

SM: Yeah, I mean, it was cool. We just prefer the clubs, you know? People go there to see us. They’re not just sitting there munching popcorn and waiting for the next band. (Laughs).

NT: Did you guys have any reservations about coming back to St. Louis for PointFest?

SM: No. You know, we make the best of anything. Fuck shitty people. You know, they can flip me off. Whatever. (Laughs) The people in the front were cool, too, but I was looking at the people at the back. Those people just have a good time no matter who’s playing, you know?

NT: It’s good to know you guys pay attention to the people in the back. A lot of us broke fans who sit in the back don’t really think the bands notice or care.

SM: Oh, yeah. All of us bands. If we could we’d just drop everything and go hang out there and play there. We’ve always preferred second stage at these big shows. It’s kind of strange having people sit down and watch you play. It’s all good.

NT: I understand you guys come from South Africa. Have you lived there your whole life? What’s the music scene like there?

SM: Yes, we’re native to South Africa. Obviously, our scene’s smaller than America, but we have five major music festivals a year there, and they draw people from all over the country—about 15,000 people. South Africa is the size of Texas. We really have a decent scene and the radio supports local bands to an extent. We have clubs that are a lot smaller than here, and you can’t tour in a bus. You have to tour in your own car.

NT: No bus? That’s a little different! How did you get into playing this type of music? Is this type more popular in South Africa or is it scattered?

SM: I don’t think it’s any more popular in South Africa than it is here. It’s the only thing we’ve ever felt comfortable playing, you know. We want to be different. If you’re going to get compared to someone, I mean, get compared to a cool band that meant something, you know? We don’t want to be another one of these... There’s always a trend in music, you know. A new band comes out and everyone’s into that, so they sign every band that sounds like that and then everyone’s the same. Whatever. We just do what makes us feel good.

NT: What other musicians inspire you?

SM: I was really inspired by 'Nevermind' by Nirvana.

NT: When and how did Seether get its start?

SM: Well, in 1999 I joined a band that had, like, 4 guys and a girl in it. Eventually we got rid of one of the guys and the girl left. Then I took her spot singing.

NT: Who writes the lyrics and music to your songs?

SM: I write the lyrics. I’ve written music on a couple of the songs on the album. All of us write the music.

NT: Have you all had formal musical training, or are any of you self-taught?

SM: None of us. I haven’t had any formal training.

NT: Where did the name, Seether, come from?

SM: In the nineties there was this band Veruca Salt that I really enjoyed. That’s where we got our name – from the song “Can’t Fight the Seether.”

NT: A lot of bands have a tough time getting radio play. I know the radio has been very good to you here in St. Louis. Every time I turn on the Point [105.7] I hear at least one of your songs.

SM: The radio really has been very supportive of us. At first it was a little difficult, but we kept sending out our cds to the stations, and our record label was very helpful on that.

NT: So, what would you say is currently your biggest challenge?

SM: Trying to find time to write new songs. Lately it’s been one tour after another. Right now we’re touring with Trapt. It’s like; we just don’t have any free time. I mean, when we have some time we’ll sit down and come up with something, but we always want it to be the best. We want it to be perfect and we need to take time for that.

NT: What is the one thing you want the St. Louis scene to know about Seether?

SM: We don’t eat cheesesteaks unless we’re in Philly.


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