Interview: Seether – Shaun Morgan, Dale Stewart and John Humphrey

I wonder if it is more a label thing. Something as stupid as they want a music video done but if they are only releasing your album America then they are only going to promote the video in America and allow Americans to view it.

Shaun Morgan: It may actually be that. It might be that something as stupid as that. It makes no sense to me how these people work.
Dale Stewart: It’s one of those things though that if you really want to see it, it will be there somewhere.
Shaun Morgan: Oh no. Vevo is the only place now that you can find official videos, they are all being moved so that Vevo is the only place.
John Humphrey: Yeah they are basically shutting it down now.
Shaun Morgan: Vevo is the only legitimate place you can now go watch music videos on unless someone else keeps uploading it to like YouTube. I search for videos all of the time.
Dale Stewart: I still find some, not like bootleg copies but some are there.
Shaun Morgan: Yeah because fans are forced to upload them now after Vevo moved them, such a stupid cycle.

Vevo started through YouTube as well. They were never ready to launch their own website so they just started renaming all of the bands names and adding Vevo at the end.

Shaun Morgan: Yeah then they started to delete them all when they were ready.

Promotion is something that they never thought about.

Shaun Morgan: Yeah it was basically like “who cares if they have thousands of views.”

SeetherCountry Song

Do you think the bonus tracks and DVD that you have bundled with the album will probably be enough to entice fans to go out and purchase it now, even if they already have the album?

John Humphrey: That’s the hope. We had recorded a lot of bonus tracks and some extra things that we had just lying around that we could use for this. I’m hoping for fans who already have the album illegally, then it might be worth them going to pick it up or even those who went the extra mile and bought it legally, if they want all the extras that they don’t have then maybe they will think about another copy.

Was there a lot of time spent working out what kind of edition you wanted to release over here? Did you think that we’ll go for a standard release with a limited edition or just go all out and give fans a single special edition?

Shaun Morgan: UK releases always has bonus stuff really so we just stuck to the one big release. Same with Japanese releases, they have to always have special bonus material. It makes sense at the end of the day because people want as much as they can get for as little as possible. So if we put on twenty five songs and can sell it at the same amount, then it is far more attractive to people then spending £15 for ten tracks.

You put three remixes on to the album, all of which are not simple remixes which stay close to the original, they are heavy mixes with a lot of dubstep influences brought in so what made you chose those three?

Shaun Morgan: Remixes are just for fun man. We just tell people that if you don’t like it, then don’t listen to it. We’re not going to not do something just because some people turn around and say they don’t like it, it’s our record. I have a lot of friends over in the States now who are in that genre of music and it’s starting to crossover now. We’re not going to be a band who crossover into that territory, we’re going to keep writing rock music, but if you’re going to do some remixes then just go all out and have fun with it. Bands have been doing that for years and they will continue to do it for years. I think most people just get pissed off because they know this version and they don’t want it to change: “Why would you do that, why would you mess that up?” Well I don’t think we messed it up, in fact I like those other versions and that’s why they are there.
Dale Stewart: You just need to let them know that their version still exists; we’re not taking it away from you so calm down [laughs].
Shaun Morgan: When you download it for free and it will always be on your hard drive so don’t start at me about how you don’t like the version.

It’s just impossible to try please the hardcore fans.

John Humphrey: It is, I’ve seen some comments from people who say they are hardcore fans of the band and it just makes me laugh. Remix comments can be the funniest though because they do make it out like it was them that wrote the song and we’re just screwing with their work.
Shaun Morgan: The hardcore fans hated ‘Country Song’ when it came out and they hated ‘Fake It’ when it came out. They basically hate everything new when it comes out.
Dale Stewart: But now all the hating for what was different then has turned into positive energy and they are all behind it. When the new material comes out in the future then you know they are just going to hate it again because it doesn’t sound like ‘Country Song’ or ‘Tonight’ or whatever.

When I was watching the DVD, even just the two I Heart Radio videos, you start to realise that what you hear on the album is in a way completely different from what you hear live. Maybe it is production that kills some of the emotion but the rawness of your live show does make everything you do sound so much better.

Shaun Morgan: We’re absolutely a live band over a studio band.
Dale Stewart: That’s why you start a band, to get out there and play shows and its fun. We’re a hard touring band, I think we tour as hard or harder than many bands out there but it’s just what we do and we have to do it in this day in age in order to keep yourself afloat. You can’t sell CDs anymore and radio stations are closing down so you just have to get out and do it, touring is the job now. The studio is fun, it has some really cool elements to it when you see your songs come together but the real fun is getting out there and playing the songs live. Seeing the response right in front of your eyes, in real-time, to your music is really cool.

SeetherWhen you began to write the album, did you intend to write such a diverse album that catered to everyone as you have the heavy track but you also go as far as a more pop driven track?

Shaun Morgan: I think diversity is very important or we would get very bored. I think when we were writing the album we just wanted to have something that covered all of the bases and sometimes you have to write for longer to achieve that or other times it just all falls into place. I think we had to take more time with this album so we could concentrate on making the book ends and then make everything else in between make sense. The track listing is very important to us but then again people don’t buy albums now, they go online and buy single tracks. The artwork and every little aspect is important to us but I guess it is becoming a dying art because we’re about a year or two away from not doing albums anymore. I think we’ll just do singles from now on because there is no point anymore. CDs are almost obsolete and we’re just all living in a wifi generation at the moment. But then again diversity needs to be there in some form to keep people interested and to also keep people guessing.

If you think that you will stop releasing albums in the future, could you see that catching on and becoming the regular release format? Maybe just a three to six track EP on a more regular basis because it is much easier to do?

Shaun Morgan: It is already happening with country music in the States, they are just releasing six-track records. Put out those six songs, go tour on those six songs and then come back in and do another six. The digital age has just taken over everything. We were in Manhattan and we couldn’t find one CD in the whole of the city. Traditionally when an album comes out we will go buy them on the release day but in one of the biggest cities in the world we couldn’t find one CD store.

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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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