Shaun Morgan, 2005

 

Written& Photos by: Jason Perlman

 

As most Seether fans would attest, the release of Karma and Effect was way past due and are happy to have a full record of new material. Although you re-released your debut Disclaimer with bonus material, how exciting is it to have an entire record of new material to your with.
It is so exciting. We have been playing the same songs live for almost three years and it's great to have some new stuff to play. We can keep the set exciting both for our fans and ourselves. And to see the response to the new stuff from the fans when the come out has been great. And recording wise, this was by far my favorite one to record. I mean, we did one in South Africa and then Disclaimer, and now Karma and Effect. And it really was for me and the whole band a fun time because there was no pressure on us, at all. Not from the label or us. The producer was real chilled out in the studio, real easy to work with, and we hammered the whole thing out in just less than three weeks. It was really quick and really fun. We did the whole thing in New York City. We would track from like 2pm until 10pm everyday and then go out and get hammered until like 2 or 3 the next morning and get up and do it the next day.

How was it for the band to bond like that again?
Well, we didn't see each other for like a month. We took a month off and the first time we saw each other again was when we met again in New York. So it was a very cool bonding experience for everyone as well.

 

How much did that month away help the band? Being on the road for nearly three years with the same record has to take its toll.
I think we all needed the time. Although we toured a little less than we normally do in 2004, we just came back from a European tour in which we headlined for over three weeks with Hiwatts, which is Kevin Martin's (Formerly of Candlebox) new band. We were out there touring and when we came back, we knew it was time to take a break. As much as we love touring and being on the road, everyone has a limit of how long that time period can last. So we came back, worked on some material, did the drums, and then took the month off. I went back to South Africa for the entire month and got to spend a good piece of time with my family and my daughter. Dale took three or four weeks back in South Africa. It was a good time for everyone to go back and say, "This is cool. This is the part of my life I miss out on." But after four weeks of hanging out with the family, it was good to get back and get into working mode. It was just about the right amount of time. It was just about too long for me, actually. It's so easy to get burnt out, but after about two weeks, I feel the need to get back. I am one of those that say they need a month's vacation, and after a week, I want to get back. But taking that month made me want to come out and work twice as hard.

 

So, how is it being on the road again? You mentioned after almost three years, it was time to take a break. But hopefully the road didn't leave any scars on you.
Well, actually, I was kind of nervous coming back out. You forget what it's like. Your body goes back into the bus and you are in this little environment where you are taken from one town into the next. Days off are few and far between. Places to take a shower are hard to find. But you do have your bunk space. But I was kind of scared coming back out because it had been a while. It was six solid months that we were not on a bus, so I was like, "Whoa, I am a little nervous." But as soon as you spend that first night on the road, you realize what you have been missing for those six months away. So now I miss a little bit of having my own room, my own bed and bathroom and a house to come home to every night. But I love touring and it feels good to be on the road. Right now it feels awesome to be back on the bus.

Almost every band I have talked to on Wind-Up will say how much freedom the band has over what is on the record and not as much as the attitude of give me a single, another single and a third single, then you can have the rest.
Well, this time around it was like that. Of course the label is concerned about singles. But we turned in the songs to the label and they didn't seem to have any problems with what we gave them. The last time with Disclaimer, we were still pretty green and all the say-so was made for us. We really didn't have much and most of those decisions; I felt, were bad ones. Last time around we had a manager from South Africa, she wasn't very good at what she was doing and she was letting them walk all over us. But now that we have and American manager who has been in the business for many, many, many years, we are not allowing ourselves to be dictated to. Which is important, because I think band members are a much better source for which way a band should go than a label. But we are working very well with our label right now, so it's all good.

 

On this record, there are a lot of really good songs, including the first single Remedy. Do you have a favorite song?
Well, I have favorites to play live, which are the heavier ones just because it's more fun for us to jump up and down and get the crowd into the show. But Plastic Man is one of my favorites as far as lyrically and where it came from when I wrote it and what inspired it. And actually, the verse riff for Plastic Man was actually a bridge for another song. I was sitting at home, and I talked to the band and was like, "Dudes, I don't want to waste that riff on a bridge, I want to make that a song. So we wrote a new bridge for the other song, a song called Let Me Go which was recorded for the record but didn't make it. So I used that riff and wrote the song around it. So Plastic Man has this cool, interesting history to it, and it is different because it is acoustic and is the song with, by far, the least amount of guitar. It has two acoustic tracks and a vocal track and that's it. I really like the intimacy of the song.

You just mentioned the song "Let Me Go" not making it on the record. Was it hard to finally narrow the selection down from what was recorded to what actually made Karma and Effect?
There were some tough decisions, man, because we wrote roughly 22 or 23 songs for the album. We then cut that down to 20 songs and then cut that down to 16 songs to record. So we recorded 16 songs and I was hoping we could get all 16 songs on the album. But the label actually only wanted 10 songs, so I got them to compromise with the 13. It just seems that some bands are putting out like these 30-minute albums and charging $25 for them, which is ridiculous. So we have an album that is almost an hour long, and I really wanted it to be worth the money people spent on it. But the other three songs we will keep for something else. I don't know quite yet what they will be used for, but we have them. They were great songs, but we had to cut three off. It was really hard to decide, but those are the ones that didn't make it.

 

And how are the fans reacting to this new material in the live format?
It has been awesome. It is surprising how many of the songs the fans know in a short amount of time. Kids are singing to every single song, and it's so weird. But it's kind of cool, really, because we didn't know what to expect and it is awesome to see that amount of participation from the kids in the audience. The crowds have just been awesome. Obviously, the crowd goes crazy for the songs they already know, the ones on the radio, but we play songs off this album that are not destined to be singles and they singing along to those, so it's been a really great tour so far.