Seether is a South-African rock band from Johannesburg, formed in 1999. The band is currently signed to Wind-up Records. Originally named Saron Gas and signed to Musketeer Records in South Africa, they changed their name in 2002, coinciding with the release of their second album and major label debut, Disclaimer. To date they have sold 5 million albums worldwide.
Early days, Fragile, Disclaimer (1999?2002)
Saron Gas was started in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the earliest days of the group saw their public appearances at parties, nightclubs, large-scale concerts, and university venues, such as the University of Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch, where they played for the lunch-time crowds in the Neelsie centre on the latter campus as late as the summer of 2001.
As Saron Gas, the band released its first album, Fragile, on Musketeer Records, in 2000 in South Africa. Upon the band's achieving success on the South African Singles Chart, Wind-up Records took an interest in Saron Gas's melodic-yet-heavy sound and signed them to the label. The band was asked to change their name, Saron Gas being a homophone of sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent discovered (but never used in war) by Nazi Germany during World War II. The band changed its name to Seether in honor of Veruca Salt's song "Seether".
Success and Disclaimer II (2002?2004)
After Disclaimer was released, the band went on a non-stop touring route in hopes of boosting sales and name recognition. Upon completing the tour, the band had planned to go into the studio and record their second release. However, they were instead tapped to support Evanescence on a worldwide tour that postponed their recording plans by almost a year. On this tour, the band reworked the acoustic ballad "Broken" into an electric ballad and had Amy Lee of Evanescence share vocal duties with Morgan during live performances. Inspired by the positive reaction the duet got on the road and perhaps fueled by a budding romance between Lee and Morgan, the band headed into the studio and quickly recorded an alternate version of "Broken" with Amy Lee on vocals. The song, along with a new song titled "Sold Me", was featured on the soundtrack for the 2004 film The Punisher and was massively successful, bringing the band fame in the US, the UK and Australia in particular. Morgan has stated that the hit song relates an incident where the band was subjected to what the record company wanted rather than what the band wanted. Disclaimer II, an alternate version of the original album with many of the songs remixed or re-recorded as well as eight extra tracks, was released in late 2004.
Karma and Effect, One Cold Night (2005?2006)
In 2005, the band released their follow-up album Karma and Effect. The original title for the album was Catering to Cowards, but the band's record label instructed them to change the name. "Karma and Effect" debuted at number 8 of 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 of the US Mainstream Rock Charts, becoming the band's first number 1 single.
Seether released an acoustic CD/DVD set titled One Cold Night, recorded on at Grape Street in Philadelphia. Morgan, who had been suffering from a stomach ailment, decided to do an acoustic performance of their set-list rather than cancel the show. Shaun has stated that the label chose to make the album without obscenties, which is the reason why "Needles" and "Burrito" are not on the album.
Guitarist departure, rehab (2006)
On June 16, 2006, it was announced via Seether's official site that lead guitarist Pat Callahan had chosen to leave the band. The exact reason for Callahan's departure is unknown, but regarding his feelings over the situation, 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 went into rehab for alcoholism in August 2006, forcing the band to cancel their tour with Staind and Three Days Grace.
Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007?2009)
Frontman Shaun Morgan claimed prior to the new album's debut that it would be more "diverse" than previous efforts. Originally aimed at an August release, "Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces" was delayed due to the suicide of Morgan's brother, Eugene Welgemoed. Produced by Howard Benson, the album finally hit the shelves on , 2007. The album debuted at number 9 in the Billboard 200 album charts, selling 57,000 copies in the first week. The album's cover artwork featured "Candice the Ghost", and was illustrated by David Ho.
The first single, "Fake It", reached the top position in the US Mainstream Rock Charts and Modern Rock Charts, remaining on top for at least 9 weeks on both charts. It was also the theme for WWE's No Way Out 2008. After the success of "Fake It," a second single, "Rise Above This", was released and has reached the #1 spot on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and the top 2 with its mainstream counterpart. The final single from the album was "Breakdown", the video of which was released on November 12 2008 after a delay from its original October 23 scheduled release date.
Seether launched a tour in support of the album in early 2008 which was to last much of the year, employing Troy McLawhorn of Dark New Day as a touring guitarist on February 15 2008. McLawhorn previously did a stint as Evanescence's replacement guitarist during the last leg of The Open Door tour. The tour saw the band share the stage with several bands for several different legs, including Three Days Grace, Finger Eleven, Breaking Benjamin, 3 Doors Down, Skillet, Red, Papa Roach, Flyleaf, Econoline Crush, and Staind. After the success of the tour, McLawhorn was made an official member of the band.
Seether claimed their first South African Music Award in the category "Best Rock: English" for Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, as well as their first MTV Africa Music Award for "Best Alternative Artist".
In early 2009, a new song titled "No Shelter" was featured on the NCIS Official TV Soundtrack, released on . Also, a cover of Wham!'s "Careless Whisper" was made available for purchase as a digital or mobile download. The music video for "Careless Whisper" premiered on June 15, 2009, and the song can be found as an additional track on the reissue of "Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces".
New Studio Album (2009? )
From March until April 2009, Seether supported Nickelback on their 2009 Dark Horse tour. Shaun and Dale confirmed in an interview on , 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", which is expected for release in early 2010. Despite this statement, the band did play a series of "one-off" shows during the remainder of 2009, including a gig in Japan to play for American troops as part of a USO tour on and , 2009 in Okinawa at Camp Schwab, and then in MCAS Iwakuni on May 26, 2009 for the US Marines. As well as this, Seether made appearances at a number of festivals during the summer of 2009, including sets at the Chippewa Valley Music Festival and the Quebec City Festival, before concluding their tour at The Big E Festival, Springfield, in October 2009. It is assumed that Seether would now continue their work on the new album, which will be the first that new guitarist Troy McLawhorn appears on.
Main article: List of Seether band members
Shaun Morgan ? lead vocals, rhythm & lead guitars (1999?present)
Dale Stewart ? bass, backing vocals (2000?present)
John Humphrey ? drums, percussion (2004?present)
Troy McLawhorn ? lead guitars (2008?present)
Johan Greyling ? lead guitars (1999 ? in Saron Gas)
Tyronne Morris ? bass (1999?2000 ? in Saron Gas)
David Cohoe ? drums, percussion, backing vocals (1999?2002 ? in Saron Gas)
Nick Oshiro ? drums, percussion (2002?2003)
Pat Callahan ? lead guitars (2002?2006)
Nic Argyros ? drums, percussion (2002)
John Johnston ? drums, percussion (2002)
Erik Eldenius ? drums, percussion (2002)
Nick Annis ? lead guitars (2002)
Josh Freese ? drums, percussion (Disclaimer sessions)
Kevin Soffera ? drums, percussion (Disclaimer II sessions)