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Seether frontman Shaun Morgan discusses new album Isolate and Medicate

Seether: Isolate and Medicate
Seether: Isolate and Medicate
Bicycle Music Company

The powerhouse rock band Seether has turned out their best album to date with Isolate and Medicate set to be released July 1st. This is not an easy accomplishment as each of the five previous studio albums have been masterpieces. What sets Isolate apart is a sense of maturity that is delicately noted as the listener moves from track to track. Sure, there’s no shortage of raw emotion that singer/songwriter Shaun Morgan is notorious for, and he explains to me why this album is different than the others:

CZ: Congratulations on the new album, I got my first run through it last night. Honestly, I have to say it’s your best work yet. It has everything you’d expect from a Seether album: the rawness, the passion, the emotion, but I note a sense of maturity here. What’s different about this than any of the previous releases?

SM: Thank you, I appreciate that. I think we worked really hard on this one and we’re really proud of it. The difference...I think we’re just getting a little older. The last album came out in 2011, I think as the years go by you approach lyrics just a little differently and you approach songwriting a little differently. Maybe I’m just getting older, so maybe my lyrics are changing. I’m no longer just an 18-21 year old kid, I’m now just a pissed off 35 year old. I think that’s a natural part of just getting older.

CZ: Being a fan from Disclaimer on, I can definitely note the difference.

SM: (laughs) It’s funny, you listened from the first album until now, so you basically watched us grow up. And you experienced the different phases we went through in our lives over the course. It’s kind of interesting that you think of it that way, I really haven’t thought of it like that, so it’s an interesting thing to think about.

CZ: Your albums have always been works of art, amazing songs from the first track to the last without giving the listener the urge to skip to the next track. I’ve always found your albums to be a blast to listen to and at the same time very therapeutic, this is no exception. Do you hear that a lot from fans?

SM: That’s amazing, thank you! That’s an incredible thing to say! We’ve helped fans get through some tough times by listening to our music. That can be anything from a break-up ranging from anything that’s sad and serious as a death or some sort of catastrophic loss in their lives. I guess that the songs are written for me to deal with situations that I’ve been through, to digest them and work my way through them and figure them out. The songs are basically for me a therapeutic process of digesting the situation that the song is written about and relieving the pain or the anger of the situation.

CZ: There’s a lot of great songs here: “See You At The Bottom”, “Same Damn Life”, “Words as Weapons” to name a few, but my favorite has to be the power ballad, “Save Today”. It’s simplicity is its strength and gives it power. It appears to be a very personal song. Take me inside this song.

SM: You know, I think that’s my favorite song of the album too. I wrote it sort of in pieces over a couple of days and didn’t consider it to be anything special because it was so simple. But I thought when the vocals came, writing lyrics and putting the little keyboard part that plays over the intro, it’s almost as it took on a special life of its own. I don’t know what it is about that song, but it seems that it touches a lot of people. For example, we played that song live for the first time last night and there were a lot of girls crying. So for me it’s a very, very bizarre thing to happen when it’s a song that you never heard, never heard the lyrics, and I was getting them wrong anyway. There’s something very special about that song. I think subconsciously I’m still dealing with the loss of my brother even though it’s been seven years now. It’s still something that haunts me and I think every once in a while those kinds of songs come out. It’s a song about missing somebody in general.

CZ: That one just stuck out at me. It’s not something that I would expect to see live, that’s something you could play when you have a small group of friends come over the house and pull out the acoustic guitar.

SM: I know what you mean, but in the live setting with all of us playing together it works really well. We didn’t have to work at it, we didn’t have to rehearse it, we just started playing it and it came together. It’s one of those songs that I think everyone has that sort of attachment to, and when you have something like that, you have to play it live.

CZ: “Crash” has to be the most beautiful song Seether has done to date. It’s an emotionally powerful song that totally blew me away. Are there plans to release it as a single?

SM: You know, that’s an interesting question because you know, as a band we were just discussing this last night and we absolutely want that to become a single for many reasons: It different for us, it’s different that what’s being played on a lot of radio stations right now and it’s also a very simple song. That one is very special to me and I knew when I was writing it, there was something really, really good about it. There was something just grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. That song became my favorite when we were working, in fact it’s also Brendan O'Brien’s favorite song on the album. It doesn’t have the traditional structure: verse chorus, verse chorus, bridge chorus type of set-up. It’s just music. I was really thankful that we allowed it to be as organic as it was instead of cutting it up and putting into a tiny, neat little package that’s more digestible. That’s another testament to his producing qualities. He knows when a song needs to be left alone. I’m really happy that it’s on the album because it’s a song that I can proudly play. That’s a song that I would love to be playing 20 years from now.

As we get older, I think that the songs that I’m writing right now I’m becoming more proud of and becoming a little better at it. I think that they’re a result of how I started out. They’re so much more pleasing to me, those are the kinds of songs that I want to be playing 20 years from now.

CZ: In “Words as Weapons”, the quote “All I really want is something beautiful to say, to never fade away, I want to live forever”. I love that! Do you think Seether’s music will live forever?

SM: I certainly hope so. With every album you learn to write stuff that will be around and withstand the test of time. I always wanted to do something great and meaningful. Those lines are the sentiment of the song and sum up my reasoning for being a musician. It’s something that’s different than what’s being played over the radio and even live, it’s something different compared to the songs that we normally play. Of course, that’s an evolution thing. I’m very happy that it’s the first single and I honestly couldn’t think of a better song to represent the album.

Seether is currently touring in Europe and will be debuting Isolate and Medicate next week in New York City on July 1st. They have numerous tour dates planned throughout the country including co-headlining Rockstar Uproar Festival with Godsmack, Buckcherry, Pop Evil and many others. Be sure to check out their website for dates and cities.

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