Band of the Month – Seether

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Seether- Shaun Morgan by JaredWingate Source: http://fav.me/d6m9oej

Seether- Shaun Morgan
by JaredWingate
Source: http://fav.me/d6m9oej

Seether is a post grunge/alternative metal band hailing from my country of birth, South Africa. They were founded in 1999 in Pretoria. Seether consists of Shaun Morgan (lead guitar, vocals), Dale Stewart (bass guitarist) and John Humphrey (drums).

The band got the chance to be a part of Ozzfest and released an EP before unveiling their full-length debut album (“Disclaimer”) in August of  2002. “Disclaimer” featured the single “Fine Again”. A great deal of pre-production took place in South Africa under the supervision of a Wind-Up representative, it continued in New York before the recording sessions took place in Los Angeles. The band began extensive touring in promotion of Disclaimer in July 2002. They performed alongside the likes of Our Lady Peace into the following year.Initially the band emerged with the name Saron Gas (a name taken from the back of a sound effects CD) and they released their debut album called “Fragile” on Musketeer Records. South Africa’s musical tastes are centered around pop, dance and mainstream music. Despite this fact Fragile found impressive chart success, making US-based record label Wind-Up Records sit up and take notice. They signed the South African band mates who changed their name to Seether. Saron Gas was too similar to the lethal nerve agent sarin gas.

A planned follow-up to their first album was delayed by almost a year when Seether was chosen as the support act for Evanescence’s worldwide tour. During this time a romance started to blossom between lead singer of Seether, Shaun Morgan and lead singer of Evanescence, Amy Lee. The tour ensured Seether’s commercial success, but delayed the band’s return to the recording studio. The band reworked their acoustic ballad “Broken” to an electric ballad with guest vocals by Amy Lee. “Broken” along with a new song entitled “Sold Me” featured on the soundtrack of 2004’s movie “The Punisher”.

An alternate version of the original album entitled Disclaimer II was released on the 15th of June 2004, with some songs remixed and reworked, with an extra eight new tracks (in the US).  The major reason for the reworking of Disclaimer was the popularity that the song “Broken” achieved after its release. Seether viewed the album as an opportunity to re-evaluate their debut’s release (whose mix was, according to the band, sub par) and provided fans with material to serve as a holdover until the band’s proper follow-up album.

The band’s follow-up album “Karma and Effect” was released on the 24th of May 2005.  It is certified gold in the US and Canada. Originally titled Catering to Cowards, the name was changed at the record label’s demand. The album debuted at number 8 on the US Billboard 200 album charts. It spawned three singles; “Remedy”, “Truth” and “The Gift”. “Remedy” reached number 1 on the US Mainstream Rock Charts, Seether’s first number 1 hit.

Seether released an acoustic CD/DVD set, “One Cold Night” on the 11th of July 2006. Shaun Morgan had suffered from a stomach ailment and decided to do an acoustic set instead of cancelling the show. The concert was recorded in Grape Street, Philadelphia. The record label wanted to exclude any obscenities from the album and that explains why “Needles” and “Burrito” do not feature on the album.

Lead guitarist Patrick Callahan‘s departure was announced  on the 16th of June 2006, an explanation was not provided. Patrick apparently didn’t enjoy Seether’s new music.

In August of 2006, Shaun Morgan entered a rehab program for alcoholism, which forced the band to cancel their tour with Staind and Three Days Grace.

The day that Evanescence released their single “Call Me When You’re Sober” on radio, it was announced that Shaun Morgan was entering rehab. Amy Lee confirmed that the song was inspired by her ex-boyfriend and that the song had become somewhat of a chick anthem. The track leaked to radio on the 30th of July 2006, causing several radio stations to play it early without it being released as a single.

Shaun didn’t want to “lower” himself to Lee’s level, therefore he didn’t really want to react to the song, but stated that he was upset that she had said “those” things. Upon the release of Seether’s 2007 album release “Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces”, Shaun knew everyone would be looking for an Amy Lee reference on the album. He was desperate not to have one, but did mention that the song “Breakdown” , he considered a lament and not an angry backlash. He further states that the song isn’t about one person, its more universal, vague and respectful.

“Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces” was originally planned for an August release that was delayed until the 23rd of October 2007 due to the suicide of Shaun’s brother Eugene Welgemoed. The album debuted at number 9 in the Billboard 200 album charts and sold 57,000 copies in its first week. The first single off the album “Fake It” reached number 1 of US Mainstream Rock Charts and Modern Rock Charts,  the song held that spot for at least 9 weeks on both charts. “Rise Above This” was written in memory of Shaun’s brother, Eugene. The last single from the album “Breakdown” won Seether their first South African Music Award in the “Best Rock: English” category. The song won them their first MTV Africa Music Award for “Best Alternative Artist”.

A tour in support of the album lasted for most of the year 2008. Troy McLawhorn previously a member of bands such as Dark New Day, Evanescence, Sevendust and doubleDrive was hired as a touring guitarist on the 15th of February 2008. During the tour Seether shared the stage with bands such as Three Days Grace, 3 Doors Down, Skillet, Breaking Benjamin and Red to name a few. After the tour Troy was named as an official member of the band. A cover of Wham!’s “Careless Whisper” was made available for purchase as a digital or mobile download. The music video for the song was released on the 15th of June 2009 and the song is included as an extra track on the reissue of the album “Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces”.

Seether supported Nickelback during March and April of 2009 and it was confirmed by Dale and Shaun that after the Nickelback tour the band would take the rest of the year off from touring to concentrate on recording new content for their upcoming album. Nevertheless the band made their appearances at select shows and festivals.

The band spent several months recording in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Brendan ‘O Brien. Recording was completed in August and the album went into the mixing process. The album was completed in September and “Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray” was released on the 17th of May 2011. Seether reached their highest place on the US Billboard 200 Chart when the album reached the number 2 slot. Billboard named Seether the No. 1 Active and No. 1 Heritage Rock Artist of 2011. Troy McLawhorn left Seether and returned to Evanescence in March 2012.

Seether played the main stage on the Uproar Festival alongside bands, Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Bullet for my Valentine and Escape the Fate. Seether supported 3 Doors Down on their European tour which started in November and lasted till March the following year.

A compilation album titled “Seether 2002-2013” was released on the 23rd of October 2013. It was released as a double-disc album featuring their greatest hits, unreleased demos, soundtrack songs and 3 all-new tracks including a cover of Veruca Salt’s song “Seether” where the band got their name from. Seether carried out a small, semi-acoustic tour of Europe and South Africa. I had the privilege to attend one of these shows and you can read my review of the concert here:

https://therockriff.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/an-intimate-evening-with-seether-kirstenbosch-gardens-parklife-festival-review/

On the 31st of January 2014, Seether posted a video on their YouTube account in which Shaun Morgan stated that the new album is well underway and recording should be completed within a week’s time from the date the video was recorded. In April 2014 the band posted teasers of the album on apps Snapchat and Instagram. Teasers of two of the songs off the new album was posted on YouTube namely; “Words As Weapons” and “My Disaster”. Later on more song clips were teased on the band’s official Instagram account. In late April 2014, it was announced that the new album titled “Isolate and Medicate” was set to be released on the 1st of July 2014. “Words As Weapons” was the first single to be released on the 1st of May 2014. On the 29th of April 2014, the band’s long-time guitar tech, Bryan Wickmann and former Art Director of Schecter Guitar Research was announced as Seether’s new touring guitarist.

Seether has been present in my life, since I can remember. I remember hearing “Fine Again”, mesmerized by the melancholy nature of the song. I really identified with that song at that stage of my life. After having the privilege to see the band perform in November 2013, I was blown away by Shaun Morgan’s vocals. Its like you can hear his whole life story just by listening to his voice. It doesn’t matter how dark the song is, the band delivers the material with a flair which is unmatched. Seether does not like to conform to anyone’s rules, they play by their own. This is a trait which is admirable considering the power that record labels have at their disposal. Seether has proved what determination, ambition, drive and talent can amount to if you make it count.

You can follow the band on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/SeetherOfficial

The band recently released their creative video for their latest single “Words As Weapons”. Watch it below:

While promoting their latest album release “Isolate and Medicate” the band stopped by Loudwire’s studios to perform a few songs. Watch them perform the acoustic version of 2004’s hit “Broken”.

Seether by CatCleopatra Source: http://fav.me/d7or873

Seether by CatCleopatra
Source: http://fav.me/d7or873

Seether by GIVEthemHORNS Source: http://fav.me/d4q0lza

Seether by GIVEthemHORNS
Source: http://fav.me/d4q0lza

Rockstar Art

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I’m a great lover and supporter of the arts. I really wanted to combine two of my favourite hobbies music and art. I have been a Deviantart member for 4 years and I never knew how many talented artists there are in the world. Some of the pieces of art on deviantart literally made my jaw drop, these artists have talent and patience in bucketloads.

Please enjoy this feature and please remember to respect these artists’ works and not to pass them off as your own or distribute these pieces illegally. I don’t own any of these pieces that are featured here.

Enjoy!

Division will unite - Jared Leto by ~Ilojleen

Division will unite – Jared Leto by ~Ilojleen
Source: http://fav.me/d4uvt0g

Jared Leto - Pencil Drawing by =D17rulez

Jared Leto – Pencil Drawingby =D17rulez
Source: http://fav.me/d5ko2dr

Maria Brink Progressionby ~avengedxdeathbat

Maria Brink Progressionby ~avengedxdeathbat
Source: http://fav.me/d5lqzec

Myles Kennedyby ~BlackCherry17

Myles Kennedyby ~BlackCherry17
Source: http://fav.me/d34a9n4

Slash by *CristinaC75

Slash by *CristinaC75
Source: http://fav.me/d2wutd2

James Hetfield by ~BartekLauri

James Hetfield by ~BartekLauri
Source: http://fav.me/d36tdhi

Shannon Leto by ~LochaSnejpa

Shannon Leto by ~LochaSnejpa
Source:http://fav.me/d4ex9em

Passionate singing by ~masterklep

Passionate singing by ~masterklep
Source: http://fav.me/d4oalzg

Disturbed by ~FredrikEriksson1

Disturbed by ~FredrikEriksson1
Source: http://fav.me/d28cbpd

David Draiman by ~ShinyMarine

David Draiman by ~ShinyMarine
Source: http://fav.me/d38p5xf

Nickelback by ~Silver-Strife-Angel

Nickelback by ~Silver-Strife-Angel
Source: http://fav.me/d4ljf8n

Sully Erna - Sinner's Prayer by *Ilojleen

Sully Erna – Sinner’s Prayer by *Ilojleen
Source: http://fav.me/d4xn0mn

Adam Gontier by ~whispers-Dai

Adam Gontier by ~whispers-Dai
Source:http://fav.me/d4lf0ig

Amy Lee by ~Tunaferit

Amy Lee by ~Tunaferit
Source: http://fav.me/d8nwon

All These Lives by ~LittleBitzOfArt

All These Lives by ~LittleBitzOfArt
Source: http://fav.me/d3bhyls

Shinedown by ~Arhtan

Shinedown by ~Arhtan
Source: http://fav.me/d2xtqzy

Shaun Morgan by *steven0560

Shaun Morgan by *steven0560
Source: http://fav.me/d1k0c8l

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Lzzy Hale and Amy Lee duet on the Carnival of Madness tour

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I forgot to post the duet when I featured Halestorm as the band of the month. So for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, ENJOY!

Lzzy Hale and Amy Lee

Lzzy Hale and Amy Lee duet in the rain on the Carnival of Madness tour.
Photo taken by Rob Fenn.

Amy Lee and Lzzy Hale

Amy Lee and Lzzy Hale
Photo taken by Rob Fenn
Source: https://twitter.com/Rob_Fenn/status/240174794333634560/photo/1/large

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Evanescence

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Evanescence

Evanescence– Photo taken from Evanescence’s Facebook Page

My journey with Evanescence started in 2003 when Fallen was released along with their first single “Bring me to Life” which was featured in the movie Daredevil at the time. The music video for the song played on TV numerous times and I was always glued to the screen when it came on. The name on everyone’s lips was ” Evanescence”. I was asked by a student in my High School Class if I liked Evanescence, I reluctantly said “Yes”. I say reluctantly because everyone was listening to them at the time and I always wanted to try to be different or make up my own mind about current trends.

When “My Immortal” came into the picture I was sold. Amy’s vocals on that song is undeniably fantastic. The beauty of the music video added to the emotion of the song. Amy Lee has a stunning voice coupled with her “gothic/fairy” look was enough to make anyone a fan. I later on acquired the actual album “Fallen” and I couldn’t stop listening to it, it was so different from the music I was used to listening.

The album has meant a lot to me personally since it was about the same time that I met my current boyfriend and we started dating. It was at the height of Evanescence’s popularity and at that time their music was being played everywhere. Soon after, I purchased their live DVD Anywhere But Home. I was fascinated by the theme and the different menus on the DVD. I watched all the bonus footage and I watched the DVD enthusiastically. I should spare a mention for Evanescence’s music videos at that time which was very creative and sometimes creepy. I still love the video for “Going Under” and “Everybody’s Fool“. Evanescence entered my life at a crucial time in my teenage years. I needed something or someone to relate to and Evanescence fulfilled that need.

Evanescence-Fallen-Frontal

Cover art for Evanescence’s Debut Album “Fallen”.

Their second album “The Open Door” was released in October 2006. I’m still on the fence about their second album, because every track weren’t as differentiated as the tracks on “Fallen”. Still there are some good songs on their second album, some of my favourites were “All That I’m Living For“, “Good Enough” and “The Only One”. Their second outing was a lot heavier and darker. I’m fond of the album, but personally I prefer their 1st and 3rd album more. I loved the take on Red Riding Hood in the video for “Call Me When You’re Sober” not to mention that guy in the video that played “the wolf”. 🙂

Needless to say I was ecstatic when Amy announced that the band was in the process of writing new material for a new album proposed for release in 2010. I was holding thumbs for Evanescence to reunite, but because of the band’s constant changing lineup I wasn’t sure if it would really happen. It seems that Evanescence has been plagued with uncertainty through the years with lineup changes and their record label facing uncertain times at some point in 2010 which delayed the release of their third album. This is quite a shame, because I believe we would’ve been blessed with more albums if these situations didn’t occur. I was really surprised when I heard “What You Want”. I only heard the chorus and my first impression was that the song sounded more like pop or soft rock. When I later heard the song in its entirety I changed my mind. I was entirely convinced when I heard the whole record that Evanescence was still in fact the Evanescence I knew from 2003. The subject matter being dealt with on their third release is slightly less serious, their sound is “lighter” but they still managed to keep their signature gothic rock sound. Amy Lee’s voice is an octave higher on the whole album than it was on their previous albums. I might be wrong, but to me that is what it sounded like when I was listening to the album. I’m really happy that Amy had the courage and the motivation to release another album after that long hiatus. I hope there will be many more to come!

Evanescence is currently performing at the Carnival of Madness. Evanescence is scheduled to appear on the Carnival of Madness tour with Halestorm, Cavo, New Medicine, and Chevelle. The tour begins on July 31, 2012, at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois, and ends September 2, 2012, at the Buffalo Outer Harbor Site in Buffalo, New York.

Now I will provide you once again with the images of the magnificent Rob Fenn at this years Carnival of Madness. I do not claim to own any of these images.

Copyright by Rob Fenn

Amy Lee from Evanescence at the Carnival of Madness by Rob Fenn Amy Lee from Evanescence at the Carnival of Madness by Rob Fenn

Amy Lee from Evanescence at the Carnival of Madness by Rob FennAmy Lee from Evanescence at the Carnival of Madness by Rob Fenn

Evanescence at the Carnival of Madness by Rob Fenn

Evanescence at the Carnival of Madness by Rob Fenn

I hope you enjoyed reading my post!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K