The Rock Riff Throwbacks!

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I thought sharing some of my favourite rock songs would be a neat idea, up until I started drafting this post…it is so daunting! I know that each rock fan’s list would look very different, but you never know you might find something here that tickles your fancy. That is the biggest payoff for me as a blogger, sharing great music with people who would never have heard it any other way.

Godsmack – “I Stand Alone”

When I was younger I wasn’t into rock music that much, but even I couldn’t deny the power that this song had. The build up to the chorus that hits you like a wave is undeniable. It is a song that defines a generation and what ultimately got me listening to the Godsmack.

Staind – “So Far Away”

This song has a way of creeping under your skin and making you listen. Aaron’s voice is mesmerizing, it grabs your attention and piques your curiosity. The song has an unassuming quality to it which is why I think it took the rock world by storm at the time.

Creed – “My Own Prison”

“My Own Prison” lyrically paints a picture and is incredibly introspective which is quite rare. I hold this song in high regard even though I discovered it when Creed had already disbanded. It has a slow progression, but I find it captivating with enough aggression added in the right places.

Seether – “Remedy”

“Remedy” can be described as gritty, entertaining and features the most head bang-inducing chorus ever! All of us knew a Seether song would feature on this list at some point and I had a lot of trouble deciding which one. If an up and coming rock band were looking for a rock song formula or inspiration, they can’t go wrong with this one.

We As Human – “Strike Back”

I discovered the band when I watched this music video for the first time. They released one of the most impressive debut albums I have ever heard. I need them to release new music as soon as possible! This song has a powerful rhythm, but is still quite heavy in certain sections and I find their style very refreshing.

Apocalyptica – “I’m Not Jesus” ft Corey Taylor

This song is very dark lyrically and the collaboration for this song is just too powerful to ignore. It addresses an important matter in our society and its a great way of getting the message across. The cellos, drums and Corey’s voice is an incredible combination.

Shinedown – “45”

The soft, acoustic intro on this song doesn’t give anything away, until Brent catapults his voice into the chorus with aggressive restraint which ends in reckless abandon. A fantastically crafted rock song that helped the band achieve the success that they have experienced up until this point.

Disturbed – ” Stricken”

I was fascinated by this song when I heard it for the first time. The lyrics, the melody and David’s voice layered on top of that is a winning formula. The song haunted me for weeks after that. I know that it is not their most famous or memorable song, but it struck a chord with me.

Nickelback – “Leader of Men”

Yes, you read that right I added a Nickelback song to the list, because they served as my gateway to rock music. Judge if you must, but this song has so much going for it you can’t deny its brilliance. A slow, steady intro that builds into a crescendo of guitars and Chad’s gritty voice creates a perfect combination for some good old grunge music.

Theory of a Deadman – “Invisible Man”

Tyler just captures your attention from the minute he opens his mouth. I think this band has been compared to so many others in their genre, but I feel with this song they have been able to make their mark. It was actually featured on the first Spiderman’s soundtrack. This song is from the band’s debut album, which says it all.

The more I learn about music, the more I realise how powerful nostalgia can be.

At first I planned to do this type of post as a once-off, but now I realise how many songs have had an influence on me when I was younger.

Feel free to comment with some suggestions!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Best 17 Rock Songs of 2017

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Best Rock Songs of 2017

17: Imminence – Up

Imminence, a Swedish band which took me completely by surprise! The song starts out like any other modern rock song and then escalates, becoming more intense with each verse. The band’s material is diverse and their music often crosses over genre boundaries.


16: Skarlett Riot – Warrior

A high-energy song that is enveloped by powerful female vocals and some truly impressive breakdowns that is enough to get you hooked on to the band’s material. The band incorporates hard rock mixed with a metal edge into their sound which creates a great experience for rock fans. This song stood out to me, because it has so much heart and the drumming creates a solid support base for the song.


15: Avatar – A Statue Of The King

A truly theatrical experience, as we have come to expect from Avatar. A spectacle of metal perfection and phenomenal musicianship. Avatar is releasing their new album “Avatar Country” on the 12th of January 2018 and I’m salivating!


14: I Prevail – Come and Get It

I don’t think the band could have compiled a better video to convey the amount of energy and passion they have for what they do. This live performance video montage conveys the raw energy that I Prevail possess. This song is incredible, because it is heavy but at the same time it has great rhythm to it. Throw me in the pit!!


13: Papa Roach – Born for Greatness

A great arena rocker and a music video to match the energy of the song. Papa Roach delivers a solid crowd-pleaser with this song. An instant way to improve your mood!!


12: Incubus – Nimble Bastard

Incubus deliver an undeniable groove with this song and lighthearted lyrical content. The video plays out like a meme and you can see the band members having a lot of fun with this one. A refreshing departure from the rock music genre’s heavier subject matter.


11: While She Sleeps – Empire of Silence

The only way I can describe this song is by comparing it to a roller coaster, from the use of the strategic silences to the smashing drums combined with the switch between clean and unclean vocals. This song is a feast to any metal head’s¬† ears.


10: Seether – Let You Down

The lyrics are melancholy and the hook tends to reel in the listener slowly but surely. I’m in love with the visuals of this video and it has been expertly crafted to be creepy while still leaving a lot to the imagination. Art house horror is the only way I feel I can describe the video.


9: Escape The Fate – Empire

I made the mistake of reading some comments posted on YouTube below this video, which were very negative. I disagree with all of them. This song has grit, energy and fuels the need to head bang. It is a party song and can get you in the mood for the weekend from the first note. I don’t think fans should take it so seriously, it is not meant to be debated about. It is meant to be enjoyed.


8: Asking Alexandria – Into The Fire

Asking Alexandria released a video for “Into The Fire” that plays out more like a scene straight from Sin City than a music video. I’m definitely not complaining, because I loved every second of it. The highlight of this song, in my opinion, is Danny’s vocals. The song really shows off his vocal range and versatility, not taking anything away from the band’s performance at all.


7: In This Moment – Roots

The lyrics of the song is empowering and I can’t help but feel that this is an incredibly personal song to Maria Brink. A blistering chorus combined with verses that hypnotize the listener. A solid delivery by the band.


6: Fozzy – Judas

A charismatic front man combined with an entertaining video supported by solid bass playing surrounded by flames and Marshall speakers, sounds like a recipe for success to me! This describes Fozzy’s latest music video in a nutshell.


5: Marmozets – Major System Error

The Marmozets are back! A delicious bombardment of guitars, drums topped off with girl power in the form of Becca’s vocals. I can dance and head bang to this song, a rare combination. ūüėÄ


4: Myles Kennedy – Year of the Tiger

I will start by admitting that I’m biased when it comes to Myles Kennedy. He has been working on his solo album since 2009!! It seems like his solo project will finally see the light of day. Year of the Tiger is different to any of Myles’ previous projects, but that was the goal. Myles loves blues and has incorporated that sound into his solo work. His debut album will be released on the 9th of March 2018. This song is refreshing and the lyrical content tells the deeply personal story of the emotions Myles went through as a child when he lost his father. I’m so proud to be a fan.

PS: Myles is launching his solo tour in my home town of Cape Town in 2018! I can hardly contain myself!


3: Nothing More – Go To War

Grammy nominated rock song, just says it all, doesn’t it? The song is relevant to today’s current political climate and the chorus is incredibly powerful. Jonny Hawkins never holds back and you can definitely tell with this song, his vocal range is impressive as well. The band managed to nab 3 Grammy nominations and I couldn’t be prouder.


2: Five Finger Death Punch – Gone Away

All of us are well aware of what Five Finger Death Punch are capable of, but I for one did not expect this. The band released a cover of Offspring’s song “Gone Away” and I’m in love with it. I was not aware that Ivan Moody’s voice was capable of the subtleties of this vocal performance. An immaculate performance by the entire band and an instant classic.


1: Pop Evil – Waking Lions

I’m delighted with the approach that Pop Evil took with this song. The heavier sound compared to their previous album is a pleasant surprise. A soaring chorus framed by heavier verses is refreshing and I have to admit Hayley’s drumming is impeccable. Bottom line….we need more!


Cheers to 2017!!

It has been a great year for rock music!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K
















Thumping Thursdays

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We are on the edge of another weekend, let the music fest commence.

See below…

Bring Me The Horizon – Doomed

Bring Me The Horizon combined with an orchestra, who would have thought? The combination is pure genius and I would definitely love to see the entire concert.


Papa Roach – HELP

The second single from Papa Roach’s unreleased album that has not been named yet. The release date is set for May 2017. Judging by what we have heard so far, it is set to be a cracker.


Beartooth – King of Anything

An introspective song lyrically and a different pace compared to the band’s other songs. I find it fascinating how the song builds up and the listener is not sure what to expect.


Seether – Let You Down

Seether is back!! The video for their latest song is amazing, the videography and direction plays like a very creepy short film. The crescendo of the guitars are thrilling. Definitely worth the watch!


While She Sleeps – Silence Speaks ft Oli Sykes

While She Sleeps is set to release their third full-length album “You Are We” independently. The video for the song “Silence Speaks” is intense and an adrenaline injection for sure. Oli’s presence takes this song to another level.


Have a smashing weekend!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K



Eight Acoustic Rock Songs That Will Blow Your Mind!

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In no particular order, here are some of The Rock Riff’s favourite acoustic performance video. These songs were chosen due to the emotion that it evokes from the performer and the listener as well as the quality of the performances.

1) Rival Sons – Open My Eyes (Acoustic)

2) We As Human – We Fall Apart (Acoustic)

3) We Are Harlot – Dancing on Nails (Acoustic)

4) The Pretty Reckless – House on a Hill (Acoustic)

5) Slash ft Myles Kennedy – Bent To Fly (Acoustic)

6) Alter Bridge – Watch Over You (Acoustic)

7) Three Days Grace – Lost In You

8) Seether – The Gift (Acoustic) – in South Africa

(*The Rock Riff was there!!)

I hope you have enjoyed this short, but entertaining article.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Top 14 Rock Songs of 2014

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2014 Highlights

2014 Highlights

So it’s that time of the year again where The Rock Riff choose the best rock songs of the year. I really like compiling the list of songs, because it is a nice way of reflecting on the year that has been. Last year I had difficulty choosing the last few entries on the list, but this year there was an abundance of choices. It was difficult to choose only 14 songs from the past year.

The list is as follows:

Number 14: Set Me On Fire – Flyleaf

Flyleaf has received some backlash regarding¬†comparisons between the band’s ex-vocalist (Lacey Sturm) and current vocalist, Kristen May. This track proves that Kristen May is a very talented vocalist and I believe essentially the material is still representative of Flyleaf’s sound. Flyleaf’s latest album “Between The Stars” is a solid offering from the band.

Number 13: Painkiller РThree Days Grace

Another band who has had to replace their lead vocalist is Three Days Grace after Adam Gontier’s departure. No one could ever really replace Adam, but Matt Walst is a pretty decent replacement considering the success the band has experienced thus far. I had a difficult choice to make between “Painkiller” and “I Am Machine”. The band is still delivering hard-hitting material and they have not lost their momentum.

Number 12: Let The Night In – Prime Circle

I will probably never forget the moment that I heard this song live for the first time. It had a great impact on me and it was the opening track of the concert. Prime Circle hails from South Africa and has made a solid mark on the rock industry in their home country the past few years. Their latest album has a fresh feel to it and I think this song is the reason for the overall feel of the album.

Number 11: 1000hp – Godsmack

When Godsmack decides to do anything they go full-out. I really love the pace of this song and it really gets the adrenaline pumping! There are certain types of songs only this band can pull off properly and 1000hp is one of them.

Number 10: Would You Still Be There РOf Mice & Men

I was really pleasantly surprised by this song and video. Personally I’m not a fan of screaming, but this song combined both clean vocals by Aaron Pauley and screaming/unclean vocals by Austin Carlisle to a degree that I could really enjoy the song. I think this song proves that a band can be¬†creative while¬†still retaining¬†credibility within the industry and with their fans.

Number 9: Words As Weapons – Seether

Seether seem to be one of the most consistent rock bands in recent history and they did not disappoint with their latest release “Isolate and Medicate”. Words As Weapons is an artistic take on deceit in our daily lives and it is one of those songs you will be humming along to in your head long after you have listened to it.

Number 8: Drown – Theory of a Deadman

Theory of a Deadman has really delivered a solid rock album with the release of “Savages” this year. The album offers a diverse range of songs that really proves that the band is not set in their ways. Production has improved and lyrically the content covers a vast array of topics.

Number 7: Heaven Knows – The Pretty Reckless

With a devil-may-care attitude Taylor Momsen serves up an in-your-face rock song with a chorus to match. Accompanied by a somewhat controversial music video, this band knows how to grab your attention. A stellar performance indeed.

Number 6: Dog on a Leash – Adelitas Way

A hard-hitting, edgy rock song, the first single from the band’s latest album “Stuck”. A visually appealing music video accompanied its release and Rick DeJesus vocals are spot-on as always.

Number 5: Million Miles An Hour – Nickelback

Nickelback has always been masters of storytelling and this song really takes the listener on a trip. ūüėČ The chord progression, guitars and drums combine to deliver a perfectly brewed rock song.

Number 4: Heart of Fire – Black Veil Brides

Believe it or not, but I only started listening or paying attention to this band this year. I was pleasantly surprised by the songs that I heard. The one that stood out to me, though is “Heart of Fire” the song has a really epic feel to it. The melody and chorus take it to another level. “Heart of Fire” would definitely fit in seamlessly on a movie soundtrack.

Number 3: F.E.A.R – Papa Roach

Papa Roach is back! F.E.A.R (Face Everything And Rise) is one of the singles released from their latest album of the same name. The production on this song is great and it delivers a good message in an aggressive manner which creates a unique contrast between the style of the song and it’s subject. The music video plays like a short film and it is fantastic, check it out below.

Number 2: Open My Eyes – Rival Sons

I had to feature this song, because it really took me by surprise this year. A friend mentioned the band on Facebook and I decided to give them a listen. This song was my favourite and it is a rare song to feature¬†in today’s modern music industry. I really enjoyed listening to a different type of rock song. Scott Holiday’s guitar work is impeccable.

NUMBER 1: Avalon – Slash ft Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators

When “Avalon” grabs you it doesn’t let go! From Slash’s latest album “World on Fire”, this is one of Myles’s stand-out performances on the album (and that is saying something). The fast-pace of this song is infectious. This song automatically puts you in a great mood…FACT!

Thank you for sharing the countdown with us and may 2015 be an even better year for rock music.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Seether

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Seether- Shaun Morgan by JaredWingate Source:

Seether- Shaun Morgan
by JaredWingate

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:

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:

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:

Seether by CatCleopatra

Seether by GIVEthemHORNS Source:

Seether by GIVEthemHORNS

An Intimate Evening with Seether @ Kirstenbosch Gardens, Parklife Festival Review

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Last night (22 November 2013) I had the privilege to spend an intimate semi-acoustic evening with Taxi Violence and main act Seether. Everyone had their blankets, picnic baskets and drinks ready for the evening. The gates opened at 18:00 and we took our place on the grass just to the left of the stage with a great view. The weather was great, although as the night wore on it got slightly chilly not that anyone even seemed to notice. The crowd was munching away waiting for the show to start when Jon Savage our MC for the evening took to the stage. He introduced the band(s), sponsors and recited the rules for the evening with hilarious responses from the audience.

Taxi Violence consists of

  • George van der Spuy ‚Äď lead vocals (2004‚Äďpresent)
  • Rian¬†Zietsman ‚Äď lead guitar (2004‚Äďpresent)
  • Louis Nel ‚Äď drums (2004‚Äďpresent)
  • Jason Ling ‚Äď bass (2008‚Äďpresent)

Around about¬†19:30 Taxi Violence took to the stage and I was really impressed by their overall performance. The lead singer’s (George van der Spuy) vocals were fantastic¬†as was the rest of the musicians in the band. The band played a few covers, their much-loved¬†original songs including “Love Sick Rock ‘n Roll”, “Heads or Tails”, “Devil n Pistol”¬†and they ended their set with “Brainmash”. Nearing the end of Taxi Violence’s set a lone¬†head banger¬†expressed his enthusiasm at the front of the stage. Taxi Violence’s performance was energetic, passionate¬†and it set the scene for what was still to come…

After about 30 minutes after Taxi Violence’s set Jon Savage took to the stage to introduce the main act Seether. The excitement in the air was palpable.

Seether consists of:

Shaun Morgan was the first to walk on stage cigarette in his mouth, bottle of water in hand and a devil-may-care¬†attitude. Dale Stewart was the second member to come on stage and John Humphrey came on last. The band expressed their excitement at being back in South Africa and it is the first time the entire¬†band has¬†been back¬†in South Africa. The band opened the show with the moody and intense “Gasoline”, followed by “69 Tea”, “Driven Under” and to the delight of the crowd an old Seether¬†classic “Fine Again”. “Sympathetic” was up next and then the band threw¬†in a Neil Diamond cover “The Needle and the¬†Damage Done”¬†which Shaun Morgan introduced as being one of his favourite songs. The band followed the cover with one of their¬†more¬†mellow¬†songs “Here and Now”. The tender “Pass Slowly” was up next followed by “Breakdown” and the crowd swooned when the band started playing the intro for “Broken” to which they¬†sang along in unison. Shaun introduced “Polly” by Nirvana as the first song that he learned to play on the guitar about 20 years ago. My favourite songs all followed one another. I was eagerly awaiting “Rise Above This” and even tough Shaun slipped up on a note or two ( ūüėÄ ) the performance was flawless. Seether¬†broke into a toned down version of “Fake It” followed by one of my favourite songs “Tonight”. The addictive “Remedy” was played¬†and after that¬†the band said there goodbyes much to the dismay of the fans. After a few chants the band came back on stage to play out with the catchy “Country Song”.

Some members of the crowd was slightly disappointed¬†at the exclusion of¬†“Careless Whisper” on the set list. It didn’t bother me much, because most of the songs that I came to hear was played. I really enjoyed the casual atmosphere of the crowd and the laid-back attitude of the band. The band was in a jovial mood cracking jokes and interacting with the crowd. They even introduced their latest band member who will become an official member of Seether¬†next year, he will take on the role as the band’s lead guitarist. The crowd even threw¬†underwear on stage among¬†other strange things. I really enjoyed the night, the weather was great, the support act was a delightful surprise and Seether was on the top of their game. ¬†The texture and sound of Shaun Morgan’s voice was astounding, for a semi-acoustic show it got pretty loud which I won’t complain about. Shaun Morgan¬†confided in the crowd saying that he always gets extremely nervous when playing to¬†a¬†South African crowd which I found quite endearing.¬†It was an experience I will hold dear for many years to come.

I apologise for the low quality of the photos and if you’re hungry for more/better photos of the event search for #ParklifeSA on Twitter¬†to see some great shots of the night!

You can follow Taxi Violence on Twitter:

Follow Seether on Twitter here:

Follow Shaun Morgan on Twitter here:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K


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Property of The Rock Riff

Property of The Rock Riff

Property of The Rock Riff

Property of The Rock Riff

Property of The Rock Riff

Property of The Rock Riff

Property of The Rock Riff

Property of The Rock Riff

Property of The Rock Riff

Frontman of the Week – Shaun Morgan

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Today I’m proud to feature a talented¬†local musician (fellow South African)from the rock band Seether. Shaun Morgan Welgemoed was born on the 21st of December 1978, he is widely known as the lead singer and lead/rhythm guitarist for Seether. All of his early life was spent in South Africa, his parents divorced¬†when Shaun was still a child. At the tender age of 14 Shaun heard Nirvana’s Nevermind album for the first time, which inspired him to become a musician.He began to play the guitar by first learning to play “Polly” by Nirvana before starting to piece together bands that he could play with. His biological father did not approve of his son playing in bands, so Shaun ran away from home in order to cut a demo while living in friends’ garages and even their cars. Shaun eventually returned home to Pietermaritzburg to live with his mother and stepfather. He started playing in bands again, but quit playing music after three years, because he wasn’t making any progress.

Shaun is one of three children, he has a sister called Lucy and a brother Eugene who passed away in 2007. Shaun attended Maritzburg College (which was renowned for their sports) in Pietermaritzburg where he showed promise as a¬†front-row rugby player for his age group’s top teams in his first 3 years in highschool. In his third year as a rugby player Shaun injured his back and he was forced to give up the sport. Rugby is a hugely popular sport in South Africa.

Prior to forming Saron Gas, Shaun was a member of a tribute band that used to play covers of songs from Metallica and Korn. In May 1999 Shaun became the rhythm guitarist and back-up vocalist of Saron Gas. Four other members excluding Shaun formed the line-up for the band which included a female vocalist, drummer, bassist and a lead guitarist. However the vocalist and the guitarist didn’t attend the band’s first practice, the¬†remaining members¬†decided to form a three-piece with Shaun on lead vocals and guitar. Saron Gas had moderate success up until the point where the bass player decided to quit in January 2000 which forced Shaun to find a replacement. Shaun Morgan phoned the only other good bass player he knew which was Dale Stewart. Later that year Saron Gas released their debut album entitled ‘Fragile’.

In January 2002 the band relocated to the United States where they signed with Wind-Up Records. During this time the original drummer for the band decided to return to South Africa where the two remaining members had to fulfill Wind-Up Record’s request to come up with a different name for their band. The band agreed on Seether¬†named after¬†a song performed by the band Veruca Salt. Due to the fact that Americans had a hard time pronouncing Shaun’s surname ‘Welgemoed’, Shaun decided to use his middle name as his last name¬†while performing, which is more convenient. Seether released their debut major-label album called ‘Disclaimer’ on the 20th of August 2002.

Shaun Morgan has a daughter named Jayde Fourie-Welgemoed with his first wife Jill Hollon with whom he split in 2002. From 2003 to 2005 Shaun Morgan dated Evanescence’s lead singer Amy Lee. The relationship ended bitterly and Amy Lee eventually admitted that their song ‘Call Me When You’re Sober” was written about her relationship with Shaun Morgan. Shaun had a brief stay in rehab in August 2006 for alcoholism. Shaun’s rehab stint began on the same day that the Evanescence track in question was released to the nation’s rock radio stations. Shaun Morgan was not happy (to say the least)¬†about the fact that Amy released intimate details about the couple’s relationship, he claimed that the song followed him around for a year and has haunted him ever since, influencing his reputation in a negative way. Shaun Morgan was not interested in¬†a public response¬†to the song and preferred to avoid any Amy Lee references on their album ‘Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces‘ as he didn’t have the need to write back and be mean. Shaun added that if there was any references in the album it would refer to his most recent ex which he claims was a horrible relationship. “Amy and I, at our worst moments, were still better than this last girl and I at
our best moments.” – Quote source, article by Chris Harris

In September 2006 it was reported that Shaun was engaged and was about to become a father once again. His¬†fianc√© gave birth to a son named Bowie in November 2006. In August 2007 Shaun’s brother Eugene sadly comitted suicide just a few weeks before ‘Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces‘ was set to be released. Eugene’s death was reported by Rapid City Journal, who stated that he had jumped to his death shortly after midnight on Monday 13th August 2007 from an 8th-floor window in Radisson Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota.¬†¬† Shaun has 1308 tattooed on his four right fingers and 2007 on his left four fingers in tribute to the day that Eugene died. Seether’s song ‘Rise Above This’ is a tribute to Eugene, I have always really loved this song and it just means so much more after I learned about the subject matter. This song will never lose its potency and power, a true classic. Another song was written about Eugene on Seether’s latest album ‘Holding on to Strings Better Left to Fray” called “Pass Slowly”. In March of 2011 Shaun became a father for the third time when his daughter Gracelee was born.

In addition to their major-label debut album Disclaimer, Seether has released three more studio albums Karma and Effect (2005), Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007) and Holding On to Strings Better Left to Fray in 2011. In addition to these albums they released a compilation album titled Disclaimer II in 2004 and the live cd/dvd One Cold Night in 2006. In 2009 Seether released the original track titled “No Shelter”, the cover of George Michael’s Careless Whisper which was a huge hit and received a lot of radio airplay in South Africa especially¬†and lastly¬†“I’ve got you under my Skin” a Frank Sinatra cover.

Shaun Morgan is known for his raw, emotionally charged and aggressive voice paired with Seether’s equally powerful teeth clenching rock songs. Seether appeals to quite a wide range of tastes, they have hard rock songs, ballads and rock/pop hybrids in their reportoire of songs which make them all-rounders in the rock genre. Definitely a band that have moulded themselves into a successful rock act.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Shaun Morgan

Shaun Morgan
Photo Credit: Sean Derrick

You can follow Seether on Twitter here:

I came across this gem where Seether performs Nutshell by Alice in Chains with Shinedown,

two great bands performing together is always a treat!


Band of the Month – Evanescence

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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.


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”. ūüôā

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