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Seether’s Shaun Morgan

by Archives November 6, 2007

Like a phoenix is said to rise from ash, Seether is back with their third studio album Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces leaving darkness behind them.
Seether is Shaun Morgan (lead vocals, guitar), Dale Stewart (bass) and John Humphrey (drums), but it’s Morgan who has taken a bullet and experienced turbulent times in the recent past.
His highly publicized relationship with Evanescence’s Amy Lee deteriorated and was aired out like dirty laundry worldwide with Lee’s incriminating hit single “Call Me When You’re Sober”. Upon the single’s release in September of 2006, Lee repeatedly and publicly disclosed that the song was directly inspired by events that resulted with their ruptured relationship and Morgan in rehab in August of 2006.
In August 2007 Seether canceled tour dates and the release of Finding Beauty was delayed due to Morgan’s brother’s suicide.
But Seether is back with the follow up to their certified gold records and it appears that Shaun Morgan sees a silver lining and is finding beauty in negative spaces.
Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces is an appropriate album title, especially with what has been going on in your personal life.
Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces is ambiguous and an art reference as well. It sums up the entire album and encapsulates the entire writing process of it. It isn’t just named after a song or a random name, there is meaning behind it.

How do you find beauty in negative spaces?

You have to have been to dark places to realize that there are good places
I try to see the positive in everything even though it can be difficult. Life throws you curve balls and you have to figure out whether you’re going to let them get you down or manage to come out the other end and be ok.

What was your time in rehab like?

It was a long process and a lonely one. It was just me and a bad relationship in a city that I hate with no friends around. It was good in one sense because it was miserable. It was a lonely time. But I’m happy with what came out of it.

Was the album conceived while you were in rehab?

While I was there I didn’t feel too creative but I did start writing stuff. When I left rehab I gave it a couple weeks break and started writing again. The first song I remember finished was “Walk Away from the Sun” and it was inspired in part by that experience and the people that forced me to do that.

People tend to kick you when you’re down. Has the public been cruel to you while you were going through rehabilitation and upon your release?

Most people have been supportive other have been dicks. I walked out of a hotel in Toronto and a guy was sitting in his car waiting outside the hotel and started playing “Call Me When You’re Sober” really loud. I don’t know what he was trying to prove, but it was just sad because he doesn’t know me.

How does it feel being the inspiration of Evanescence’s incriminating hit single “Call Me When You’re Sober”. Is there any truth to Amy Lee’s lyrics?

Being slammed by someone you were in a relationship is difficult to deal with. Whether or not there was any truth in what Amy had to say, it certainly wasn’t necessary to tell everyone about it. It wasn’t a truth-truth; it was more like an exaggerated woe is me-truth. Now everywhere I go people are different because I’m supposedly this fragile alcoholic. It’s kind of like being watched all the time.

Will you ever get used to being in the public eye and having your personal life scrutinized?

It is part of the job and it is something I have to grow accustomed to. It’s centered around me and there are three of us. Go bug someone else. There are two other guys in this band that they can dig into. (Laughs) I won’t ever get used to it. It makes me want to be more reclusive, hide out on the bus and not hang out with people that much. I never know what side they’re on, Team Seether or Team Evanescence?

How did you find out that Amy Lee wrote convicting songs about you and Evanescence was releasing them? What was your initial reaction?

When we broke up, the last time Amy spoke to me she said something about some songs on the album being about me and that I mustn’t get offended. When the songs finally came out everyone tried to hide them from me. No one at the label would let me hear them. Even my manager wouldn’t. So I thought, “What’s everyone’s problem?” When the song did come out and I did finally hear it, I was disappointed to be reduced to something like that.

Do you feel the urge to retaliate?

I prefer to avoid situations of conflict. There are many things I could have said about her too. But I never did like to tell people that a song is about them. It’s never an attack on them but more of a process to get it out of my system.

Seether bassist Dale Stewart on Morgan and their new album:

Shaun has been in the spotlight and scrutinized, especially over the last year. Do you sometimes feel as though you’ve dodged the bullet?

As the bass player you fly under the radar a lot. All the focus is usually on the frontman or whoever is baring their soul through the lyrics. That’s the perk of not being the frontman. I kind of get to have a normal life.
But I would take a bullet for Shaun.

Have you felt the heat on you at times?

Sometimes. But I try to avoid it as much as I can. Like when we are home I don’t go out to Hollywood clubs. I’m pretty mellow and I might just go out to a corner bar with a couple of mates. But if I did go out to all the clubs looking to get my picture taken and play that game then I’d pretty much have it coming.

Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces is your third studio album. What makes it different from its predecessors?

We wanted to be a little more experimental. We don’t want to be that band that writes the same album over and over with minor changes. We want to grow and evolve. I think we achieved that on this album.

When you’re writing, do you think about your two previous gold records and try to top them?

There is always the worry that the album may not be as good and it may not do as well. That was definitely at the back of my mind. But when the album started coming together and the songs took shape we got really excited about the album and that worry was gone. But you never know what could happen. This could all end tomorrow or we could release another five albums.

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