Touring, success helped Seether overcome tragedy
wind-up records/warner music photo
Robert Frost once said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.” Nowhere is this truer than in Seether’s case.
It’s business as usual for the alt-metal outfit from South Africa, if only for its members emotional well-being. They began touring their latest — and appropriately titled — opus Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces in Canada Monday. The album’s industrial, grinding hard-rock sound went over with North American crowds, going No. 9 and 10 on U.S. and Canadian charts respectively (Single Fake It held No. 1 for 10 weeks on Billboard) after dropping last October.
But the disc’s success didn’t offset the band’s toughest tragedy. Six weeks prior to its release, Eugene Welgemoed, brother of Seether front man Shaun Morgan and tech for bassist Dale Stewart, jumped to his death from the window of a Rapid City, S.D., hotel during an American tour.
Stewart says day-to-day tasks help to alleviate the still-palpable grief the band feels over the suicide, framed on track Rise Above This.
“Work definitely preoccupies you, and I think that’s a good thing,” he says. “I don’t think if one faces a tragedy like that you should forget about it. It’s important to grieve and deal with it head on. But when one gets to a certain point you have to face forward and carry on with your life, and touring helps. It’s almost therapeutic in a way.”
Not the only problem that tried the trio: Morgan went through a rehab stint last year to address a drinking problem that eventually led to his breakup with Evanescence front woman Amy Lee. The fleeting romance began when the duo performed Seether single Broken. The pair separated over alleged blackmail issues, in the wake of which Lee penned Call Me When You’re Sober, off of Evanescence’s The Open Door.
Stewart maintains his relationship is still good with Lee, despite reports the band was unhappy with her public airing of dirty laundry.
“We’re on good terms,” says Stewart. “My girlfriend is still friends with her. They still talk. I’m not sure if Shaun has spoken to her. But, uh, yeah.”
Brian Towie/Metro Toronto