SEETHER Talk Poison The Parish – “I Think The Album Sounds As Loud And As Heavy As I Wanted It To Be”
May 9, 2017, a month ago
Three years since their last release, “post-grungers” Seether are ready to return with their seventh studio album overall, Poison The Parish, which drops on May 12th via Canine Riot/Concord. It turns out that it’s the group’s first-ever to be produced solely by their leader - singer/guitarist Shaun Morgan - and will be supported by a lengthy world tour, which kicks off on April 29th in Fort Myers, Florida. Shaun spoke to BraveWords shortly before the tour’s launch about the new album, producing, and the future.
BraveWords: Let’s start with the new album, Poison The Parish.
Shaun Morgan: “I think it’s a return to what we sounded like on the first couple of albums. Just more riff-driven and more concerned about having the musical side of the band be a little bit heavier and then having it layer on top of that, instead of a couple of albums that have come since then, that we were more concerned with the melody of the music and not so much with the heavy riffs. It was one of those things that once I started to write for this album that is the direction it was going in. I sort of embraced it - it felt good and was the most fun to play when you’re a kid and you stand around and as soon as you play something that has a good groove or a good riff to it, it brings a smile to everybody’s face. I kind of went back to that - to what made me feel good as a kid.
BraveWords: This is the first Seether album that you produced.
Shaun Morgan: “I decided after having worked with a bunch of great producers - that I learned a lot from all of them - it was time for me to maybe step up and see what I had in my arsenal, to see what the result would be. By the end of the process, I realized it was pretty much the right thing to do at this time, because I wanted the album to sound a specific way, and I think that being in charge and at the helm of the whole process, you get to say a lot more about the sound it’s taking, and what the overall sound of the album is going to be something that is far closer to what I’m hearing in my head than what perhaps what a producer wants it to sound like, or what a label wants it to sound like. We had a long run with a label that was not particularly good to us - and kept telling us about the music and artwork. We had massive blow-up fights. And when we moved to Concord three or four years ago, since then, the experience has been vastly different, because they support us and believe in us. They were in my corner when I said, ‘I want to produce this, give me a shot.’ There was not a single person that said, ‘No, we don’t think that’s the right decision.’ I think everyone believed in me. So that helps a lot when you have the belief of an entire record company behind you, and your management, to say, ‘Let’s go ahead and see what happens.’ I think at the end of the day, I work pretty hard on the writing side of the songs, so by the time we went into the studio, there wasn’t really much producing that needed to be done, as much as there was just slightly working the songs here and there, and ultimately, just getting the right sounds. I think the album sounds as loud and as heavy as I wanted it to be.”
BraveWords: Brendan O’Brien previously produced the band. What did you learn from him?
Shaun Morgan: “Brendan is a great guy and a really interesting person. And he’s quite an accomplished musician in his own right. We did two albums with him, and on the first album, we honed in on songwriting, and how to make songs more interesting. Doing small things here and there. When he was at the helm of the albums, we felt confident that whatever went down it wasn’t really your fault, because there was somebody out there with the responsibility. But I learned a lot from him, as far as the process and how one should work and how fast one should work. Just his general approach was always quite interesting to me, and the way he found guitar tones, and guitar tones that he searched for, and combinations of guitars and amps. But the songwriting aspect, I hopefully have a grasp on now, and that’s only because he instilled the confidence in me, as well. I felt that having that experience where he said, ‘Everything is cool, let’s just record it,’ I thought that it was time for me to do it myself and go ahead and see what comes out.”
BraveWords: What do you recall about the filming of the new video, “Let You Down”?
Shaun Morgan: “We just tried to make something that was fun and dark - like a horror movie. And just have fun with the whole concept of making people uncomfortable on the screen. But also, it was a throwback to what we did on the Karma and Effect album, where the ‘Remedy’ video and the ‘Truth’ video were darker and a little bit more on the creepier side of the spectrum. It’s unnerving and disconcerting, but ultimately, entertaining.”
BraveWords: Are you looking forward to the upcoming tour?
Shaun Morgan: “We’re booked pretty much until the end of the year at this point. We’ve got two legs of a US tour before we go to Europe, and I think we start Europe in September and October, and then we come back. We’re just going to be playing as many shows as we can every week and we added a new guitarist for this run [Sevendust’s Clint Lowery], and he brings a lot to the table as far as playing and singing. And just as a person, he’s a great guy. I’m really excited to add that aspect to the show. Everyone feels good and we’re in a good space mentally - I think we’re good to go.”
(Photos by: Marina Chavez)