Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Early days, Fragile, Disclaimer (2000–2002)Edit
Saron Gas was started in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the earliest days of the group saw their public appearances at parties, nightclubs, large-scale concerts, and university venues, such as the University of Cape Town and the University of Stellenbosch, where they played for the lunch-time crowds in the Neelsie centre on the latter campus as late as the summer of 2001.
As Saron Gas, the band released its first album, Fragile, on Musketeer Records, in 2000 in South Africa. Upon the band's achieving success on the South African Singles Chart, Wind-up Records took an interest in Saron Gas's melodic-yet-heavy sound and signed them to the label. The band changed their name to avoid confusion with the sarin gas, a lethal nerve gas manufactured (but never used) in World War II by the German Army Weapons Office. The band's name became Seether shortly afterward.
Success and Disclaimer II (2002–2004)Edit
After Disclaimer was released, the band went on a non-stop touring route in hopes of boosting sales and name recognition. Upon completing the tour, the band had planned to go into the studio and record their second release. However, they were instead tapped to supportEvanescence on a worldwide tour that postponed their recording plans by almost a year. On this tour, the band reworked the acoustic ballad "Broken" into an electric ballad and had Amy Lee of Evanescence share vocal duties with Morgan during live performances. Inspired by the positive reaction the duet got on the road and perhaps fueled by a budding romance between Lee and Morgan, the band headed into the studio and quickly recorded an alternate version of "Broken" with Amy Lee on vocals. The song, along with a new song titled "Sold Me", was featured on the soundtrack for the 2004 film The Punisher and was massively successful, bringing the band fame in the US, the UK and Australia in particular. Morgan has stated that the hit song relates to an incident where the band was subjected to what the record company wanted rather than what the band wanted. Disclaimer II, an alternate version of the original album with many of the songs remixed or rerecorded as well as eight extra tracks, was released in late 2004.
Karma and Effect, One Cold Night (2005–2006)Edit
In 2005, the band released their follow-up album Karma and Effect. The original title for the album was Catering to Cowards, but the band's record label instructed them to change the name. "Karma and Effect" debuted at number 8 of the US Billboard 200 album charts and was certified gold in the US and Canada. The album spawned three singles, "Remedy", "Truth" and "The Gift". "Remedy" reached number 1 of the US Mainstream Rock Charts, becoming the band's first number one single.
Seether released an acoustic CD/DVD set titled One Cold Night, recorded on 22 February 2006, at Grape Street in Philadelphia. Morgan, who had been suffering from a stomach ailment, decided to do an acoustic performance of their set-list rather than cancel the show. Shaun has stated that the label chose to make the album without obscenities, which is the reason why "Needles" and "Burrito" are not on the album.'
Guitarist departure, rehab (2006)Edit
On 16 June 2006, it was announced via Seether's official site that lead guitarist Pat Callahan had chosen to leave the band. The exact reason for Callahan's departure is unknown, but regarding his feelings over the situation, Shaun Morgan commented:
- "Um… relieved a little… actually a lot. He was the guy in the band that was always our naysayer, and he was the negative energy as far as writing. I personally have no love lost, which is weird for some reason 'cause he was my friend for four years. But when he walked out, it kinda walked out with him."
Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007–2009)Edit
Front man Shaun Morgan claimed prior to the new album's debut that it would be more "diverse" than previous efforts. Originally aimed at an August release, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces was delayed due to the suicide of Morgan's brother, Eugene Welgemoed. Produced byHoward Benson, the album finally hit the shelves on 23 October 2007. The album debuted at number 9 in the Billboard 200 album charts, selling 57,000 copies in the first week. The album's cover artwork featured "Candice the Ghost", and was illustrated by David Ho.
The first single, "Fake It", reached the top position in the US Mainstream Rock Charts and Modern Rock Charts, remaining on top for at least 9 weeks on both charts. It was also the theme for WWE's No Way Out 2008. After the success of "Fake It," a second single, "Rise Above This", was released and has reached the #1 spot on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and the top 2 with its mainstream counterpart. The final single from the album was "Breakdown", the video of which was released on 12 November 2008 after a delay from its original 23 October scheduled release date.
Seether launched a tour in support of the album in early 2008 which was to last much of the year, employing Troy McLawhorn of Dark New Day as a touring guitarist on 15 February 2008. McLawhorn previously did a stint as Evanescence's replacement guitarist during the last leg of The Open Door tour. The tour saw the band share the stage with several bands for several different legs, including Three Days Grace,Finger Eleven, Breaking Benjamin, 3 Doors Down, Skillet, Red, Papa Roach, Flyleaf, Econoline Crush, and Staind. After the success of the tour, McLawhorn was made an official member of the band.
Seether claimed their first South African Music Award in the category "Best Rock: English" for Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, as well as their first MTV Africa Music Award for "Best Alternative Artist".
In early 2009, a new song titled "No Shelter" was featured on the NCIS Official TV Soundtrack, released on 10 February. Also, a cover ofWham!'s "Careless Whisper" was made available for purchase as a digital or mobile download. The song was reportedly covered as a joke. Wind-up approached Seether to do a song for Valentine's Day, so, as a joke, they turned a "Cheesy 80s pop ballad"into a Hard Rock/Metal song. "Careless Whisper" has gotten Seether lots of publicity. The music video for "Careless Whisper" premiered on 15 June 2009, and the song can be found as an additional track on the reissue of Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces.
From March until April 2009, Seether supported Nickelback on their 2009 Dark Horse tour. Shaun and Dale confirmed in an interview on 2 March 2009 that, after the Nickelback tour, Seether would take the rest of year off to write and record the follow-up to Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. Despite the announced break, the band played a series of "one-off" shows during the remainder of 2009, including a gig in Japan to play for American troops as part of a USO tour on 23 May and 24 May 2009 in Okinawa at Camp Schwab, and then in MCAS Iwakuni on 26 May 2009 for the US Marines. Seether also made appearances at a number of festivals during the summer of 2009, including sets at the Chippewa Valley Music Festival and the Quebec City Festival, before concluding their tour at The Big E Festival, Springfield, MA, on 4 October 2009.
Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray (2010-present)Edit
After several months recording music for the upcoming album in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Brendan O'Brien, Seether began touring again in April 2010, with the intention of going back into the studio "in the first week of June" in order to complete the new record. In August 2010, drummer John Humphrey confirmed that Seether had finished recording the new album, and was in the mixing process. He went on to say that the album would most likely be released in January 2011. Humphrey also mentioned that the band felt that this album is their best work and concluded that the songs are "very strong, melodic, and heavy at times." In an interview with Johnny Dare in September 2010, Shaun Morgan confirmed that the new album had been finished and was awaiting release by Wind-up Records. However, Morgan also reiterated that the new album then may not have been set to release until early 2011.
On 4 September 2010, during a live show at the DuQuoin, IL State Fair, Seether debuted a new song titled "No Resolution". This song appeared on the Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray album.
During a recent interview (dated 3 Jan 2011) with Planet 1051 radio in Louisiana, guitarist Troy McLawhorn and drummer John Humphrey confirmed that the band would be releasing a new album titled Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray in May. The first single from the album, titled “Country Song” was released on 8 March in the US and on 4 April in the United Kingdom, while the new album was released on 17 May 2011.
On 8 March, Seether announced via Twitter that guitarist Troy McLawhorn had decided to leave the band to pursue other interests in which he returned to be a rhythm guitarist of Evanescence.
On 10 May 2011 Seether performed live in Cincinnati, Ohio. On 11 May 2011 Seether performed live in South Bend, Indiana. Both concerts were recorded and released as a limited edition CD set for each individual city.
On 25 May 2011 it was announced that Seether had reached their highest position on the US Billboard 200 Charts where "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray" rose to the Number 2 position. It was also able to gain number one on the US Rock Albums, US Alternative Albums and US Hard Rock Album Charts. This was their best sales week of 61,000 records sold since Karma and Effect bowed out at number 8 with 82,000 record sales in 2005.
From 19 November to 15 March Seether will support 3 Doors Down on their European tour.
Seether has been named #1 Active and Heritage Rock Artist for 2011 by Billboard.