Hailing from South Africa, rock band Seether has been performing together for over a decade. Since their inception, the group has won number awards and become well known around the world for hits such as “Fake It” and “Remedy.” Composed of John Humphrey, Shaun Morgan, and Dale Stewart, with Bryan Wichmann playing guitar for this tour, the band is currently on tour with Papa Roach throughout the United States.
Prior to the band’s performance at the House of Blues in Boston, Seether’s drummer John Humphrey sat down with Blast Magazine to discuss the band’s journey through ten albums and countless international shows.
Blast Magazine: Originally, the band was called “Saron Gas” but when some of the members were replaced, the name was changed to “Seether” in 2002. What was the reasoning behind that decision and where did the name “Seether” come from?
John Humphrey: While the band was recording what was to become our first album, “Disclaimer,” 9/11 occurred. Things were very sensitive at the time and the label didn’t feel confident in working with a new band called “Saron Gas.” So, the band had to come up with a new name. The name Seether comes from a song by the band “Verulca Salt”. They had a hit in the mid-90’s called “Can’t Fight the (Seether).”
Blast Magazine: Each of your album covers are very different in style and message. How do you come up with the title for each record and how do you choose which picture will be seen on the front?
Humphrey: A lot of the art ideas and imagery come from ideas Shaun [Morgan] has. These ideas are, sometimes, based on over-all vibe of an album. On the recent album Isolate and Medicate, Shaun described some ideas to our guitarist, Bryan Wickmann. Bryan then painted and developed the front cover.
Blast Magazine: Your latest album, Isolate and Medicate, focuses on individual struggles and feels more personal than some of your previous music. Was each song written individually or did you agree on a message for the album prior to its creation?
Humphrey: I can’t really speak to Shaun’s bases for his lyrics but I do know they are sometimes personal and can also be a form of therapy for him. However, I believe the lyrics are open enough to allow the listener to make his or her own interpretation.
Blast Magazine: In 2009, you released a fantastic cover of Wham’s song “Careless Whisper.” Why did you choose to record that song?
Humphrey: We were asked to record a Valentine’s day song for iTunes. As we are not a “lovey dovey” type band, we decided to have fun with an old song. Since all of us are kids of the 80s, the song was one we had grown up with. It wasn’t a song you would really expect to have us cover and we loved that. It was great to take the song and totally change the feel of it. Fortunately for us, the idea worked. We are very proud of how the song turned out. We have also covered our namesake song, “Can’t Fight the (Seether).”
Blast Magazine: What is the craziest thing that a fan has done for you?
Humphrey: Nothing really crazy. Recently, we had a huge crowd of fans gathered around and banging on our bus in Paris. It felt like the Beatles or something. Generally, I’m very impressed, sometimes moved, by our fans. We have been given original art, notes, and letters of inspiration. We have also been around long enough to inspire fans to start their own bands. I am a fan of a lot of rock bands and can really appreciate how they feel.
Blast Magazine: Was there ever a moment where you didn’t believe that music was a viable career option? How did you recover from that doubt and what would be your best piece of advice for an aspiring musician dealing with those same emotions?
Humphrey: There were many time of frustration. But, just like any new band, you have to pay your dues. You have to play a lot of shows, start the buzz and grow your fan base. Hopefully, you’ll get that shot as an opening band and receive some exposure, that way. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence. You also have to write a lot of songs. You have to be honest with yourself as the first song you write may not be a hit. I’ll put it this way, if you are looking for overnight fame and fortune…this may not be the business for you.