The reason why Shaun Morgan and Amy Lee seem like the last two people on Earth in the new video for "Broken" was left out of the treatment by director Nigel Dick, but Seether's singer has an idea.
"Just look around," Morgan said. "The whole world is stepping on very thin eggshells. Everyone is pissed off at each other, and everyone is waiting for the other to explode so it can all end in one fell swoop. It might also be a comment on the war and the fact that it could turn out to be really devastating. So far this war hasn't been anywhere near as devastating as some of the others that have been fought, and I think none of us agree with it."
The clip takes "Broken"'s theme of emotional isolation in the wake of a breakup and applies it globally. Shot early last month, the video finds Morgan and Evanescence's Lee, his real-life girlfriend, wandering through what appears to be a burnt-out encampment looking for signs of life. Although it seems like Dick (Britney Spears, John Mayer) raided the prop closet of the "Mad Max" movies, Morgan said the site — an abandoned crystal meth lab in Lancaster, California, that had exploded ... twice — is shown exactly how they found it.
"We just walked into a wasteland," he explained. "It had a lot of history. We felt a little bad being there, because there were some kids' toys lying around; there had definitely been a family there. It looked like the place had been deserted pretty quickly. There were still playing cards on the table in one trailer. It looked like something had happened while people were still in it. We don't know if someone died, or how many people died. All of us had a bad energy from the place, but it was good to be there because it kind of goes with the song in some sense."
"Broken" originally appeared on Seether's 2002 debut, Disclaimer, and it was rerecorded as a duet with Lee earlier this year for inclusion on the soundtrack to "The Punisher." Morgan and Lee have also worked on a smattering of new songs, potentially for Evanescence's next album, though Morgan said it's too early to tell if their rough ideas will eventually materialize. He also said not to expect any more collaborations.
"I don't think it's a good idea because it definitely puts a lot of strain on our relationship," Morgan said. "It's not something I'll do again because there are a lot of political things that go with working with someone. It goes beyond just creating something cool. It can be become a nightmare if you let it.
"It's definitely tempting fate," he added. "All I can say is that I won't do it again."
That should make the upcoming reissue of Disclaimer something of a collector's item for fans, since, other than "The Punisher" soundtrack, it will be the only other place the collaboration is found. Seether will embark on a European tour in May with Evanescence to support the re-release, during which time Morgan and Lee will have a chance to spend plenty of time together, onstage and off.
Still, you get the sense that a part of Morgan would rather be someplace else.
"We desperately want to get a new album out because in August it will be have been two years," he said. "Some songs on Disclaimer I wrote eight or nine years ago, so I really want to get some new stuff out because I've been playing those songs for years. And having grown as a human being and a musician, our new stuff sounds a lot better.
"Having Amy on the song brought us a lot of new fans," he conceded, "but we also have a lot of old fans that we can't abandon."