When he was growing up in South Africa, Seether frontman Shaun Morgan was a huge fan of grunge and alternative hard rock, but he didn't get to see many of his favorite bands in concert, since few ever came to his homeland. That's why Morgan is especially stoked that Seether are opening up for Audioslave on their current U.S. tour, which launched Saturday in Bakersfield, California, and runs through November 19 in Las Vegas.
"I spent so much of my childhood wishing I could see bands I was into, so now to be actually touring with parts of Rage [Against the Machine] and parts of Soundgarden is really amazing," he said. "Plus, now Audioslave are actually doing some Soundgarden and Rage songs, so at least, in some way, I'm finally going to be able to see those bands, too."
Sometimes it's a letdown for a band to open for its heroes. Even if the group thoroughly enjoys watching the show, it can be a huge disappointment if the crowd is either apathetic or absent during the opener's set. Of course, that's not likely to be a problem for Seether, whose single "Remedy" has become a mainstay at radio. As much as Morgan insisted the song be the album's first single, he never expected it to become a hit.
"In the past, we'd released a bunch of ballads as singles," he said. "So this time we wanted to be represented with something heavier, but we were really, really surprised that a song like 'Remedy' would actually be accepted by people."
"Remedy" was the easiest song Morgan wrote for Seether's second studio album, Karma and Effect. The main riff for the tune came from an old jam tape, and after he dusted it off and stuck it in a tape recorder, the song pretty much created itself. "I wrote it in a couple minutes and took it to the band," he said. "Then I slapped down some lyrics and that's it. It was done."
"Truth," the follow-up single, was far harder to write. The track, which is just being added to radio stations across the country, wasn't even slated for the record at first since no one was really into it. But once Seether had written 20 songs, they decided to return to "Truth." Every day after they recorded drum tracks for the rest of the record, they spent one or two hours on the song, and gradually their dedication paid off.
"If it didn't make the album we wouldn't have minded much," Morgan said. "But I'm glad we were able to make it work. We added the descending riff after the main part was done and then we finished the song in the studio. The whole thing is composed of bits and pieces that might not have made it on the record, but it came together so well, we decided to make it a single."
Last month, Seether shot a bizarre video for the song with Dean Karr, who also did the clip for "Remedy" and has previously worked with Marilyn Manson and Godsmack, among others. The clip was set in an abandoned chemical factory and inspired by the film "Fight Club." Only, instead of humans slugging it out, the grapplers in the video are childhood icons such as the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Uncle Sam and a jack-o'-lantern.
"When Dean showed us the treatment I thought, 'I've never seen anything like this before, and I've never heard of anything like this before,' " Morgan said. "So, we figured it would be a good thing for us to do."
You might even recognize some of the fighters' moves. That's because one is played by the Rock's cousin, who also happens to be his stunt double, and another is Tito Ortiz, former star of the "Ultimate Fighting Championship." The clip also features Boni Yanagisawa, the American female karate champion and onetime Demi Moore double, as well as bodybuilder Iris Kyle.
"I used to be a huge fan of professional fighting," Morgan said. "I thought the Ultimate Warrior was the coolest cat around. I kind of lost track of it after a while, though, because it's the kind of thing you have to invest a lot of time in and I don't have that kind of time anymore. But right now, if at any given time 'Ultimate Fighting' is on any channel, we'll definitely turn it on so we can see a couple guys beat the crap out of each other."