Reverb Interview: Shaun Morgan of Seether

“Isolate and Medicate,” Seether’s sixth studio album, sees the multi-platinum rock band delivering a passionate and commanding record with tunes that are already living up to past Seether chart-toppers such as “Fake It,” “Remedy,” “Rise Above This” and “Fine Again.”

Ask Seether frontman and guitarist Shaun Morgan the secret to a writing hit rock song, and he’ll say he doesn’t have a clear-cut answer.

“I don’t know if I know what that is, to be honest,” Morgan told Reverb.com. “I’m just really grateful that we keep managing to somehow write songs people enjoy.

“I write songs I like to play and I like to hear and often to fill a void in a musical landscape that I find to be glaring. It’s fun to be a band that gets to write songs that are different than what’s on the radio right now. We try to stand out. We don’t want to sound like anybody else. That’s why I try not to listen to other rock bands or any other bands in our genre, because I want as much of what comes onto an album to come from our own inspiration and our own lives.”

Seether are taking that catalog of hits on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival this August alongside Skillet, Buckcherry, Godsmack and more. The tour kicks off Aug. 15 in Clarkston, Mich., and runs through a Sept. 21 show in Tucson, Ariz.

At Uproar, Morgan will play his Schecter Shaun Morgan Signature Guitar and run it through his Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier. Just before the Uproar kickoff, Reverb.com spoke with Morgan about the upcoming trek, his love for Nirvana and the guitars he used on “Isolate and Medicate.”

Reverb.com: You’ve often said that Nirvana is the band that made you want to pick up the guitar.

Shaun Morgan: Yeah, Nirvana inspired me to pick up the guitar because of the emotional connection I made with it immediately. It’s always the major inspiring factor to pick up the guitar.

R: You’ve had your signature Schecter guitar for a while now. Tell me about the design.

SM: About three years ago, I got a Schecter signature model and basically tried to keep it real simple. I just have a bridge pickup and a killswitch at the bottom, and I have my own custom wound pickup that’s pretty hot and gives me a lot of feedback when I want feedback and great distortion, because it’s such a powerful pickup. I play it through a Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier. It gives me the distortion I need, but also, when I play clean, it has a good sound. I certainly think that when it comes to playing these guitars through my rig with distortion, it’s one of my favorite live sounds. We played it like this on our last two albums, as well. I love the guitar. It plays well and is durable, so it can handle the abuse on the road. I haven’t had any problems with it so far, and I’m happy with it.

Schecter Shaun Morgan Signature Guitar

Schecter Shaun Morgan Signature Guitar

R: What mix of guitars did you use to record “Isolate and Medicate?”

SM: For the distorted stuff, we used my signature with my Mesa/Boogie Triple Rectifier. For the clean stuff, we used a Gibson Les Paul through a Marshall and some vintage Gibsons and models like that, too. I think those guitars sound good when they’re used for clean parts. We kept it pretty simple. That setup covered about 95 percent of the album.

R: Seether are on the main stage of Uproar this year. You guys have played the festival before.

SM: Yeah, we did it in 2011. It was Three Days Grace and Avenged Sevenfold, and it was a fun time. I’m looking forward to it this year. It’s a slightly better spot than we had last time, and I’m a fan of a lot of the bands on there. I think it’s a good collection of bands and a good ticket, so I’m really looking forward to playing these shows. We get to play new stuff now that the album is out, which is fun for us, because we’ve been playing the other songs for many, many years.

R: What guitars will you have with you on Uproar?

SM: I’ll be playing my signature live. I have a whole bunch of them in different colors. They’re easy to play and they’re straightforward rock guitars that aren’t too complicated. I’m more percussive when I play guitar, so I like my guitars to have great playability and sound. All the other guitars I own, I keep in storage, because those are just guitars for me to have and enjoy playing at home. I really like the way the live rig it working now, so I don’t want to complicate anything.

R: What about your full onstage setup?

SM: I use the Mesa Triple Rectifier and have a couple of heads, and I run the guitar through a couple of pedals, but the distortion I use is mainly the distortion running through the head of the cabs. I have a Zakk Wylde Wah pedal, an H2O Chorus pedal, a Boss Digital Delay, a noise gate and that’s about it for now. I might put in a flanger pedal for this tour, but I haven’t decided yet what the final pedal configuration will be for the tour.

R: What’s next for Seether?

SM: As far as I know, after Uproar, we’ll take a quick jaunt to Canada and do seven or eight shows in Canada, and then we’ll go over to Europe. I don’t know what next year will bring. We might do a USO trip to Kuwait in November, depending on logistics. We like to do that for the armed forces, to entertain them. We’re hoping to pull that off. So, it’s pretty much Uproar, a little break and then the European tour.

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Photo by MARINA CHAVEZ


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