Seether on their forthcoming album, honesty in lyrics and how they’re opening a very important conversation

South African rockers Seether are back and better than ever. Their new album, Poison The Parish is head-banging hard rock with the potential to become a staple in any collector’s arsenal.

As is the case with many of Seether’s releases, there’s always the idea that there’s a play on words and a deeper meaning to the music they elicit. Drummer John Humphrey laughs at the suggestion there might be some hidden meaning in the album’s title. “I’m not too sure to be honest, Shaun [Morgan, frontman] had some other ideas but he asked, off the cuff, ‘What do you think of this?’
“I love how a song makes you feel, “he continues. “I’m the worst at lyrics, always have been. I’m always singing the wrong lyrics to some of my favourite songs. I’m a melody rocker guy”
Single Let You Down couples a freaky video with a beautiful chorus line, a clash made in heaven. “That’s the beautiful thing about Seether,” says Humphrey. “You can have this edge, this heaviness, but it needs to have melody too because Shaun, he’s truly a singer, and he wants to sing – he’s screams too, he’s a great screamer too but it’s really about the music and the passion that he puts in to it and that coming across.
“I know we wanted to reclaim our rock,” Humphrey says. “We really wanted to bring edge back to the band and things that are reminiscent of Karma And Effect [2005].”
The release of Poison The Parish coincides with Rise Above Fest, the annual suicide prevention festival created by Seether. In 2007, Morgan’s brother Eugene committed suicide, just a few weeks before Seether's third studio release Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces. Suicide prevention is evidently a very close topic to Seether, but it’s also one that affects many, many fans across the world.
Australia has nowhere near as much awareness on the subject as the United States and would certainly benefit from its own event of this ilk – when offered that suggestion, Humphrey, after a very pregnant pause, says, “Wwe’re very proud of the festival and its success and this will be the first two-day incarnation of the festival, which is really cool; great lineup and it’s continued to grow year after year.
“It’s one, if not the largest event dealing with suicide awareness and support in the U.S. and absolutely we’d bring it around the world if could and maybe one day we will. Our dream is for Rise Above to be a touring festival and if we could take it around the word, what an amazing thing that would be.
“In some ways it’s still a taboo subject but it’s an epidemic here in the States and it has to be addressed. What happened to Shaun’s brother was a wake-up call to all of us and wanting to take a tragic and negative situation and try to make a positive. If we can take our experiences and help somebody and prevent it happening to them, their friends, their family then so be it – I’m very proud to be involved in how this festival has continued to grow.”
Through their music, be it directly or indirectly, Seether have continued to touch upon the subject. In Poison The Parish, the topic of suicide prevention is going to be something that the band continue to highlight, however, there’s more to the album that Humphries hopes people take away – Seether’s unabashed honesty.
“I have to give kudos to Shaun, there’s complete honesty in his lyrics,” Humphrey says. “The wonderful thing about the music is you can also interpret them, the listener can, the way that it applies or could apply to their life – and that’s the beauty of Shaun’s writing.
“The album is complete honesty from head to toe, in terms of Shaun producing the album, the band completely being 100 percent involved with its production, recording, mixing, we had a total say. I’m really proud of it and feel the music is really strong. I think it is honesty, all the way through. This is Seether, this is without a filter. This is completely Seether one hundred and ten per cent.”
By Anna Rose
If you or someone you know is struggling, there are places you can get help. Contact Lifeline 13 11 14, Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467, or Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800. Or you can check out their websites for additional resources. 

Seether’s new album Poison The Parish is out now via Caroline Australia.