Seether

Seether

10 Years, Eye Empire

Sat, August 31, 2013

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$29.00 - $33.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

All seating is general admission. A limited number of table reservations for groups of 4 or more are available at The Cotillion box office or by calling 316.722.4201.

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Seether
Seether
Change isn’t easy. But Seether vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Shaun Morgan understands that nothing
worth accomplishing ever is. “When I was in rehab in 2006,” he recalls, embracing a sense of humorous selfawareness that comes with hindsight, “I learned that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over
and over and expecting a different result.” In other words: evolution is key not only to surviving but also thriving. It’s a way of thinking that Morgan applies to both himself and to the way his band operates. In a career
that’s spanned nearly a decade, the power trio of Morgan, bassist Dale Stewart and drummer John Humphrey
that is collectively known as Seether has toured the globe on the strength of five Gold and Platinum-selling
albums: steadily growing a devoted fan base while continually pushing creative boundaries. Seether breaks
new ground again with its fifth studio LP, Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray, due out on Wind Up Records
in May 2011. As fans and critics are about to hear, change is good.
Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray further expands on the dynamic musical growth curve heard on
Seether’s 2007 release, Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, while maintaining a sonic imprint that is undeniably Seether. There are many reasons to be excited. Not only does Seether branch out stylistically on the album’s
first single, “Country Song” – which blends a buoyant, aurally addictive hook with the band’s signature
searing guitar work – but the singer’s striking new vocal approach is audible from the album’s exhilarating
lead track, “No Resolution.” Morgan explains, “On this album, I didn’t scream very much, because that’s not
what I wanted to do. For some of the songs, the sentiment behind the lyric wasn’t angry, therefore to sing it in
an angry way didn’t make any sense to me. The gritty stuff is easy to do, but it also feels really great to convey
emotionally, through my voice, what I’m trying to say, instead of just being a one trick pony.” The result is a collection of compelling vocal performances that conjure an appealing blend of two of Morgan’s chief influences,
Kurt Cobain and Tool’s Maynard James Keenan. It makes Strings an immensely satisfying listening experience.
Looking back on Seether’s career path, it’s not surprising that the band has progressed to this juncture. Originally founded in Johannesburg, South Africa, by Morgan and Dale Stewart, Seether made its initial impact on
U.S. hearts and eardrums with 2002’s Disclaimer. The album’s first single, “Fine Again” was a pensive ballad
whose minor chord message of sustaining hope amidst turmoil resonated with fans worldwide. “Fine Again”
was featured on the soundtrack to the popular video game Madden 2000, and Seether gained nationwide live
exposure with a spot on that year’s Ozzfest tour. After releasing the singles “Driven Under” and “Gasoline,”
Seether rerecorded the acoustic track “Broken” as an electric version featuring Evanescence vocalist Amy Lee.
“Broken” became a massive international hit for the group. In 2004, Seether remixed and remastered Disclaimer, adding eight new songs and new cover art to create the two-disc set Disclaimer 2, which went Platinum.
In 2005, Seether released Karma & Effect (the band’s only album recorded with guitarist Pat Callahan), which
debuted at #8 on the Billboard chart. “Karma & Effect is my favorite representation of us at radio,” Morgan
offers. “The singles we’d released previously were ballads, but this time, we chose “Remedy,” “Truth” and “The
Gift” as singles. Those songs, and their accompanying videos, were darker and more ominous, so we knew
that fans coming to our shows wouldn’t be surprised when the band was actually playing loud, heavy music.”
Morgan credits the album with solidifying Seether’s identity as a hard rock act. At this point, the band was
promoting itself at radio stations; performing brief, “un-plugged” sessions for fans. From that effort, a demand
grew for recorded copies of those acoustic songs. “We decided that we would record a live, acoustic album
during one night off ontour and see what happened,” says Morgan. That set, recorded at a Philadelphia pub,
became the live CD/DVD One Cold Night, released in 2006.
As a songwriter whose work has always been intimate and self-revelatory, Morgan continued to address
his personal demons while also sharing his more optimistic, post-rehab attitude on 2007’s Finding
Beauty in Negative Spaces. Debuting at #9 on the Billboard 200 chart, Pop Matters referred to the album
as “Seether’s tour de force” and “their most direct and focused record yet.” The singles “Fake It” and
“Rise Above This” reached the top position on several Billboard charts, and “Breakdown” charted as a
Top 10 hit. Finding Beauty was reissued in 2009, with a cover of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,”
which was a successful single release.
Recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Seether definitely had an all-star player on its team for Holding
onto Strings Better Left to Fray in the form of producer Brendan O’ Brien (Rage Against the Machine, AC/DC,
Pearl Jam). “Brendan is one of the ultimate producers in the world,” Morgan enthuses. “He really worked with
us instead of with his own agenda. As far as producers go these days, that’s not very common. He doesn’t have
an ego, he just cares about the project at hand and how we’re going to make it the best album possible, because he’s putting his name on it, too.” Humphrey believes that O’Brien is the most effective producer the band
has worked with to date. “Brendan has a great ear and he’s also a great musician,” says the drummer. “He can
really articulate the changes he wants you to make to a song.” Morgan also credits O’Brien for encouraging him
to go with clear vocals. “I’ve wanted to sing clearer on albums before, and producers have said, ‘No, do that
gritty thing that you’re known for.’ Brendan was the first guy who said, ‘Dude, sing the way you want to sing.’”
Seether fans identify the band with songs that are not only sonically heavy but which also carry a lyrical
emotional heft. Rest assured that those qualities are still intact on Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray.
“Down” – providing a fantastic showcase for John Humphrey’s Bonham-esque drumming – along with “Desire
for Need” (on which Morgan falls back on the aggressive vocal delivery) prove that Seether have not strayed too
far from what fans recognize as the band’s aural identity. “Master of Disaster” also retains the original Seether
imprint while introducing new musical elements, which the band set out to do with each song, “so people
wouldn’t know what to expect,” Morgan interjects. “When we make a new album, it has to be superior to the
previous one; otherwise we’re wasting everyone’s time. We had to be a little bit more experimental and creative,
but by the same token we had to stick to our roots and the sound that people initially were drawn to. So, you
walk that line, but you make it work.”
Lyrically, Morgan is as upfront as he’s ever been. “In our songs, I deal with a lot of personal issues and ghosts
that follow me around. With each album, I tend to catch up a bit more on these ghosts and get rid of some of
them.” Morgan explains that this time out, it’s all about the freedom found in just letting go. “I’m dealing with
issues that I’ve been carrying with me for a long time, and understanding that those are detrimental to me and
to those around me. Once you identify something that’s toxic in your life, you have to ask why you’re perpetuating it: clutching at a situation that’s ultimately going to end up in heartbreak and tears. It’s history, you need
to let it go. Once you do that, it’s such a weight off your chest. It sounds a little bit like hippie psychology, but if
you focus on thinking positive things, then good things will start showing themselves to you.”
Asked which tracks are favorites, Morgan talks about “Tonight,” which almost didn’t make it onto the album.
“I hadn’t even shown it to the band yet,” he explains, “but one morning I woke up before dawn, in a really good
mood, and completely changed the lyrics to positive lyrics. It just started coming together. Later that day in the
studio, I asked Brendan to check it out. We only had two days left in the studio, but Brendan said, ‘We’ve got to
record that song right now.’ I think it captures and summarizes the hopeful sentiment of the album.” Stewart
shares Morgan’s enthusiasm. “Tonight” is almost nostalgic, yet optimistic sounding. It’s a really strong song
and I’m excited for it to possibly go to radio. I think it could be a big song for us.”
Another favorite is “Roses” – also a clear choice for a single – that Morgan claims was influenced by the band
Muse. “I love how it starts with the very ominous Phantom of the Opera piano, and then goes into something
completely different, with constant movement,” he says. The band is also proud of “Here and Now,” a modern
rocker infused with a classic pop feel that might fit easily within the discography of Cheap Trick. “We wanted to
write songs that would stand the test of time rather than just be music ‘of the now’ – meaning what is popular
in this particular two- or three-year cycle” Morgan explains. “Here and Now” also features the lyrics from
which the album title was culled.
With the album due out in the spring, Shaun Morgan, Dale Stewart and John Humphrey are all immensely proud
of and excited about what they’ve achieved with Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray. “This album is a
progression from Finding Beauty, which I thought was the best thing we’d done up to that point,” says Stewart.
“To make a record that’s going to be even better is a little daunting, but I think this album shows that the band
has matured in the way we write and think about music.” “This album was a lot of fun to make,” Humphrey
adds. “It was very much a collaborative project where there were no egos.” Morgan concludes “To still be able
to record, sell albums and tour, when a lot of our peers have not been so lucky, is a gift. Ultimately, making this
album has helped me through the next phase of my life. For anyone who has been with us this far and needs a
new injection of Seether’s music, this will hopefully feed their desire.”
10 Years
10 Years
After a year and a half on the road touring 2010's Feeding The Wolves, 10 Years reached a turning point. It was time to move forward and take full control of their career by launching their own label, Palehorse Records. In addition, the band decided to self-produce their fourth album, Minus the Machine, at drummer/guitarist Brian Vodinh's Kashmir Recording.

Splitting up with a major label after five years was "a very scary step to take," Hasek admits. "It's like breaking up with a longtime girlfriend. You're used to the motions, but when it becomes stale and unhappy, you need to move on and get energy back into your life. There was no anger on either side. We just painlessly parted ways."

Working together as a band for the first time since writing the Gold-selling album The Autumn Effect helped 10 Years go back to their roots, without label-enforced pressure to create a radio-friendly "hit," and free to experiment with the hard rock sounds that lie at the core of their music. "Our true fans who buy the albums, not just the singles, understand that our singles, for the most part, misrepresent the entire album," says Hasek. "As a band, we like to explore more and go a little left of center with song structures. We wanted to create an album that has no boundaries, and where we didn't have to make every song 'three minutes and 30 seconds' for a label to approve it. There's a fine line with that, of course, and we're very aware of it. We all grew up on rock music, and as many albums as we've written, the way we've written them, it's ingrained in us to work within a time frame that fits radio. There are definitely songs that work well for that, but as a whole, we wanted this album to represent a journey in a sense."

This chapter of 10 Years began in 2001, when Hasek took over as vocalist. Three years later they released their independent album, Killing All That Holds You, featuring the groundbreaking single "Wasteland," which led to their signing with Universal Records. "That song was created in 2001 or 2002," says Hasek. "We weren't seeking to write a smash single. We were just writing music." The Autumn Effect (2005) led to widespread radio and video play, a fiercely loyal fan base, and tours with heavyweights like Linkin Park, Korn and the Deftones. When their sophomore effort, Division, was released in 2008, 10 Years had cemented their place as one of hard rock's top contenders and most sought-after live bands. Still, says Hasek, despite the success, "it all came to a head" with the band's 3rd major label release, Feeding The Wolves. "When you feel like you're being told to go through motions and jump through hoops, it takes the heart out of it," he says. "We know that we need a hit and we understand that it's important. However, as musicians, we're not a band that says, 'We're going to make a hit.' It's better to do what comes naturally and then figure out the after-effect."

With that in mind, 10 Years created their most powerful songs to date for Minus The Machine, with Hasek again relying on personal experiences for his lyrics. [Insert something about the songs here; reference titles and content.] "Everyone asks about my inspiration for lyrics, and the best thing I can give them is a very generic answer: life," he says. "Life is the experience — it's everything you go through: the ups, the downs. I tend to gravitate more toward the therapy method. I'm not great at writing happy pop songs. So, I usually get the negative emotions out through music. As a person, I'm very happy and thankful for my life, but when it comes to lyrics, it's therapy for me."

One thing that won't change is 10 Years' connection with their fans. With the release of Minus The Machine, the band is looking forward to hitting the road, performing in close contact with their dedicated audience. "After the last touring cycle, we realized where we should strive to be, and that's to be totally fine in the club environment," says Hasek. "We don't plan to chase after arena rock or amphitheaters. If things like that happen, then so be it, but we live and die by the loyalty of the club audiences. Our fans are loyal. They travel with us, and they want us to be loyal to ourselves. That's what keeps them coming back. What we tried to do on this album is really give them what they want and what they need because they've been so good to us through the ups and downs of our career."

"First and foremost, when it's all said and done, we're proud of this album in its entirety," he says. "That speaks volumes to us because we're our own worst critics. We pick everything apart. An album is your child, it's your baby, and you know it better than anyone. To sit back and be 100 percent proud of what we've accomplished is so gratifying, and we think everything else will fall into place. We hope that everyone will enjoy what we've tried to do."
Eye Empire
Eye Empire
Eye Empire is an American rock supergroup, formed in 2009, consisting of former Dark New Day members Corey Lowery and B.C. Kochmit as well as Donald Carpenter formerly of Submersed. Garrett Whitlock, formerly of Submersed, and Dixie Duncan were Eye Empire's drummer and guitarist respectively from their formation until 2010. Drummer Will Hunt, Lowery and Kockmit's band mate in Dark New Day, joined the band in 2010 before departing in 2011, replaced by Ryan Bennett.

The band recorded their debut album entitled Moment of Impact in 2010 featuring contributions from Sevendust members Lajon Witherspoon and Morgan Rose. The album was given a limited release the same year, with a full release planned for 2011.