The band didn't expect the video to get played.
By JOHN BENSON
For years, the hard rock/metal scene has embraced the scary movie genre for its video concepts. Going back to Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark at the Moon" or even Metallica's "Enter Sandman," the scare quotient has always been prevalent for the "Headbangers Ball" audience.
Taking the idea to a new high (or perhaps low, for the easily spooked) is alt-metal act Seether, whose video for its latest single "Remedy," from new album "Karma and Effect," would give Wes Craven the willies and Steven King nightmares.
"The concept was really to make a video that is darker than anything we've done up until now and to just kind of have fun and make a half-horror film," said Seether vocalist Shaun Morgan. "Like, we wanted to experiment. And we figured the video wasn't going to get played anyway, so we might as well make something fun."
The irony for Seether is the video is getting heavy airplay on MTV2, having been on its top 20 rock countdown for weeks. So what gives?
"It's bizarre," Morgan laughed, "You make a video because you think it's not going to get played and then it gets played."
Bizarre is something the foursome has become accustomed to, beginning with their 2002 debut album, "Disclaimer." Whereas the hard rock disc received critical acclaim and radio success with single "Fine Again," it wasn't until the band released the song "Broken," featuring vocals by Evanescence's Amy Lee, on "The Punisher" soundtrack that the mainstream took notice.
Sensing a window of marketing opportunity, the band's label wanted to re-release "Disclaimer" with a newer version of "Broken." Morgan was more interested in doing an EP release to bide time while the group finished its sophomore effort. A compromise was made between the singer and the label; Morgan could give "Disclaimer" the proper mix he felt it was lacking, and in return the label would release "Disclaimer II," featuring Lee's "Broken" along with a few other tracks.
The problem was at that time, the band was ready to get off the road and hit the recording studio. Instead, Seether interrupted its writing sessions and added new touring legs to capitalize on the "Broken" publicity. "I think we would have been ready to record ['Karma and Effect'] about a year and a half ago," Morgan said. "We had nine of these tracks already written and good to go. But in retrospect, you go out for a year and live with the demos for a while, and some things did change. Some parts were removed, some were replaced but really I guess it was a good idea. I'm glad for the extra time. It made the album better."
With its heart set on touring to support "Karma and Effect" for the next few years, Seether has announced its next single will be the hard-rock track "Truth." Morgan said it's no accident the band's first two singles off its latest album are of the alt-metal style.
A backlash of sorts to the mainstream attention it received from "Broken," Seether is hoping to set fans straight on its current tour regarding the band's sound.
"You have fans, maybe radio fans, coming to the shows expecting to see Matchbox Twenty and getting Seether," Morgan said. "So, we wanted to definitely come back out with this album and say we do write those types of songs, but also we are a rock band that enjoys playing rock music. The emphasis on the live shows is really the heavy stuff. Those are the most fun to play live."