Shaun Morgan's guitar fretboard has "Kill Me Now" written on it in aluminum colored ink.
Every once in a while the lights would reflect off it and catch my eye.
It was a quirk of irony that the very next day I was to shoot the Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott tribute at Ozzfest. One artist very much alive, gunned down onstage, the other so angst filled he seemingly invites the same fate.
I have been a fan of Seether's post-grunge sound ever since I caught them on The Tonight show during their first U.S. tour. I went out the next day and bought their first major label release, Disclaimer, and was astounded. The heavy raspy sound of "Gasoline" and the other tracks were thick with hooks and left me buzzing. I must have left it in my disc player for a full month. I bought every disc released since then.
Shawn Morgan of Seether - more photos photo by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer
Along the way I have followed Seether's career with more than a passing interest as it has risen and fallen. First there was the incredible success of the single "Broken" with Amy Lee of Evanescence that rocketed them to prominence. For a brief time Shaun Morgan and the band seem to be on top of the world. Then Shaun Morgan's life seemed to unwind.
There was the incredibly public breakup with Amy Lee. It didn't help that it spawned her songs "Call Me When Your Sober" and "Lithium" taking Morgan to task publicly. In 2006 guitarist Pat Callahan left after 4 years with the band, and soon after Shaun entered rehab for cocaine and alcohol addiction. In between Shaun had problems with his label over naming the albums and profanity in his lyrics. He also had other problems with his health, at one point doubling over onstage. Finally last fall, with a new album ready for release, Shaun's brother jumped out of a Radisson window in South Dakota while on tour with the band as a roadie.
It's unfathomable to me how he is able to continue performing. A lesser man(me) would have withdrawn from public life rather than battle the demons in front of an audience. In some way I suppose it's providing some kind of cathartic release. At least I hope it is. It must be sheer torture to have to perform "Broken" night after night. I can't imagine the incredible weight that rests on Shaun Morgan's soul but I can hear it in his music. And I could see it on his guitar, every once in a while, when the flash of ink caught my eye.
Seether at Stubb's BarBQ - more photos - photo by Jeff Barringer - Staff Photographer