Seether, a post-grunge, alternative metal and hard rock titan, these 19-year young veterans have recently been touring around the world with their 2017 album, “Poison the Parish” on their Poison the Parish world tour.
They’re continuing their rigorous touring schedule in May as the main support of Nickelback’s Feed the Machine tour. But before they head out into the world, they’ve had a couple weeks break back home, and in that time we got the chance to talk with drummer John Humphrey and ask him a few questions about writing experiences, evolution of style, life on the road, the future of Seether as well as smaller yet important topics like words of wisdom to younger artists.
When asked about his and the band’s experiences on returning to Australia for the Poison the Parish tour, John had to say that he was very excited and went on to reminisce about their past playing in Australia. “I think it’s been since 2015 since we were last there.” And added that “It’s always been good shows, great people and a beautiful time down under.”
We asked John if he could tell us his favourite shows and experiences on the tour, he spoke out about the band’s time on the annual music festival cruise, ShipRocked in January. “That was a lot of fun, you do two shows. The first one was a sail away show and then we do a theater show which is an indoor show and they’re always fun, because it’s just the people on the boat.” He went on to mention how up close and personal you get to be with the fans on a cruise festival. “You’re hanging out with fans and getting to meet them and they’re getting to meet you.”
He continued here and elaborated on the all the touring they’ll be doing coming May supporting Nickelback. “We’ll be doing Europe, UK, Germany, France and then headed your way to Australia, New Zealand, we’ll do a show in South Africa and then back.” He mentioned that they’ve had a nice breather at home and they’re ready to get right back to the touring, it’s here that John gave us an insight to what kind of band Seether really is. “We’ll be touring all summer and that’s okay with us man, that’s what Seether does. We put out an album and we tour, we’re a live band, a touring band.”
This kind drummer allowed us a window into the creative process and story behind the creation of the album Poison the Parish. “For us, this is first in-house album, if you will. Shaun produced it, and I know he felt some pressure with having that title, that responsibility.” He said that despite this pressure, he was confident that over his 15 years working with band members Shaun Morgan and Dale Stewart, the chemistry they had would hold up, and it very clearly did.
“Shaun is an outstanding songwriter, absolutely brilliant in my opinion. He had sent demos to me and Dale to learn songs that he had put together and we sort of did it old school, we got into a little rehearsal room, itty bitty room in Nashville.” He continued, happily thinking back, “we just did it old school and rehearsed the songs the songs so that when we went into the studio we were able to just knock it out.”
Something that I thought was particularly interesting is how he reflects on the fact that despite having worked with great producers in the past, it was nice to have written an album that was all in their own without alternative producer opinions. “In this case, it was absolutely Seether. It didn’t have to have another opinion or an input from someone for how they envisioned the band, this was coming directly from the band itself.”
Speaking of being absolutely Seether, I enquired to John about what thinks about the band’s evolution, how they and their music has changed since the days of their early albums. He answered “Yeah that’s a great question, I think we’ve definitely come into our own.” And went on to talk about their earliest albums and the comparisons they got to iconic grunge band, Nirvana.
“I think initially of course there was those comparisons to Nirvana that we got in the beginning and I think that obviously with the first album, I think, with first album you wear your influences on your sleeve. That’s how you become an artist, a songwriter, a band.”
I asked if there was any information we could have about the future of Seether and the main point that John made was plainly that they’re going to keep writing new music and touring. “I love playing live, as long as the people still care, the radio still care, people in Australia and New Zealand still care, we’ll be touring.”
Lastly, what I feel to be an important thing for musicians to spread around, I asked John what he would say to budding musicians who aspire to be where he is today, here’s what he had to say. “That is to just to play anywhere and everywhere, really frequently, especially for a young band. If you’re writing your own material, not everything you’re gonna write is golden. But they key is to keep writing.” He reminisced about the old days when you had little downtime and had to write on the road and potentially take unknown music to the audience and test it there, to this he added an encouraging, “You’re gonna hear a lot of no’s before you hear that yes. So just keep writing man and keep playing. That’s the beauty of it.”
“POISON THE PARISH” IS OUT NOW VIA CANINE RIOT AND YOU CAN GET IT HERE!