Seether’s Dale Stewart Talks Decade of Hits, Future Plans + More
Time flies when you’re generating hit after hit and that’s the case for Seether, who have amassed enough great material for the two-disc ‘Seether 2002-2013′ hits collection. The collection not only features all the familiar songs that fans have come to love, but a few b-sides, demos and newly recorded tracks that are serving as a jumping off point for their next studio album.
Loudwire had a chance to speak with Seether bassist Dale Stewart about the greatest hits package and he also reflected on some of the band’s special moments from the past decade. He also spoke about the two new songs — ‘Seether’ (Veruca Salt cover) and ‘Safe to Say I’ve Had Enough’ — that have already emerged from the collection. Check out our interview with Seether’s Dale Stewart below.
I guess a good place to start is we have the greatest hits album coming out. When it all started for the band, did you ever imagine that you would get to this place?
Um, not really. I guess one starts a band with the best of intentions but I think it is very much a case of hoping for the best and expecting the worst. There are so few bands that actually have a career at all let alone one that goes 10 years plus. Yeah, we just started doing it for fun and we just love playing. We just got together and started playing, doing shows. It was a fun thing and then we realized that we could actually just do this for a living and we wouldn’t even have to work and it would be great. It just went from there and it is pretty crazy.
It does feel kind of weird though because I kind of feel that we are still very much active and playing and writing music and stuff. It almost feels a “best of” is like something you do when you are at the end and you look back at your career. I guess we will put this out and just carry on and maybe we will reflect again in the next 10 years or something.
Ten years is a good mark to get a hits album out and you guys certainly have had plenty. This isn’t exactly a normal greatest hits album though. You have two discs on here and there are a few extra things thrown in as well. How much input did you guys have on what demos and B-sides ended up on here?
We didn’t just want to release like a ‘best of’ kind of thing because probably 9 out of 10 people who are going to buy it probably own the music that we are trying to sell them again and we didn’t want to do that. So as a band we thought, “Let’s make it worthwhile for people to buy and add stuff that they might have never heard before or put on a couple of new songs.” We just wanted to make it worthwhile for the fans that have been there for the 10 years. We can give them a little bit extra as well as all of these songs again in one little package. Hopefully people think it is worth going out and buying. I guess we will see.
We just had the chance to premiere ‘Safe to Say I’ve Had Enough’ over here at Loudwire. Can you maybe give me a little background on that song and how it came about?
Yeah that was actually one of the first new songs that we did when we decided on doing the greatest hits and decided that we wanted to give the fans a little something extra. We decided to rope in Brendan O’Brien and get back into the studio with a couple of new songs and that was one of the first ideas that Shaun [Morgan] brought into the studio and it was just kind of everything we thought that it needed to be. It was kind of heavy but still had that sort of melodic thing about it. I don’t know, it just worked.
It was one of those songs that didn’t require that much effort. If you have to think about it or work on a song too much then it often not a good sign. If the basis of the song is there and it is good and it works and it is just the case of polishing it up and making it as good as it can be then it is relatively an easy process. Those are often my favorite songs and I think some of the best songs. It is a song I enjoy and am looking forward to playing it live but I definitely think it is a step in the direction that the band is going in. I hope people dig it.
I know you guys are a hard rock band and that is what you are known for but I have always liked the fact that you aren’t afraid to throw in other influences into your music. Especially on ‘Safe to Say I’ve Had Enough’ I feel like there is almost a bluesy start to that thing. What is influencing you these days? Is it straight up rock or are you throwing other things into the mix?
I think everything influences you. We are fan of music in general; you can’t really be tied down to one genre. There is really a lot of good music out there. I also think that that changes, as you get older. When you are a kid it almost seems like music defines who you are and your place in society or even in your high school. That’s where the metalheads hang out, the hip hop kids are on that side, and it is almost like you find your little clique and you don’t venture out of that. When I was growing up, we didn’t say — if you were a rock kid, you listened to rock music everything else sucked, country sucked.
As you get older and I think you discover there’s really a lot of great music in pretty much every genre. A lot of bad music too, but you can sure pick out some great stuff. Great songs are great songs. I don’t think you do yourself a service by limiting yourself to enjoying just one form of music. We’ll always be a rock band and that’s always my heart and my love, but if we should bring a little bit of an influence in or do an acoustic song, I don’t think it takes away. It hopefully makes it interesting and if you can put on a Seether album, there’s a really mellow acoustic song and then there’s a really heavy song. I think hopefully it makes the album more dynamic, up and down, to be interesting on the ear.
You’ve got a semi-acoustic tour of South Africa coming soon, breaking the music down to a different form. Can you talk about you’re presentation for the run?
Yeah, it’s something we’ve been talking about for a while, doing an acoustic tour. We’ve been doing a two-part tour — almost an acoustic night and a live plugged in live, in the same city. This is going to be pretty cool. We’re going to be doing Europe as well. We start it off in Europe. It’ll be all-acoustic; we have some shows in Russia. Then we’ll fly to South Africa and finish up the tour there. We haven’t played there in a while, never an acoustic tour over there so, I think it’s going to be good. I think it’s going to be different. It’s going to be cool for the fans that have only ever seen us live making lots of noise. I’m sure my parents will appreciate it as well, a little more mellow. Not quite as brutally loud. Let’s hope it works out.
You offer a cover of the Veruca Salt song ‘Seether’ on the compilation. How long have you had that in your pocket?
It’s something we’ve been throwing around for a while. We never really thought of recording it. We just wanted to play it for fans at shows, work it out during sound check, sort of play the song. Then how it came about was, we recorded three songs for the Greatest Hits, one of which we really liked. We kind of wanted to keep that one for the next album. So we decided to keep that one in our pockets.
We just wanted to put out the few songs and let’s just use that, and we’ve been talking about it for a while now. Yeah, we were in New Hampshire and we found a little studio out there, went in for a day and basically knocked it out. We didn’t want to overthink the song, wanted to stay true to its roots while “Seetherizing” it as well. I think it turned out pretty cool; we wanted to keep it kind of raw. People seem to like it so far. Tip of the cap to the song that we’ve named ourselves after. Still don’t know what Seether means, but it’s what the song is called, so.
I’m curious, especially since this cover is now out there, have you ever heard from Veruca Salt?
Not directly that I know of. We obviously needed their permission to do the track and put it on the album. I think they’re cool about it. It’s kind of a little homage to them. Hopefully they take that as flattery. As far as I know, they’re cool about it. Hey, if it gives them a little more mileage by people playing their song on the radio if they can get out and play, then that’s a great thing.
This is a good reflection time for the band. Looking at what has happened over the last few years, any special milestones that you’ve hit that really stand out.
Absolutely. There’s many. Many things I never would have dreamed to happen back in the day as a kid in the garage jamming out. Yeah, definitely I think us hitting the 10+ year mark was definitely a milestone. Us headlining our own fest was a big one. Then even just playing in countries I never thought of playing in and actually having fans there. Like playing in Russia or the Ukraine or Turkey. These amazing countries that I never even thought I would visit, but we actually have fans that come out to shows wearing t-shirts. That is mind blowing, it seems so far away. It’s amazing to think the reach fans so far. It’s good to still be here, playing and doing our thing.
Looking beyond the immediate touring and greatest hits, what does Seether’s future hold?
We just are focusing on the greatest hits coming out and this European run. Then we’re going to go full steam on the new album and put all our focus on that so we can get back out on the road. We’re hoping to have that out next year, do some more touring. Get out there and play for everyone live.
Our thanks to Seether bassist Dale Stewart for the interview. Seether’s new hits collection drops Oct. 29 and is available for pre-order at the band’s official website.