Music trade publication Billboard has recognized SEETHER’s founding member/front-man/lyricist Shaun Morgan with the release of its latest hard rock charts, published August 1.
Morgan claims the #1 spot on the Hard Rock Songwriters Chart as well as the #2 spot on the Hard Rock Producers Chart as two new singles he penned and produced climb up the Hot Hard Rock Songs chart. “Dangerous” (released June 24) rises to the #10 placement (boosted by 1.9 million airplay audience impressions) while “Bruised And Bloodied” (released July 17) debuts in the #15 spot.
It’s the first time Morgan tops the Hard Rock Songwriters chart. Over a two-decade career, SEETHER has in total enjoyed six No. 1s—and 22 Top 10s—on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Songs chart as well as three leaders on the Hard Rock Albums chart.
Both “Dangerous” and “Bruised And Bloodied” are from SEETHER’s new album Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum (“If You Want Peace, Prepare For War”) — their first new album in three years — due August 28th, 2020 via Fantasy Records. The album features 13 new tracks, a primal mix of euphoria and misery, undoubtedly some of the strongest material of SEETHER’s illustrious career, including the beautifully tormented first single “Dangerous” released today alongside an animated music video created by noted Turkish director Mertcan Mertbilek (Santana, Ray Charles, Ravi Shankar, Elvis Costello). The album can be pre-ordered here.
“These songs are carefully crafted to nestle in your ears like a tiny velvet rabbit clutching a switchblade,” says Shaun Morgan, his flair for vivid imagery on full display. That bold openness strikes a chord musically and lyrically on songs that explore and eviscerate demons both personal and cultural. “This whole album is kind of me going through that process. I’m exposing myself to a degree I’m not normally comfortable with,” he says. “But I think it’s okay. I’m proud to be a little bit more vulnerable on this album.”
“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” was produced by Morgan and engineered and mixed by Matt Hyde (DEFTONES, AFI) in Nashville from December 2019 through January 2020. The band is joined on the album by newest member Corey Lowery (ex-guitarist/vocalist for SAINT ASONIA and STUCK MOJO), Morgan‘s friend of 16 years, who also assistant-engineered the album.
“Corey has a lot of experience and is an inspiring guitarist as well; he’s the older brother I’ve always wanted,” Morgan said. SEETHER‘s rock-solid rhythm section is bassist and founding member Dale Stewart, and drummer John Humphrey (who joined in 2003).
The new album’s haunting, unforgettable “Dangerous” is an instant standout. While the band prefers to leave “Dangerous” open to interpretation, lyrics like, “It’s so dangerous all this blamelessness / and I feel like I lost all the good I’ve known” are a passionate and pointed indictment of self and society at large. “Beg”, where Morgan snarls, “See hope fading out of your eyes / This time the pain is going to feel unreal,” is similarly unrelenting. The chorus’s point-blank demand, “beg, motherf**ker!” is a primal rock rallying cry. “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”‘s brutal but beautiful lyrics infuse these songs with cathartic urgency like this from the track “Failure”: “I live my life like a broken-hearted failure / I’m trying to shed some light on the scars left by the razors.”
The push-pull on “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” is as dynamic as it is memorable as Morgan brings his intimate singer-songwriter sensibility to the band’s heavy rock grooves. Drawing on influences including the dark and raw honesty of grunge’s epic guitar attack and the South African underground punk and metal that Morgan (and Stewart) grew up on, SEETHER‘s sonic brew is unmistakable and timeless.
“Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum” track listing:
1. Dead And Done
2. Bruised And Bloodied
6. Can’t Go Wrong
7. Buried In The Sand
8. Let It Go
11. Drift Away
12. Pride Before The Fall
13. Written In Stone
With touring paused, the ever-active SEETHER has posted a series of on-line sessions via social media featuring band members at home, including live-streams Q&As and acoustic performances from Shaun Morgan, cooking instructionals with Dale Stewart, crossfit workouts with Corey Lowery and drumming play-throughs with John Humphrey. The “hanging at home” digital series can be seen at Facebook, YouTube Channel and Twitch.