“We’re no strangers to the road.”
That statement by Seether bassist Dale Stewart may be one of the most obvious ever uttered. More than a year after the release of Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, the South African-bred, L.A.-based modern rock act is still working the road. It’s nowhere near over, either. After a six-week break around the holidays, Seether are booked through spring and will probably extend their live itinerary through the summer.
“It’s sort of a way of life,” Stewart says by phone from (naturally) the road. “You get used to it after a while. It gets to the point where you go home, back to a house, and feel a little weird for the first couple weeks.”
You can’t argue with the success touring has brought Seether. Since signing with Wind-up Records early this decade, the band has achieved multi-platinum sales on the strength of numerous radio hits laden with their melodically grungey, guitar-glutted sound.
Growing up in the South African suburbs, Stewart says life wasn’t much different than what it is here. He attended church on Sundays with his family, watched movies on the weekends with friends. Perhaps the biggest distinction is the fact that South Africa is as influenced by Europe as it is Western culture, while still retaining its African heritage.
“There’s a little bit of everything there,” Stewart says. “I really loved growing up around that.”
It was still rock music that proved the biggest draw for them. The band formerly known as Saron Gas reached the height of their popularity in their native land before embarking to greener pastures.
“We were willing to go anywhere that had a bigger rock following,” Stewart says.
They found it in the United States. The group’s prodigious knack for blending the best post-grunge elements into addictive, three-minute stews has earned it a level of adulation not usually seen with many modern-rock artists.
Seether have still dealt with their share of hardships. It’s notably been with singer/guitarist Shaun Morgan. He entered rehab in 2006 for alcoholism. The release of Finding Beauty was delayed last year when his younger brother committed suicide. Despite the grind of touring, Stewart says the band is in a good mental state.
“We’re family out here on the road,” he says. “We rely on each other for support. It helps to have that. If someone has a problem, there’s always someone else to help you through it. I don’t think we’d be able to tour so long without that.”