Three years after releasing their critically acclaimed record Poison The Parish, multi-platinum selling rock band SEETHER announces their highly anticipated return with the new album, Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum which is out now via Fantasy Records. Translating to “If You Want Peace, Prepare For War,” the album features thirteen new tracks, a primal mix of euphoria and misery, undoubtedly some of the strongest material of SEETHER’s illustrious career.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum, SEETHER’s eighth studio album, 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 Ansonia and Stuck Mojo) Morgan’s friend of sixteen years, who also assistant-engineered the album. SEETHER’s rock-solid rhythm section is bassist and founding member Dale Stewart, and drummer John Humphrey (who joined in 2003). Dale speaks to Hi Fi Way about making the album.
Congratulations on the album number eight and with things considered a relief that it’s out?
It is, I wish that the circumstances were a little bit different. Ideally we would be on the road right now touring in support of the album but that’s probably not going to happen for a good couple of months or even in the new year. It is nice to have new music coming out, it has been a while since we have released new music. There was talk about hanging on to this until we can tour again but we wanted to get it in to the fans hands and ears. If we can’t play at least give them something new to listen to.
Were there some sleepless nights contemplating whether an album release is best right now or now?
Um, kind of, not to bad, fortunately we are in a position now where we have a lot more leeway to do things. Our fans are really great and we have a solid fan base of people who support us. I don’t think it really matters when we release an album, again, ideally we would like to tour on this but we just want to get it out. Maybe next year we’ll start working on another album with all this time at home there’s so much time to write and be creative. Anything is possible, we’re itching to get on the road and as soon as they lift the lockdowns we’re out. We would be out now if they would allow us to do shows. We have to play ball and wait for authorities to make that call.
With all that time at home have you continued writing new songs?
We’ve been focusing on the promotion for this album. When you have been working on a lot of new stuff and recording you need to take a step back again as you don’t want to over saturate your brain with music. You don’t want it to stop being fun. So you need to step away from it for a while. The last couple of months we’ve been home, locked away like everyone else. I am in a fortunate position as I live in Savannah, Georgia, it is a smaller town and it wasn’t crazy full lockdowns. Fishing is one of my main hobbies when I’m home, the main hobby, and I was still able to do that thankfully. That helped keep my head screwed on straight being able to get out on the water and catch some fish and then come home and make fish ‘n chips for the misses. Thank god for that!
Was this one of the more satisfying albums to make given that it was self-produced?
It is, I was talking to someone earlier and saying that it almost feels like going back to like garage days situation. When you are starting out new in the garage, you do what you want to do, if it is heavy or screamy it doesn’t matter. When you’re beholden to a record label they tend to want to take the edge off the band and cultivate this radio friendly, not pop band but take the edge off this band to make them more accessible for radio. Between the label and working with producers, a lot of them do that because they want these radio friendly songs. So they’ll dumb it down and take the edge off. Now, we do our own thing, we’re producing and that is awesome. We can make songs that are pretty heavy, there is some screaming but we don’t sacrifice the melody. That sense of melody has always been very important to us and important to our music. The melody is there but there is some heavy stuff. If it is meant to be angry make it angry as we can. It is nice to be able to work with that freedom and keep it all in house. Our new label is great and they believe in us, they said go and make an album and we would like to hear it when it is done. They gave us carte blanche to do whatever, it was great and fun to work like that.
Do you think that sets a blueprint as to how album number might unfold?
I think so, there might be some changes. We recently introduced a new member in to our band, Corey Lowey on guitar. It turns out that Corey is a very talented engineer and producer himself. He really helped out with a lot of the songs. I feel like we could do even more in house with Corey engineering it meaning there wouldn’t be any external influences, just the four band guys doing our thing. That is certainly an option but Matt Hyde is still our boy and we’ll involve him I’m sure in some capacity. It is really cool to be able to do things in house.
Did the heavier sound evolve that way?
I think it was a natural thing and I don’t think we really set out to make albums that will sound a certain way. The good songs rise to the top and those are the ones that make the album and dictate the tone of the album. Shaun was pretty angry writing this album and maybe just a symptom of where we are culturally these days. Everything is so crazy and the whole COVID thing has exacerbated everything to. We’ve had riots in the streets and it is getting crazy. It has been a long time coming and this COVID thing was the kick that pushed things over the edge. Crazy times and the influence on the album was the lead up to this craziness we’re seeing right now that exploded during the lockdown.
Interview By Rob Lyon