Seether: A Case of Corey In The House
BY DAVID DeROCCO
For a band that has survived both the ignominy of being named after a Veruca Salt song and their own hard rock recording of George Michael’s “Careless Whisper,” South African rockers SEETHER have maintained a high level of credibility with rock music fans. That’s due in part to their consistent chart success, with songs like “Fine Again,” “Broken,” “Remedy” and “Fake It.” But it’s also because the band delivers where it truly counts the most: live on stage, where they successfully fuse a 90s-era grunge sensibility together with harder 21st century active rock.
Despite numerous changes in personnel since forming in 1999, SEETHER has continued to tour and draw fans around the world with their music, from their 2002 debut Disclaimer right through to 2017’s Poison The Parish. The latest personal change saw the band’s sixth guitarist, Clint Lowery, leave and return to Sevenfold. He was immediately replaced by his brother and former Dark New Day bandmate Corey Lowery, who arrived just in time to join Seether in Europe for a spring tour with Nickelback. Now the band is headed into St. Catharines’ Meridian Centre November 11th, part of a triple bill that includes the Scott Weiland-less Stone Temple Pilots and Default. As Seether's newest now "official" member of Seether, Corey took time to talk to GoBeWeekly about touring, the state of rock music and the respect he has for Nickelback.
GoBe: Seether has gone through guitarists like Spinal Tap has gone through drummers.
Corey: I’m here to end that story.
GoBe: What’s the protocol when you’re a musician joining an established band. What do you do to make your integration as seamless as possible.
Corey: I’ve known these guys for years. We’ve toured together so there wasn’t much getting used to each other, because we knew each other. I was always a huge fan of the music and it felt really natural to be part of it.
GoBe: Did you get any intel or insider information from your brother Clint who you replaced in the band.
Corey: (Laughing). No, not really. Everybody’s got to be themselves, that’s the most important part of it. Just be yourself on stage and if it feels right, it’s right.
GoBe: What do you remember about the first live gig with the band.
Corey: Just excited you know, super excited. You’re a little nervous beforehand. Until the first note, then it’s all fun. You feel at home on stage. It’s the waiting part that builds the nervousness.
GoBe: You’re now officially a member of Seether, but how did that happen. Was there a swearing-in ceremony, a blood-letting, a knife ritual, or just the inevitable signature on a contract.
Corey: (Laughing) Naw, just big hugs and lots of love. I love to have fun out here. The big thing is when you tour as much as we do you just try to have as much fun as you can. And don’t take it too damn serious.
GoBe: When you’re a fan of a band like Seether, you’re happy when they can find a veteran musician who can bring something to the table. Now you’ve joined, what are your personal hopes in terms of future contributions.
Corey: I’m a huge fan of all their music. I think that last record, with Shaun (Morgan) self-producing, I’m a huge supporter of him doing that again. He’s been doing this a long time and he’s such a great songwriter. I’m really looking forward to contributing in whatever way they need me.
GoBe: You certainly have a wealth of experience to contribute. Your exposure to music began at an early age thanks to parents who filled your household with music and instruments. Was there ever any doubt you’d become a musician, or was there a brief window where some other career almost lured you to the dark side.
Corey: You know there weren’t a lot of toys in the house. Me and my brothers kind of fell into music. Someone needed a player in a band. Next thing you know you’re doing house parties, playing at school. Then someone else wants to hire you. It just kind of happened. We played to play, not to say we’re going to be this or that. The people kept coming, the crowds kept coming and it inspired us to try and be better.
GoBe: You’ve been at this game a long time. Do you still strive to get better as a player.
Corey: Well, I’m sitting in my dressing room right now trying to get better. Absolutely. You always try to get better, that’s the whole deal. Now days there’s also a lot more focus on the songwriting. You practise your instrument of course, but a lot of that comes with jamming.
Gobe: You’ve racked up a ton of frequent flyer miles already this year, travelling through Europe and South Africa and now Canada. What’s your routine to survive life on the road. How do you staff fit and keep out of trouble.
Corey: I try to get my workouts in. I love CrossFit and that kind of stuff. I’ve been doing that quite a few years now. It just helps mentally. And I continue writing. You just want to write to build a catalogue of material to pull from so you’re prepared when the time comes. It helps keeps you mentally healthy and keeps the demons away.
Gobe: You’re touring through some non-traditional Canadian markets like Sudbury, Oshawa, Kitchener and the stop here in St. Catharines. Do you get to breath in any of these destinations, to live in the moment and actually enjoy them on some level. Or are you just motoring from town to town.
Corey: Sometimes we get to. I love venturing out. I thought it was going to be a lot colder in Canada than it is on this tour. If we have a day off we definitely try and see some of the town
GoBe: When you talk about keeping your demons in check, you may want to know that when you play here you’ll have about 100 wineries you can go to within a 20 mile radius.
Corey: (laughing) Well that sounds like a place to go and find some demons.
GoBe: You joined the band in time to tour with Nickelback through Europe. There’s a love/hate relationship with the band in North America. But people forget their last four albums debuted Top 10, and they’re the #2 selling foreign band in the U.S. behind the Beatles. What was your takeaway from touring with them.
Corey: We’ve know those guys for a lot of years. That’s a huge opportunity for us to go out on tour with a band like that. We really appreciated it. A lot of people want to put them down, it’s kind of trendy. But the reality is every place we were playing was sold out. Everybody’s got an opinion and they have a right to it. But there’s a tremendous amount of people coming to the concerts. I like to give respect to all rock. Anyone keeping rock alive and strong, there’s respect in that.
GoBe: There is a lot of talk about the state of rock these days. You’re a touring musician who’s played in a lot of different hard rock bands. What’s your take on that. Is rock in as much trouble as they say, and if so what needs to be done to fix it.
Corey: I always go back to my dad. He was playing in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. His deal was disco, and he’d talk about it saying it was a hard time in rock. I think now we face the internet, everyone’s playing with recorded tracks. Rock isn’t going anywhere. It becomes a thing to say that rock is harder than it ever been. It’s always been hard. I have to believe great music will prevail. You just have to work harder at it. If it’s not happening work harder.