June's Rock Band Network Artist of the Month is Seether! The band just added their hit rock song "Country Song" from their fifth studio album Holding On to Strings Better Left to Fray to the RBN. Bassist Dale Stewart took some time while on tour to answer some questions for the Rock Band community. Read on to find out about the band's name change, what games they play, and what their must-have tour items are.
Harmonix: How does it feel to be named “Artist of the Month?”
Dale Stewart: It feels pretty good! We’re honored. It makes us feel like we’re doing something right as a band, [laughs]
HMX: The band was formed in South Africa, do you still visit or tour South Africa still and what are the differences between the music scene there compared to the USA?
DS: I usually go home to visit friends and family at least once a year. We usually try and make it over there to play every other year, but we haven’t been now for almost three years. We really want to make it back there as soon as we can to play. The main difference in the two scenes is the size. In South Africa rock music gets a comparatively small piece of the pie. It’s hard for a band there to sustain a career for more then 6 or 7 years. When we left for the States we we’re pretty big fish in a tiny pond, but when we got here we realized we were plankton in an ocean!
HMX: The band started playing in '99 as Saron Gas and changed your name to Seether a couple years after, why the change and what does Seether mean?
DS: After 9/11 there was a lot of sensitivity to anything pertaining to terrorism. Sarin gas I guess is a nerve agent used in an attack in Tokyo some years earlier. It sounded a lot like our band name, so our record company suggested we change the name. We’re not even sure what Seether means, but the word sounded cool. We took it from a Veruca Salt song.
HMX: How did you become involved with the Rock Band Network?
DS: We’re just fans of the game and fans of rock music. I think it’s great what the game has done for the rock scene and exposing the youth of today to good real music. Not the usual rubbish that is pushed on kids now days.
HMX: How have fans reacted to finding you in their favorite video game?
DS: People are really stoked about it! I get people coming up to me at shows talking about it or hitting me up online. It’s really cool to be a part of it.
DS: Sure thing! We’d love to have a large selection of Seether on there. We’ll just have to see how many they let us put on.
HMX: When you’re on the road, what’s in your tour survival kit?
DS: I’m quite a simple man. I need my iPod, some sort of gaming console, lots of Tabasco sauce and tooth picks. The rest I’m not too bothered about. [laughs]
HMX: How do you feel about utilizing video games as a medium for discovering new music?
DS: I think it’s great. I have actually been turned onto music and bands through Rock Band. It really opens you up to music you might not otherwise have listened to. Hopefully some people have been turned onto our music in the same way!
HMX: Would any of the members of the band consider themselves gamers? What do you all play?
DS: Shaun and I are the main gamers in the band. Johnny is very much just a Rock Band guy. He beats us all the time on guitar which is pretty funny considering he’s the drummer! I’ve been into GT5 and Mortal Kombat lately. Shaun loves his first person shooters.
HMX: When you’re not writing, touring, recording, or performing, what takes up your time?
DS: I’m really into motorcycles. I spend a lot of time riding, carving canyons or sport touring. I have a chopper too for cruising. I’m also into cars. I play games. I like to cook. Fishing. Spending time with good friends, generally having a good time!
HMX: Favorite city to play anywhere in the world and why?
DS: It’s quite hard to pick a favorite, we’ve had the chance to play some amazing places but I’d have to say Johannesburg, South Africa. We don’t get there much so when we do there’s always a great turnout and fans are really exited and appreciative. Also, I get to bring my parents out to the show. It feels pretty good knowing they’re proud. I think there was a time they were a little worried all I wanted to do was make music instead of getting a “real job.”
HMX: Sabbath , Slayer, or Sepultura?
DS: Sepultura. I love that band! Every night before the show we jam out to Chaos AD.