||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
Shaun Morgan with Seether at Van Andel Arena Sept, 2011
|Birth name||Shaun Morgan Welgemoed|
|Born||21 December 1978|
|Origin||Pietermaritzburg, South Africa|
|Genres||Post-grunge, alternative metal|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass guitar|
|Associated acts||Seether, Saron Gas|
Welgemoed (Shaun) spent all of his early life in South Africa. His parents divorced when Welgemoed was still a child. At 14 years old, he first discovered the Seattle grunge movement after listening to Nirvana’s Nevermind album, which inspired him to become a musician. He began to play the guitar, first learning "Polly", before starting to piece together bands. However his father did not approve of his son playing in a band, so Welgemoed ran away from home in order to "cut a demo" while living in friends’ cars and garages. Welgemoed then returned home to Pietermaritzburg to live with his mother and stepfather and started playing in a band again, although he stopped playing music after three years as he was not getting anywhere.
Prior to forming their band, Saron Gas, Shaun was a member of a tribute band, tributing songs of bands such as Korn and Metallica. In May of the year 1999, Welgemoed became the rhythm guitarist and back-up vocalist of a new band, Saron Gas. There were four other members to the band; a female vocalist, a lead guitarist, bassist and drummer. However, when the singer and guitarist did not turn up to the first practice, the band decided to stay as a three-piece, with Welgemoed on lead vocals and guitar. Saron Gas enjoyed moderate success before the bass player decided to quit in January 2000, causing Welgemoed to get in touch with the only other good bass player he knew, Dale Stewart. The band released an album later that year, entitled Fragile.
In January 2002, the band relocated to the United States to sign with Wind-up Records. During this time the band’s original drummer left to return home to South Africa, whilst the two remaining members were left to think of a new band name, at the request of Wind-up. Eventually they settled on Seether, after the Veruca Salt song of the same name. Around this time Welgemoed also decided to use his middle name while performing for Seether. He said on many occasions that Americans have a hard time pronouncing Welgemoed. Shaun Morgan and Seether went on to release their debut major-label album, Disclaimer, on 20 August 2002.
Since then, Seether have released three more studio albums; Karma and Effect (2005), Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007), and Holding On To Strings Better Left To Fray (2011). In addition, they released the compilation album Disclaimer II in 2004, and the live CD/DVD One Cold Night in 2006. In 2009, the band released three new songs; one a Seether original entitled "No Shelter", the second being a cover of George Michael’s "Careless Whisper" which Shaun and Dale have said had a special significance to the band and "I've got you under my Skin" a Frank Sinatra cover for Sinatra's tribute album "His Way, Our Way".
Morgan is one of three children; he has a sister named Lucy and a deceased brother, Eugene. He attended highschool at 'Maritzburg College (predominantly renowned for their sports) in Pietermaritzburg, where he became a prolific front-row rugby player for his age-group's top teams in his first three years of highschool. In his third year of playing rugby, Welgemoed injured his back and was unable to play anymore, which then lead to him following his passion of playing guitar (his stepfather bought him his first guitar). Morgan also has a daughter, Jayde Fourie-Welgemoed, from a marriage to Jill Hollon that ended in 2002. From 2003 to 2005, he dated Evanescence singer Amy Lee. However, their relationship ended bitterly. When Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces was released on 23 October 2007, its third single, "Breakdown", was rumored to be about Amy Lee. However, Morgan implied that most early songs were about, "if anyone, his ex wife in Ohio." Morgan had a brief stint in rehab for alcoholism in August 2006. 95X The Buzz with Michael Todd reported in September 2006 that Morgan was engaged and set to be a father once more. His girlfriend gave birth to a son, named Bowie, in November 2006. Morgan became a father for the third time to daughter, Gracelee in March 2011.
In August 2007, Morgan's brother Eugene committed suicide, just a few weeks before Seether's third studio release Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces; as the album was finished there was no delay, but the opus was dedicated to brother Eugene and featured a memorial. Eugene's death was reported by Katie Brown, Rapid City Journal, stating that he had jumped to his death shortly after midnight Monday, 13 August 2007 from an eighth-floor window of the Radisson Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota. Brown went on to report that according to police, no foul play is suspected in the death. It was ruled a suicide after an investigation. Shaun has 1308 tattooed on his four right fingers, and 2007 tattooed on his four left fingers which marks the day Eugene died (13/08/2007). The summer before his death, Eugene shot a couple of brief scenes in a low budget movie, "Brood X Magicada," playing a killer. The movie was never completed. Seether's song "Rise Above This" is a tribute to Eugene. On Seether's newest album Holding onto Strings Better Left To Fray the song "Pass Slowly" was also written about Eugene
Bands that have influenced him include Nirvana, Portishead, Silverchair, The Beatles, Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam (mainly the album Vs.) and Deftones.
Shaun primarily uses Schecter Guitar Research guitars, mostly the PT models which he has had custom made for himself. On the "Remedy" video he can be seen using a 2000 Schecter C-1 Custom, and on the video of "Gasoline", he can be seen using a Schecter 006 model, discontinued in 2004. Schecter produced a signature model for 2011, which featured a totally new shape based on a 'Mosrite' and comes in three tone sunburst, candy apple red, silver, and white. On most of his personal guitars, he uses Duncan Designed pickups, specifically the HB-102. In 2006, he stated in an interview with Ultimate Guitar that he doesn't use a lot of effect pedals. His amp of choice has been the Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier which he has modified to his own presets that are not available on stock models. Morgan mainly performs with Mesa 4x12 cabs, but in 2011 he was seen using a huge Mesa Boogie dummy stack. It is meant for looks and has four 4x12 speakers inside of it. Dale Stewart also has a Hartke bass dummy stack for performances loaded with bass cabinets. In 2012 on the Triple Threat Tour, he and Dale Stewart are seen using steampunk inspired cases.
Current live rig:
- Schecter Guitar Research Shaun Morgan signature model guitars;
- Schecter Guitar Research customized PT Fastback model guitars;
- Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier amp heads with 4x12 Mesa cabs;
- Dean Markley Blue Steel 10-52 Strings;
- Seymour Duncan Duncan Designed pickups (HB-102);
- Modded Shure SM57 vocal microphone;
- Shure SM58 vocal microphone;
- Dunlop Custom Tortex picks;
- Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor pedal;
- Boss CH-1 Super Chorus pedal;
- Boss OC-3 Super Octave Pedal;
- Dunlop Manufacturing ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Signature Crybaby Wah Pedal;
- Dunlop Manufacturing JD-4S Rotovibe Pedal
During Seether's live album "One Cold Night" Shaun was using an Alvarez FD60. This guitar is an acoustic electric that he only uses for live acoustic performances. There are different colours that Shaun uses such as Orange, Green and Black.
Specifications For the Alvarez FD60:
Electronics - System 600T
Body Style - Cutaway Thin Dreadnought
Back and Sides - Maple
Top Wood - Quilted Maple
Rosette - Abalone
Binding - Ivory/Black
Fingerboard - Rosewood
Inlays - 12th Fret Diagonal
Machine Heads - Gold Die Cast
Bridge - Rosewood
- Studio albums
- As Saron Gas
- Fragile (2000)
- As Seether
- Disclaimer (2002)
- Disclaimer II (2004)
- Karma and Effect (2005)
- Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007)
- Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray (2011)
- Live albums
- One Cold Night (2006)
- Digital albums
- Art of Dying featuring Shaun Morgan - "Die Trying" (2008)
- HURT featuring Shaun Morgan - "World Ain't Right" on the album Goodbye to the Machine (2009)
- Acoustic cover of Alice In Chains "Nutshell". Duet with Brent Smith, lead singer of Shinedown. The song is featured on The 97X Green Room: Volume 2, which is a radio station based in Tampa, FL.
- Bottomley, C. Seether: South African Seattle, VH1, 6 March 2003. Accessed 25 March 2009.
- iTunes Originals - Seether
- "Seether". YouTube. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- Harris, Chris. Seether Frontman Enters Rehab; August Tour Dates Canceled, VH1, 26 July 2006. Accessed 25 March 2009.
- Harris, Chris. Seether Frontman Won't Respond To Amy Lee's Attack: 'I Just Refuse To Lower Myself To That Level', MTV, 18 July 2007. Accessed 25 March 2009.
- "95X TheBUZZ with Michael Todd". .mywesttexas.com. 2006-09-18. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- Brown, Katie. Radisson suicide brother of Seether front man, Rapid City Journal, 16 August 2007. Accessed 25 March 2009.
- "Seether | Related Artists | Discover New Music". MTV. Retrieved 2011-11-08.