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Morgan performing with Seether in 2014
|Birth name||Shaun Morgan Welgemoed|
|Born||21 December 1978|
|Origin||Pietermaritzburg, South Africa|
Shaun Morgan Welgemoed ([ˈveːl.χɐmut], born on December 21, 1978), known publicly as Shaun Morgan, is a South African musician, singer, songwriter and guitarist for the South African rock band Seether.
Morgan spent all of his early life in South Africa. His parents divorced when Morgan was still a child. Morgan is one of three children; he had a brother, Eugene, who took his own life in 2007, and has a sister, Lucy. He was a student at Merchiston Preparatory School and Maritzburg College in Pietermaritzburg, where he became a prolific front-row rugby player for his age-group's top teams in his first three years of high school. In his third year of playing rugby, Morgan injured his back and was unable to play anymore, which then led to him following his passion of playing guitar.
Prior to forming their band, Saron Gas, Morgan was a member of a tribute band, tributing songs of bands such as Creed and Tom Petty. In May 1999, Morgan 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, Morgan decided to use his middle name as his last name professionally while performing for Seether because some Americans have a hard time pronouncing "Welgemoed". Seether went on to release their debut major-label album, Disclaimer, on 20 August 2002.
Since then, Seether has released four more studio albums; Karma and Effect (2005), Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007), Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray (2011) and Isolate and Medicate (2014). 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 Morgan 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".
In May 2015, Seether released the critically acclaimed Isolate & Medicate produced by Brendan O'Brien.
In May 2017, the band released Poison the Parish produced by Shaun Morgan
Bands that have influenced Morgan include Nirvana, Portishead, Silverchair, The Beatles, Metallica, Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails, Mad Season, Rage Against the Machine, Black Sabbath, Korn, Soundgarden, Led Zeppelin, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Deftones.
Shaun Morgan uses Schecter guitars, with whom he has a signature model. He was originally offered an endorsement and a signature model with PRS, but declined. He also uses Mesa/Boogie amplifiers, specifically the Triple Rectifier.
From 2004 to 2005, Morgan dated Evanescence singer Amy Lee. Morgan checked into rehab in July 2006. Lee wrote the song "Call Me When You're Sober" about her relationship with Morgan. 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 confirmed it wasn't.
In August 2007, Morgan's brother, Eugene Welgemoed killed himself, just a few weeks before Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces was released, as the album was finished there was no delay, but the opus was dedicated to Eugene and featured a memorial. Eugene jumped to his death shortly after midnight on Monday, 13 August 2007 from an eighth-floor window of the Radisson Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota. According to police, no foul play was suspected in the death, and the death was ruled a suicide after an investigation. Morgan has 1308 tattooed on his four right fingers, and 2007 tattooed on his four left fingers which marks the day Eugene died (13 August 2007). Seether's song, "Rise Above This" is a tribute to Eugene. Shaun Morgan was awarded The National Council's 2016 Artistic Expression Impact Award of Excellence.
Studio albums As Saron Gas
- Fragile (2000)
- Disclaimer (2002)
- Disclaimer II (2004)
- Karma and Effect (2005)
- Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces (2007)
- Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray (2011)
- Isolate and Medicate (2014)
- Poison the Parish (2017)
- One Cold Night (2006)
- iTunes Originals – Seether (2008)
- Rhapsody Originals – Seether (2008)
- 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. 27 January 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "Lynyrd Skynyrd's Johnny Van Zant: 'Hopefully We'll Have Many, Many More Years Doing This'". Wardlaw, Matt; UltimateClassicRock.com. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "Seether | Related Artists". MTV. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- Harris, Chris. Seether Frontman Enters Rehab; August Tour Dates Canceled, VH1, 26 July 2006; accessed 25 March 2009.
- Brown, Katie. Radisson suicide brother of Seether front man, Rapid City Journal, 16 August 2007; accessed 25 March 2009.