Seether’s Dale Stewart: The Gun Shy Interview

Dale Stewart

The first single from South African hard rockers Seether’s forthcoming fifth album Holding On To Strings Better Left to Fray sounds more like a country tune than it does a hard-driving fist-pumper, which the band’s become sort of known for over the last ten years.

Appropriately called “Country Song,” Seether bassist Dale Stewart says that the track is not indicative of how the rest of Holding On To Strings Better Left to Fray sounds.

“We wanted to do something different again,” Stewart tells Gun Shy Assassin. “We don’t want to keep rehashing the same stuff over and over again. I wouldn’t say that song is a good indicator of what the rest of the album sounds like; that song is definitely a standout. But I think the song still sounds like Seether…there’s just a different twist on it.”

The new album, Stewart explains, is not a huge departure from Seether’s sound. Really, its merely a progression…one that came naturally with the addition of guitarist Troy McLawhorn.

“I think its a little bit more of a mature sounding Seether,” says Stewart. “As you get older and the band grows, and you learn more about music, your influences change. Its just sort of a natural thing for the music to follow that. I’d say this new album just follows where the last one left off. There’s some heavy stuff, some stuff that’s a little more upbeat — there’s stuff that’s a little darker.”

But there were no growing pains with Troy. He played a big role in the writing of the record, which the band worked on over three months in Nashville, Tennessee.

“This album was really cool in that we all brought ideas that we had on our own, and we put them all on the table,” Stewart starts. “We did the whole thing in Nashville, and just were completely focused on the writing. Troy was a big part of the writing and a big part of the sound on the album. I think he fits in really well with what we do and how we think about music and the kind of stuff we like. He just started right in and had a lot of great ideas.”

Not only is Holding On To Strings Better Left to Fray McLawhorn’s first album with Seether, it was the band’s first experience with super producer Brendan O’Brien.

“It was awesome working with him,” the bassist tells me. “It was my favorite experience with a producer. Brendan is something else. He’s such a great producer but he’s also an amazing musician; he’ll pick up any instrument and start playing it like a master. And he works so quickly and so efficiently, which is cool because that’s how we work as a band. At times, it was really intense, but it brought out some of the best stuff we’ve ever done.”

The band will be touring extensively across the globe throughout much of 2011, and you can find those dates at the end of this interview. But what band does Stewart want to see return to the live stage for a U.S. tour?

“I’d really like to see Soundgarden do a tour, and I’d want to be on that tour,” he says with a laugh. “I’d like to see a Guns N’ Roses reunion. As a big fan, that would be really cool. Not sure that’s a tour I’d want to be on, though. I’d be constantly worried it would get cancelled.”

Seether tour dates:

4/1: Fort Myers, FL @ City of Palms Park
4/2: Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum
4/15: Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live
4/16: Richmond, VA @ Richmond Raceway Complex
4/17: Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
4/19: Knoxville, TN @ Valarium
4/20: Lexington, KY @ Buster’s Billiards and Backroom
4/22: Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note
4/23: Little Rock, AR @ Arkansas State Fairgrounds
4/25: Amarillo, TX @ Midnight Rodeo
4/26: Lubbock, TX @ The Pavilion
4/27: Odessa, TX @ Dos Amigos
4/29: San Antonio, TX @ Sunken Gardens Amphitheatre
4/30: Frisco, TX @ Pizza Hut Park
5/1: Spring, TX @ Cynthia W. Mitchell Pavilion
5/3: New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
5/7: Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion at The Metrolina Expo
5/8: Jacksonville, FL @ Metropolitan Park
5/10: Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts
5/11: South Bend, IN @ Club Fever
5/13: Council Buffs, IA @ Westfair Amphitheatre
5/14: Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
5/15: Indianola, IA @ National Balloon Classic Field
5/20: Hartford, CT @ The Comcast Theatre
5/21: Washington, DC @ RFK Stadium
5/22: Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center
5/27: Cleveland, OH @ Nautica Stage
5/28: Indianapolis, IN @ Verizon Wireless Music Center
5/29: Pryor, OK @ Rocklahoma Festival
7/16: Cadott, WI @ Chippewa Valley Rock Fest

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