Seether’s Dale Stewart on Working With Super-Producer Brendan O’Brien
In the music business, producer Brendan O’Brien is talked about with the same kind of reverence usually reserved for rock stars. The Atlanta, GA native has produced bestselling albums by everyone from Bruce Springsteen and AC/DC to Velvet Revolver.
“He certainly is a legend, but we weren’t intimated to work with him,” says Seether bassist Dale Stewart during a recent conversation with Noisecreep. The South African hard rockers just released the O’Brien produced ‘Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray,’ their fifth studio album.
“I know my band mates would agree with me when I say that working with Brendan was a great experience. He is obviously very talented, but he also works a little differently from what we’re used to. For this album we broke it up into a few different recording sessions and we didn’t do more than 4-5 different songs each time. It was a great way to concentrate on each song and make sure they were ready for the tracking process. Brendan wouldn’t agree to start recording our album if he didn’t feel like we had enough good material to work with. So we would go into these little pre-production rooms together with Brendan and go over each song with a fine-tooth comb. By the time we were done with that part of it, most of the songs sounded pretty close to what they end result would end up being.”
When Noisecreep asked Stewart if he would be interested in getting into the studio with O’Brien again someday, his answer was simple and straight-forward. “It was an honor to work with him and when you get a chance to collaborate with someone that talented you should take it.”
‘Holding Onto Strings Better Left to Fray’ is a chockfull of catchy guitar melodies and Shaun Morgan’s distinctive vocal hooks, but the album also features some of the heaviest riffs in Seether’s catalog up to now.
“In terms of style and overall feel, I think it picks up where our last album [2007's 'Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces'] left off. But yes, there are definitely a few moments on the record that are different for us. ‘Country Song’ [the first single] is a very different sounding song than what people have come to know from Seether. We weren’t even sure it was going to make it onto the album, let alone become a single. But so far, the reaction to the song has been really great, so I’m glad we did it. Shaun’s voice always ties things together for us melodically. I guess that allows us to branch out every now and then.”
Watch Seether’s ‘Country Song’ video