INTERVIEW: Corey Lowery - Seether
‘My reputation proceeds me, I’ve got a feeling this can’t go wrong…’ that is a bold lyric from ‘Can’t Go Wrong’ but ‘Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum’ is a bold album by Seether. Translating to ‘If You Want Peace, Prepare For War, their eighth album is due for release on August 28th, a mesmerizing addictive collection of the delicate anger that we are accustomed to. From the hard hitting anthem ‘Dead And Done’ to the love letter of ‘Written In Stone’ this is for me the best Seether album to date.
We caught up with Corey Lowery to talk about his first record with Seether, the reasons for showing the more intimate side of the band at home and also why Seether jam throughout songs during live shows.
Corey: Hey what’s happening?
Elle Jay: Hey Corey, how are you doing?
Corey: I’m doing great, I’m in Atlanta, Georgia, we’re hanging in there, how are you guys doing? Are you hanging in there?
Elle Jay: Yeah we’re good here in Perth, Western Australia. Its been a little different but its been great to see differences in creativity across the world.
Corey: We appreciate you guys reaching out to us, we had a blast, we were there not too long ago, we got to play a few places there. I love the people there, everyone was so cool to us, you know singing all the lyrics and we’re excited to have some new music for you guys.
Elle Jay: And what an album it is! Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum. Its an amazing album, there’s a line in the song ‘Can’t Go Wrong’ ‘..my reputation proceeds me, I’ve got a feeling this can’t go wrong’ That line sums up this album.
Corey: I love that song, that’s one of my favourite songs of the whole record, I can’t wait.
Elle Jay: It’s amazing, there’s just so much in this album, I can’t believe fans have another 5 weeks to wait.
Corey: Haha, yeah the record is coming out on August 28th in the states and we’re super excited. We can’t wait to get this record out to everyone, we’ve worked real hard with it so we’re excited to share it with everybody.
Elle Jay: This is your first album with Seether, how did you find the process both as an artist but also an engineer, having been involved as an assistant engineer?
Corey: It was awesome, I’ve been engineering and producing bands for a lot of years and my own bands. Shaun produced it (Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum), Matt Hyde (Deftones, AFI) he’s a great engineer, we all got to work together, it was an amazing experience. I’ve been in the studio my whole life doing different records and this is one of my favourite experiences by far.
Elle Jay: How did the writing process go? I know Shaun writes a lot of the music, did you get much creative control with ideas around your guitar work or across the production of the record?
Corey: With this record, Shaun knows exactly what Seether should sound like, he’s spent years building this, he sent us a draft of all the songs, so we really got to listen to it and learn it. I think the big thing was Shaun wanted us to put our spirit on it, ‘here’s what it is, now you play it and put your heart into it and play it like you would play it.’ Everybody did such a great job as far as being efficient in the studio, once he sent all this music out to us, I would just sit in the studio and jam on it and jam on it and I had a blast learning it and playing it. So, by the time you get into the studio, you don’t want to think about how you’re playing, you know what is this chord, what is that note, you want to think about the emotional content of the song at that point. So everybody was really great at being able to portray the song and know what that song is about, what kind of energy you put into it, whether it be a sad song, angry song or up and down song, you really just want to focus on the emotional content of that song.
Elle Jay: I know we’ve touched on ‘Can’t Go Wrong’ which is one of my favourite songs, there’s so many on the album that stand out. As a bassist I love ‘Dead And Done’ and the bassline that runs through it, also ‘Bruised and Bloodied’ but also ‘Beg’, wow that’s such a massive anthem, I can’t wait for you guys to tour and see how the crowd respond to that. What would you say is your favourite from the album?
Corey: You know what, you’ve listed about three of them right out of the gate. I can’t wait to play ‘Dead And Done’, ‘Beg’ and ‘Can’t Go Wrong’, definitely of the heavier side of the fence, but also ‘Failure’ is awesome and ‘Wasteland’ has its place
Elle Jay: Yeah ‘Wasteland’ is very catchy
Corey: I can get lost and put it on repeat a million times (with) ‘Written In Stone’ just the acoustic vibe of that.
Elle Jay: Its like a love letter to the fans that finishes that album off
Corey: Exactly, its one of those where at night you sit in the back lounge or sit in a dark room and put some headphones on and just lose yourself. So much energy went into this record and hard work, Shaun did a great job in writing sincere work that comes straight from his heart. Its very hard to let yourself be that vulnerable and show that side of you, he’s got an amazing ability to express himself in those places and I think it comes across in the lyrics and the melody
Elle Jay: There’s a lyric in ‘Beg’, ‘…I hope the needles under your skin taste like blasphemy and treason..’ it made me realise how much the content has grown again from prior albums. Seether has been a band for over twenty years and yet again you’re still growing together as a band to increase the level of writing and production, you really have done an amazing job with it.
Corey: Thank you so much, I think you right, I think it comes from being able to grow, this time we took three years between ‘Poison The Parish’ to this record. I think sometimes when you put records out too fast you don’t have enough time to build up all that’s within you for you to write about. Shaun did a great job as far as taking his time and diving into it, I watched him, he would sit and write lyrics and I could see him staring at it and rewrite something and I knew what he was rewriting was a lot better. He didn’t let any words pass, he wanted to make sure everything was out on the table and like you said lyrical content and melody for this record is one of the best and I’m so glad to have been part of it and I just cant wait to get it out there.
Elle Jay: It’s a pretty phenomenal album to have been part of in every step of the way, especially for your first Seether Record.
Corey: Haha, yeah I think I’m going to levitate when we finally get to go out and we can finally play music. I’m just going to levitate for the first few songs.
Elle Jay: I know I’ll definitely be in the mosh pit when you’re here again!
Elle Jay: The video for Dangerous, what were your thoughts when you heard the content for it? It’s a very different take on Little Red Riding Hood with the Werewolves and Vampires and also the face at the end.
*Corey laughs quite a bit about this*
Corey: Haha, it’s got a lot of meaning, we don’t give out a lot of what our songs are about as different people have a different interpretation of it, for me its about being careful with the social media stuff and the whole wives stuff (old wives tales), being careful not to pass it down onto your next generation. Its been a crazy year for everyone and you can take from the lyrics and even from the video, everyone is going to apply what they see and what they hear into their own interpretation, I think everyone is extremely creative when it comes to that kind of thing. You could say it’s exactly like this, it might ruin it but I would never want to do that for anyone else, I’ll leave it for open interpretation.
Elle Jay: With Covid bands are having to interact with fans in new ways and I have to say you’re doing something that I’ve not seen with other bands. Shaun is doing his Q and A and acoustic performances but were also seeing your CrossFit and we’re getting cooking shows too. With Rock and Roll it’s easy to show the partying and the drinking culture but its actually really humbling to see you guys taking on the fitness side, showing fans with your gym ‘CrossFit North Cobb’ what they can do at home. What was your initial thoughts around this?
Corey: Thanks, well we all wanted to share a little bit around what we do with our off time as a band and what keeps us going. Dale is super passionate about fishing and cooking, Johnny loves drums and he has a million vinyl records, I mean we go on tour and he will buy, he will come home with a suitcase of vinyl records that he’s got from around the world, he’s just passionate about being a collector. For me, it was during my off time, I did Jiu Jitsu and CrossFit, I miss the live movement and the energy of that. When this (Covid) first happened, we went into it you know ‘what’s going on’, we’re scared, nervous and we’re not sure and we’re worried about our families. After a couple of months of really looking at it and just sitting there I was like I’ve gotta start moving, its very unhealthy for me to not do anything, so I called my CrossFit Coach in Georgia where I am the gym had opened. I know this won’t apply for everyone but I still feel you can do it at home and I wanted to share that, its not that you have to go to a gym, you can do a lot of that stuff from home but I think its important that you find something that gives you mental strength. You need some type of release whether that’s music, yoga, Jiu Jitsu, CrossFit, whatever that may be, find something that keeps you going, something that you can look forward to the next day and just keep moving. A lot of people got laid off of work, thankfully we’ve got people like you that were allowed to do the interviews so we can stay current with the fans and support our new record that’s coming out. Right now, like all bands were not touring, so we wanted to try and show something different, a little bit more intimate with Seether, lets show them what our life is like when we are at home.
Elle Jay: It’s wonderful to see you training with Sloane, your daughter, it’s great to see that relationship.
Corey: Yeah, I mean we do so much touring, my parents play music so I was used to them leaving and coming in. You’ve got to have a great support system, especially with the family and they need a home support system when I’m gone, my wife does a great job of holding down the fort. Having her (Sloane) be a part of that (training), I know what it will do for her future to take care of herself and get a head start on it.
Elle Jay: Now I know this is a Seether interview but I wanted to say a huge congratulations on the ‘Crobot’ record too, was there guitar work in there too for you?
Corey: Thank you, I produced their record, they’re super cool guys and they’re doing well, they’ve just got a new single out too and its cool as both of us are hitting the charts so that’s exciting. Ironically, one of their songs is called ‘Gasoline’ which is the same name as one of ours haha.
Elle Jay: I listened to that this morning it’s a killer song
Corey: Ah, thank you very much. We all talk to each other, we all miss touring, those guys miss their fans too, we love our fans. We’re a live band, we’re only live no pretending to play, you’ll hear the mistakes, you’ll hear the beautiful and ugly that comes with it. It’s important to us to have that release, we’re so thankful to be able to go out and play and share all of this music.
Elle Jay: What is your favourite Seether song to play live?
Corey: Ah, well I know what it was but now there’s going to be a bunch of new ones, haha. A lot of that for me really depends on the crowd, they kind of move the song. I love playing ‘Stoke The Fire’, for some reason I go into my little Native American world and start dancing around, it just takes me somewhere. A lot of time I see the crowd get so into it and it can be any song and that will be a favourite of that night, that’s when you know you’re connecting with an audience. When you get to share that and you see all that energy, ‘Gasoline’ could be the favourite song tonight or ‘Let You Down’ or ‘Fake It’ or ‘Remedy’. We do a lot of jamming within a song, some of those jams within a song I’ll be like ‘God I wish we we’re recording as it was amazing’. Its all fun, we want everyone to know that its real its not the same show every night. People will ask what is the jam going to be like, who knows, you know Shaun will come up with something within a song and we will just follow and it’s a cool journey we all get to take together.
Elle Jay: I was going to ask what song you wished was in the setlist but I guess its one of the new songs?
Corey: Well now you’ve said ‘Dead And Done’ of course I’m wanting to do that or ‘Can’t Go Wrong’, ‘Dangerous’, I can’t wait to play that song live, there’s so many new songs, ‘Beg’ is going to be so heavy, I can’t believe it.
Elle Jay: The fans are in for such a treat with this album
Corey: Yeah, having new music out we’re going to change it up, we will still always play the hits, as Dale would say ‘you gotta dance with the one you came with’. There are the songs that are hits ‘Fake It’, ‘Remedy’, ‘Broken’ they’re the songs that got Seether where they’re at, so we will always play those songs but we will play some of this new music for sure.
Elle Jay: I know you started out on bass back with Stuck Mojo and now are playing guitar with Seether, now I’m rooting for bass but what is your favourite to play?
Corey: I actually started out on guitar, my dad played everything and I was really into songwriting and he said learn everything so I played piano, drums, guitar, bass. You want to learn everything if you want to be a really good songwriter and its fun, I write different on bass than I do on guitar and on piano. It’s influence, like right now I’m surrounded by thirty different instruments, that’s the cool part about having the studio, you just reach over and grab something, you don’t know what you’re gonna write, you just write and release something. I honestly have a huge passion for bass, it’s the heaviest part of the band, there’s something about low end that’s just incredible. It’s just expression though, all of it is expression, being able to express yourself as an artist is important to me, so I have love for both, for all of it
Elle Jay: That’s awesome to hear. Now with the album being release on August 28th, do we have another single being released between now and then as you’ve posted about July 27th?
Corey: I’m sure we will
*Corey breaks up laughing*
Corey: I’m sure something like that will happen, I think we will have another surprise for everybody coming up soon and maybe a little different from ‘Dangerous’, so yeah keep your ears out and we appreciate everybody waiting. No one can wait for this more than we can, were all excited, we can’t wait to open the door and say look at this stuff we have. We appreciate all the support during this time and we want everybody to be safe out there and we will all get through it and live shows will happen again very soon.
Elle Jay: Thank you so much for talking to The Rockpit today, I’m definitely hanging out to see which single is released next.
Corey: Yeah, we’re looking forward to seeing you all at the show, we’re looking forward to getting over there and we can hang for sure.
Interview conducted for The Rockpit, Australia 17 July 2020