SEETHER's SHAUN MORGAN Says He Is Facing An 'Existential Crisis' As A Touring Musician Amid Pandemic

SEETHER's SHAUN MORGAN Says He Is Facing An 'Existential Crisis' As A Touring Musician Amid Pandemic

During an appearance on the "Hardcore Humanism With Dr. Mike" podcast, SEETHER frontman Shaun Morgan spoke about how he has been dealing with his band's inability to tour amid the coronavirus pandemic. He said (hear audio below): "It's just been a very trying time to feel like my entire livelihood has been taken away from me. And that's obviously due to the reasons we all know, but it's been such an interesting thing to understand. For example, there's no guarantee, as of right now, that we're gonna go back to work next year. They're saying [tentatively] that there will be chances of touring, but there's a very good chance there's another year that's gonna go by where we're not gonna be able to tour. So that's something I'm learning to come to terms with. I have to figure out what else I can do with my life, and which other avenues I can pursue, because this one might be taken away from me involuntarily for quite some time. So it's up to me to find something else that makes me feel worthwhile and that I have some sort of worth. But that's a struggle too.

"For two decades, I've lived under the assumption that there's sort of a cyclical nature of my life," he continued. "It's write and record an album, tour for 18 monhts to two years, write and record an album, and then just rinse and repeat. And now, for the first time ever, that hasn't been the case. And it's been alarming in a sense to see how quickly that got to me. 'Cause it's such a double-edged sword.

"On one hand, I'm seeing my three-year-old — who was two and a half when this all started — I'm seeing how she develops and grows and how her vocabulary has exploded and how this little person is slowly emerging from this toddler body," Shaun added. "And if I'd been on the road, I wouldn't have seen that. So that part of it I am so happy and grateful for. The other side is I am starting to wonder if touring like we used to in the old days is something that I want to do anymore. So, now I'm having an existential crisis as well, as far as, 'Do I still want to do this for a living as far as a touring musician?' Because I've been doing that now since I was 20 years old — so almost 22 years now. Or are there other things that I might decide are more important to me now? And maybe I start shifting away from this as my main vocation, if you will, and then move to something else. I don't know yet, because I don't know if that's how I'm feeling because I don't have the opportunity to test out my theory. I don't have the chance to go, 'Okay, let's go play some shows.' 'Oh, man, do I still love it?' And I'm sure I will. But as of right now, my feeling is, yeah, it's kind of becoming a little bit less important to me, the touring side. The creative side is still great — I still love to do that and record and put out albums and music."

Shaun also talked in more detail about how the shutdown of venues has caused countless musicians like him to have their livelihoods largely wrenched from them without prior warning.

"Our entire business model is based on getting on a bus and playing to people," he said. "This is not the good old days when people would go out and buy CDs. Bands sustain themselves purely on merch and live music these days. And then, if you're lucky, you'll get some publishing from the streaming sites. But other than that, that's how we earn a living. So it's interesting to now be in a position where — well, interesting, but also kind of depressing in the sense that my job is not only for income but it's also for some sort of feeling of self-worth and some sort of productivity, as a human and spreading joy, if you will, to people that come to the shows. And there's that one element of playing the shows that gives you that chemical dump in your brain that makes you feel so good. I haven't had that in so long, I'm terrified if I get another hit, I might get fully addicted. I don't know."

He continued: "[It's] the roller-coaster ride of getting ready to leave on the road, which you have to ramp up for the mental state for that, because you don't just walk out of the house, close the door behind you, and suddenly now you're Shaun Morgan from SEETHER. Whereas before that, I was just Shaun hanging out with my family. It's very difficult to just flip on a dime like that.

"I was ready to go, and then it was all ripped out underneath us, and there's this anticipation, then it's the crash, then it's the depression, and then it's the anxiety," he added. "So it's been kind of a whirlwind. I have good and bad days. And, unfortunately, for the most part, it seems like the bad days are starting to outnumber the good ones, and I'm trying to figure that out and how to make that better."

SEETHER's latest album, "Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" ("If You Want Peace, Prepare For War") was released in August. The LP was produced by Morgan and engineered and mixed by Matt Hyde (DEFTONES, AFI) in Nashville from December 2019 through January 2020.

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