Shaun Morgan’s Attempt To Save His Brother Through A Seether Song
When someone gives up on life, convincing them to keep going is almost impossible, but we still try. We do anything in our power to keep those whom we love alive and well, and sometimes, it works. Other times, however, we don’t get that lucky.
Whether it ends with death or not, this type of tragedy damages one’s soul, and damaged souls are one of the sources that feed art. Many beautiful and empowering songs from the rock world were born from the pain caused by suicide attempts and have been used for good purposes.
Think of Sum 41‘s ‘Catching Fire,’ for example. It was written by the band’s vocalist Deryck Whibley following his wife’s suicide attempt, which fortunately failed, and helped the couple have an open conversation about the struggles resulting in this tragedy. The incident and the song eventually prompted the band to contribute to the mental health awareness movement. But they are not the only ones with this kind of story.
Seether’s Shaun Morgan went through a similar experience with a more heartbreaking ending. The band’s lead singer wrote a song called ‘Rise Above This’ in 2007, which was released as a part of the album ‘Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces’ a year later. The song contributed to the band’s success and fame worldwide with its theme, lyrics, and music video. But what was the story behind it?
Morgan’s brother, Eugene, was struggling with depression when he wrote ‘Rise Above This’ after his first suicide attempt. With this song, Shaun wanted to let his brother know that he loved and cared about his well-being but couldn’t get the chance to play it for Eugene as he succeeded in his second attempt at his life.
Morgan was devastated but honored his brother’s death by using this song to raise awareness for mental health problems and suicide prevention. Although the whole process was challenging for him, the music video included elements from Eugene’s death, and the song’s legacy prompted Seether to found ‘Rise Above Fest’ in favor of those lost to suicide and the ones they left behind as well as the people struggling with mental illnesses.
In a past interview with Songfacts, Shaun Morgan mentioned the story of him and his brother, which resulted in the creation of ‘Rise Above This.’ The vocalist stated that the song was written slightly before Eugene’s death, and all he wanted to do was make him feel better and loved, although he didn’t think he would actually kill himself at the time. But Eugene never got to hear his brother’s song.
Morgan answered the questions about the song and his brother as follows:
“It was written slightly before he died. It was about an attempt that he had made on his own life. The idea was to write a song that, if I could play it to him, that it would make him feel better. And unfortunately, I never got a chance to play it for him. So it was written just before, like, a couple of weeks prior to him dying.
I never thought that it was a serious attempt. I thought the first time that it was an accidental thing. So I don’t think that I, in my mind, thought that it was something that would be repeated. I didn’t at all think that he was serious about it. I just wanted to write something to let him know that I cared about him.“
In the same interview, he also explained the positive feedback the song had received from fans, as well as the ‘Rise Above Fest’ project, which showcases their determination to raise awareness about suicide-related issues. The vocalist stated that the money collected through the festival would be donated to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.
His words on the matter read:
“There’s been a lot of great feedback from that song. We started our own festival this year and hopefully, we’ll be able to repeat it every year. But we started a festival in New Hampshire called The Rise Above Fest. And it was basically as a way to raise some money for the National Alliance of Mental Illness, which deals with families of suicides, depression, and a bunch of different things.”
Eugene’s death and the pain Shaun Morgan went through afterward were quite heartbreaking, but as a musician, the Seether vocalist did not let his brother’s loss be for nothing. He used the song he wrote for him as a way of helping other people with similar problems and sufferings, which has let him and his band touch many people’s lives.