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Rise Above This by Seether
Album: Finding Beauty in Negative SpacesReleased: 2007Charted:
Frontman Shaun Morgan wrote this enduring song about his late brother Eugene before his tragic death in August 2007. Eugene committed suicide by jumping from the window of the Radisson Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota. Morgan explained on his band's website: "I used to think more about what the fans thought, but ultimately I wound up stunting myself creatively. The point of being a musician and writing music and being in a band is that I can write an optimistic-feeling, accessible song if I want. Even though it wasn't written about an optimistic experience, I opted to see a positive in the situation. Rather than my usual reaction, which would be to get all piss-y and moan-y about it."
In our interview with Shaun Morgan
, he told us that this song was written slightly before his brother's suicide. "It was about an attempt that he had made on his own life," Morgan explained. "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."
When we asked Shaun if he thought his brother might really take his own life, he replied: "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 2012, Seether organized and headlined the Rise Above Fest, which took place September 3 in Gilford, New Hampshire. The festival, which also featured Buckcherry and Puddle of Mudd, raised money for the National Alliance of Mental Illness and helped bring the issue of suicide and depression - especially among young people - to the forefront.
Morgan isn't the only band member affected by suicide - drummer Josh Humphrey's wife worked in a church where three kids took their own lives. The song, and the festival are the band's way of sparking the discussion, as they're not comfortable preaching on the issue and are more likely to get the message through with their music. "I wanted something to live on," Morgan told us. "There's a tragedy, but I wanted at least to have his death mean something. So we started the festival and we had a great turnout and there was a lot of great stories from people. And so it was a pretty great day."
The song's video deals with the tragedy of suicide by showing the effects a young man's death has on his surviving family members, ending with the number of the US National Suicide Helpline and a photo of Eugene. Morgan told Kerrang! magazine July 19, 2008: "I'm so proud of the video and the song's success. It's a brutal experience when you lose somebody like that, but you have to find a positive in everything. I hope this makes some kids realize the choices they make can crush a family and devastate the people they leave behind."