Speaking with Billboard, Seether frontman Shaun Morgan said that the event, which will be held at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, New Hampshire, is meant to raise awareness about teen suicide. It's a topic very close to Morgan's heart considering that his brother, Eugene Welgemoed, committed suicide in 2007 while in his early 20s. Billboard's story indicates that "Rise Above This," which was a hit single on the band's Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces, was written in response to Welgemoed's death, but in fact the album had already been finished by the time he took his life. Nonetheless, the song's message of perseverance in the face of depression has made it one of rock's most inspirational tunes. Morgan said that he didn't want Rise Above Fest to have "a lot of preaching or shoving [the issue] down people's throats," but he hopes the show can help prevent suicide by bringing the topic to light.
"Something needs to be said and someone needs to tell kids there's a better way to do things," he told Billboard. "And if we can just do a small part of that in our own way at one little festival in the middle of the forest, then I'll be happy if we save some lives."
Tickets go on sale for Rise Above Fest starting June 8, and the show will also feature sets from Buckcherry, Puddle of Mudd and Black Stone Cherry. Some of the proceeds from the event will go to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, which, according to the organization's website, "is dedicated to improving the quality of life of persons of all ages affected by mental illness and/or serious emotional disorders through education, support and advocacy." And if you're someone yourself who suffers from suicidal thoughts, About.com's Guide to Depression offers helpful tips on how to cope with such feelings.
Photo: Clay Patrick McBride.