After months of anticipation, the second annual Fort Rock music festival is less than a couple of weeks away. Taking place all day Saturday, April 26, at JetBlue Park, South Fort Myers, the hard-rock music fest will feature none other than Rob Zombie, Korn, Seether, Five Finger Death Punch, Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry, Lacuna Coil and many more.
Dale Stewart, bassist of the hardcore rock trio Seether, known for such heavy hits as "Gasoline," "Remedy," "Fine Again," "Weak" and cover of "Careless Whisper," was kind enough to talk a little about the concert he and his group will be rocking that night, as well as some behind-the-scenes looks at life on the road.
"We've played quite often in Fort Myers, and proud to be making it back down there for the Fort Rock show," Dale said. "We've made a lot of new fans, but what's really cool is seeing the faces who have been there since the beginning. We are fortunate to have very loyal and supportive fans seeing the first ones on Facebook years ago, and when our first CD came out . And we see new faces, too. It's really nice to know, and a very good feeling."
The second annual Fort Rock hits SWFL Saturday, April 26, featuring Rob Zombie, Korn and Seether (above), along with Five Finger Death Punch, Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry, Lacuna Coil and more. Photo by MARINA CHAVEZ.
When Seether takes the stage that evening around 5, look forward to a great mix of new and old. The band likes to keep the set list fresh and ever-changing.
"It'll definitely be a mix-up. We like to change it up show to show. There will definitely be new stuff we're really excited about our new music, really looking forward to playing it live. The longer you do this, the more songs on the radio, the more challenging it becomes to come up with a set list that'll satisfy people. The loyalty of our fans, we'll see them at three or four shows in a row. We want to be sure to keep them happy and change up the set list a bit, so they don't know what to expect."
Like many groups, Dale feels his band's music has evolved over the years, but certainly hasn't lost its dynamic or its core, continuing to grow and expand.
"I think the core of our music is the same we're the same guys doing the music. But it certainly has evolved; I think it's inevitable," he said. "People change over the years, music changes, influence changes. I think we've evolved in a good way, and matured. We're much better at writing music now. We don't want to release the same album over and over again. We like to change it up and move forward."
As for influences on the group's music, it, too, changes and varies. "I think a lot of it is instrumental now. I love all music. In my spare time, I like to see Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai. Everything plays a little part. Anything that you hear, anything that affects you emotionally, or that you find interesting," the South African bassist explained. "What I'd like to know our fans take away with our music, is I hope they use it almost like therapy, an escape. You go to a rock show and just forget about everything for a while. We like to have a good time. Lots of music is serious. I think it's good to get those negative emotions out and just breathe."
When he's not on the road, Dale likes to enjoy his fair share of adrenaline, whether he's cruising around on his motorcycles or racing on either two wheels or four.
The line-up from the Monster Energy Stage (main stage) that day are:
1:15 p.m.: Nothing More
2:30 p.m.: Sick Puppies
3:45 p.m.: Theory of a Deadman
5:10 p.m.: Seether
6:45 p.m.: Five Finger Death Punch
8:30 p.m.: Korn
9:50 p.m.: Rob Zombie
The line-up from the Jgermeister Stage that day are:
11:20 a.m.: Bellusira (Reverbnation Winner)
12 p.m.: Within Reason
12:40 p.m.: Twelve Foot Ninja
1:55 p.m.: Kyng
3:10 p.m.: Lacuna Coil
4:25 p.m.: Pretty Reckless
6 p.m.: Trivium
7:40 p.m.: Black Stone Cherry
"Yeah, I do a lot of motorcycle riding, a pretty mundane passion, a little racing, cars I enjoy shooting, fishing, cooking."
Life on the road can be pretty repetitious, static and boring. Dale said when he's on tour with Seether, he likes to take in his surroundings.
"There are so many restrictions on the road. Everyone has this glamorous idea of sex, drugs and rock and roll. I'll take a walk around, look at stuff, every now and then I might rent a bike and take a cruise through the area where we are. But most of the time, we're either on the couch watching Maury or playing video games.
"We've taken a lot of time off, time to write and record for a while for the best part of the year. But, through the end of the year, we'll be touring through Canada, Europe, The States," he said. "You don't want it to feel like a job, so we take a break and come back with a full battery."
Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Seether's new music during their Fort Rock set list. Although the latest album (whose title's a secret until May 1), won't yet be available at the merch table April 26, it'll hit the shelves sometime in July.
"We're pretty excited about it. It was produced by Brendan O'Brien, a producing genius in our opinion, and has a lot of heavy stuff but at the same time, it's very melodic and has some great choruses," Dale said. "It shows our maturity as a band, as musicians. We're very excited to have it out there. It's tough being so close to it, so I can't wait to hear what the fans think."
General admission and VIP tickets for Monster Energy's Fort Rock are currently on sale at FortRockFestival.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Be sure to visit FortRockFetival.com for more info.