1. Can you update us with what is going on with Salem these days?
Hi and thank you for having us over. Salem has just released our 7th album titled "Playing God and other short stories" on Pulverised Records. The album was released in Israel in April, in Europe in late May and is about to be out in the States.
We played a CD release show in Israel in April and we are planning to follow with some European shows in the next few months.
Last couple of months were busy promoting the release mostly in Europe and Israel.
2. Recently the new album came out on Pulverised Records, how has the support been so far from that label and how would you compare it to the other labels that you have been on?
The label is everything we ever wished for. I think this is the best promotion we've had since the early Morbid Records days.
Pulverised are very attentive, very professional and pretty well connected in the world of extreme music.
For the first time ever in my life, there is a drum contest held at sick Drummer Magazine where contestants need to play along the opening track of the new album. Check it out, drummers.
3.Your music has evolved over the years from being primitive black/death which helped influenced the 2nd wave of black metal, to the stuff that you doing now what makes you evolve with each album?
You know, we have been around for a quarter of a century. It is a long time and I think that our music is not the only thing that changed over this period. We have changed as people as well. Nothing stays the same. If our music did not reflect that, it would prove that we were not too credible.
4. Even your more black metal stuff was political, have you ever recieved any unwelcome critism due to having a lyrical approach that most bands in the genre never touch?
We used to receive some hate mail. Some people still bash us online. It is ok, we are not trying to please as many people as possible, trying to sell 2 million copies. I just think that it is weird that people would spend so much time and effort on something that they do not like and know that even if they sent us their hate mail, we would not disband. Instead of spending all this time with something that they think is good. I simply do not get this attitude.
5. Wht is going on nowadays with producing bands, and what are some bands that you are currently working with?
We stopped doing that. These days there is finally a metal scene in Israel, a pretty proud one. We can go about our business without worrying too much about other bands. Many bands go out of the country to produce their albums, many bands go on tours in Europe. It is finally happening, there is a metal culture in Israel.
6. You are seen as one of the pioneering bands in the Isreal metal scene what is your opinion on some of the bands that you have influenced?
It is a great honor to be considered a forefather. It is always a compliment to hear a band play a Salem cover or even mention Salem as an influence.
I think that there are some great metal bands in the country these days. Too bad that the industry is doing so badly. A lot of bands, locally and worldwide are not going to get the exposure they deserve, not because their music is not good but because of the state of the music business.
7. What are some of the best shows that the band has done so far and how would you describe your stage performance?
The show in April was amazing. The vibe was electrifying. We played a show with Obituary and that was one of our most intense ones ever. The show at the French Hellfest was an experience. The appearance we made at the Holocaust Remembrance service a couple of years ago with "Ha'ayara Boe'eret" was also an experience of a lifetime.
We are not playing too many shows a year so we are trying to pick up events that seem interesting to us and make each time we go on stage an event to remember.
I think that Salem's music is made for the stage. I think that the bands goes through very well on stage.
8. Are there any plans for a U.S tour?
I wish. We all wish. Thanks to MySpace and Facebook our fastest growing market is the USA.
If an American management office will be hip to that, maybe we will get to play for the American market for the first time ever. It will be something special.
9. How has the response been to the new album by extreme metal fans worldwide?
Pretty supportive. Of course there are always those who were never into the band and all of a sudden connected due to the nature of the new material and old school fans who feel that we betrayed our roots but generally speaking, the album has been received very well.
10. Out off all the albums that the band has put out so far, which one are you the most satisfied with?
After working with Colin Richardson of "A Moment of Silence" in 1997 we thought that nothing would ever sound better than that.
I think that the new release sounds pretty damn good. It was recorded in one of the best studios in Israel and mastered at Sterling Sound NYC.
I am not even getting into the fact that as the years go by we simply get tighter as a band and better players on our individual instruments.
Our latest is definitely our greatest.
11. What are some bands or musical styles that have influenced your music and what are you listening to nowadays?
Wow, this list would prove to be endless. The new release has many flavors. Some are not even related to metal. There are some West African music influences, Military music influences, Religious music, Raggae (there is a Bob Marley cover on the new album of "Exodus" and the list goes on.
Even in metal, there are so many great bands out there these days, it is unbelievable.
12. Does anyone in the band have an interest in the Hebrew Cabballa?
I was raised in a religious environment so I know a thing or two about that. To be honest, I am not that interested in mysticism. There were some Kaballistic symbols on the booklet of our first live DVD, "Live Demise".
That is about it.
13. What are some of your interests outside of music?
Mythology, physics, video games, sports, art in general.
You have to remember that most of us in the band are married with children. We have some mileage so our interests are varied.
14. Any final words or thoughts?
Thank you so much for you interest and support, we hope to see you live pretty soon, America. Feel free to find us online and drop us a line... only if you like what you hear. If not, write someone else who's music moves you. Rock on.