It has been a long time since we heard anything from Salem, except for some interviews. What happened in the time between 'A Moment Of Silence' and 'Collective Demise'?
When we did 'A Moment Of Silence' we were signed with an Israeli record company BNE. Before 'A Moment Of Silence' was released, B.N.E. got a deal from Noise Records (German label) for 5 albums. The reason that prevented Salem from signing and ruined the album distribution in Europe was a number of clauses in the contract that can fail the band in the future. Therefore the contract with Noise was cancelled. Salem's deal with BNE was for 3 albums. We tried to cancel the deal with them, and it took a long time (almost 3 years), and that is why it took some time between 'A Moment Of Silence' and 'Collective Demise'.
How do you survive as an extreme metalband in Israel?
We don't feel we survive; Salem has a great audience that support us. Almost every show is sold out. The album was released in Israel on July 8th and we did a show to celebrate it, and we sold that night about 750 copies.
Salem sounds a lot more aggressive on this album than on the previous album 'A Moment Of Silence'. Why did you change your style, has it anything to do with the situation in your country?
'Collective Demise' is very aggressive, although it has a lot of melodies and harmonies. I think that 'Collective Demise' reflects certain adolescence of Salem, the fact that it's more aggressive and much faster distinguish it from our previous releases. The political situation in Israel is very tense. That influence us and you can see it in our lyrics and music.
Are you happy with the result of the album? 'A Moment Of Silence' was produced by Colin Richardson, but this album you did the production by yourself. Wasn't Colin available this time, or does it have other reasons?
Colin Richardson is one of the biggest producers; he produced bands like Fear Factory, Machine Head, Napalm Death, Carcass, Bolt Thrower and more. The album 'A Moment Of Silence' was released on an Israeli record company B.N.E. They checked Salem's potential with several companies from abroad, and the responses were positive for worldwide distribution of a completed product. B.N.E invested on this album $80,000 (including bringing Colin Richardson to produce the album in Israel). There is no doubt that the budget for 'Collective Demise' wasn't that big, but all of Salem members has a technical knowledge and we know our ways in a studio, therefore it's easy for us as a musicians to produce and release a good quality product. We worked very hard on this album, and we are very satisfied with the results.
You have released a video from the song 'Al Taster' in Israel. Why did you pick just that song from the CD? It has some strange lyrics, which were taken out of the bible. What exactly does this song mean?
'Al Taster' is the first single and video off the album released in Israel on June 19th 2002. This song is a cover of an old Jewish hymn. Lyrics are taken from Psalms, chapter 102, verse 3. You can usually hear this song in Israel on Holocaust Memorial Day and on Memorial Day for Israel's fallen. It was very important to us to do this song in Hebrew because of its meaning. We dedicated this song to a woman we know, who lost all her family in the Holocaust, and after she immigrated to Israel and build a new family, she lost her only child in the war.
Salem has released 3 new video clips from 'Collective Demise', the first one 'Al Taster' deals with the pain of the people who lost their loved ones, the second 'Act of War' shows the absurd of suicide terrorists on busses in Israel, and the third 'Broken Yet United' is dedicated to the Israeli Metal scene, to the audience and it shows the relationship between Salem and the fans.
To stay with the lyrics, you have had some troubles with several of your lyrics. You received a bomb from Burzum and one song even made it to parliament discussions. How does that reflect on the band?
Salem never compromised with our music and style, even if we had problems with the religious or with the government. We did have a problem when we did 'Kaddish', we had an argument because they thought this isn't appropriate to play Ha'ayara Boe'eret with Metal. This is a very sensitive subject and some people thought the music is too aggressive, but eventually we decided that it is appropriate to cover songs like that, and that is why we did it, after all we have the freedom of speech and creativity.
About Burzum - He sent us the bomb after he purchased our Demo 'Millions Slaughtered/live' and realise that our lyrics are against War, murder and Nazism. He wrote us a letter that he liked our music but not our lyrics. He also said that it's a pity that Hitler and Saddam didn't kill more Jews. I wrote him back correspondingly to his letter. After a while, He sent me a bomb, but I didn't get it because in Israel we have a very good security, so the envelope with the bomb was destroyed by the police.
Aren't you afraid these kinds of incidents will happen again to the band?
We are not afraid. We think it is very important to say our opinion, and we are not going to let the fanatical stop us.
You signed for three albums at KMG from Germany. How did you get that deal, because it isn't a very big label and Germany isn't just around the
Salem taped a demo and sent it to several record companies; the best deal we got was from KMG/System Shock. KMG/System Shock is not a small label; it released bands like Vader, Malevolent Creation, Master, Krabathor etc. Also, this is not the first time we signed with a German record company; we released our first 2 albums 'Creating our sins' and 'Kaddish' for a German record company 'Morbid Records'. So Germany is not foreign to us.
What are the plans for a new album?
We are now working on a new material, and we are trying to build a concept for the new album. This is just the beginning but I hope it will take shape real soon.
Do you have plans for a tour to promote your new album?
KMG/System Shock is planning a European tour for Salem on 2003. We don't have the exact details right now, but we will be happy to inform you when we will.
Any final comments?
Thank you very much for your support. Keep metal alive! For more information about Salem, you can visit our web site:http://www.salemband.com.