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Tags: Salem_Rages, Denim_And_Leather, Roman_Remains, Nick_Malone, Visible_Noise, Gloom_Punk, Shipping_Forecast

Denim and Leather - Salem Rages Interview

Roman Remains
It’s been months since we last sat down and spoke to Liverpool’s own Gloom Punkers Salem Rages, and with a date now set for their upcoming debut on Visible Noise it was high time for a catchup. Ahead of their gig at The Shipping Forecast this Thursday, we spoke to frontman Roman Remains about the album, Christmas, and death rock revival.

First of all welcome back to Denim and Leather! Last time we talked a lot about the upcoming release of Aspects of the Deepest Gloom, and now it’s finally set for release this April having been sent out to press already. How happy are you overall now everything’s done?

So fucking hyped, it been nearly two years! We were gonna release it on  CASKET (our label) but couldn’t source the budget. To shop it around we put the mp3s on USB sticks glued them to toy bats and presented them in cardboard coffins. We posted these coffin packages to 10 of our favourite labels. Finally Visible Noise was the only one to get back us and straight away agreed to release it on record!  They felt it would be better for us to release our back catalog first (Splinters) which was great but it was a little frustrating sitting on the LP as it’s definitely a lot stronger. Its finally happening now, can't wait for people to hear it in all its 12' 'audio Gloom punk Glory.

Is there anything left for you to do now recording is done, such as choosing album artwork and the likes?

I’ve literally just finished typing the thanks list for 12! I’ve tried to keep the Artwork minimal and solid with the obvious dark tones much like previous releases. The First 25 LPs are coming packed with all kinds of creepy treats, these will be revealed closer to release date.

OK let’s talk about the album itself. As the intro fades out into 'One For Sorrow' we instantly get a fast paced taste of what’s to come. Talk us through the DIY video you put together for the track.

To be honest this was kinda rushed together by Rag Payne in order to let people know we had newer material recorded but i'm fine with DIY internet vids. Glossy vids can look really lame.Regarding 'One For Sorrow', it’s a perfect opener. It totally sets the stage for whats to come based on the way you will have seen us live. It’s straight up punk, and how we are live! Faster, messy, more energetic. Plus it’s under 2 minutes long so it will at least hold your attention till the next track.

Moving on, 'Thirteen Times' showcases some hypnotic basslines before bursting into a healthy mix of punk and 80’s British metal throughout. How important is it to be breaking free from the shackles of genre confinement and creating your own sound?

I think it’s important to wear the shackles long enough for people to recognise the genre of music you’re performing but have the ability to let it progress into something more interesting to performer and the listener. This is a theory I'm still trying to put into practice and is one the fundamentals of the Gloom Punk genre.

Furthermore, 'Death Tides In' and indeed the album overall are firmly focused on a Death Rock sound that’s seen some resurgence of late. Has the original movement been something that’s inspired you?

Always. We love and have loved Death rock for years and that’s pretty much what brought us together. Death rock is en vogue now, but Gloom Punk’s now ready to hit!

How was the whole process of making the album with Visible Noise compared to your first time around with Splinters?

As stated before, A.O.T.D.G was recorded before VN came on board, but they have definitely helped push a little more the promotion of the band and the album. We were never too big on the Social media side of thing so its cool to have someone willing to help us. We’re more concerned with putting out records and playing gigs. Blood, sweat, beer and mascara over headaches, deadline and trending.

Aside from this This Thursday at The Shipping Forecast, what are your plans gig wise leading up to and succeeding the release of the album?

Fill the back of a four door car with gear, a few boxes of records and go spread the gloom punk gospel! The road is out there...

The forthcoming Christmas treat we talked about last time turned out to be a 12 Days of Misfits Christmas giveaway. What was the reaction like overall to the idea?

Who doesn’t like something for free at Christmas! We had so much fun learning all the Misfits tunes for Halloween we figured it would be a waste to not record them. When they were all done they sounded rad so we thought fuck it, they were never ours in the first place so let’s put em online for free.  People really enjoyed em. I think they are all  coming out on White Tape VOL 2 some point very soon. It’s Something for you to crash your car to straight after you've passed ya test.

OK back to the album. We’ve talked about breaching genres, but 'Smokescreen Afterlife' really stands on it’s own as an awe inspiring instrumental piece. Talk us through the story behind the track?

That was just a  practice room jam and was heavily inspired by the Suburbia Soundtrack.  We wanted to write a piece of music that makes you wanna  move not but not shout! It’s all about the pace it think, last time we played it in Harrogate, people were slamming to it!  It’s the soundtrack to an army of ghosts going war!!!!!

Aside from some fantastic musicianship throughout, the piano intro on New Grave is particularly comely. Who in the band plays the keys?

Sunday Mourning is a highly talented percussionist, aside from beating the skins he is really thrives on the sprinklings of additional chimes, keys and triangles. He even played a saw on a few tracks! It adds really cool dimensions to the tracks. Atko (gentlemans pistols) who produced the record really embraced the idea of us, using a wide range of percussion instruments to layer up ambiance in a lot of the tracks. It works I think, to me it brings the mists in between the guitars but can also break silence like a razor in the night!

Finally, 'Purging the Flowers' finishes the album off beautifully and is my favourite by quite some distance. From the choir intro to the harmonic chorus’, the general feel of the song is that of an impending nuclear apocalypse, or at least that’s what I perceive it as. Am I far off?

3 chords can go a long way! That was gonna be the title track too. I’m sure it was also last track of the session we recorded and is very slow, heavy deep and gloomy. A reflection of the mood we were all in after nearly 48 hours of tracking. In content and tempo it is almost polar opposite to the opening track ,but I think it what you need to end album which has some much schizophrenic energy.

IT’s GLOOM PUNK. IT’s a product of Liverpool's diverse music scene!

Tickets for Salem Rages gig at The Shipping Forecast this Thursday as still available now here, and Aspects of the Deepest Gloom will be released this April on Visible Noise. Check back for our review of the show next week.

    Nick's posts By Nick Malone



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