💿 Hi, it’s a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal Paul Macnamara, guitarist of iconic NWOBHM band SALEM! Welcome!
Hi Giovanni. Great to talk with you! 💿 We’re in waitin’ for your return with a new album called “ATTRITION”, out from February 23rd. Can you tell us somethin’ about this platter and its composition process? What should we expect in terms of sound?
“Attrition” has overall, a slighter harder and darker edge. As with our previous albums, there are a variety of song styles, tempos and moods, with the constant focus on interesting, melodic music.
The music is largely composed by Mark and me, with some songs by Adrian and lyrics put together by him and Simon. The lyrics cover a range of subjects. An apparently lighter song, “I’m The One”, actually considers the murky subject of domestic abuse – a sort-of confession by the abuser! Then one of the heaviest tracks is “Lest We Forget” – with the curious chromatic(ish) riff – is about dementia. However, there is a reoccurring theme of the struggle to overcome domination and oppression, for example in “Taking Control”, “Warning Signs” and the title track. We have had great feedback from those who have heard a few tracks. We hope you like it too!!
💿 The real “news” in music industry is the return of vinyl; What’s your feeling about this classic format and the current music business?
I love vinyl. You can’t beat holding a 12” record in your hands – and they sound good too! It’s also really popular on our merch table – and “Attrition” will also be released on vinyl. The music business seems to be in a bit of turmoil. CD sales down? Vinyl sales up? A growing emphasis on streaming! Then there are so many opportunities for people to basically steal music from the internet. The big companies are still making plenty of money – but is that getting to the artists? It’s difficult to say what will happen next. 💿 The new album will be out via DISSONANCE PRODUCTIONS, involved with many UK bands, once concluded the deal with PURE STEEL. Can you tell us somethin’ about the relationships with this “new” label?
Yes, the new album is released by Dissonance Productions, which is part of the huge Plastic Head Distribution company. I got in touch with Tom who invited us down to their headquarters to meet the MD Steve. They said they liked our music and thought that we would fit very well on the roster with other bands, such as Diamond Head and Grim Reaper. They are really into their rock, metal and punk, and wanted the new label to focus on “heritage” NWOBHM bands and associated “traditional” heavy metal bands. You may have seen that they have signed other bands like Desolation Angels and Toledo Steel too, so this gives you an idea of where Dissonance is going. Anyway, we got on very well and they made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Their promotion machine is in action and we are already getting loads of interest.
💿 What do you think about the renewed interest for NWOBHM and Traditional HM? Love for “vintage” or a new golden era? Anyway I believe that is magic this remade interest for this kind of music!
Love for “vintage” or a new golden era? It is a bit of both. When we reformed in 2009, the people at our first gigs were mainly blokes of our age – maybe there for the nostalgia thing? However, since then the audiences now include men and women, of all ages – which is great to see. I agree with you that there is a growing recognition that this music is actually really good. It is powerful with great rhythms that you can dance and bang your head to, songs with anthemic choruses to sing along too, and played by bands putting on a show. It’s just great fun. 💿 Can you tell us somethin’ about your next live projects to promote the new album?
First of all, we plan to have a change in our set list – still keeping a few of the 1980s “In The Beginning” songs, and of course playing some from the “Forgotten Dreams” and “Dark Days” albums. However, we are likely to have a bit of shuffle of the set – and of course to make room for some of the “Attrition” songs. We are still working our next series of gigs, and hope to be able to make some announcements soon. There might be some surprises! We have played in Italy in 2012 and 2014. It’s about time we played in Italy again!! 💿 Lastly, Can you tell us somethin’ about the cover of “ATTRITION”? Who made it? A really good job!
The idea of the warrior-angel stems from the lyrics of the title track – when you hear it, I think that you will understand. The band knocked some concepts about, and looked to see who might be suitable for this type of project. We came across Dorian Ludewig. Much of Dorian’s work is erotic fantasy and this seemed to fit with some of the images the band was coming up with. To be honest, I was not sure if this was a good idea – however, I think that we are all very pleased with the results, and we have had many great comments. I’m glad you like it! 💿 Thank you so much for your time! See you soon on Hardrockheavymetal!
Ciao to you Giovanni. Paul
(Public Pics 1/2 taken from Salem/Paul Macnamara FB; Pics 3/4 live GRIMM UP NORTH FEST credits Hardrockheavymetal)