Thursday, 4 November 2010

Salem Expose the Worst of the Midwest

Sometimes a band is more than just the music. It's about their whole aesthetic. Man, I know it's wanky when you use that word 'aesthetic' it sounds like something a uni professor would say while regurgitating some book on Baroque art where winning contenders like Caravaggio play the leading trumpet.

But with SALEM, it's everything. It's the name, it's the videos, it's their music. Together it forms this notion that's completely uninhibited. But there's none of that pretense that comes with throwing meat on yourself and calling it a dress a la Gaga. There's the story behind the members because the members are the band. They are the reason it is what it is. They are the core to everything SALEM represent and coming from and being based in the Midwest, specifically Michigan, has played a big part in the band's 'aesthetic' and sound. Ironically enough it's the bleakness of it. The never ending flatness of the terrain. There's literally no where to hide. 

SALEM has exposed the sordid life that lives there. That festers there. Member John Holland is a perfect example of this. At the age of 16 he was heavily addicted to Speed, he was indulging in illicit sex for money and although he admits to having really caring parents the life  he led was pretty depressing. It wasn't until 2007 when Heather and Jack intervened that things started to change and so SALEM was born. His salacious sex-for-drugs story was recently published in BUTT Magazine.

Trying to understand SALEM will prove fruitless. Instead see it at face value because the band from the Midwest aren't "trying to give people what they want but they are happy if people want what they are giving".

Interview with Heather and John here!

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I am more than prone to monologues; however, this is solely due to the manner in which they compliment a witty anecdote and their ability to resemble concrete evidence when it is so obviously lacking. I often wish I could emulate that aloof character who coolly stands in the corner smiling mysteriously as if she has a secret. However, I fear resisting the temptation to involve myself in other people’s conflicts and responding through body language rather than verbose banter may come across as contrived and arrogant. And, I am not willing to take that chance.

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