Salem Trials is an alternative metal band from Ottawa, Ontario. Drawing influence from progressive and hardcore genres, ST is an aspiring touring band with goals to take the world by storm.
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Salem Trials? How long has the band been around?
Before Salem Trials, Zack, Nick and Randy were in high school band called Here Comes Bigfoot. From 2011 until 2016 we gigged consistently across Ontario and Quebec. When our old vocalist, Guy, decided to retire his voice and step away from the band, we decided to move forward and start a new band with a new vocalist and a new Image. We were lucky enough to stumble upon Jericho, who was in another local band called Standing On Oblivion at the time, And then Salem Trials began to take shape.
Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Each member of the band plays a different role. Zack usually handles all the management and business side of things, while Randy And Nick contribute the most to Recording, producing and live sound and Jericho handles his vocals and lyrical content.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
We struggled to come up with a name for the better part of 2 years while we were writing and demoing our album, and then finally landed on Salem Trials and didn’t hate it, so we decided to run with it and the theme kind of fit our style.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
Throughout the writing process for our debut EP, Misanthropy, it was very collaborative between the four of us from the start. Randy or Nick would often start most of the songs with demos of riffs and programmed drums, and just focus on getting a basic structure going. Then we'd bounce ideas back and forth with everyone else to get the song structure and flow just right. Everything from the riffs, to drum parts and vocals has had everybody’s opinion voiced and approval given, and we’re all super stoked on how everything is sounding.
The majority of the subject matter on our debut EP Misanthropy, has to do with suicide, depression, anxiety, self-doubt, and trying to overcome those feelings to ultimately find joy and meaning in life. It’s all to do with things we’ve felt and struggled with and have seen impact friends and family, so it hits very close to home. We want anyone who listens to know that they are not alone in their struggles, and that even the toughest of obstacles can be overcome.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
We have a pretty wide range of influences, which vary between all of us. But the ones that first come to mind for the band are Silent Planet, Periphery, Pantera, Meshuggah, Tesseract, Vildhjarta, Dillinger escape plan, End, knocked loose stuff like that, but theres too many to name. We get inspired by a lot of different things and enjoy the blend of atmospheric and dreamy sections with crushing riffs and heavy breakdowns.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
We can’t really narrow down wanting to be in a band down to any one concert or experience, but we all started out playing music with people at a really young age and i think it just took off from there. the instrument section of this band were playing bar gigs every weekend before we were out of high school, and i think we’ve always had a passion and a will to move forward with music as our main goal.
What do you do to prepare for a show? Any flexing, exercises, etc …
The band as a whole doesn’t really have much of a pre show routine together, but we all individually do some basic warm ups and stretches before a gig whether it be some practice pad rudiments, running through some finger warm ups or warming up the vocal chords. Occasionally, we had some pre show huddles to try and pump each other up, but thats about it.
What has been the biggest highlight of the band’s career so far?
We’re still in the early stages, so I’m sure there are more highlights yet to come but thus far the biggest highlight for the band has to be our debut music video for Rotten Path and hearing our first professionally mastered single. We like to do the majority of the engineering and mixing ourselves, but decided to go to Acle Kahney of Tesseract at 4Dsounds.com to master our single and EP and we’re super stoked on how things are sounding so far.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
If we could tour with any band past or present, I think we would all have a different answer for that coming from a lot of different influences but I think that the majority of us would just like to play with a band we listen to on the regular, maybe something like The Contortionist, Silent Planet or Steel Panther. There’s too many to choose from, we would be happy to play with anyone that would have us, but we like to have a good time so its always fun to play with like minded people.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We’ve been working on these songs for the past couple of years and it’s awesome to finally see it all coming together. We’re all super excited to finally get to share these songs with everyone, and can’t wait to get out there and start playing them live.
The debut music video for our first single “Rotten Path” will be dropping on March 11, 2019. , The single will be released on all major platforms, and all of it’s earnings from our Bandcamp page will be donated to Kids Help Phone.