New Music
24.02.2009, Words by Charlie Jones

Salem "We segregate ourselves from the everyday"

This duo from Chicago make beautiful, terrifying slowed down crunk that turns every day into night and every night into the Northern Lights. When Merok Records put out the Water EP from the Chicago-Michigan-New York trio (John Holland, Heather Marlatt, and Jack Donoghue), it sold out straight away, as did their Yes I Smoke Crack EP on Acephale.

On the one hand, their music is a blend of chopped’n’ screwed compositional music, hard-edged industrial and that violence-stained disco that Chromatics have perfected, and their visual output is fittingly beautiful/horrifying. On the other, they have hardly any pictures (John apparently has never been photographed, though their Butt magazine interview seems to have one blurry one) their interviews are kind of scant, and they don’t seem that bothered about social networking sites.

Biog-wise, Heather and John met at an arts boarding school (“He asked me if I wanted to be his friend and we have been since,” Heather emailed), and Heather met Jack in Chicago eighteen months ago, and started working with Acephale in early 2008. They’re finally going to start playing to the public soon.

Here’s some stuff about what they like: “We like blue raspberry flavor, Marvel vs Capcom 2, dirt bikes, baths, our snake Sasha,” they write over email. On the rap influence: “Its not really big where we’re from. When John was in Junior High and all the other kids were into grunge, he would go home and watch MTV Raps. So he is very knowledgeable. We like screwed and chopped music, but there’s better rap we’re affected by than screwed/chopped, Atl Trap , Footwork . [We’d like collaborate with] Gucci Mane, DJ Nate and Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em”. I mentioned something about the cold, and they said “We like winter when it snows everyday. Winter is so much prettier then spring. We sort of segregate ourselves from the everyday I guess, we don’t have TV or anything. We are more influenced by nature as seen on youtube.” On sleep, Jack said “I’ve never slept that much. I feel like I’m giving in to my body when I sleep, and I don’t remember my dreams anyway, so it seems like a waste of time.”

Salem’s myspace

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