Salem was founded in late 1979 by two former members from the “Metal for Muthas” stars Ethel The Frog – Paul Tognola (vocals/guitar) and Paul Conyers (drums). Ade Jenkinson was drafted as the bass player and the first band meeting with Paul Macnamara (lead guitar) was 2 January 1980 in The Red Lion pub in Anlaby, Hull.
After a period of song writing and rehearsal, Salem began gigging in Hull and district, and recorded the first demo in January 1981.
Simon Saxby (vocals) joined Salem following Paul Tognola’s departure for The Crack in March 1981 and the band continued to perform. Mark Allison joined to provide the depth of second guitar and twin-lead melodies. This line-up gigged regularly and released its own single “Cold As Steel/Reach For Eternity” in April 1982. Paul Macnamara was interviewed by Kerrang! in May 1982 and singles were sold globally.
Paul Conyers had to leave due to other professional commitments and Paul “Animal” Mendham took up the drum stool.
Salem continued to gig prolifically in the North of England with a hardcore of fans. They soon recorded another demo, for the first time capturing the fans’ favourite “The Keeper of the Keys”. This raw session caught the passion of the live performances.
Salem won a “battle of the bands” at Huddersfield Polytechnic, following which they recorded the last demo at September Sound, Huddersfield, in March 1983, which demonstrated the maturing song writing of the band. Although a number of record companies expressed an interest in the music, the band imploded and played their last, sell-out gig in Hull on 31 May 1983.
In 2010, High Roller Records and Pure Steel Records approached Salem, keen to release the 1980s recordings on vinyl and CD. The result is the album “In The Beginning ”.
Following great interest in the band, Salem re-formed and played first gig in 27 years at The Adelphi, in hometown Hull.
In 2011, Salem recorded three new tracks (available on a limited edition EP) and played again at The Adelphi on 9 December.
In July 2012, Ricky Squires (formerly of the dEAd ENd KIdS and the Heavy Metal Kids) joined Salem as the new drummer. Ricky played several gigs with us, including rocking in Europe, and whilst we were looking forward to continuing with him permanently, things have not turned out as planned. The upshot is that Paul is now back in Salem – and currently in rehearsal with the band for the BROFEST#1.
The album Forgotten Dreams was released on 6 December 2013 by Pure Rocks Records and has received excellent reviews. Salem is already recording for the next album.
The band continues to play gigs and festivals in UK, Europe and beyond and already has several bookings for 2015.
To see more about Salem please visit their website :- Salem