Salute are one of England's best new metal acts from the last decade, playing that real metal sound I know you all love. I managed to catch up with frontman Tom Swine for an interview prior to their appearance at the Old Blue Last this weekend (details below). Here's a little of what we spoke about...
You guys started out back in 2004, when you were still doing your solo project Swine. Is that project still alive?
Tom Swine: Yeah, started Salute properly in 04 just after I did the Swine album. A few projects started around 01/02 that became Salute eventually. I'd like to do another Swine album eventually, just really hard to find time. Next one would be ten times better though!
It seems you're incorporating more black metal/grimness into Salute's sound, would you agree?
The first demo/EP we did was actually black metal through and through, with some thrash here and there. So that has always been with us. We just hated playing fast black metal live and got bored. We listen to so much music that we just moved on quickly to the first album, which is more rock n' roll. The new one is the best though and more like how I want Salute to sound. Fucking dark and heavy with plenty of groove. Although our third album will be THE ONE!!!
Killer. Got any more info? Is there a title for the next one?
We have roughly four songs complete for the next album, Grinderland. We hope for it to spill out this year some time. Darker, sharper, nastier, and more soul! We just want to get the new album out before the end of the year. Summer would be good but no date as of yet.
Where do you think metal is going this decade? It seems heavy metal and death metal are becoming very popular again, you think it will impact over here?
I hope not, 85% of new heavy bands I hear are fucking awful. I hardly listen to anything new. Only different types of music that's new. The underground is there though, and there are some great bands. Most play an old-school sound though. Any new big scene is always gonna suffer as its been done before.
Exactly, its a tough one. I gotta say, mainstream metal is one of the worst genres of music there is, ha ha
Exactly! That is how I feel. If that's what it is to be a heavy metal fan these days, no one of us in Salute could be counted as one. Obliteration released one of the best death metal albums ever last year, and Deathhammer crush. I love Obliteration and they are great people. Also really into Midnight and Evil Army from the U.S.
Fenriz has much admiration for you guys btw, how did you come into contact with him btw?
Fenriz actually contacted us just to say we kicked Darkthrone's ass, which was fucking funny as hell. After that we stayed in touch and I trade (tapes) with him. Thing is, we all have always listened to Darkthrone, every album (Ravishing Grimness being my favourite). So it was very cool for us to get the appreciation. He's helped us out a lot.
So a bit off the subject, you're from Bristol. How is the scene down there?
We're actually all from the countryside 40 mins south of Bristol, but Kaptain, the guitarist, lives there now. Not much of a scene for heavy metal, but Denim and Leather Promotions put on some great doom shows and they gave us a break playing our first shows in the city. Plenty of other good music in Bristol though (Portishead's new album kills).
Lastly, what are you inspired by outside of music?
Trying to be a better person; travel inspires us. I personally want live more self-sufficient in the future, with friends and family close. Keep the good people close. It all sounds very hippie-ish but England is turning to cheese and the generation below us all seem to be dumb as hell, Americanised beyond the point of no return.
Its like the whole fucking country is happy to be lobotimised by X Factor etc. Their loss! Are you doing anything on the festival circuit this summer?
We never get asked to do summer fests ha ha, but we have some shit lined up. The Fenriz curated Live Evil festival in London 23/24th of October (more to come on that soon, but Vulcano have confirmed!), and maybe some other gigs in between then.
Oh yeah, I forgot one, why Salute?
At first it was the best name we had that wasn't too 'metall-y'. At first it was kinda meant as a homage/salute to the old-school bands, or just heavy music that came before us. Now it just means whatever! Its good though because abroad as it means 'cheers' in a lot of places, so that gets the booze flowing just right!
For Salute merch, records and news, please visit their myspace here.
He also did a mix, it is in one track, but it's banging. Rip it. Also, Fenriz's Trapped Under Vice, Vol. III is on its way...
SOUNDS FROM THE COMPOUND, VOL. I (2010)
01. Vangelis (USA) - “Bladerunner [Main Titles]” (1982)
02. David Bowie (UK) - “Warszawa” (1987)
03. Killing Joke (UK) - “$0.36″ (1980)
04. Killing Joke (UK) - “Exit” (1981)
05. The Fall (UK) - “Reformation!” (2007)
06. The Ruts (UK) - “S.U.S.” (1979)
07. Saxon (UK) - “Street Fighting Gang” (1980)
08. Diamond Head (UK) - “Sweet and Innocent” (1979)
09. Amebix (UK) - “Time Bomb” (1987)
10. G.B.H. (UK) - “Time Bomb” (1982)
11. The Exploited (UK) - "UK 82" (1982)
12. Inepsy (Canada) - “The Aftermath of Progress” (2003)
13. Aura Noir (Norway) - “The Stalker”(2008)
14. Darkthrone (Norway) - “The Winds They Call the Dungeon Shaker” (2008)
15. PiL (UK) - “The Order of Death” (1984)