Interview with Tom Swine of Salute 2010

By Berg



Salute, Tom Swine of Salute!


YES our kid!


How would you introduce old school fuelled Salute to our readers, who haven't heard of you yet?


LOCAL GRINDERS.  We come from old villages where yeast and cider replaced water years back ..... Salute is freedom fuel.  Do what you want.  Don't be a dick.....


How about the message or vibe of Salute? What kind of mood you hope the songs evoke in the audience?


CRAZED RAGE!!!  Our first album was mostly an upbeat pounder!  Theme's for the streets!!  Now that's out the way, it's become much darker, but we still have a mix of emotions and ideas.  That's the key to Salute.  Whatever we feel can go into the Chilli pot.  Our new album so far has been influenced by films such as The Road, Mad Max 1/2, and Apocalypse Now kinda vibes!  Desolate, end of the earth madness... DRAIN THE SEAS!!!  This is nothing new, but it became a natural mood for this one.


The latest album "The Underground" has been out for over a year now.  What's the general public response to it?


Not very good as many haven't heard it.  I don't reckon the label completed the promotional side of things, but we're not in the loop!  Our first album was done well.  This one not.  Artwork was rushed for the release, front cover anyway, although it’s pretty rotten.  GOOD.  We spent time making sure with the music. POST-time was not time well spent.


You did sign to another record label for the release, namely to Witches Brew from Germany.  As you do record all your stuff yourself, was it easier to find a label when the band doesn't expect huge studio budgets?


Dunno.  We've always recorded our own stuff and never had the intention of going to a pro studio, so this question has never come up.  We should probably get a recording budget transferred straight to our bank accounts as we're doing them a favour, saving them money.....


Any progress to report on the next album "Grinderland"?  Are you still hoping to get it recorded and released this year?


Yes.  Although, anything could happen down here.  Equipment pops, jobs are lost.  I dedicate soul to the music though so it is taken very seriously, even if life is turning to slurry.


And time you might have to spend looking for the new label if you weren't satisfied with "The Underground" release process?  Ever thought of self-releasing it and get EVERYTHING done in your own speed?


We've dabbled with the self-release thing before, and maybe we should look at it again.  But, we all have day jobs etc etc, so just keeping the studio up and running and writing/recording takes up enough time and money.  We still need time to listen to bottomless pits of music from the past and present you see!!


There was sample from "Grinderland" available on your myspace profile for a short period of time.  Are you going with the Darkthronesque way, record few songs at the time as they are completed versus single recording session for release?


We've kinda always done both.  If we ever demo songs, and they're good enough, we usually keep them and then maybe record the rest of the album in a big chunk, if we have a load of songs ready to go.  Then it's just a matter of mixing it all together.  This is what we did with The Underground.  Above The Law was all one big psycho week of recording with a tonne of beer, which was great but pretty tiring!!  But yeah, the new one is being recorded as we go.  I'm more confident with the gear now to just record in small doses and to not worry about microphone placements and all that stuff.  Although my goal is to eventually have an old reel to reel analogue studio set up.  Need the cash though you see.


The sound of Salute has changed quite a bit from black metal on first EP to Hellhammer-like slow bounding with a touch of Motorhead and Venom on "The Underground".  Is "Grinderland" again a step into new hunting grounds or is it fairly similar in sound and atmosphere to its predecessor?


Yeah for sure there are new sounds included within the new songs.  More personal.  Not in a Boyzone, this is my journey way but, more a sound from the lost mind.  Visions of the future, dreams of madness.  There will still be a core Salute sound to it, The Underground kinda shit.  One song is fucking more Hellhammer 3 riff striding than anything we've done before.  But the feel is more real.  The sound will be more flat and loud hopefully


You've been doing some gigs outside Great Britan. Has this changed your views on the UK metal scene some how?


No because we are not interested in scene's.  Scene's are stupid.  What’s a fucking scene?  Don't care and never will.  There are good, proper people out there in the UK that we've met along that way, people that have more understanding and knowledge in life and music than any scene prat.  RAMESSES!!!!  It's the same all around the world.  People coming together, for music or whatever is great but scene's are for boring, rich stupid bastards.  Hang out with your good mates and the family members you like.  That's not called being in a scene, that's called PROPER WAYS OUR LAD!!!


To be honest, I'd call like-minded people around me MY scene, not people that TRY to fit into a category and make it embracing for the true music fans.  Talking about limitations, what's the most surprising / strange place you've drawn inspiration from for Salute?


The last Portishead album really inspired me.  I don't listen to the other ones anymore.  They just remind me of my rotten youth.  So yeah the new one for sounding vintage and rough, early Killing Joke is creeping in there, which I didn't think we would do but then again Amebix already did that haha!  Really, other inspirations are the same.  Listening to tonnes of music, Films, books, drinking alone/with close friends, Meeting idiots...But anything can trigger off an idea or atmosphere for a song.  Sometimes I read one line of a book or hear a quote and that's it!!!  TIME TO ROLL!!


Salute has quite the following, has it changed your views on the band itself?


No.  I love the fact that people dig our music.  If we go and play a show and people bother to spend their hard cash watching diarrhea bands all night, waiting for the 'Lute to hit the stage then cool.  It just makes it better but at the same time, doesn't change a thing.


Did you notice a massive boost in fanmail after Fenriz mentioned you guys first time around?  Salute itself comes from "a salute to old school metal", care to share some latest or not so latest personal musical gems?


FENRIZ MAIL!!  Nah we didn't get any extra mail, just a few more hits on our myspace.  But really I didn't expect it to all errupt. I'm sure thousands of people follow his blog but there will be only a core few die-hards that check out the bands and that's fine.  We went over and played with many superb bands in Norway for OLD SCHOOL BOOKING.  Maybe that was because of yer boy but who knows.  It's just cool he digs our music and shows support as we are all fucking big fans of Darkthrone's music and always have been, every album.  The attitude is RIGHT!


Latest good shit listened too over the past year and more - Batsard Priest, DUST (MARTY H.A) just heard SPACE OPERA, getting into THE FALL's back catalogue, Aura Noir's last LP is grinding and we're always listening to their album, John Martyn, THE RUTS, DEATHAMMER!!! The Wounded Kings are pretty decent... Abscess, can't  forget the rotters!!!


Ever heard anything that makes your foot tap from an Estonian band?


HERALD!!!! Not.......


How did you end up putting together "Sounds from the compound" mix-tape?  It features mainly UK bands, was that intentional?


I can't actually remember even though it was only a month ago or so.  Either yer boy asked me to do one, OR more likely I blagged him to let me do one!!!  I love mix tapes.  My tape deck has packed in now, and I really miss sitting with piles of records and cd's, beers and tokes, recording a flow.  You cannot beat it.  I'm gonna find another one.  It didn't intentionally include mostly UK bands, just turned out that way.  I wasn't trying to play anything obscure either.  Just a good proper mix tape.  FEEL IT!


Salute has been confirmed for LIVE EVIL, is it a perfect line-up as far as you're concerned? Looking forward checking out any of the bands or is it going to be business as usual for you guys, straight to the booze?


HAHAH easy son easy... we aint that nuts after shows.  We like to party for sure, but if there are good bands to listen to i'm there!!!  It's a stupid line-up!!!  Crazy bands!!! The main bands i'll be checking out are Angel Witch.  We played with them in Norway but I was hung over, slowly getting drunk, and had just played a set so I was a bit dry.  We all agreed they were outstanding, and cool guys too! Also, I missed Ramesses last time they played in Bristol as we supported them and Obliteration.. we were lugging gear back to The Silver Speed Boat.  ANNNDD Obliteration, can't wait to hear their new shit live, NEKROMANTHEON.... KÖRGULL!!!!!!!  Would have liked to see Midnight too!!  Dunno if they're gonna play.  ALL THE BANDS ARE GOOD!!  BRAZILIAN PAIN IS COMING!  GRAVE D!!!! BUNKER 66 SHOULD PLAY!!


Cheers & beers!