The Salem Village witch trials in Massachusetts’ began during the spring of 1692; after a group of young woman claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused them of witchcraft. As the wave of hysteria from a unexplained illness  spread throughout colonial Massachusett. A special court convened in Salem to hear the cases. The first convicted of “witchcraft” was Bridget Bishop who was hung on June. 18th of 1692. Others followed Bishop to Salem’s.. Gallow Poles. While some 150 more men, women and children were accused over the next several months. It was believed that they employed demons to accomplish devious deeds. Supposedly they changed from humans to animal forms or from one human apparition to another.The animals acted as their “familiar spirits,” and they rode through the air at night to secret meetings and orgies. There is little doubt that some individuals did worship the devil and attempted to practiced sorcery with harmful intent. However, no one ever embodied the concept of being a witch. Governed by Puritan ethos the Salem witch trials and executions came about as the result of a combination of church politics, family feuds, and hysterical children;all of which unfolded in a vacuum of political authority. By September 1692 the hysteria had begun to abate and public opinion turned against the trials. The Massachusetts General Court later annulled the guilty verdicts against the accused witches and granted indemnities to their families. Bitterness lingered in the community and the painful legacy of the Salem witch trials would endure for centuries thereafter.

Urban legend claims that the virus was transmitted first by the indigenous Native Americans. Since they were immune to the virus it seemed that the settlers of New England suffered from its spread…

I came across a great British rock band, South of Salem..Honestly, I didn’t think  it would resonate.. Boy was I wrong! Their initial self-titled release just might be the band’s defining statement: a sprawling, visceral and cerebral dreamscape that may define a new genre of Nu-Metal. Its more gritty than Stone Sour and Slipknot.. –while maintaining a semblance of infectious melodies. “Effortless” is probably an over statement, however there’s a lot of craft that goes into South of Salem’s radio-friendly hooks. They formed in 2018 and the band was a “hodge podge of other bands…

Their new track and video, “Cold Day in Hell” is a heartfelt hook-heavy paean dedicated  to love’s salvation. It spits out words heated enough to melt earbuds.

Earlier this year South Of Salem’s track,“Demons Are Forever” was released for World Suicide Prevention Day.  Suicide is the biggest cause of death amongst teenagers and young adults. As dark as the subject matter might be, SoS tackles drug abuse, depression and betrayal. Every suicide is a tragedy and to some degree it always remains a mystery.

We were lucky enough to get singer, Joey Draper for an exclusive interview…

Rock Bands of L A.com:I gotta be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like your music… yet I trust Rob’s taste.. Lots of journalist when writing a review wants to place the music in a “box”.. If you like this band then you’ll dig this other band.. so on and so on.. Its almost like threads that connects the music… I’ve read reviews that you sound like Stone Sour and Slipknot. Death Metal etc etc.. What does South of Salem do? Come out with a archetypal  love song, “Cold Day In Hell”… Does this track reflect what SoS( South of Salem is all about?

Joey Draper: ‘Cold Day In Hell’ certainly encapsulates a lot of South of Salem’s vibe. Musically we have been influenced by 80s rock, both British and American, but we also have a love for the modern metal production. I think this is really prevalent in this track especially. Lyrically we always wanted SoS to be honest but we also wanted to delve in to the less talked about subjects. The uglier sides of relationships, the darker emotions and so on. ‘Cold Day In Hell’ wasn’t intended to be a love song, but we’ve always been strong believers that our listeners should interpret the songs in their own way and take out of them what they want.

Rock Bands of L.A.com:“No Plague Like Home” is a pretty heavy song and is my fave track…  I’m not sure what drove SoS to write song about depression.. What was the inspiration behind this song?

Joey Draper:I think it’s one of the first tracks we wrote for the album. It’s definitely at the heavier end of the spectrum, for sure.‘No Plague Like Home’ was written about the frustrations of being stuck in a life you don’t want. I think all of us at some point have been in the dead-end job or the failing relationship.Again lyrically our songs are always open to interpretation, but I see it as breaking away from a life that doesn’t suit you, not changing to suit someone else and the struggle for acceptance (as evidenced in the line “I’m going through hell just to be myself.”)

Rock Bands of L.A.com:You may not know this.. but during the colonial days in America.. there was the execution of many people (mostly women) in Salem, Massachusetts because they were found to be disciples of the devil. The reason was that they would get deathly sick with fever and stomach virus.. And the entire town would become deathly sick.. Urban legend claims that the virus had started with the Native Americans who were immune to the illness… Sounds like the Covid-19? I think I’m on to something for a new song?

Joey Draper:The Salem witch trials were certainly an inspiration on the band name. We’ve always been into the dark and macabre. These are very strange times. We are always writing and the situation we are in and comparisons in history are definitely inspiring the work we will release in the future.

Rock Bands of L.A.com:What have you been doing in keeping the spirit of SoS alive? Your album is amzing! WE LOVE IT..

Joey:We’ve just been enjoying the release of the album. It’s been incredible reading all the comments from our fans and seeing what a great response the album has had critically. We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far and have our sights set on bigger and better things down the line.At the moment we’re proud to have sold out our first socially distanced show and have been inspired by lots of different bands on how we can move forward, taking our stage show to the online format. So keep your eyes peeled for that.

We would like to than Joey Draper of SoS and of course Rob from Stampede  Press… Stay and don’t forget to rock… https://www.southofsalem.com/