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Salome’s Aaron Deal Talks Gear and Gets ‘Terminal’

Brandon Wu

Virginia’s premier phantom power-abusing trio, Salome, are gearing up to drop their second full-length next month, and boy are drummer Aaron Deal’s arms tired. When he’s not pounding the skins or slyly heckling the crowds, Deal busies himself writing music, collecting guitars and loving the hell out of his kitty cats.

Unlike your typical sticksman, he has a heavy hand in writing and producing Salome’s music. The band’s latest release, christened ‘Terminal,’ is no exception. Due out Nov. 9 on Profound Lore, ‘Terminal’ is just as bowel-squashingly heavy and utterly entrancing as their 2007 debut — but it features a few surprises, as well. Deal gave us the down low on what went into the record.

“I wrote a bunch of guitar riffs, [guitarist Rob Moore] and I would get together and tweak those riffs, work out the details and fill in the blanks,” Deal told Noisecreep about the songwriting process. “Then I would get behind the drums and we would put the song together and tweak that. There were definitely whiteboards involved. We had joked about it in the past but found ourselves actually needing them this time. Once we had the music worked out, we would demo it and send it to [singer Kat] to work out the lyrics and vocals.”

The rest is soon to be history, as one of the best doom records of the year readies itself for launch. Noisecreep couldn’t help but wonder, though, how much of Deal’s formidable arsenal of instruments, amps, cables and who knows what else had made it onto the album.

“Blaine Misner, my roommate, engineered it and I produced it. James Plotkin mastered it. We recorded at Cue Recording in Falls Church, Va. with Pro Tools,” Deal recollected as he detailed gear used to create ‘Terminal.’ The vocals are mostly a Shure SM7B with a few others for doubling or different textures. I used my Yamaha Oak Custom drums with a few different snares, and we used lots of different guitars and amps. Rob does all the main guitar parts with his Les Paul through the Mesa and Sunn rig we use live, then we go back and layer it up with other stuff.

“We used Gibson and Fender guitars, Ibanez and Jerry Jones baritone guitars through Mesa, Sunn, Viking, Marshall, Vox and Fender amps. Pigtronix, Diamond, Devi Ever, Mellowtone, Red Witch, WMD, MXR, Maestro, Univox, and Electro-Harmonix pedals … and of course, the Roland Space Echo. I might be forgetting some of the pedals; it’s hard to remember all of them. The synthesizers were a MicroMoog, a Roland Juno-60 and this weird little box called a Hamheart Featherduster.”

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