Israeli metal band Salem have been around for over two decades, with their seventh release being 'Playing God.' Through it all, they've played to full houses, been featured on MTV's Headbanger's Ball and enjoyed plenty of press accolades. Yet they've never achieved a huge degree of success.

"It is very costly to send a band from Israel to tour Europe or the States. So exposure on a big scale has always been out of reach," Nir told Noisecreep. But the band wasn't resigned to be a 'locals only' act. "The Internet solved that problem," Nir continued. "Salem's MySpace page statistics show that over 40 percent of our visitors are North American. We believe there is a market for us anywhere in the world since Salem is up to international standards as far as our level of musicianship, performance and production are concerned."

Even though the band has a substantial -- relatively speaking -- North American following and fan base, Nir is firm about the fact that the band "could not have happened anywhere else in the world but Israel." The band's geographic origin is reflected in every element of the band's music and lyrics.

Nir also said, "Unfortunately, for the world, since 9/11, everyone has become an Israeli, in a sense. Living under constant threat has always been a way of life for us. It reflects in our lyrics, with lines like 'We keep dry under the rain of terror.' Now, terror has become an international issue. Most of Europe is in danger of losing its identity. Over 3,000 Americans did not make it home on Sept. 11, 2001. A month ago, Al-Qaeda tried to take down another airliner on its way to Detroit. Another 300 families could have experienced that loss. At this point, Salem doesn't represent Jewish Israeli views exclusively. I think it is safe to say that we represent the point of view of a sane Western civilization. Welcome to Salem."

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