After As Friends Rust dissolved in early 2002, guitarist Joe Simmons and bassist Tom Rankine formed Salem with drummer David Miller, guitarist Jeremy Robertson, and vocalist Adam D'Zurilla. At first, the Gainesville, FL-based combo was simply a retooled version of AFR, since that unit still had tour responsibilities to fulfill. But with the official name change to Salem, the group began to gel around a batch of new songs and the emotive vocals of D'Zurilla. Tours throughout the emo/punk revivalist axis followed, and gigs with types like Further Seems Forever, A New Found Glory, and Finch furthered the Salem buzz. The group signed with the Geffen imprint Fiddler, and the Love It or Leave Me EP dropped in late October 2003. In mid-2005, Salem announced its dissolution.