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Siege at their high school's 'Battle of the Bands' in 1984. Rob Williams, Kevin Mahoney, and Kurt Habelt are shown left-to-right
|Origin||Weymouth, Massachusetts, United States|
|Genres||Hardcore punk, grindcore, powerviolence|
|Labels||Deranged, Deep Six, Relapse, PATAC Records|
|Associated acts||Nightstick, Anal Cunt, The Spoils|
|Past members||Kevin Mahoney
Siege's form of intense hardcore incorporated fast tempos together with vocalist Mahoney's screeches and growls. Though rather short-lived and little-known during their existence, the band is highly revered by hardcore and punk fans worldwide as being one of the pioneers of the grindcore and powerviolence sub-genres. Subsequent musicians have cited the group as a profound influence, including the famous British grindcore band Napalm Death and the American thrashcore band Dropdead, whose namesake was derived from the title of Siege's demo of the same name.
Siege formed in 1983 in Weymouth, Massachusetts. The band's original lineup consisted of vocalist and saxophonist Kevin Mahoney, guitarist Kurt Habelt, bassist Hank McNamee, and drummer Rob Williams. Mahoney was from Braintree, while the rest of the band was from Weymouth.
Siege's first official show was at a "Battle of the Bands" in the spring of 1984 at their Weymouth high school. They were disqualified when McNamee smashed his bass onstage.
Despite their proximity to Boston, Siege did not fit into the Boston Crew-dominated Straight edge hardcore scene as they performed most of their gigs further away in Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The band played gigs in Greenfield with local hardcore bands DYS, Cancerous Growth, The Freeze, B.I.U, Outpatients, and Deep Wound, out-of-state at the Living Room in Providence, and at Anthrax in Stamford.
In 1985, Siege was scheduled to play their first show in New York City at CBGBs with The Necros. Mahoney did not show up for the gig, and Siege disbanded shortly after. Williams later formed the band Nightstick.
In 1991, Siege reformed with Anal Cunt frontman Seth Putnam on vocals. They recorded a four-song demo tape from which only 1 track, "Cameras", was initially released, appearing on the 13 Bands Who Think You're Gay Compilation LP. "Cameras" as well as "Death & Taxes," "New World Order" (covered by Boston Rock Against Communism band Mudoven as "The Pentagon" in 1999) and "Disregard" would later be released in 2014 on PATAC Records. Siege disbanded again the following year.
Mahoney died on October 14, 2011 after an extended battle with diabetes.
Siege recorded a six-song demo tape at Radiobeat Records in Kenmore Square on February 6, 1984. The demo was produced by Lou Giordano (who is also the producer of Hüsker Dü, Negative FX, SS Decontrol, Goo Goo Dolls, and many others), and has been extensively bootlegged. In October 1984 the band recorded three more songs at Radiobeat with Giordano for Pushead's classic 1985 hardcore compilation Cleanse the Bacteria. Those 3 songs were Siege's only official original release.
Giordano later recalled those sessions:
- "The way our studio operated was that anything that comes in –there’s no value judgements made about the music. We just record it. Still, one of the things that I guess was cool about being a staff engineer is that I wouldn’t have sought out a band like that. I wasn’t philosophically into anything that they were doing, but they were all good musicians –you would have to be to stay together at the speeds they were playing at. So there was that aspect of it, and just the whole pushing the envelope thing. It sounds like it’s just gonna completely break apart going 700 miles through the sky and then all of a sudden everything just comes right together again."
- "And they were some of the most unassuming, laid-back people to ever work with. I mean, they had no attitude at all. They just came in and they were just really polite and very thankful, and then when they turned on the amps and made that noise, it was just unbelievable that it was coming from them."'
Siege's 3 songs from the Cleanse the Bacteria compilation and 6-song demo were released by Relapse Records in 1994 as the Drop Dead CD. The same material was released on 12" vinyl in 2004 by Deep Six Records.
However, two separate additional reissues of the original Siege material done on lp in 2006 and 2009 by the Deep Six record label mysteriously contained an additional three tracks, "Two-Faced," "Trained To Kill," and "Questions Behind The Wall". According to the sticker on the cover of the 2006 reissue, it states that these tracks are "unreleased tracks from original sessions," but it is unclear if the songs were recorded in 1984 and remained unreleased until now, or if only the music is from the original sessions with vocals added later (by either the original vocalist or by Seth Putnam).
Witch Hunt covered "Conform" on their Crucial Chaos Session.
Original line up
- Kevin Mahoney (Sept. 6, 1965 - Oct. 14, 2011) - vocals, saxophone
- Kurt Habelt - guitar
- Hank McNamee - bass
- Rob Williams - drums
Reunion line up
- Seth Putnam - vocals
- Kurt Habelt - guitar
- Henry Clark (aka: Hank McNamee) - bass
- Rob Williams - drums
- Drop Dead (1984) (Cassette, Self Released)
- Drop Dead (1994) (CD, Relapse Records) (Demo '84 + Cleanse The Bacteria Comp Tracks)
- Drop Dead (2004) (12", Deep Six Records) (Demo '84 + Cleanse The Bacteria Comp Tracks)
- Drop Dead (2006) (12", Deep Six Records) (Demo '84 + Cleanse The Bacteria Comp Tracks + "Two Faced" and "Trained to Kill")
- Drop Dead (2006) (CD, Deranged Records) (Demo '84 + Cleanse The Bacteria Comp Tracks)
- Drop Dead (2009) (12", Deep Six Records) (Demo '84 + Cleanse The Bacteria Comp Tracks + "Questions Behind The Wall")
"Lost Session 91" (2014) (7", PATAC Records)
- Cleanse the Bacteria (1985) (12", Pusmort Records) (3 Tracks - Sad But True/Cold War/Walls)
- 13 Bands That Think You're Gay (2004) (12", Menace To Sobriety Records) (1 Track - Cameras)
- Mudrian, Albert, Choosing Death, Feral House, 2005. ISBN 1-932595-04-X