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SIEGE- Drop Dead 7″EP (Bootleg, Switzerland, 1989)

The escalation in terms of speed and aggression in both Hardcore and Metal had led to a totally new sound in the late 70s and especially the early 80s: Never before in the annals of music had there been such a wild, uncompromising and highly (un-)talented bunch of thousands of bands and individuals worldwide, who in a true firestorm ripped from continent to continent an just overthrew most of what the canon had tried to conserve as “art” or “music”. Sure, it’s trivial to mention all the epxerimental and avantgardist music of the 20th century, but we’re talking about something completely different here.  But whom am I telling this; you’re probably here because at one point or another in these roughly said 30 years of storming the bastions of what used to be music and its ugly aftermath since the 90s, you had become infected too. The fact that since a couple of years, Hardcore and extreme Metal have found their way into the midst of the entertainment business and thus society, sometimes leaves the pioneering days seem like one big unstructered scheme. Music enthusiasts become archeologists, sometimes for the good, sometimes what they come up with is so bizarre it leaves one speechless (check this “Grind your Mind – The history of Grindcore” CD here; some real experts were at work with this, obviously).

SIEGE weren’t the fastest, nor the most aggressive – they just were better than most other bands. The synkopic drumming especially on the three songs on “Cleanse the Bacteria”, the vocals, the heavy sounding guitars and the incredible riffing (which on the contrary wasn’t heavy at all) created a sound that was, well maybe it was not new, but it sounded new. No matter what you say, all the preceding bands (and you know how much I love them) – SIEGE took things to a new level and, in the long run even more importantly so, they influenced a whole new generation. The core members of what was becoming the second generation of Death Metal (a.k.a. Grindcore) were all influenced by SIEGE, whether they knew it or they didn’t.
Long before CDs and internet, the two SIEGE demos made their way through the network of activists like heavy steamrollers. This caused some weird effects: For one, there were a few people who handled SIEGE like their own. They wouldn’t freely copy the demo to everybody for instance. Maybe some of them will read this here and remember it and tell a bit about this. Then, the “Drop Dead” demo was altered twice: First change was by simply cutting off the annoying “Grim Reaper” track. Second was initiated by a guy who is now one of the big bosses in international Metal (chief executive of one of the biggest labels), who added weird sounds and stuff to the song “Drop Dead” and claimed it was some kind of a special mix, so he could climb up some ranks in the trader community, haha. Weird, yeah, but that’s how things were before the internet levelled everything with all good and bad aspects of it.

Well, in 1987 I thought it was time to release a vinyl bootleg of “Drop Dead”, but it had taken until early 1989 until it was finally out. As the fundings were very short at this time, only 300 copies were made, 100 each on green, blue and red vinyl (a handful of brown vinyl copies and very few testpressing too). I’ve always had mixed feelings about bootlegs. When I was a teenager and a total Heavy Metal fan and the first vinyl bootlegs were released, they were the ultimate collector pieces. They sounded like shit in most cases and were poorly packaged – but dude, they were just it. The greatest thing to have! I always felt they wouldn’t do the bands harm, au contraire, they helped to make them become more popular. Still, it can’t be denied that nobody but the bands should have the right to decide all things concerning their music – a dilemma when it comes to mp3-blogging still. I was in short two letter contact with Kurt from SIEGE just about the time the band dissolved, so all in all, I thought it would be okay to bootleg the demo, especially in such a minimal press run. Thomas with whom I had run the label Off The Disk back then claimed he had sent 10% of the pressing to the band and the band members had given their okay and it always made me feel comfortable to believe his stories. Nowadays, I doubt this was the truth as he was one treacherous bastard who ripped off so many along the way.
Anyway, it came how it had to come with the SIEGE boot: A lot of people got upset by it for various reasons. I received a few letters saying it was wrong to make this popular (“selling out the history of Hardcore” and other nonsense), others complained the small press run, others the immediate rise of the prices the boots were sold for (we sold them at basically a non-profit price). Well, looking back, I think I did the right thing. It helped to dramatically increase the popularity of the band, at least in Europe, nobody really lost or gained much with it. I still like the bootleggish flavor it has: The crappy cover, the colored wax, the hand stamped labels (by the way, the same stamps were were also used to stamp the concert tickets of the first two Celtic Frost gigs ever, haha). The lads from Active Minds re-booted “Drop Dead” in 1990 or 91 on their well known label “Revoltation”, but that one had such a shitty sound it didn’t do the band justice. Then, said Thomas decided to press another 200 copies of my version, on yellow vinyl with a different sleeve. Of course, like so many times before and after, he “forgot” to tell me about the actions of him, but in the end, he was generous enough to spare me two copies of it. Couldn’t complain, could I.

I have never heard the Deep Six reissue of “Drop Dead”, but I guess they used the incredible job of Lost & Found Records who had spent a lot of money in frshing up the sound with what was state of the art computer technology in the mid 90s. This rip here (minus the crackling from bad storage, dumbo me) reflects how the demo sounded. I guess those of you who don’t own neither the Lost & Found bootleg nor the (legitimate?) Deep Six reissue better get these.

I thought I had to put down the history behind this 7″ one day (at least in a real sketchy form) and well, here we go. Hope you enjoyed reading a bit and now please tell everybody your own thoughts, corrections or whatever crosses your mind (if you still have one).

Drop Dead.mp3
Conform.mp3
Life of Hate.mp3
Starvation.mp3
Armageddon.mp3
Grim Reaper.mp3

«It had to be done.» And with greetings to Kurt from Erich Megawimp.

48 Comments

  1. Steve

    You’re so right about music enthusiasts being like archaeologists. Every time I want to find something in my collection I have to do an excavation. Hehe. Seriously, excellent post!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Jul-08 at 13:37 | Permalink
  2. LIFE OF HATE

    i had no idea it was you who had released this. anyway this is one of the best posts on a blog that is so full with quality. the insights you’re givin are much appreciated by one of the late-borns. and hats off to you sir and your contribution then & now.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Jul-08 at 14:02 | Permalink
  3. malfeitor

    That’s funny about the Grim Reaper track. I guess I had only heard the boot with the song left off of it and then about a year ago I was at a friend’s house and the original demo cassette was sitting on his kitchen table and I noticed Grim Reaper and was a bit confused.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Jul-08 at 14:39 | Permalink
  4. Bootleg the bootleggers! Nice one Erich ;)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Jul-08 at 15:40 | Permalink
  5. What's the Truth?

    Fantastic! The sound on this version is quite different from what I’ve heard before. Thanks for the story as well!

    Coincidentally, I was just thinking today about my status as a music collector. I’d like to think I’m an informal Foucaultian genealogist of music, doing my part to disrupt the linear (mainstream?) history of music, whether hardcore, metal, or anything else!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Jul-08 at 16:07 | Permalink
  6. Jerry B

    Yeah great boot, very thankful when this came out, but it was a real bitch to find even soon after it was released. I’m happy to have snagged a red one :0

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Jul-08 at 17:32 | Permalink
  7. kountchokula

    One of the defining moments in hardcore music is the extended scream 2/3 thru the song ‘Walls” from Cleanse the Bacteria. It is impossible for me to estimate the total cumulative listenings of those 3 tracks, simply primal.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Jul-08 at 20:47 | Permalink
  8. tom

    Lovely vinyl covers and the sleeve is classic too. Great behind the scenes report. At the moment, I can’t see anybody thinking the history of Punk et al. music through with such clear thought. Very inspiring. If you don’t write that book yourself soon, I will :-)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Jul-08 at 23:55 | Permalink
  9. Frank Mossi

    The mighty SIEGE. First time I’m hearing the original recordings and I’m very impressed. Another history lessen I enjoyed much more than those in school.
    “Drop dead” is the super hit here, “conform” is also super. The other songs are good too (except for “Grim reaper”).

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 02:21 | Permalink
  10. steve distraught

    I used to work with Kurt’s old room mate and when the bootleg came out, Kurt had dropped one off at our job so maybe Thomas told the truth about sending the band some copies…….

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 03:33 | Permalink
  11. Thanks for the info, Steve! Yeah, who knows, maybe he did send them.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 07:09 | Permalink
  12. Super great stuff, I got the L%F version when it came out and it blew me away!

    Don´t know why you don´t like Grim reaper, I think that it´s the song here along with Walls. The sax is so Stooges!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 09:41 | Permalink
  13. adamski

    “Second was initiated by a guy who is now one of the big bosses in international Metal (chief executive of one of the biggest labels)…”
    Could this be Digby Eugene Pearson, perchance?
    Sorry to be pedantic but the boot 7″ on Revoltation was done by one of the guys from Satanic Malfunctions, rather than Active Minds (Though they were in SAS together.)
    The Lost & Found CD release still kills me! An awesome production job.
    It’s funny, I used to hate “Grim Reaper,” but now I have a kinda fondness for it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 10:57 | Permalink
  14. Adamski: SM / AM, whatever ;-)

    Nope, it wasn’t Digby, though he was notorious for that kind of action too, haha.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 11:06 | Permalink
  15. Niels

    As “Grim Reaper” took up the whole of side 2 of the (original) tape, and I preferred playing that to rewinding side 1, I guess I’ve grown to really like (all 7 minutes of) it, even though it’s slow and has a sax! I ordered the tape in summer ’84, and I think i got it from Kurt about 6 months later, ha ha… But it was worth the wait. One of the last recordings with that great clean-but-LOUD “Radiobeat” sound… It came complete with original SIEGE stickers which I stuck onto my guitar right away, of course (wow, to think I was once actually cool for a minute…)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 11:36 | Permalink
  16. Erich, this one was worth it just for the read alone. As far as the “Grind your Mind – The history of Grindcore”, I think that with your historical backround, you could do better than that. What a wonderful idea for a compilation post, hint, hint. Every time a particular fringe for of music becomes popular it becomes watered down. Like a meal without spices anybody can take it in with minimal complaints. MTV even has pop grindcore now. Seige are not watered down and are as real as it gets. What an awesome choice for a bootleg. Thanx for the words and the music.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 11:43 | Permalink
  17. Thanks much for the nice words Justin & everybody else. :-)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 11:51 | Permalink
  18. Great post Erich! I’d only ever heard the L & F and more recent mix, so this is a treat. I like “Grim Reaper” but I see it as more of an oddity than a SIEGE song if you know what I mean… A disgusting dirge, opposing the facemelting impact of the fast songs. Generally I’m a big fan of early 80s dirgey jams that so many HC bands attempted at some point…”Die For God” by FUs being another that springs to mind.

    Radiobeat had such a great sound, so powerful

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Jul-08 at 19:04 | Permalink
  19. justin V.

    great story brings back tape trading memories. back in ’86 in Seattle, the band i was in, False Liberty, used to cover Siege songs . . . but here my memory is a bit hazy. we either did Sad But True or Conform or both! it is strange trying to convey what a big deal they were back then. they just seemed like that were at the absolute forefront of hardcore/speedcore/whatever things were becoming. first band you could call brutal, perhaps?

    my copy of the Drop Dead demo, on a tape with a bunch of other stuff (mostly metal i think) was missing Grim Reaper. i only just heard it upon finally getting that Deep Six lp. i can dig it. i think dirges were a big boston thing, DYS anyone?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Jul-08 at 00:44 | Permalink
  20. Hey Justin – False Liberty’s “Zoo is free” demo used to be on pretty much the same forefront too, just a tic of a second later. At least for me. I loved that tape! Too bad the 7″ had such a weak production.

    Yeah, those dirges sure were a Boston thing. SSD had one too, but frankly, I always skipped them over on the record.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Jul-08 at 00:50 | Permalink
  21. Borg

    Hey great blog, just wondering if you, or anyone else can clear up a rumour. There was a second siege demo, with Seth from anal cunt on vocals???
    Would love to hear it..(hint hint)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Jul-08 at 02:19 | Permalink
  22. Borg: I remember Seth telling me the band had recorded a demo without vocals ca. 1999/91 and he added the vocals tracks a bit later. Although I was promised to receive a copy, I never got one. That’s all I know.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Jul-08 at 10:47 | Permalink
  23. justin V.

    i totally agree about the 7″, though, both it and the tape were the same session. bad mixing and mastering plus too many tracks would be my guess for the weakness.

    and wasn’t there also a dirge on “Is This My World?”?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Jul-08 at 13:56 | Permalink
  24. Zach

    One of the Siege tracks with Seth/AC on vocals is on the “13 Bands Who Think You’re Gay” comp LP that was released a few years ago on Menace To Sobriety. The sound quality isn’t that good though, and the song is nowhere as great as anything they did in the 80’s.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Jul-08 at 14:26 | Permalink
  25. Zach – you know what you have to do now … rip and upload that track :-)

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Jul-08 at 14:29 | Permalink
  26. Sean

    It’s the track “Cameras” and it’s a letdown. The closest I got to getting the ’92 (’94?) demo was through one of AC’s revolving door of drummers (whoever was playing with them in ’99)…but of course Seth put the shutdown on him so I neevr got a copy. If it’s like “Cameras”, it can go to hell…but the video out there of them playing with Seth the songs don’t sound half-bad.

    I had your boot Erich (green, gawd this was like 15 years ago)…and anybody who’d cry and bitch then about “sharing” can go to hell. I’ll be a dickhead about that to my dying breath…if it’s sold out, never put out (for yeeeaaars), or already circulated for years with “the cool kids”, it’s fair game. People who don’t share something as pointless as music aren’t human.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 29-Jul-08 at 23:06 | Permalink
  27. henry

    yeah the guys from AC did do vocals and theres a video of them playing a show, a local band here(SFV) covers siege which is really good, well live since its only a live band

    [Reply]

    Posted on 30-Jul-08 at 00:19 | Permalink
  28. i once saw the video, i guess a friend of mine still have it recorded, not so good for what i remember.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 30-Jul-08 at 11:37 | Permalink
  29. What an excellent post. The music coupled with the outstanding writing. I’m speechless. Thank you dear homo!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 30-Jul-08 at 13:00 | Permalink
  30. ex-SIEGE

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 30-Jul-08 at 14:04 | Permalink
  31. Jess

    Erich, so how does this vinyl rip compare with Deranged’s release last year of Drop Dead + the Cleanse the Bacteria track? Just curious…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 30-Jul-08 at 15:31 | Permalink
  32. The drummer went on to play in a sludge/doom metal band called Nightstick. Pretty good band.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 30-Jul-08 at 15:36 | Permalink
  33. great post and great words, it was nice to hear such stories of tape trading, and i can’t find more appropriate words that “it had to be done”
    anyway if i remember well the deep six repress has 2 unreleased songs but i’m not sure

    [Reply]

    Posted on 30-Jul-08 at 19:27 | Permalink
  34. lars – they pressed the deep six lp three times, total money making scheme… the first press was the demo + comp tracks, then they repressed it with two unreleased tracks added, then they repressed it again with the unreleased tracks missing but with another unreleased song in its place. nothing like buying the same LP three times.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Jul-08 at 23:29 | Permalink
  35. NA

    chrisxm- so deep 6 did what you did with the cider 7″/12″?

    [Reply]

    Posted on 17-Aug-08 at 00:08 | Permalink
  36. I can’t believe no one mentioned the very amusing live recordings of Siege posted on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYEg2XbG7p4). The legs! The hard polished floor! The t-shirt tans!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 26-Aug-08 at 06:49 | Permalink
  37. Yeah, Martin – these videos, haha. I remember when I first saw them on a low quality vhs, I didn’t know what to think of the pose. After all, it was SIEGE, I thought – they must have had a reason for this, haha.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 27-Aug-08 at 11:42 | Permalink
  38. TomsyBomsy

    The first time I saw the name SIEGE was on the cover from ENT’s Holocaust In Your Haed LP (the patch from one of the zombiedeathbangers). So I started to ask everyone I knew back then about this band.
    It took me AGES until I got the Demo via Tapetrading (excluding the Grim Reaper song – of course? :-( ) The quality was total shit beyond belief (probably a copy of a copy of a copy…) But hell YEAH!!! I was in love whit it right from the start and listened to it about a trillion times!!!!
    Funny thing is, the guy who dubbed me the tape also included some cuts from FoG on the Tape (a live gig whit a a 5Sec cover version from Chapel of Ghouls ha ha ha)
    There were also some live cuts from Boltthrower and Messiah on there Aaah sweet memories…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 26-Sep-08 at 15:10 | Permalink
  39. fuck yes!! I was in False Liberty with Justin V. We did “Conform”. Justin,…please get in touch with me:
    greg@southernlord.com

    Id love to catch up etc…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 24-Nov-08 at 17:15 | Permalink
  40. fugu

    Mmmmmm sooooooo gooooooood…

    [Reply]

    Posted on 12-Apr-09 at 01:19 | Permalink
  41. this is amazing! i love new hardcore and metal i don’t care what anyone says. however i get all my new music for free so i’m not giving the majors my money. but anyway thanks erich for this. rock on dude.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 28-Sep-09 at 03:56 | Permalink
  42. great sound great feeling great days …
    thanks schulz for this presents many many years ago
    novara ’80 HardCore!

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Oct-09 at 16:40 | Permalink
  43. roswell47

    deep six first press b/w cover, black vinyl, no bonus songs.
    2nd press gold/black cover, gold vinyl, 2 bonus songs (“two-faced”, “trained to kill”)
    3rd press grey/black cover, grey vinyl, 1 bonus song (“questions behind the wall”)

    i don’t know the track on the “13 bands” lp but the 3 bonus songs here are really good. the sound is as close to the “drop dead” demo as possible, the playing is tight, brutal and thankfully still chaotic enough, and even seth putnam does a fairly good job in copying kev mahoney’s voice. check for yourself:
    “trained to kill”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojunp9Qwy7E
    don’t know if that’s a “new” song. the other tracks are early 90’s recordings of unreleased 84 stuff:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey2O-ffT6js
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGo9jtM_65Q

    “questions” has been slowed down a lot, though, which i personally prefer miles over that old version from youtube. less punkrock, more brutality.

    as to why deep six came up with such a fucked up release policy in regards to the bonus songs… i don’t know. it’s ridiculous. that 90’s session should finally get properly released as a whole, not cut up like a cheap saussage.
    and i’m still pissed i had to buy that bloody record 3 times. did i really have to? of course. it’s siege.

    [Reply]

    steve b Reply:

    those three tracks were part of six the band recorded in 1986 with the original vocalist kev.can believe they stayed unreleased for so long and sound like they were recorded just after the bacteria tracks.
    on a foot note to the bootleg.if the band approved the release surely they would of given him a better quality copy of the demo cause it sounds like shit and is an insult to the memory of this awesome band!!

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    Well kiddo, that’s exactly how the original demo tape sounds like before it was possible to polish recordings up with computers.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Nov-09 at 02:30 | Permalink
  44. roswell47

    “two-faced” from the deep six lp:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6yL4MoJf4w

    [Reply]

    Vlad Reply:

    Hey man do you have the questions behind the wall song to share plz? thanks!

    [Reply]

    CAlder Reply:

    so i have been for for this song for years and i cant find if you have this email it to me lambofgodalk@gamil.com its a old email from i was a kid any who and any other tracks i have the drop dead album and i have two face and train to kill thx and Aloha

    [Reply]

    Posted on 11-Nov-09 at 11:15 | Permalink
  45. steve b

    i’ve got copy a of the original cassette and it doesnt sound anything like the record for sure.the original tapes must of been at hand as the recent vinyl and cd reissues sound killer,definatly from quarter inch masters not cassette.even with computer technology you couldnt get it to sound so good from a cassette.there’s a book being written about the band by some guy in canada so hopefully this great band will finally get the respect they deserve!

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    Yeah right kid. I’m sure you know better than me.

    [Reply]

    Doc Reply:

    Course he does! He’s the internet kid with google and all. He knows it all. It’s like he was there when it happened. He has the original tape and a pair of the drummers underwear too. You lied to us all the years :-)

    [Reply]

    "some guy in canada" Reply:

    got reading problems? and good luck with the book haha.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 31-Jul-11 at 08:30 | Permalink
  46. Per Eriksson

    Hi Erich!I’m sitting here with a tape in my hand…It’s the cassette version of the reissue of the original “Drop Dead”-demo from february 6 1984, but released on Relapse Records in 1994.Let me tell you: I have downloaded this bootleg of yours and in my ears it don’t sound the way it should/or could.But every time I hear this version it really Destroys my sound system completely!Has any band in the history of recorded music been more extreme and vile?Hardly…

    And now to my question: Could I interest you with a cassette-rip of this release, done with my own

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    The bootleg sounds just like the original demo did. The Lost & Found and Relapse version were fiddled around with. But they sound great, no doubt.

    [Reply]

    Posted on 24-Feb-12 at 22:09 | Permalink
  47. Grind

    Was all copies sold with the insert? Just got hold of a blue one, and never seen the insert before.

    [Reply]

    Mark Reply:

    what insert????

    [Reply]

    Grind Reply:

    My copy came with insert with lyrics.

    [Reply]

    Admin Reply:

    I never made an insert.

    [Reply]

    grind Reply:

    Cool that mine came with one. Makes it even more diy! haha

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Mar-13 at 15:23 | Permalink
  48. gillham

    ‘two faced’, ‘trained to kill’ & ‘questions behind the wall’ were all recorded during the orig ‘drop dead’ session, but yes, it’s amazing how the tracks remained unreleased (and unheard of!) all these years.
    deep six are now releasing a 30th (!) anniversary version. let’s hope it’s the definitive (and final) version complete with those 3 tracks, etc.
    the ‘lost’ session from ’91 with seth putnam on vocals is being released as a 4 song 7″ on patac recs next month. the studio kept the master tape as the session was never fully paid for, apparently, so the 7″ is sourced from a roughly mixed cassette copy only, but i’m sure there’ll be some audio fuckery done to clean it up, etc.
    lastly, i must recommend you all check out the spoils ‘to the victor’ lp also on deep six recs feat. ex siege members rob williams on drums and kevin mahoney on vocals. musically it’s along the lines of rob’s band nightstick but faster. infact, there’s reworkings of some nightstick tracks on it.
    mediafire dl link, links to buy, etc here :
    http://and-for-what.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/spoils-to-victors-2007.html

    [Reply]

    Posted on 14-Apr-14 at 06:08 | Permalink

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Proceed to the SIEGE post here. […]

  2. […] who ordered this 7″ from Shades in London in 1985, believing it was the “other” SIEGE, when in fact, it was the other “SIEGE” (quite an elaborated use of quotations mark […]

  3. […] RIP Kevin, sit tibi terra levis. To find about more about SIEGE, read here. […]

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